You’ve started your fitness journey-starting with eating healthy meal plans to your workouts and you see the results on the scale. Many reach their target weight only to be dismayed with the fact that they have surely dropped weight in kilos but not abdomen fat. It does make sense to think, that along with losing overall body weight, loosing abdomen weight is common. But nah, our bodies have altogether different plans for us. Hold your worries– A healthy meal plan will get you the results through consistency and planning (yes dedication will make the difference.)
But first things first: why is belly fat so darn stubborn? Everyone’s body type is different, so it depends on the person, but there are a few common reasons. Belly fat is often a sign of ‘stress’ or insulin resistance. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels rise, which may lead to storing fat in your middle. Genetics do play a role here as well, so if your parent tends to carry weight in their middle, you might end up doing the same.
Also, I greatly feel, your weight-loss methods play a crucial role. For example, a low-carbohydrate diet will kickstart weight loss, but this is because of the water loss from the glycogen in the muscles and not fat. Many people kickstart with the hardcore cardio process, simply to just shed rapid kilos off their body as opposed to achieving their actual goal of losing belly fat.
Loosing weight too rapidly is a common mistake. When this happens, it is difficult to preserve muscle, let alone grow new muscle. This leads to losing weight but not body fat and ultimately a poor body composition. Losing weight gradually is essential to preserving muscle. Essentially 1–3 kilos per week bodyweight can be comfortably and safely dropped.
Although you can’t spot reduce fat, there are nutrition and fitness methods that are effective for losing weight in the most proportional way possible. I sincerely recommend a nutrition plan that consists of high-fiber foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats at every meal.
You have to literally visualize[your] plate and cut it in half. Make sure half the plate is full of plants, fruits, and veggies at every meal. Then cut the other half into quarters, and make sure one-quarter is protein and one-quarter is whole grains.(you know what I am talking about, I am sure you must have seen such food images commonly on all social media platforms).
I advocate, the below generic nutrition tips for overall weight loss:
• Eat until you are 80 percent full instead of stopping when you are full or stuffed.
• If you need to go back for seconds, go back for veggies first.
• Avoid processed foods as much as you can. They can cause you to gain weight and consume foods that aren’t good for you.
• Eat high-fiber foods so you will stay full longer on fewer calories, such as veggies, whole grains, oatmeal, spinach, whole wheat bread, berries, and apples.
• Drink plenty of water, and avoid all sugary beverages. Our bodies don’t register those calories, so we end up eating on top of them.
• Avoid fried foods.
• Limit cheese/butter/margarine to one time per day.
And, while it’s great to be committed to eating well, keep everything in perspective, and don’t admonish yourself if you steer off course for a meal or two. Even if you fall off your plan, get right back on the next time you eat. Consistency is what moves the needle, not one mistake– Remember this. Keep in mind, the goal is to enjoy the process while reaching the destination.
Now that we’ve got nutrition covered, let’s talk workouts. A combination of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio exercises and strength training is the most effective fitness regimen to lose body fat. Yes, strength training three to five times per week is necessary when you have to loose body fat. Fusion workouts improve body composition and metabolic function, which speed up the metabolism to integrate cardio workouts into your routine in order to increase your caloric deficit.
Another paramount factor is not to limit yourself to just gym workouts or a running spree. Experiment & variate, there is an army of opportunities each day to get moving. And, it does make a difference in the long term. Move throughout the day to increase the amount of energy burned apart from daily exercise. In time, you will be able to bring down belly fat in a sustainable manner.
When we set out to lose weight and body fat, it’s easy to become laser-focused on losing weight as quickly as possible. But as emphasized above, there isn’t one particular or effective way to attain a healthier body. If we view good nutrition and consistent exercise as a lifestyle, we’re more likely to lose weight- and belly fat- in a healthy manner and keep it off for good.
Shreya Agarwal – Fitness Expert