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8 Exercises To Lose Belly Fat

If you want to lose belly fat, the last exercises you should do are “ab” exercises. Sit ups, crunches, and leg lifts will not get rid of your belly. To lose weight you want to use movements that make your heart pump and stoke your metabolism – and that means using exercises that involve your major muscle groups and accelerate your heart rate to the upper levels. With that, here are 8 exercises for losing belly fat:

1. Sprinting. If you want to run to lose weight, then sprint. Run as fast as you can for 40 – 100 meters and then take a short rest. Complete 2 – 12 sprints as your fitness level dictates. And for an extra challenge, do your sprint work on a steep hill.
2. Squats. Whether you use a barbell, dumbbells, or just your bodyweight, the squat should be part of your weight loss exercise regimen. Keep your weight on your heels, point your toes slightly out, and don’t be afraid to squat “below parallel”.

3. Burpees. A killer exercise that requires no equipment, you can’t go wrong with the burpee. To do a burpee squat down and put you palms flat on the floor. Next kick your feet back until you are in the bottom of the push up position (chest touching the floor). Spring your feet back to the squatting position and then jump into the air with your arms reaching for the sky. If you’ve never done them before, be ready to sweat!

4. Deadlifts. Done with either a barbell or dumbbells, the deadlift is an important compound movement for strength and fat loss. Primarily involving the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, the deadlift is a worthy addition to your fat loss exercise program.

5. Jumping Rope. Sure this one might require a bit of coordination, but it can be a fun and intense workout once you get the hang of it. Try jumping as fast as you can for one minute and then taking a 30 second rest. Repeat that cycle 3 – 12 times for a quick and effective fat burning workout.

6. Kettlebell Swings. Another exercise that primarily involves the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, the kettlebell swing is great for high repetition work. A simple and effective drill is to do the maximum number of swings for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest, repeated 5 – 15 times depending on your fitness capacity.
7. Lunges. Lunges are another great lower body movement than can be done with bodyweight only or with free weights. To mix things ups, try doing lunges forward, backwards, and walking.

8. Thrusters. The thruster is a combination move involving the front squat and the overhead press. Start with the barbell or dumbbells at shoulder level while in a standing position. Bend at the hips and knees as you descend into the bottom of the squat. Drive through the heels, returning to the standing position. As the hip fully opens, drive the weight overhead until the arms are straight. Using both the upper and lower body will have your heart rate cranked!
Losing belly fat is not about working the muscles of your midsection. It’s about getting your major muscles groups working at intensity levels that will be optimum for burning fat.

12 Foods To Lose Belly Fat

Without a doubt, diet is the most important component for losing belly fat. Not the latest workout fad. Not some powder, pill, or other supplement. Diet is the key to getting rid of your belly. It’s one thing to know that diet is key, but it’s another thing to know exactly what to eat. Below are 12 foods that you can’t go wrong with when trying to lose belly fat:

1. Broccoli. Loaded with Vitamin C and high in fiber, broccoli should be part of you weight loss diet. Stir fry it, steam it, or even microwave it – but be sure to include broccoli in your weight loss diet.
2. Spinach. A virtual vitamin powerhouse, spinach is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Spinach is great raw in a salad or sauteed with some olive oil and garlic.

3. Red Bell Pepper. Red bell peppers have almost three times the Vitamin C of oranges. Also high in the anti-oxidant lycopene, red bell peppers are great raw for a snack or to add color and nutrients to your stir fry or salad.
4. Kale. Another great source of Vitamin C, kale is also a good source of compounds with anti-cancer properties. Kale can add an intense flavor addition to salads or it works as a side dish when sauteed.
5. Asparagus. A good source of Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, asparagus can be cooked in a variety of ways. Try them grilled, stir fried, or even raw in a salad.

6. Beef. A great source of protein as well as the minerals zinc and iron, beef is a welcome addition to your fat loss diet. Go with grass fed naturally raised beef if it is available for you.
7. Eggs. Forget the bad rap about cholesterol that eggs have received in the past. Eggs (yolks and all) are protein packed and welcome to your fat loss diet.

8. Salmon. A great source of healthy fat and protein, salmon is a good choice when adding fish to your diet. Try salmon baked or grilled with fresh squeezed lemon.

9. Almonds. Rich in healthy fat and Vitamin E, almonds make the perfect snack. Just be sure to keep your portion sizes in check as they are also calorically dense.

10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Full of anti-oxidants and healthy fat, extra virgin olive oil is the perfect base for home made salad dressings. It is also a great ingredient for marinades for beef and chicken.
11. Blueberries. Very high in anti-oxidants, blueberries are perfect for the smoothie enthusiasts. Blueberries are also perfect for snacks, especially when combined with the almonds listed above.
12. Grapefruit. Grapefruit contains the fiber pectin, which can help suppress appetite. Whether part of a healthy breakfast or a quick snack, grapefruit is welcome to your fat loss diet.

