Belly fat is one of the last places that we lose weight. We try everything to lose it and it seems like nothing works. With our busy lives losing weight seems like a losing battle but with these tips you might be able to reach your goals.
There are many reasons why we can’t lose our belly. Stress, lack of time and our hormones are some of the biggest reasons. Many of us have stressful lives which can lead to limited time for sleep, meal prep and workouts. All three of these play a role in losing belly fat.
Here are some reasons why we can’t lose belly fat and some tips to overcome the challenges.
A lack of time in your day is one of the biggest reasons that you’re not reaching your goals. Many people just don’t have the time to squeeze in a workout or do meal prep. Many of us push ourselves to the limit only finding ourselves lying in bed worried about the everything that we must do the next day. This can cause our stress hormones to be all over the place and this is one of the main things that contribute to belly fat. Cortisol is a hormone released by the body when it’s stressed out. When your body is in a stressed state it tends to store belly fat to save for later.
Here are some simple tips to give yourself some more time in the day.
Planning can make or break your fitness goals. Get a planner or use an app on your phone. If you plan you will need to stick to it to see results. Plan your workouts, your bedtime and your meals for the week. After one month, your plan will become automatic and it will keep you on track towards your goals. You will sleep better, eat better and you will stick to a workout plan. Make sure to stick to the plan long enough to see some results because positive feedback from your own body is very important.
Sleep is extremely important when it comes to weight loss goals. When we lack sleep we tend to eat more food and skip workouts. If you skip on sleep you will start to reach for more junk food and never feel filled up. Lack of sleep can cause a negative effect on the peptides that regulate appetite. Leptin signals satiety and Ghrelin stimulates hunger. When you lack sleep the body produces more Ghrelin and you crave more food. When you don’t get plenty of sleep it will affect the stress hormone cortisol and this will cause cravings of sweets. When you’re fighting against Ghrelin and Cortisol you’re fighting a losing battle.
Here are some tips to help you get a better night sleep.
Tips for Sleep
Workout in the morning
Exercising in the morning can help balance the cortisol levels in the body. When you work out in the morning the cortisol will increase. Having higher cortisol in the morning is natural and will help the hormone clear out before bedtime promoting a better sleep.
Cut Caffeine at 2:00 pm
Caffeine is a strong stimulate and may cause sleep problems if you drink it too late. Many experts recommend to cut caffeine after 2pm. If you must have something in the afternoon try switching to green tea. Green teas has been shown to help with belly fat reduction and it shouldn’t keep you up at night.
This is one of my personal favorites. This hormone helps regulate our sleep cycle and will help you get on track with your sleep schedule. Take 3 mg of melatonin about 2 hours before bedtime so that it can slowly start taking effect. I find if I take it close to bed time I’ll feel sleepy the next day. Melatonin is considered safe but you should always speak with your doctor before starting.
Running is one the best ways to burn up calories fast. Running 5 miles can burn up to 700 calories per workout. When you get good at running you will be able to cover that same distance while burning almost the same number of calories. Running also can keep the metabolism running for up to 24 hours after the workout which can burn up to 300 extra calories after the run. To maximize the benefit of the after burn you will need to constantly crank up the intensity. Doing slower runs won’t give you much of an after burn effect. Running also is a great workout for anyone. We have all learned how to run as children and we keep that skill after into our adulthood. A great way to start a running program is to find a local running or walking group. Having a group to workout with can help you stick to a workout program. If you’re having trouble finding a running group take a visit to your local running store.
Lifting weights is a great way to burn up belly fat. It boosts metabolism and makes you more athletic. Muscles are the power house of the body and they require a lot of energy while they’re in use. The bigger the lift the more energy is required. When starting a lifting program, it is important to focus on compound movements like squats, dead lifts, rows, pull ups, push-ups and bench press. These lifts incorporate multiple muscles and will burn more calories. For men doing compound lifts will boost testosterone which helps burn fat and build muscle. If you’re new to weights it is a good idea to hire a personal trainer to help learn how to do compound movements. If you’re doing them wrong it can lead to injury.
Counting Calories is the biggest weapon against fat because it follows the laws of basic physics (If you burn more energy than you take in you will use store energy). Basic your body is forced to use up fat storage when you eat less calories. I know that counting calories can be a challenge but you can overcome this by using a meal plan or having pre-made meals sent to your house. If you want to do it yourself I recommend My Fitness Pal to track your calories. This program is easy to use and allows you to scan foods into the app with your camera.
The Take Away
Losing belly fat can be a huge challenge but if you make a simple plan and stick to it you should see some results. There is a lot of complicated information on the market but they are all just trying to sell you the latest and greatest short cut. Hard work, Sleep and time are the best weapons. Keep it simple and you will smash your goals.