“One size doesn’t fit all” Let me extend this adage and say – “There is no one secret formula to lose belly fat that will work for all!” There is a lot to be taken into account and the best solution to any problem is a Customized one – one that is tailor made exclusively for you. And this adage holds an even stronger ground when it comes to fitness. Just like one prescription from one doctor cannot cure everybody’s illness, even if the illness is same. Today, let’s explore this very common issue of “belly fat”, and how just one prescription cannot and will not work for all. We will also look into the best steps you can take and the mistakes to avoid, to reduce your belly problem.
How to reduce Belly Fat?
Before we delve into the ‘how-to’, let’s understand the what’s and why’s of belly fat.
What is Belly Fat?
The fat deposit or the fat percentage on and around your stomach region is the belly fat. Given the lifestyle, work life, eating habits, stress and negligence, this issue is more than common. You may be skinny all over but still have the highest percentage of fat in your body around your belly/core. Or you may be fit or even overweight but you notice that you belly/core is the biggest problem area.
But here’s the deal – this fat is dangerous. Why else would so many people be worried otherwise?
Why lose Belly Fat?
The fat we’re talking about is called Visceral Fat, the one that is found in your abdominal cavity and basically envelops your internal organs. Carrying too much visceral fat is a serious health problem. Excess visceral fat is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and even certain cancers. The fat may promote long-lasting inflammation, which in turn may increase the risk of chronic disease.
Besides these physical health risks, it may also make you feel under-confident, conscious and uncomfortable. The belly fat weakens your core and also affects the form of a lot of your workouts.
What Should you do to lose belly fat?
The first and foremost thing is to understand that every body reacts to everything differently. Only because you see crunches working for your friend doesn’t mean you must overdo it to see results. Doing anything without proper knowledge will do more harm. Before anything, here are the two main steps you need to take to kick start your belly fat loss journey –
- Get to Know your own Body – The first step is to know and understand your own body. Understand what are your limitations, what foods your body accepts and what are your personal goals. Get a medical analysis done to know the fat percentage, the risk level and get the opinion of your doctor.
- Get a Professional Trainer – People often ask me if it is even necessary to have a trainer when you have plethora of information on the internet. The answer is YES! You need a trainer when you have goals to achieve. The internet or your friends won’t know you the way your trainer will. You need someone to understand you, customize the workouts for you, follow up regularly and motivate you whenever it is needed. For this, it is crucial to pick someone who is certified, experienced and most importantly, someone you connect with.
Once you have that in place, here are a few more steps you can take that will help you get closer to your goals-
- Have Plenty of Soluble Fiber
- Avoid Trans Fats
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Increase the protein content in your diet
- Do activities that help reduce stress level. Stress triggers cortisol – a hormone that holds on to belly fat
- Reduce sugar (natural, artificial or processed) intake
- Increase your cardio activities to give your metabolism a boost
- Cut back on carbs (Try to eliminate processed carbs from your diet)
- Cook food in healthy fats (coconut oil, ghee, etc.)
- Hit the gym and lift weights. Trust your trainer with your strength training to make you lose belly fat
- Get enough rest. Sleeping doesn’t necessarily equate to being rested. Make sure you get restful sleep every day.
- Increase your OMEGA-3 intake (either through supplements or Fatty fish)
- Avoid fruit juices, as sugar from fruit is absorbed directly when in liquid form
- Add Apple Cider Vinegar in your diet
- Build a healthy gut by taking probiotic supplement or increasing intake of probiotic foods
- Try intermittent fasting. But ask your doctor and your trainer to customize the fasting period for you.
- Move around frequently, do not sit a lot
- Give up on fat loss pills. They do nothing besides harming your body
- Start simple. Do not go hard on yourself from day 1. Give your body the time and love it needs to get into the fat loss mode.
- Finally, be in acceptance of your body. Your fat will go. You only need time, discipline and consistency. No one has lost weight overnight and no one has gained weight with one bad meal. Forgive yourself and start again. You will see positive changes once you’ve accepted your body.
Remember, there is no magic formula. Nor is there one shoe that fits all. Your body knows what’s best for you. Listen to it and be true to yourself. Give yourself the time and trust the journey. You’re sure to see the results sooner or later.
If you have any doubts, drop a comment below and I will be happy to help you out!