By Serena Kellan,
Everybody wants to have a flat stomach, but do you know how to lose belly fat naturally? A lot of modern eats and activities seem to go against that.
If you love rich and fast foods and you don’t move around very much, you might be one of the many people who think they can only dream of having tight abs.
Not to worry – this article will give you three ways on how to flatten your stomach naturally.
Read all the way to the end and say goodbye to your stomach fat!
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO HAVE A FLAT STOMACH?
You might not know this, but everybody has abs. The “six pack” that everyone looks for is from the abdominal muscles lining the midsection.
Specifically, the rectus abdominis muscle makes up the washboard. If this is the case, why doesn’t it show on everybody?
The answer is simply because this layer of muscle is covered by a thick layer of fat. And it’s not just because you might have eaten one cheeseburger too many.
Fat has a place and function in the human body.
It’s meant to provide protection and insulation for the precious organs, and the stomach holds a great number of important ones that need protection.
So, whenever you feel sad about your stomach situation, just remind yourself that you do have abs… they’re just a bit shy!
LOSING BELLY FAT NATURALLY
So how do you coax your six pack to come out from under its (soft) shell? Here are three ways:
#1 – MODIFY YOUR DIET
You don’t have to completely overhaul your diet just to lose stomach fat.
Of course, if you want to do a complete change, say, going vegan from being an omnivore, you can.
But you can trim your belly fat no matter what kind of diet you have.
The key is to monitor your calorie intake.
Counting carbs is a hassle of a chore, but if you keep a food journal and dutifully input everything you eat on a daily basis, you’ll soon get a good idea of how many calories you’re eating everyday.
This is important because all the extra calories that you don’t get to burn are converted into fat.
So the idea is to eat less than what your body burns.
You’ll need to know how many calories your body burns, though. And this number is different for every person, because it depends on a whole range of factors, such as lifestyle, genetics, height, gender, and a whole bunch of other things.
It’s also not as simple as “eating fewer calories equals better,” because not all calories are the same.
For example, you can eat 100 calories worth of chocolate chip cookies or 100 calories worth of Brussels sprouts. Both have the same caloric content, but have different nutritional values.
So while eating fewer calories is great, making smarter food choices is even better.
This also means that just because you’re on a specific kind of diet doesn’t mean you’ll automatically lose fat.
There are hundreds of popular diets, with new ones cropping up every so often. The more recent ones include the Ketogenic diet and the Mediterranean diet.
Veganism/vegetarianism are also examples of diets, but they have always been around.
One thing common in most diets is that they restrict one or more food groups.
Some diets will have you not eat carbs, while some will have you not eat fat.
Balance is essential. Eat fewer calories than what your body needs, but don’t starve yourself.
Don’t bar yourself from eating specific food groups, too.
If all of this seems like too much, you can use smartphone apps or websites that offer free food tracking. This is also a great alternative if you don’t want a physical food journal.
Jotting down your food intake is a lot of help. You might not think you’re eating that much or that you’re not eating that many junk foods, but once you list down every bite and sip you’ve taken for the last week, you’ll get a clearer view of how you really eat. Then you can make modifications to your diet.
Don’t go overboard on it, though.
This doesn’t mean you have to let go of your favorite junk foods altogether.
Again, balance is essential. Allow yourself a cheat day or two when you can go and enjoy a slice of cheesecake without feeling guilty.
Carbohydrates and sugars have some of the biggest calories among the food groups, so your diet will greatly benefit from replacing or minimizing your carb intake.
For example, if you can’t let go of bread or pasta, choose whole grain (or Ezekiel bread, the healthiest kind of bread there is) instead of plain white and sweetened breads.
If you can’t let go of rice, choose brown, red, or black rice.
Meanwhile, you can replace bread with corn tortillas, cauliflower, or potato-based rolls.
Pasta can be substituted with thinly-sliced veggies like zucchini and eggplant. Rice can be substituted with quinoa, corn, or rolled oats.
Skinless, boneless chicken breast has always been popular as the “lighter” option, but it really won’t mean much if you coat it in batter and deep fry it in oil.
Inside of fried food, try baked or grilled ones, instead.
Same with carbohydrates, simple sugars have the most calories.
