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8 Ways To Shift Stubborn Belly Fat And Live A Healthier Lifestyle

8 Ways To Shift Stubborn Belly Fat And Live A Healthier Lifestyle

Maintaining a slim physique has more than just aesthetic benefits! It will help you to live longer too! The larger we are, the more at risk we are of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the UK, Type 2 Diabetes and several types of cancer. Losing weight, especially stubborn fat, improves blood flow by improving the functionality of blood vessels. You’ll even benefit from improved sleep and you’ll wake up feeling more energised!

Losing weight will help to shrink your waistline but be mindful that fat loss is always our ultimate goal. Reducing dangerous levels of visceral fat, the type of fat that shrouds your organs and is contained within the abdominal cavity, inside your belly; you can’t see it, that’s subcutaneous fat that we can see, but it’s there and that’s what’s increasing our risk to health. We’ve come up with eight ways to help you shift stubborn belly fat and live a healthier, happier life.

Reduce your intake of carbohydrates instead of fats

When compared to the effects on cardiovascular health of losing weight, it’s been found that a low-carbohydrate diet lose around a third more fat than those who eat the same number of calories on a low-fat diet. The loss of lean muscle tissue is also increased with low fat diets, which is not desirable because this means reduced strength; maintaining a higher protein, higher fat diet allows the body to consume fat as its preferred energy source, especially when coupled with a strength training exercise routine.

Diets are for life, not just for summer

When we think about weight loss, we think about going on a diet to lose weight. Once we’ve lost a bit of weight, we then go back to our old eating habits but ask yourself this, how did you get fat in the first place? Our diet should be for life and our diet plan should be focused to serve a purpose. We will adjust our caloric intake downwards to lose weight and we also, we will eat fewer calories than we are now to sustain that weight loss because if we return to our old eating habits, we’ll slowly regain the weight. We want to be eating high-fibre foods that are low in sugar and eat more high-protein choices.

Move more

Physical activity helps to burn body fat, not only can you target specific areas for muscle growth to chisel that physique but by being more active, your metabolism will be woken up and during periods of recovery, you’ll burn more calories even whilst you rest! Exercise helps the body to reduce the amount of insulin it needs to produce, this signals the body to not hold on to fat and to process it immediately for energy and active use. 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily is recommended, this could be as simple as walking faster than usual to the park and doing a lap or two before walking home again.
Strength training will burn body fat in your sleep
A moderate strength training routine with an aerobic cooldown at the end helps to build lean muscle mass and because this muscle mass takes more energy than fat to live, it will aid your weight loss efforts but, whilst your muscles grow and repair, that takes a lot more energy (calories) and therefore, the metabolic rate of someone who is regularly strength training is much higher than someone who is sedentary and is therefore able to lose more body fat (and weight) as a result. Aerobic exercise will improve lung capacity and endurance.

Learn to read nutrition labels

Look out for “low calorie” food choices, especially zero calorie products because all products contain calories, legally, food manufacturers are allowed to label anything with less than five calories as having zero calories which can be misleading, therefore you have to read the nutrition label to understand how many calories are actually in a serving. Whilst the serving might say zero calories, the “per 100g” value will tell you the truth, you would divide this number of calories by 100 and multiply it by the serving size to understand the actual caloric content. You’ll also be able to see how many of your favourite “healthy foods” are actually unhealthy, overloaded with sugar and salt, and full of processed ingredients.

Turn to wholefoods

The ingredients in packaged foods and snack foods, and the frozen foods you put on a tray and stick in the oven are heavy on trans fat and added sugar, salt, flavourings, stabilisers, acidity regulators and preservatives; all of these things make losing weight more difficult because the body doesn’t know what to do with them so it stores and it disrupts our metabolic function whilst the body processes it all as waste instead of absorbing and nutritional goodness. This makes us feel hungrier sooner and crave foods, the risk of snacking increases and this inhibits our weight loss endeavours.
Drop a jean size rather than a stone
We always teach our clients that the scale weight isn’t our friend when we’re losing weight and this is because all of our clients are engaged in a light to moderate strength training exercise program. Muscle weighs more than fat per square centimetre of area and as we lose weight, initially the scales will fall but over time, it will plateau and even start to increase despite a reduction in body fat. A better weight to measure body fat reduction is to measure the circumference of your waist, chest, neck, biceps, thighs and calves and keep track of these measurements over time – you don’t have to measure them all but it gives you the best picture, most people are quite happy just measuring their waistband. Some of my clients measure progress against their wardrobe and celebrate when they can take clothes that are now too big for them to the charity shop and buy new clothes.

Build relationships with healthier people

Our social networks play a huge role in our overall health. If we have friends who lead unhealthier lifestyles, there is more of a likelihood that we will adopt a similar lifestyle. The opposite is also true. It’s hard to find new friends and gyms can be intimidating (they don’t have to be, everyone is really lovely in the gyms I’ve been to!) but many local classes focus on healthier eating and more active lifestyles. The Gym Group and PureGym are both cheap gyms that offer fitness classes, when I worked for them as a personal trainer, we had many members who would only come to the gym for the group exercise classes. There are also many local, independent fitness professionals delivering group exercise classes nationwide and online where communities of like-minded people working towards a healthier weight exist, ready to embrace new members.

In conclusion, maintaining a slim physique is not just about aesthetics but about enhancing overall health and longevity. Reducing body fat, particularly the visceral kind, can significantly decrease the risk of severe health issues like heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and certain cancers. Adopting a low-carbohydrate diet, increasing physical activity, and incorporating strength training are crucial steps in this journey. Moreover, understanding nutrition labels, choosing whole foods over processed ones, and focusing on body measurements rather than scale weight can make the process more manageable and effective. Finally, surrounding oneself with like-minded, health-conscious individuals can provide the necessary support and motivation. By integrating these practices into our daily lives, we can achieve a healthier, happier existence.

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