How often have you looked in the mirror and thought, “How in the world do I lose my belly fat? I’m tired of looking like this!”
You notice your pants have become tighter and your favorite shirt doesn’t fit anymore! You go through your closet trying on dozens of outfits, but nothing looks good on you! In the end, you are a crying, hot mess – trying to wriggle out of a dress that once looked amazing on you.
If you have come to this point, it is time to reevaluate your weight management and begin to get a stricter diet and exercise regimen.
Please know that you will get nowhere without dedication and a LOT of will-power. Channel your inner spunk and actually stick to a weight loss goal for once in your life! (I’m speaking to myself as well.)
To lose your belly fat, you don’t need to do endless sit-ups, buy expensive supplements, or starve yourself! Below are the 11 best ways to lose your belly fat – quickly.
1.) REDUCE YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
We all need a sugary snack once in a while – but not every single day!
Sugar hijacks your metabolism! When you consume sugar, it throws off your appetite controls, causing you to eat a lot more of it than you thought you would! Your body then converts it into stubborn belly fat.
The American Heart Association recommends that women have no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of sugar per day and men have no more than 9 teaspoons (38 grams) of sugar per day. And yet, the average American consumes an average of 20-30 teaspoons of sugar every single day!
Did you know that you were consuming crazy amounts of sugar in foods advertised as “healthy”? Fruit juices, diet soda, yogurt, breakfast bars, trail mix, cereal, etc.
Start checking the “Nutrition Facts” section on the back of your food. Start familiarizing yourself with the terminology, so you can be educated on what you are putting into your body.
Fun Fact: As a woman, I am only suppose to consume 25 grams of sugar per day. A can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar! When I feel like drinking soda now, I always opt for a can of Dasani® Sparkling Water.
2.) EAT FEWER CARBS
Our bodies need carbs for energy. However, most people eat way more carbs than their bodies actually need! Excess carbs are stored as fat – a major contributor to belly fat!
Think about it! If you live a primarily sedentary life (sitting down), your body won’t use the carbs for energy because you aren’t doing any physical exercise during the day. If you have a toast for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and a cookie for dessert, it can take a serious toll on your midsection!
You need to lower your carb intake. Cut back on things like pasta, potatoes, rice, chips, muffins, cookies, and breads.
The hardest part for me was learning to say, “No!” to bread. I LOVE BREAD! I had to work hard to learn to pack healthy meals and snacks to help me stay away from carb-filled foods.
Replace your starchy snacks with fruit, nuts, healthy popcorn, and vegetables. Apples and peanut butter can become your new best friend!
3.) DRINK MORE WATER
Start chugging some H2O! You should be drinking an 8-oz glass of water at least eight times a day (2 liters). Water helps to boost your metabolism and cleanses your body of unwanted toxins.
Drinking a cup of water immediately before a meal will act as an appetite suppressant, discouraging you from eating unnecessary amounts of food.
Take this 2-week challenge! Drink a minimum of 2 liters of water a day. I guarantee you 100% that your body will respond positively. You may take more trips to the bathroom, but it will be worth it!
4.) REALIZE AEROBIC EXERCISE IS A NECESSITY
The best way to lose excess fat is aerobic exercise – hands down!
Can you lose weight without aerobic exercise? Yes. However, you can speed up weight loss so much more, not to mention that it can tone up stubborn places on your body.
The key is to find an exercise that works for you! Some people hate the treadmill, but enjoy the elliptical. Some prefer jogging outdoors as opposed to working out in a gym. Others would rather bike around their neighborhood.
Ideally, your body needs at least 30 minutes of exercise daily – at a minimum! The more, the merrier! Some effective weight-loss workouts are walking fast, jogging, biking, or working out on the elliptical machine.
5.) USE WEIGHTS 2-3 TIMES PER WEEK
Weight training doesn’t mean that you have to become big and bulky!
It simply tones your body and increases your metabolism, so you continue to burn calories, even when you are resting. All this means is that you should be doing activities like lifting hand weights or barbells.