The food you eat will have the most impact on losing your belly fat. It can be tempting to think that hitting the gym is all you need to do to lose weight, but the food you eat is most important. Be sure to include the 12 foods above when developing your weight loss nutrition plan.

Top 10 Myths of Losing Belly Fat

Losing belly fat can be confusing. And with so many different weight loss fitness plans and diets, sometimes it can be tough to tell the facts from fiction. As you move into a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise, keep an eye out for these top 10 myths of losing belly fat.

Top 10 Myths of Losing Belly Fat

1. Sit ups and crunches will help you lose your belly. It might seem to make sense that if you want to lose belly fat, then you should do exercises that involve your stomach. But this is not true. Fat loss training should involve full body movements that get your heart rate cranked. And sit ups, crunches, and other typical “ab” exercises do not move the body through a great enough range of motion to garner this effect. Abdominal exercises may give you strength in your core area, but they will do little to actually reduce the fat around your waist.

2. You have to count calories to lose weight. It is true that you have to eat less calories than you use for energy in order to lose weight, but you do not have to count your calories to create this deficit. A simpler way is to use basic portion control guidelines that do not require the tedious counting of every calorie you eat. Counting calories can work for losing belly fat, but it is not necessary.

3. You have to follow a low fat diet to lose fat. There are plenty of foods that are high in fat that are good additions to your weight loss diet. Almonds, walnuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil are a few examples. The important thing to avoid is trans-fat. Trans-fat is the result of a man-made process and is found in junk foods such as crackers, cookies, and cakes.

4. Jogging is one of the best ways to lose belly fat. Any exercise is better than sitting on the couch. But long slow cardio training such as jogging around your block or on a treadmill, using the eliptical machine, or pedaling a stationary bike while you read a magazine is inferior to other training methods for weight loss. Instead focus on compound movements such as squats, lunges, and push ups performed in high intensity interval or circuit format. Keep in mind that intensity needs to be relative to your personal fitness level – the important thing to remember is that the training should be challenging. If you can read a magazine, watch television, or talk on a cell phone during exercise, then it is not intense enough for optimum fat loss.

5. Losing more than two pounds per week is “too fast”. As long as you are following a good nutrition program that includes real food in appropriate quantity, it is very possible that you will lose more than two pounds per week (especially during the first few weeks of your weight loss journey). As you get closer to your ideal weight, your weight loss may slow down to only a pound or two per week. But in the early stages of losing your belly, losing over five pounds per week is not uncommon when following a good program.

6. You need to spend hours in the gym to lose belly fat. First, you do not need to go to the gym at all. Effective fat loss workouts are possible in your own home without using any equipment. But whether you workout at home or at the gym, ideal fat loss training should be short and intense. If your training session goes much longer than twenty minutes, you are likely lacking the intensity level necessary for the best fat loss workout.

7. Pre-packaged frozen meals are the best thing to eat for losing weight. You’ve seen these cardboard boxes in the freezer section of your grocery store. They have bright colorful labels that say things like “Healthy” and “Lean”. Nearly any prepackaged food is going to include ingredients that are best avoided when trying to lose weight. Instead, focus on real foods that for the most part do not have any packaging. Foods such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, apples, berries, beef, chicken, and eggs are all examples of foods that are not processed, come with little or no packaging, and are excellent choices for losing belly fat.

8. A “special” workout is the key to weight loss. Maybe you saw the latest action movie so you did an internet search of how the star of the show trained to get in such great shape. Or perhaps you’ve been mesmerized by a late night infomercial that shows a bunch of sweaty smiling people going through a workout with some fancy name that can be shipped to your home as a library of DVD’s. The truth is that diet is the key to losing belly fat. Exercise is certainly important, but it is Robin to diet’s Batman. No amount of working out is going to erase the effects of a crappy diet. For weight loss success, focus on the food you eat.

9. You need the latest shake, bar, potion, or pill to lose weight. You do not need any supplements to lose weight. Again, a diet focused on real food in appropriate quantity is the key to losing your belly fat. Your body needs vegetables and fruit and healthy natural protein sources. It does not need some powder or pill to lose weight.

10. Losing weight is complicated. Losing weight can be confusing with all of the different fat loss programs available. But the only thing that truly works is consistent application of eating less and moving more. It is creating the habits of a healthy diet and regular exercise where the true challenge comes in – the problem is not knowing what to do, but in actually doing it.

There are not many mysteries when it comes to losing belly fat. It comes down to consistently eating real food, training hard, and allowing for adequate recovery. Nearly anything else that you hear about weight loss will likely fall into one of the top 10 myths above.

Are You Making These 4 Fat Loss Mistakes?

When you are trying to lose belly fat, it can be frustrating when you think you are doing everything right but the scale just won’t seem to budge. If you are experiencing frustration with your weight loss efforts and you are not sure what you are doing wrong, check to see if you are making one of these four fat loss mistakes.

