Did You Know?, Healthy Living, How To, Solving Problems, Yoga November 9th, 2007
Yes! Of course it is! Don’t give up! There is hope. The key is to understand how your body works and to have a comprehensive plan that you will execute over a reasonable period of time. Translation: this is not a quick fix. But, remember, it is doable! Take the turtle approach, slow and steady, and you’ll get there.
Now it is true that fat cells don’t disappear unless you surgically remove them. But you don’t need to go that route because fat cells can shrink! You may think “Oh, boy, this is going to be difficult.” It will take work, yes, but remember it’s not impossible. There is a solution. You can trim your tummy. This is great news!
I’ve assembled a guide here that includes the best tips from my own personal experience as well as other experts in the fields of diet, exercise, and stress-management.
The tips below work best when combined as an overall program. The three areas we’ll cover are diet, exercise, and anti-stress strategies. Get committed, create your personal plan, and you will lose your belly fat!
If you want the total solution in full detail, check out my ebook “The Secrets to a Healthy Life,” which details the fully researched health regimen I used to lose 15 pounds and become a much healthier and happier person. (And yes, a flatter tummy too!)
Diet Tips for Losing Belly Fat
If you want a sleeker tummy, then you’ll want to lose weight overall and more specifically you’ll want to lose fat. Spot reductions are not feasible. However if you carry most of the weight in your mid-section then the good news is that’s where you will see the results first. Here are the tips for healthy dieting:
1. Weight Loss Plan.
- Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate and figure out how many calories your body burns daily just sitting on a couch.
- Then add in the calories you burn with exercise and daily activity.
- Calculate your weight loss goal, time frame, and amount of calories you need to cut out daily to reach your goal.
2. What to Eat.
- Balanced Diet where your calorie breakdown follows these percentages approximately: (check out How to Eat Healthierfor more information)
- 35% lean protein (vegetarian is healthiest – beans, nuts, tofu, seitan, lots of green veggies)
- 35% high fiber carbohydrates (shoot for 25-30g fiber per day)
- 30% healthy fats (olive oil, flaxseed oil – bear in mind you can’t cook with flaxseed oil, add it to salads or already steamed vegetables for flavor and other important nutrients)
- Eat lots of vegetable and fruits that have a low glycemic index. Here is a list of foods and their glycemix index. To reduce fat, steam your vegetables or stir fry in broth.
- Drink Your Fruits/Veggies! This is an easy way to eat healthy. Blend up smoothies, vegetable drinks, or quick puree soups. I can’t recommend anything more highly than a VitaMix blender. It’s a little pricey, but they last a lifetime and they make eating healthy a breeze. I love mine!
- Consider taking a CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid), 1000mg 3 times a day with meals. In studies CLA was shown to reduce body fat, in particular in the belly area. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, check with your doctor first. UPDATE: I no longer recommend CLA supplements. I don’t think that CLA will hurt you, but from all my research, it appears that the most effective, safe, and healthy way to lose weight is to follow a whole foods plant based diet called a Vegan diet. Also check out Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedmand and Kim Barnouin. (FYI: It’s not a diet of misery. It’s a delicious way to eat, otherwise I wouldn’t do it!)
- If you eat meat, buy organic meats which have lower saturated fat content and higher natural levels of CLA.
- The Secrets to a Healthy Life by K. Stone. This is my ebook on healthy living that details the easiest way to lose weight covering diet, exercise and much more.
- The Truth About Six Pack Abs – a total fitness and nutrition program targeted at losing belly fat. Included is a 21 day trial offer, a Free Mini-Course, and a 100% money back guarantee. Highly recommended.
- Fat Burning Furnace – A complete program targeted for fat loss based on one couple’s years of research to find the perfect formula. Includes weight training program, easy to follow research-based diet recommendations, and law of attraction elements. Very easy to follow.
- Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedmand and Kim Barnouin. A concise volume with power packing facts on why a plant-based diet is best for your health, waistline, and even the world. The style is very spunky, but the message is clear and powerful.
- The Fat Flush Plan diet book by Louise Gittleman.
- Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Dr. Joel Fuhrman: A diet plan based on eating highly nutritious, low calorie foods. (Vegetarian friendly)
- Slow Burn: Burn Fat Faster By Exercising Slower by Stu Mittleman: a slower, kinder way to lose weight. 5 Star rating on Amazon.
- The 3-Day Solution Plan: Jump-start Lasting Weight Loss by Turning Off the Drive to Overeat [BURST:] Lose up to 6 pounds in 3 days! this is a great book that gets to the root of how we relate to food and by understanding that you can change how you eat.
- Weight Watchers -easy online program to manage your calories without having to count calories.
