3 Proven ways to lose belly fat fast

“Is there anything you can do about my belly fat? I want a flat tummy” This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from clients.  Recently, people who consult me for weight loss know exactly where they want the weight loss to come from. They know exactly the part of their body they want flattened – the tummy. They tell me “Nkeoma, please do not touch my arms or my booty. Don’t even think about touching my boobs. Just my tummy. My legs and thighs are fine. Just here” (and they use their fingers to emphasize where they want me to flatten).

They also give me ultimatum. I have to give them flat abs in 2 weeks.

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Just Here!
 If only it were possible, to just take away the belly fat, the whole belly fat and nothing but the belly fat. Everyone will be shouting in flat tummy joy.

The only possible way to take away just the belly fat is through surgery.

And if like me, you hate surgery with a passion what other options do you have?

First, let me say that there is nothing like spot reduction – i.e. burning fat in a particular part of your body; in this case belly fat.

Secondly, there is no food or equipment on its own that has magical powers to burn belly fat.

I know you have heard about food that will give you flat tummy in 7 days. Have you tried any of those foods? Do you have washboard abs now? No?

What of those machines and belts in TV commercials and fitness stores that promise flat belly? Have you tried them and 3 months later, you are wondering what you were thinking when you bought it.

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Abdominal Belt

For you to lose belly fat you have to concentrate on losing fat everywhere in your body. Fat did not happen to your belly alone. It happened all over your body. When you start putting on weight, you cannot tell your body where to store the fat. It’s your body’s decision. The same way it respected your decision on what to eat and do. You have to respect your body’s decision on how to share the fat. Your body is a fairly just distributor. No part of the body is left behind; your belly got its fair share.

But now you have decided to lose your belly fat. Even though you cannot spot reduce, there are proven ways to lose fat fast. The good news is that once you start losing weight, your belly fat will also go.

  • The first proven way to lose belly fat is through exercise. Not just any exercise but exercises that require heavy compound movement. For the heavy you will need weights that is comfortable for you and for compound movements, i am talking about cardio or aerobic exercise, squats, lunges, planks, creative burpee and pushups. This is not a list of all the compound movements but it is a good place to start.

 

There is no other exercise that burns fat fast more than cardio. When you add compound movement and weight training to cardio, you turn your body into a fat burning machine.

There is no other exercise that burns fat fast more than cardio. When you add compound movement and weight training to cardio, you turn your body into a fat burning machine.

Doing endless crunches alone will not give you 6 pack abs. You have to burn off the fat for those beautiful muscles to emerge.

kettlebell exercises
Kettle Bell Swing

 

 

kettlebell exercises2
Kettlebell Chop Lunge

When you use compound movement like lunge and kettle bell swing, you make multiple muscle groups in your body to work at the same time. This will ultimately increase your body’s energy demand. Because of the increase in the energy demand on the body, your metabolism is revved up. Your body will be forced to break down the excess fat in your body and use it as fuel to meet up with the energy demand.

When you use machines, you may not get the same benefits. A machine like the multi gym isolates the muscle you are working on and does not allow a full range of motions.

 

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A Multi gym
 It is likely that when using machines you may become disengaged from your workout. How many times have you sat on a stationary bike with hands on the handle moving your legs slowly and talking or staring into space with your mind on so many things except exercise?  And stay there for 1 hr? The result is zero fat loss. Staying glued to a machine will make you use less muscle group. You may sit down after 3 min of standing in an elliptical machine and use the opportunity to check what is happening on social media. From there, you may start chatting and forget why you got on the machine.

 

To turn your machine workout into a fat burning and belly blasting workout, vary your workout, keep it challenging, and keep your body guessing. Get down after 5 minutes on the elliptical and do 20 jumping jacks. Use dumbbells for your squats. Then get back on the elliptical for another furious 5 minutes ride. This will lead to a constant energy demand on your body.  Fat loss including belly fat will come as a natural and welcome result.

 

Fuel your body with the right nutrients.

This is not the time to go on the latest fad diet. Experts now agree that dieting can make you fat. Studies have also shown that teenagers who diet are statistically 3 times more likely to be fat in five years’ time.  How long can you keep dieting anyway? Can you do it all your life? There are only so many broccolis and chicken, so many garlic and ginger water, so many meal replacement shakes your body can take before it rebels and sends you on a food binge. Dieting will always cause your metabolism to crash and send you on a weight loss plateau. Every time your metabolism crashes, you burn fewer calories. You cannot eat every junk food you want and think that a magic weight loss pill in a bottle will whittle your waist and burn off fat from your body.

This is the time to embrace your kitchen. There is a healthy recipe for any food you love.

When shopping for food, do not focus on what you will eat for just a day. Stock your fridge and kitchen for 1 week.  Invest on lean protein – the best source for your lean protein includes egg white, fish, turkey, chicken breast. The body uses a lot of energy to digest and process protein. The result is fat burn and weight loss.

You also need fiber, fruits, essential fatty acids, vegetables and carbohydrates.  For your carbs, do not go for the processed stuff like white bread, biscuits and cake. Go for yam, potato, brown rice and our local rice Abakiliki mass which has not been stripped and polished of its vital nutrients. These are not the only carb that you can take, it is a starting point. It is important that you provide your body with essential fatty acids ;olive oil, pumpkin oil and flaxseed. Pumpkin seed and flaxseed can be ground and sprinkled on your food.

