Are you looking to slash some major fat or just wrap up a couple finishing touches? Either way, one or all of these three tips may contain the answer for which you have been looking.
1. REDUCE CALORIE CONSUMPTION. Unless you restrict calorie intake, you won't lose belly fat. Remember that it takes a 3700-calorie deficit to lose one pound of fat. That is, you have to either burn off 3700 calories through exercise or eat 3700 calories less than you burn in a week.
Aim to lose a maximum of two pounds per week. Losing any more than that can be unhealthy and leads to a cycle of "crash" dieting, in which you rapidly gain back any lost weight.
Keep a food diary. Most people tend to underestimate how much they eat. Get an honest assessment of your eating habits by writing down everything you consume for a week. Utilize an online calorie calculator, and figure out roughly how many calories you're consuming in a day. From there, see what you can afford to cut.
Try a diet in which you consume 2200 calories (men) or 2000 calories (women) per day. This should cause a deficit sufficient for you to lose one or two pounds per week, depending on your activity level.
2. EAT GOOD FATS. Studies suggest that a diet with a higher ratio of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) — such as avacodos, nuts, seeds, soybeans, and chocolate — can prevent the accumulation of belly fat.
Trans fats (in margarines, crackers, cookies, or anything made with partially hydrogenated oils) seem to result in more fat being deposited in the abdomen. Avoid these as much as possible.
3. GET MORE FIBER IN YOUR DIET. Soluble fiber (such as that found in apples, oats, and cherries) lowers insulin levels which can speed up the burning of visceral belly fat.
Add fiber to your diet slowly. If you are currently getting 10 grams of fiber a day, don't jump to 35 grams of fiber the next day. The natural bacteria in your digestive system requires time to adapt to your new fiber intake.
Eat the skin on your fruits and vegetables. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet adds fiber, but only if you eat the skin, as that's where all the fiber is. Don't peel those apples before you eat them. With potatoes, leave the skin on (with baked or mashed potatoes) or if you peel them, make snacks of them, such as baked garlic Parmesan peels. Keeping the skin on potatoes when cooking them helps keep more vitamins/minerals in the flesh. (Just don't eat any parts of skin that are green.)
Eat more split pea soup. Split peas are a fiber "power food". Just one cup of them contains 16.3 grams of protein!
Taking these dieting tips and applying them actively to your life will make the transition to living heathy permanently much easier!
Timothy B. Roberts
NASM CPT FNS
"Invest in yourself!"