Are you ready to get rid of pot belly fat for summer? Do you feel like you just can not eat another fatty meal and feel OK about it? At some point, we all realize it's time to do something about our unhealthy ways. It's usually when our belt buckle pops, or our largest pair of jeans will not zip up. Here are 5 strategies to help you get started.
- Cardio burns fat. Whole body, moderate to intense exercise burns fat. Situps do not burn fat. Pushups do not burn fat. Biking, walking, running, swimming, hiking, basketball, and racquetball all burn fat. Find an activity that you can manage to do multiple times a week. You do not have to go crazy with it like spend 3 hours on a treadmill, but just get moving.
- Whole grains burn fat, especially belly fat. Studies have shown that whole grains show a reduction in stomach fat so change from white rice to brown, white bread to 100% whole wheat or whole grain. Remember, it has to say 100% or it might as well be white bread with a smidge of whole grain. That is not going to cut it. The other benefit from whole grains? They keep you feeling fuller longer so you might not want to eat as much as usual. My favorite recipe is whole wheat oatmeal cookies. Easy to make and better than a processed energy bar.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup will not help your efforts. Try to trim it everywhere you can. The largest culprit is soda so try water and some flavored waters, unsweet tea, 100% juices (watch the calories though), and finally diet sodas. You might have to ween yourself off of this one. I know how bad a soda addiction can be but I have seen it be done. My sister was a huge addict and one day she realized it was like poison for her body. She quit cold turkey and lost 50 pounds in the next 4 months. You can do it.
- Relaxing keeps you slimmer. Science has shown that stress can raise cortisol levels and that can, in turn, cause fat to accumulate in the abdomen. What is stressful in your life? Stress management techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help you cope with stress, but the best remedy is to remove the stressor. Do you really have to say "yes" to everything? Can you forgo that project for a few months? Whatever you can do to reduce stress will only help you to lose pot belly fat.
- Find a fat burning friend. This is important for helping you stick to your goals. You do not want that one friend who claims they support you but then really tries to get you to eat cake at a party. Find someone, even someone online, that you can check in with and be accountable to.
Sometimes it looks like a goal is too difficult to accomplish. Break it up into smaller, more manageable goals like walk three times a week, then give up soda for a day. Then you can tackle your larger goal to get rid of pot belly fat for good.