Exercise Tips to Lose Belly Fat
When trying to lose belly fat the important thing to remember is to include whole body exercises and to rotate your workouts in order to continually provide a challenge for your body. Otherwise your body becomes acclimated and does not receive as much benefit as if you vary your workouts. So for example if you always jog 30 minutes every day, that will be less effective than if you do different types of workouts every few days. Here are the exercise tips for losing tummy fat:
1. Do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Brisk walking or jogging are great low cost exercises to do, but anything that you enjoy and that gets your heart rate up is fine. Shoot for at least 3-5 times per week at a minimum. Here is an excellent article on varying your jogging workouts. And here is an article on how to become a runner.
2. Do whole body workouts 2-3 times per week such as yoga (strenuous) or Pilates or a weight-lifting program. These types of exercises will build muscle, increase metabolism, and make losing fat easier. Here is a link to my favorite yoga and Pilates videos.
3. Instead of cruches, try these Army exercises that strengthen and tone your stomach as part of a whole body workout.
4. Hold your stomach muscles in during the day whenever you can think of it. This will strengthen your abdominal girdle and create a flatter stomach.
5. Sit up straight and pull in your stomach muscles when sitting. You might want to create physical reminders to do this such as a post-it note at your desk or a loose rubber band around your wrist.
6. Stretching. Take breaks throughout the day to do back bending stretches that will stretch out your stomach muscles and keep them from becoming shortened which is not good for your stomach or your back.
Additional Resource: Check out “Why Is Exercise Good for You?” This gives you information on all the cool ways that your body changes when you exercise. It’s very motivating!
Anti-Stress Strategies for Losing Belly Fat
You may have seen commercials for supplements that will help you regulate the hormone cortisol in order to lose belly fat. Well controlling cortisol is very good idea, however supplements are not the way to go. What you want to do is reduce the stress that produces the cortisol hormone.
Cortisol is a hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism and blood pressure. When you encounter stress, including lack of sleep, cortisol boosts your energy level by producing glucose. If you have chronically high stress levels then you’ll have too much of this hormone. This will keep your appetite stimulated and also keeps glucose production high. The body converts excess glucose into fat, which is usually stored in the midsection for quick access by your body.
How do you neutralize the stress of daily life? With relaxation techniques. Here are some helpful ideas:
1. Get Enough Sleep. Only you know how much sleep you need, but if you are routinely dragging during the day feeling sleepy, lethargic, exhausted, etc., then you probably need to get more sleep.
2. De-Stress Breaks. Take small breaks throughout the day, say every 1-3 hours. On the break you can:
3. Try Tai Chi, Qigong, or Yoga a few times a week.
- Here are a list of my favorite yoga videos.
- Here are two Qigong videos I recommend:
- Qigong for Stress Relief – Francesco Garripoli
- Qigong beginning practice – Francesco Garripoli
4. Meditate Daily. Meditate for 10-20 minutes 1-2 times per day, once in the morning and once in the later part of the day. This will set the tone for your day and help curb the automatic stress response. Here are a few recommended meditation and self-hypnosis guides:
- Ultimate Weight Loss – Hypnosis Course. This course has a 100% money back guarantee. I have bought their products and found them to be of high quality and very effective.
- 8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life. by Victor Davich
- Meditation for Beginners by Meditation for Beginners (DVD)
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat Zinn
- Guided Mindfulness Meditation (Guided Mindfulness) by Jon Kabat Zinn
5. Calming Guidance. Consider listening to positive audio tapes in your car or on your daily exercise. The one that I highly recommend is Andrew Matthews, “Happiness and Success” audio program. The website is one of those salesy sites, but never fear, this is probably the best self-help product I ever bought. I listen to it often and always refer my friends to his books and audio programs.
Other Considerations When Trying to Lose Belly Fat
1. Hypothyroidism. If you follow all these steps and can’t lose weight check with your doctor as you may have an under active thyroid which can throw off your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.
2. Buddy Up for Success. Enlist a friend, colleague, or family member to join your challenge. You’ll be more successful if you have someone to encourage and push you!
3. Hire a Personal Trainer. Think of all the stuff you buy that you don’t need. Why not spend money on something that could make a real difference in your health? This is great if you need help with discipline or with crafting an exercise routine.
4. Make Healthy Eating Easy. Fruits and veggie eating is the best way to be healthy and lose weight. You can eat as much as you want! Blend them into smoothies and soups. I can’t recommend anything more highly than a VitaMix blender. It’s a little pricey, but they last a lifetime and they make eating healthy a breeze. I love mine!
Do you have a success story on losing your tummy fat? If you’re just starting let us know so we can all encourage you! All comments big and small are very welcomed!
If you want the total solution in full detail, how I lost 15 pounds and got a flatter tummy, check out my ebook “The Secrets to a Healthy Life.”
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