When the weather outside is cold and our lifestyles tend to be more sedentary, it is easy to put on belly fat and slack on both working out and nutrition. However, getting rid of that fat can be much harder than putting it on.
Even before the Holidays are over and we look to New Year’s resolutions and getting back into shape, there are things we can do to trim that fat we put on, and keep ourselves from putting it on again.
The debate is always how to lose fat the right way. There are dozens of fad diets, supplements, and workout programs that promise amazing results in a short period of time. Do any of them actually work, and what one is right for you? Here is a look at the right way to lose fat.
No matter what personal trainer or coach you talk to, most of them will tell you that losing weight is 80% about what you eat, and 20% about what you do in the gym. It follows then that your diet is important.
However, there are fad diets emerging all the time that emphasize eating one thing or another, avoiding carbs and eating high amounts of protein, or even recommend foods that are naturally fat burning. Some of these work, but few are sustainable long term as a lifestyle. However, each has some good tips that you can use to establish a good diet plan that will actually help you lose fat the right way.
Avoid Processed Foods
The idea is to eat natural foods, not man-made food. Essentially the rule is if it is food that would rot if you sat it out on the counter, it is good for you. If it contains preservatives and other man-made ingredients that you can’t pronounce and keep it from going bad, it isn’t real food. Instead, it is a food product and the nutrition it does contain is not easily biologically available.
Cut Down Your Sugar
You don’t have to be a Nazi about it, and look at sugar in everything, but if you cut down the intentional intake of sugar in desserts or sweets, sugary drinks, and candy it will have a big impact on your body. Most of this is processed sugar anyway, which is not good for you anyway, and can be very addictive. Natural sugar, like that found in fruit, is okay as long as you keep your intake reasonable.
Avoid Too Many Carbs
Carbs are fuel that your body needs, but we often consume way too many for our activity levels, and they are hidden everywhere. Beer, the bun for your hamburger, pasta, and deep fried foods are obvious sources, but French fries often have cornstarch added, along with the starch and carbs already in potatoes. This means even “healthy” chips that are kettle cooked or baked still have a lot of carbs. Croutons on your salad are another source.
Stop Counting Calories
Calories are not the killers we once thought they were. If you are eating the right foods and working out, you will burn calories. Instead make sure the calories you consume actually have nutrition to go along with them, and are not “empty.”
The fuel you put in your body’s tank is the biggest factor in losing fat, so make sure no matter what diet you choose that you are getting the nutrition you need, and cutting out the things you don’t.
There are a ton of workouts that promise to magically burn fat and reduce your belly, or to get you amazing results in an incredibly short period of time. Some of them work better than others, but there are a few key factors you need to consider before you tackle any plan:
- Start Reasonably: If you start to quickly at the gym, you will burn out quickly. You will be too sore to continue, so you need to ease into more exercise taking into account where you are now along with where you want to go. Progress might be slower than you would like at first, but being able to stick with it will be better.
- Short, but Frequent Intervals of Exercise: Instead of scheduling a two-hour exhausting workout, try to set up intervals instead. Do some push-ups when you wake up, more at lunchtime, and take a walk, run, or bike ride in the afternoon to get your cardio in. This way, the time commitment does not seem too overwhelming, and you let your body rest between exercises.
- Build from Your Foundation: Of course, to really lose fat, you need to do more than you can now, so add some exercise every single day so that you are pushing yourself. Good challenges include the plank challenge, the 100-pushup challenge, and adding a minute of cardio every single day until you can do even more.
There are a ton of programs out there, but no single one is right for everyone. Do what you can, and increase your efforts. The more fat you lose, the more capable you will become.
Sometimes, simple nutrition is not enough. If you don’t get enough protein, you may need to add some through smoothies or shakes. There are meal replacements if you don’t have time to cook or eat properly at certain times of the day.
You also may want to try fat burners and other supplements as well. They combine vitamins and natural ingredients in combinations that help your body do what you want it to anyway, burn fat.
You also may need to take vitamin supplements as well. If you are not getting adequate nutrition from your food, often challenging with the average American diet, vitamin supplements can help.
Between diet, exercise, and supplements, you can lose fat the right way, naturally. Just be sure that you are doing what is right for your body rather than following the latest craze.