Understand body fat
While many people think that weight gain is inevitable with age, it doesn’t have to be. When you gain weight, you increase your risk for health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. The fat you carry around your midsection is of particular concern.
Abdominal fat is also called visceral fat. Doctors worry about abdominal fat more than other body fat because it can go deep into your abdomen and fill space between your organs. For women, visceral fat also increases your risk for gallbladder surgery and breast cancer.
Some studies suggest that visceral fat is more dangerous for your health because it disrupts your natural hormone levels. By losing weight, you can provide balance to your body and decrease your health risks.
Know your shape
If you are shaped like a pear, you tend to gain weight on your lower body. This type of fat is called subcutaneous. It isn’t as dangerous to your health as visceral fat. If you are shaped like an apple, you likely have more visceral fat. This is an easy way to identify how much visceral fat in your abdomen you have to burn.
Maintain a healthy diet
There are many diets you can follow, but the bottom line is you need to eat less. The goal is to cut calories and focus on eating healthy foods. Limit fried, sugary, and processed foods for the best results. Make sure you take time to learn about portions for foods you eat.
When you lose weight, you get rid of your abdominal fat. Keep in mind that a healthy diet helps you lose weight overall but doesn’t target belly fat specifically. If you want to burn belly fat fast, you need to stay active.
Focus on cutting carbs
There’s a myth that you need to cut fat from your diet in order to lose fat. Instead, you should incorporate healthy fats like fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. One study showed that a low-carb diet resulted in more weight loss than a low-fat diet. Those who followed a low-carb diet lost ten more pounds than people who followed a low-fat diet. Plus, most of the weight loss was fat instead of lean tissue.
Fat-fighting foods. If you want to eat foods that help fuel fat burn, try these:
- Beans – full of soluble fiber that eliminates inflammation
- Salmon – healthy fats your body needs
- Yogurt – helps aid digestion
- Red bell peppers – full of vitamin C that helps fight fat
- Broccoli – also full of vitamin C
- Edamame – high fiber and nutrient content, so you feel fuller for longer
- Diluted vinegar – may increase your fat metabolism
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Exercise, exercise, exercise
Spend at least 30 minutes each day doing a moderately intense activity. Spend 60 minutes per day for faster results and more health benefits. Aerobic activities can help you burn fat overall. These include walking, hiking, or riding a bike. You can also up the intensity and participate in vigorous exercises like running that burn fat faster.
You also want to incorporate strength training into your routine. Make sure you regularly include exercises using weights that target your abdominal muscles. Muscle helps you burn more fat. By building stronger muscles, you can combat fat deposits all over your body. Keep in mind that you can do activities like sit-ups, but they won’t burn fat. Exercises like this help to strengthen and tighten your existing muscles.
Create a plan
One of the best ways to successfully burn fat is to make a plan. Write out your goals, keep track of your eating, and plan exercise in advance. If you know you’re going out to dinner, eat light during the day. If you know there are days you can’t exercise, try to squeeze in a walk around the block.
As part of your plan, you need to read labels in your refrigerator and pantry to understand nutrition. Get an idea of the calories, fat, carbs, and protein various foods have. Then, you’ll be able to make smarter choices without as much planning.
Prioritize drinking water. Cut back on caffeinated drinks like soda and coffee that can be full of sugar. Read labels on energy drinks before you buy them. They are often filled with sugar. If you drink plenty of water your body can function better to digest food and burn fat during exercise.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Harvard Medical School: “Abdominal fat and what to do about it.”
John Hopkins Medicine: “8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life.”
Select Health: “7 Foods that Burn Belly Fat.”
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