Most people think that you can lose belly fat by doing sit ups. This just isn't the case and the truth is that it starts and ends in the kitchen. Without proper diet, you'll be wasting your time and it'll be like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.
Below I will outline some good steps to take to start your journey on weight loss. It isn't just to reduce belly fat, it is to reduce the overall fat content of your body. Once we kick start that process, the rest will follow.
How to reduce belly fat:
Step 1: Understanding weight loss.
In order to reach the goal that you want you have to understand what to do, and then go do it. This is the formula for success. The first part of course is to educate yourself on what needs to be done. You're already on that part of the journey seeing as how you stumbled across this article.
Our bodies work like a computer. You download more games, software, movies and your computer begins to collect all of this information and memory is used. However, it is now running slower and not as good as when you first got it. Why? It's because its clogged with useless information, taking up a lot of memory. If you start to delete some of the memory the computer will start to run faster and more efficient.
Our bodies, like computers, collect "memory" or really, calories from food. Our food gives us the energy to keep going on a daily basis. When you overeat and clutter your body with unneeded energy, it saves some for later because its already got enough to run on. When you do this, you gain weight. However, on the flip side if we take away some energy(calories) our bodies will start to burn what it has already for its dose of energy.
So, now that we got through that let's start putting it to good use.
Step 2: Find out how many calories(energy) your body needs to stay at the weight you are.
This is such an important step because it is the foundation for the diet that we will create for ourselves. To find out how many calories you need, simply conduct a Google search with the phrase "daily calorie maintenance calculator" and many free options will come up. Pick one and start to enter your information (height, weight, activity level) so that the calculator can tell you how much you need.
Great, once you have that its time to put everything together. So, let's say that you're 6'1 ft weight at 210 lbs. The calculator told you that you need about 2,300 calories a day to stay where you are. We are going to cut 20-30% from this number to lose weight. That's about 460 calories. So, if we cut 460 calories from 2,300 we can GUARANTEE weight loss, it's that simple.
Step 3: Sign up to a calorie tracking website.
The beauty of these websites is that they are completely free and offer such great communities for people to come together to accomplish the common goal of losing weight. Two examples include myfitnesspal and caloriecount. When you sign up, you enter your information and they set you up with how many calories you have to burn each day and you go on from there.
You enter in the food you ate for the day and it tells you all the nutritional values as well as how many calories you have left remaining for the day. This is crucial because if you're able to maintain a calorie deficit, you WILL lose weight. This is science! It is fact!
These websites also have such an encouraging community whose main focus is the same as yours! You already have something in common with everyone so why not make friends and make this journey that much better.
Step 4: What to eat?
The biggest question of them all. You aren't going to believe what I'm going to say but I assure you that science will never let you down. You can eat... WHATEVER you want. That's right. I said it.
Now, let's not get carried away. Do you think that eating 10 slices of pizza a day will help you lose weight? Of course not. You have to always be thinking in terms of how many calories you have that day. Let's say you have a very light breakfast and lunch. You come home from work and haven eaten anything. You estimate you have about 1200 calories left. There's a lot of leeway here and you can basically eat anything you want in moderation.
Even if you grab 2 slices of pizza ~400 calories, you'll still be losing weight for that day because you have created a large enough deficit for this to happen. It's not rocket science people!
Step 5: How often to eat?
There is a huge myth about eating every 3 hours and keeping your metabolism high. This is true and if you do eat every 3 hours more power to you. However, today in our busy lives we're lucky if we get to sit down for 3 meals a day.
Don't stress over WHEN to eat, stress over about WHAT to eat and HOW MUCH.
Remember, anything in moderation is fine and as long as you're keeping with your calories goal, you'll be on your way to a slimmer you.
Another myth is that eating at night will make you gain more weight. This couldn't be more wrong! Eating at night is just like eating at any other time in the day. Also, if you find yourself getting home at night with 1000+ calories left for the day don't starve yourself because you think eating at night is bad. Grab a few healthy snacks and always remember to keep track of your calories no matter what!
Step 6: Water, water, water
Drink Water! And plenty of it! Sometimes our bodies think that we're hungry when in reality we're just really dehydrated. Water is the life fuel of planet earth. If we ran out of water, we wouldn't last for more than a month, tops.
Instead of drinking extra calories, replace any soft drink in your diet with water. You'll be amazed at how effective this is at cutting weight. If you drink a can of soda a day, you'll be taking in about 200 calories a day roughly. If you multiply that by 30 days, you'll get a little over 3,500 calories... a pound of fat! So, if you start by eliminating that soda, you'll be saving a pound of fat a month. Not bad at all.
Step 7: Lift Weights.
Yes, you knew this was coming. Lifting weights isn't absolutely necessary for burning belly fat, but it makes it THAT much quicker. It is known that a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat, even when you're sitting down or sleeping. That being said, the more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you'll be burning, doing NOTHING.
How awesome is that? Also, whenever you work out you'll be burning tons of calories that will actually let you eat a little more of what you want to. You won't have to be too picky about what to eat because you'll know that you'll just burn those calories off.
The calorie count websites that I mentioned earlier all have calculators that let you log what you worked out and for how long. In turn, they'll tell you how many calories you burned and they'll add that to how many calories you have left for the day. Don't skip out on weights if you have access to them. Not only will they help you lose weight, your body will look much better once you've lost it.
Step 8: Cardio!
Cardio should be in everyone's fitness schedule. It is so good for your heart health and also great for losing weight. If you add only 20-30 minutes of cardio a day, you'll have such an easier time losing weight.
Some types of cardio include walking, running, the elliptical, biking, etc. Don't be afraid to mix it up because it keeps your body guessing. Cardio is also good because it puts your body into a mode where it'll keep burning calories well after you're done with your work out.
One of my favorite cardio workouts is actually jump roping. This easy to do workout burns TONS of calories and its actually FUN! A jump rope session of about 20-30 min can easily burn 400+ calories.
Step 9: Take pictures and toss out your scale!
Get rid of that scale. Your weight is going to fluctuate on a daily basis and if we have a scale nearby we're going to want to see our results. Well, if you don't have a scale how can you see results? Pictures.
Pictures are great because they remind you of the progress and you can see it visually. Once you see your progress you'll stay focused and motivated. It gives you the confidence that what you're doing IS working.
The trick is to not take pictures too often. Try to take 1 every 2 weeks. Every 2 weeks take a picture and track your results. You'll be surprised to see how much your body changes in 2 weeks. Once you see that first picture and you notice subtle changes you'll start to get excited and don't be surprised if you increase your cardio or workout. That's what motivation does.
Step 10: Never give up!
This is the last step, and the most crucial. Many people give up because you don't lose weight overnight. It just isn't possible. You need patience and perseverance to keep consistent. You have to have faith that its working because if you don't, you'll go back to your old overeating habits.
The key is motivation and if you stay motivated daily, you'll realize that each day is one step closer to your goal. If you REALLY want to lose weight you HAVE to put the time and dedication in. Don't take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. Take 2 baby steps forward every day and soon you'll arrive at your destination.
If you follow these 10 basic steps, you'll definitely lose weight. No matter how long it takes, remember that if you take it one day at a time, you'll get there. Weight loss isn't rocket science, it is BASIC science.
If you get only one thing from this article, remember that it is calories in vs calories out. This is gold! Keep your calories at a deficit and you'll see the weight loss you've always been dreaming about. Good luck on your journey!
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