If you are nervous because you don’t know much about lifting weights, there is an incredible amount of information on YouTube! Check out a few weight training exercises for weight loss. My two all-time favorite Youtube channels are XHIT Daily and Fitness Blender.
If you need additional help, ask a personal trainer for guidance or ask a friend to teach you!
6.) GET 7-8 HOURS OF SLEEP AT NIGHT
Sleep is one of the most overlooked necessities of life. Did you know that you can only live about 11 days without sleep?
When your body is sleep-deprived, it releases a stress hormone called cortisol. This stress hormone’s job is to provide energy for your body during the extra hours you are awake. This significantly affects your metabolism, causing your body to hold on to excess weight.
Change up your evening schedule and make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Anything less should be considered a short-term necessity.
7.) SAY “NO!” TO ALCOHOL
Large stomachs were given the nickname “beer belly” for a reason!
Having a glass of wine with a meal or a cold beer on a hot day can cause your belly to grow a lot quicker than expected!
When you drink alcohol, it causes your metabolism to drastically slow down! All your body’s attention goes to breaking down the alcohol that you just consumed. As a result, whatever you ate prior to drinking the alcohol gets stored as fat.
The key is to learn to consume it in small quantities from time to time. Don’t make it a daily occurrence!
8.) EAT MORE PROTEIN
When it comes to food, your body burns far more energy processing proteins that it does processing carbs and fat.
This is because foods that are high in protein are more difficult for the body to break down and digest. As a result, it leaves your stomach feeling satisfied longer.
This doesn’t mean that you should switch to only a high-protein diet, since carbs are a huge source of energy while working out. However, you should try to incorporate some lean protein into most meals.
Amazing sources of protein include almonds, oats, egg and egg substitutes, lentils, beans, tofu, fish, lead red meat, and skinless chicken or turkey breast.
9.) DRINK GREEN TEA OR COFFEE – WITHOUT SUGAR
Both green tea and coffee have amazing metabolism boosting abilities!
Simply put, these beverages convert body fat into energy. If you drink them correctly, they can have a positive effect on sustainable weight loss.
However, if you love sugar or calorie-laden creamer, you are destroying their health benefits. So, go easy on the sugar!
10.) SAY “NO!” TO THE ENABLERS
Have you ever heard the saying, “Misery loves company”? When one person is stuck in a bad habit, they often look for someone to join them!
We all have enablers in our lives. Perhaps your best friend or co-worker is always bringing you calorie-packed snacks or beverages. Let them know you are very intentional about losing your weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Make it a personal challenge to say, “No!” when they offer you an unhealthy snack. They may be in the same position you are, but unwilling to take the steps to prevent further weight gain. Stay strong and be persistent!
11.) GET YOUR BUTT MOVING & TAKE ACTION!
We could spend all day, looking in the mirror and complaining about our appearance! And yet, the next day we fall into the same bad habits and consume the same calorie-laden foods and drinks.
TAKE ACTION AND START NOW!
Realize that the key to losing belly fat comes down to 2 things. You need to reduce your calorie intake and exercise daily.
These two things take a lot of dedication and will-power! It is so easy to stop something because it is too difficult or takes up too much of our time.
STOP MAKING EXCUSES!
In a few months, you will wish you had started now!
Just know that you will feel results before you see them. Your body will be sore the first week or two of working out, but that is completely normal! You will be more tired in the beginning, but after a few weeks, you will start to feel stronger and more energetic!
It usually takes 4-8 weeks to see results. For me, it always takes over a month to start seeing results.
Don’t give up! Start now and make yourself proud!
At the end of the day, losing belly fat always takes effort. There are no easy 2-week quick fix programs or healthy shakes that can bring the same results as consistent, daily workouts and calculated food intake.
Life gets busy and you may find it hard to prepare healthy meals and work out! However, implement a few of the hacks above to start your weight-loss journey to achieving your goals!