4 fat loss mistakes

1. Relying on grain based carbohydrates.

If you’re diet consists largely of bread, pasta, cereal, rice and other grain based foods, it is going to be challenging to lose weight. Don’t believe the old government endorsed food pyramid that promoted grains as the base of your diet. Most of your carbohydrates should be coming from vegetables for optimum weight loss. If you decide to keep the grain based carbohydrates in your diet, be sure to keep your portion sizes small.

2. Staying within your comfort zone when exercising.

If you are going to the gym several times per week but your results have plateaued, ask yourself if your efforts plateaued as well. Do you do the same exact thing every time you go to the gym? Do you do the same 30 minutes on the eliptical machine? Do you lift the same exact amount of weight for the same amount of repetitions? For continual progress in your weight loss, you have to always strive to do a little bit more with your workouts. Try to lift heavier, go faster, or do one more rep in every workout.

3. Failing to get enough sleep.

Sleep is an often overlooked component of your weight loss regimen. But a poor sleep schedule can wreak havoc on your hormones which can directly contribute to body fat. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate hunger and satiety (ghrelin and leptin). Testosterone levels drop when sleep suffers, which can lead to a reduction in muscle mass and a corresponding drop in metabolism. And cortisol levels increase with lack of sleep which is directly associated with an increase in belly fat. Get as much sleep as you can, it is more important for reducing your belly fat than you may think.

4. Cheating when you don’t realize you are cheating.

You are eating your vegetables, making sure you are eating healthy protein sources, and even consuming healthy fats from nuts, fish, and avocado. But you are also taking a handful of candy from your coworker’s desk, eating a seemingly insignificant cookie because your kid is a Girl Scout, and having some popcorn when you watch a movie. It all counts! Every single mouthful of food that you eat has a corresponding physiological response. It is up to you if you want that response to hinder or help your weight loss efforts.

It can be frustrating when you think you are following a solid weight loss program but you are not seeing results. If you find yourself in that situation, check to see if you are relying on grain based carbohydrates, staying within your comfort zone when exercising, failing to get enough sleep, or cheating when you don’t realize it.

 

Beginners Guide to Fat Loss Nutrition

Without a doubt, diet is the most important component to weight loss success. It is also the source of the most confusion.

With the latest celebrity diet fads constantly gleaming from bookstore shelves and glossy magazines, it’s no wonder you are confused about how to eat for fat loss. If you are feeling unsure of where to start, refer to this Beginner’s Guide To Fat Loss Nutrition to get you headed in the right direction.

Eat real food.

Real food grew from the ground or had a heart beat at one time. If you set it out on the counter, it will spoil in a relatively short time. If it has an ingredient list, there will be no more than a few items listed and you will be able to pronounce and recognize all of the ingredients. Real food likely does not come in a box or wrapper. So what is “real food”? Vegetables and fruits, meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and seeds are all real food. Some items such as bread, pasta, and dairy are subject to debate and best consumed in limited quantities if you decided to leave them in your diet. But the biggest culprits of weight gain – cookies, crackers, chips, and soda are clearly not real food and should be avoided completely.

Watch your portion sizes.

Calorie counting can be an effective way to monitor your food intake, but it is also tedious. A simpler way to control how much you eat, it to monitor your portion sizes with simple to use guidelines. A serving of meat or fish should be about the size and thickness of your palm. A serving of pasta or rice should be no more than the size of your clenched fist, and ideally smaller. A serving of nuts should fit in the center of your palm without overlapping (about 6 – 8 almonds as an example). Keep fruit to one piece per serving. And nearly all vegetables can be eaten without concern for serving size – eat as many vegetables as you like!

Pay attention to your body’s signals.

Do not worry about having to eat every 2 – 3 hours to “keep your metabolism up”. Just eat when you are hungry. But the trick is to recognize when your body actually needs fuel instead of wanting to eat out of boredom or for emotional reasons. A simple trick is to drink a large glass of water when you feel like you are hungry – this can stave off hunger for as much as an hour. Also pay attention to your energy level, attention span, and if you feel irritable or cranky as signs for actual need for fuel. But when you are truly hungry, eat!

Plan for success.

So now you know to eat real food in appropriate portions when you are hungry. Eating for fat loss really is that simple. But the key to success, is planning how you will execute that simple formula. First, plan your meals for the week. Actually write out what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks. Next, write a grocery list based on your meal plan and go shopping. When you get home from grocery shopping, precook your meals for the week or at least the next few days. By having healthy meals prepared ahead of time, you greatly reduce the chances of hitting the drive-thru or calling for pizza delivery when you get home from work and feel too tired to cook.

The basics of fat loss nutrition are not complicated. Eat real food, watch your portion sizes, eat when you are hungry, and plan ahead for fat loss nutrition success.