One of the most frequent questions I get asked is How to Lose Belly Fat. Usually we want to lose belly fat for cosmetic reasons, which is not always enough to motivate us to make changes. Therefore it’s important to remind ourselves that belly fat goes deeper than aesthetics, it’s not just affecting how we look, it also affects our health. A large waist line is a factor in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. We can start losing belly fat by eating the right foods http://veras5.com/lose-belly-fat-part-one/ and by choosing regular activity. However food and exercise are not the only factors that lead to belly fat gain or loss, we must also look at how changing some habits will fast forward of fat loss endeavors.
Hormones and How to Lose Belly Fat
We gain fat around our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When this happens cortisol breaks down lean muscle, much needed to burn calories most efficiently and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. That stress can get worse with bad dieting; studies show that the stress caused by fad dieting can increase cortisol levels, making no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction. If you really want to know how to lose belly fat incorporate these 5 Simple Habits to relieve stress and control cortisol levels.
Eat More Often
It might seem counterproductive but the truth is if we want to know how to lose belly fat we must begin to eat more often. Research shows that eating regularly throughout the day keeps our insulin levels steady. When we skip meals or leave too long between meals our body feels starved which puts it into stress mode causing the release of cortisol. When our stress and cortisol levels are high, our body resists fat loss, instead we horde fat. Cortisol takes the fat from other areas, like our butt and hips, and moves it to our abdomen. We may feel that we are following a restrictive diet and ought to be losing weight, however we see no results on the scales which leads to further stress. It’s time to try something new. Eat at least 5 Times per Day. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Have a high protein mid-morning snack. Eat a large healthy lunch, a small afternoon snack, and a light evening meal. Avoid sugary and fatty foods, but don’t give up all of your favourite foods completely as this can lead to cravings and more stress. Instead greatly limit the amounts and frequency of these foods.
Make Exercise Part of Your Daily Routine
Exercising releases hormones which in turn affect our mood and our stress levels. Exercising regularly can help to regulate hormones and stress levels. Endorphins are released by our pituitary gland when we exercise. Endorphins make us feel exhilarated and happy. Having a deficiency in Dopamine leaves us prone to fat gain, as it affects our feelings of satisfaction while eating. Working out regularly will keep dopamine levels up and keep overeating at bay. Serotonin is a hormone responsible for happiness, restful sleep and regulates appetite. Serotonin levels will increase when we work out regularly. Also more Serotonin means more energy and clearer thinking. Rest days are important too as they allow our muscles to repair and aid a more productive workout. Exercise 5 Times a Week for a minimum of 30 minutes each session, and watch how belly fat begins to disappear.
When we don’t get enough sleep it affects the two hormones that are key in having healthy feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin is the go hormone which reminds us to eat. When we are sleep deprived we produce more Ghrelin and are more likely to have cravings to eat in between meals and to over eat at meal time. Leptin is the stop hormone; it tells us when we are full and satisfied. Less sleep means less Leptin, therefore we are missing the messages to tell us we have had enough to eat. Losing sleep also alters our hormone production affecting our cortisol levels which in turn causes insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat. Read my aritcle Fat Gain Through Lack of Sleep Develop a good sleep pattern and aim to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep every night.
Stop Weighing Yourself
Weighing ourselves too often is counterproductive as there are so many factors that affect the number we see on the scales at any given time of the day. While the weighing scales is one gauge of our fat loss it is not the ultimate judge and jury. Weighing ourselves too often can leave us feeling more stressed about our weight than ever. Instead find other, more positive ways of measuring your success. Keep a record of your activity and challenge yourself to beat your own personal best times or repetitions. Keep a note of the healthy habits you are developing and praise yourself for sticking to your new and better lifestyle. Take your measurements with a tape measure, and retake them every 6 to 8 weeks to see the changes in your body shape. Observe your attitude and reward yourself (not with food) for having a positive outlook.
Learn to Deal with Stress Differently
Quite often we deal with stress by supressing the feelings with food, which of course leads to fat gain and more stress. If you are serious about losing belly fat permanently you will have to find ways to deal with stress differently. For more information you can read my article 5 Simple Steps to Combat Comfort Eating.Truthfully when we decide to face our feelings even the most painful and difficult subside with time. Once we experience the emotion, the fear and obsession leaves us. We are also allowing ourselves the opportunity to resolve feelings we have carried around with us. Experiencing the feeling, acknowledging the source, and taking positive action can enable us to repair emotional problems that trigger emotional eating.
Now you know how to lose belly fat all you have to do is put your new knowledge into action and you will soon see the results. Eating good food regularly, exercising often sleeping well, forming good habits and dealing with emotions all lead to less stress which in turn aids our belly fat loss efforts. Be patient and consistent, enjoy the journey and look forward to the results.
I hope you enjoyed this blog, the third in the series How to Lose Belly Fat, all of which you will find right here veras5.com. Please feel free to share my articles on Facebook, Twitter or any social media that you use. Please leave your questions and comments and I will look forward to replying to you.