Whenever it is possible, parboil some food and put in individual containers.  Keep healthy snacks like apples and nuts handy. Make sure that you have pre prepared foods available. All you are required to do when you are in a hurry or when hunger is threatening to bring you to your knees is to bring it out from the fridge and shove it into the microwave and within 3 minutes you are sitting down to a warm, healthy food.

Experts agree that for weight loss you should aim to eat at least 5 times in a day. That may seem like a lot. It’s not what you are thinking. 5 meals = 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks.

                               

                                             Healthy 1 day meal plan

  1.       Breakfast – Oat with Banana and Cinnamon 20150120_014549[1]
  2.       Mid-morning – Apple and Groundnut ButterWP_20160429_009[1]
  3.       Lunch – Elbow Pasta with Oil Bean seed and Mixed VegetablesWP_20160427_019[1]
  4.       Evening – Groundnut and Banana20150119_083836-2[1]
  5.       Dinner – Fish with Oil Bean seed and VegetableWP_20160427_013[1]

The idea behind the 5 meals is to have small meals through out the day. Your body will realize that there is enough food and will not hold on to what ever you eat or go in to starvation mode and make you gain weight. We will talk more about starvation mode in another post.

Decide from today to take snacks to work. Most workplace restaurant now recognizes that people are becoming more aware of what goes into their mouth. Therefore, they make healthy food options available. Look at the menu and ask questions.

You also have to drink water regularly. Taking soft drinks and fruit juice does not count as water. Carbonated drinks (fizzy drinks) cause bloating. Remember you want a flat tummy.

Water helps your body in flushing out toxins and assimilating nutrients. Other bodily functions including digestion and elimination need water.

 

Does this all mean that you can never ever take cake or pizza again? No. There should be balance.

Once a week I tell my clients to eat a “me” lunch. You can eat whatever you want for that meal. Eating right is fun but sometimes you just want to eat that cake. Knowing that you can take it once in a week will help you withstand the temptation of “buying and eating with guilt”. AKA –rushing to the nearest fast food restaurant or a mall, buying a whole cake, rushing back to your car and polishing the whole thing off. Then slowly drive back home with guilt eating you up inside. This is a recipe for disaster.

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Binge Eating

My clients lost more weight and kept it off when they realized they can eat something they want once in a week. They even have a name for it “reward lunch!”

The rules are

  1. Your “me or reward” lunch is not expected to be above 300 calories
  2. It is just for one day, after that you continue eating right.

 

 

  • Relaxation
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Make out time to relax.

Deadlines, financial stress, relationship problems and an ever increasing waist line appear to be related. A lot of people who work in a stressful work environment notice that over the years that their midsection has increased in size. In this busy time of deadline you may work till 5 pm. When you get back home you will continue from where you left off. This may go on till 4 am. As soon as you shut your eyes, the alarm goes off and feeling deprived of sleep you stagger out of bed. The cycle goes on and on.

According to experts, chronic stress causes the body to release the hormone cortisol which is made in the adrenal glands. Cortisol causes your insulin level to rise, your blood sugar to drop and your fat cells to get larger.

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Chronic stress may lead to belly fat

The drop in your blood sugar makes you hungry. Instead of reaching for apple and peanut butter, you may find yourself reaching for fatty foods and sweets. According to Elissa Epel PhD,   A researcher on stress eating at the University of California, San Francisco “we crave sweet, salty and high fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension”

A sustained high level of cortisol always increases your belly fat.

People react to stress in different ways, some overeat and some do not eat. Both reactions will lead to the same problem – belly fat.

Relaxation is the antidote to stress. It is important to take out time to relax. This is when your body recuperates and repairs itself. You also need a day off each week from exercise. Excessive exercise can be counterproductive. It can weaken your body. Your body will interpret it as stress and release cortisol. The result is the belly fat you are working so hard to get rid of.

Make out time to relax. Your business or work will not collapse. Nature has a way of forcing you to relax when you refuse to do it the right way. You may either break down or get sick. Forgetfulness, irritability, yelling spree and very low tolerance level for everything is one of the signs that your body needs some TLC. Are you experiencing any of these signs? If your answer is yes , then it’s time to take 1 week, a weekend or even a day off and relax.

There is no need for you to break the bank before you can relax. Here are a few relaxation tips to choose from;

  • You can listen to soothing and peaceful music
  • Sleeping

    sleep
    Sleeping is a powerful way to relax.
  • Read a book (thriller and crime is not recommended)
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Get a massage ( any massage even if it’s just foot massage can get you in a relaxed mood
  • Relaxation technique

The 3 ways I have mentioned to lose belly fat works together. You cannot lose belly fat by choosing one and neglecting the others. You have to implement all 3 for you to start seeing results.

You can check out my healthy food recipes and body transformation workout videos and enjoy natural weight loss and of course belly fat loss. Share your “me or reward lunch!” ideas with us. The best ideas will get Bellisima branded water bottles.

 

 

References

Jon Gabriel, THE GABRIEL METHOD

www.medicalnewstoday.com

Author: Nkeoma DND Agu

Nkeoma DND Agu is a certified personal, group, and corporate fitness trainer. She is also a certified fitness and nutrition coach. She has been in the fitness industry for more than 10 years. She holds certification with one of the highest certifying bodies in fitness and wellness in USA, National Exercise and Strength Training Association (NESTA) She is the Director of Bellisima Fitness And Health Studio Ltd. She helps individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria and all over the world to achieve personal and company fitness and health goals.

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