You can reduce your caloric intake if you choose to omit the extra sugar from your drinks entirely. This means having your coffee or tea unsweetened, or swapping out your sugary sodas for water or fresh fruit juice.
If you don’t care for that option, try using sugar substitutes such as honey, stevia, or agave nectar.
You can also try removing your coffee or tea creamers or replacing them with soy or almond milk.
Alcoholic drinks can be deceptive because you won’t think you’re drinking extra calories because it’s such a small glass, but alcohol contains sugar, and that means it’s also packing on the calories.
This goes double on mixed drinks and cocktails, so think twice about having that second margarita.
#2 – GET A HOBBY THAT KEEPS YOU ON YOUR TOES
Exercise might be in every lose your belly fat how-to there is.
How can you even lose belly fat without doing a hundred crunches a day?
But here’s the thing: crunches, sit-ups, and other exercise moves that specifically target your abs won’t actually help you trim down love handles…
It’s been proven countless times that spot training is a myth.
Spot training is the idea that you can target a specific area or muscle group in the body and improve or strengthen that area only.
You can’t have chiseled pecs while also sporting a huge gut.
The way how to lose belly fat naturally is to have your body use up all your fat reserves for energy.
Your body won’t isolate using only your stomach fat; it’ll break down fat from all over the body, even if you do nothing but crunches and sit-ups.
This is why spot training doesn’t work.
What works is to have an exercise routine that will keep you moving for at least 15 minutes.
Cardio workout is one of the best ways to lose overall body fat (and strengthen your entire body as a whole).
However, most people dread or skip exercising because not all people think exercise is fun. It’s understandable why.
Going on a treadmill is an efficient way to get you sweating, but it can get boring or tiresome pretty fast.
If your exercise routine becomes less of an enjoyable activity and more of a chore, the commitment to keep doing it will fade away in less than a month.
So what’s better for you to do is find an enjoyable activity that will keep you active and will keep you interested to keep doing it for months and years.
The key to cardio is to have your heart-rate go faster for an extended period. Ideally, 15-30 minutes.
Any activity that will achieve that will help in burning calories and, in the long run, belly fat.
A Few Tips to Help You Get Started
Not the active type?
You don’t have to become sporty overnight. Try to incorporate the things you love with a bit of light exercise or activity.
Do you love painting or drawing?
Try taking your art outside. Fix a travel palette and walk around your neighborhood for at least half an hour before settling down to paint at the park or in a coffee shop as a cool down.
Added bonus: the walk might even give you ideas on what to paint or draw.
Nothing makes an activity more enjoyable than doing it with a friend or loved one.
Ask your BFF, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend if they want to try a new activity together.
If you have a pet, make them your activity buddy! You can take hikes and enjoy the outdoors together.
Single and living alone?
Join a group within your community that aims to connect people with activity buddies. Not only will you form long-lasting relationships, you’ll also get more motivation to exercise long-term.
#3 – TAKE METABOLISM BOOSTERS
Everything discussed so far has been for the sole purpose of having your body break down its fat stores for energy.
However, all of these will add up to nothing if you have a slow metabolism.
Your metabolism is the body’s process of converting the calories you consume into energy that it needs to keep itself running. The higher your metabolic rate, the faster your body burns calories for energy.
So, what makes the body burn more calories? Prolonged activity.
The more your body needs to work, the more energy it needs to burn. If you keep doing that activity regularly, your body’s metabolism will adjust itself.
You can also take metabolism boosters to give your body a push in the right direction.
In this case, drinking pure, unsweetened teas can be the best form you can have.
Prime examples are green tea, fermented Chinese black tea, Oolong, white tea and red tea.
For one thing, unsweetened tea has no calories, so if you swap your sugary drinks into pure unsweetened tea, it’ll greatly decrease your daily calorie intake.
Tea also has compounds that give a mild to moderate metabolism boost. Caffeine, a stimulant, is present in tea, but in a smaller amount than what can be found in coffee. This small amount is perfect in giving your body’s metabolism that slight nudge without getting the jittery side effects.
Green tea and white tea in particular contain catechins, which are natural antioxidants that increase the burning of body fat.
Fermented Chinese black tea, which is also known as puerh or pu-erh tea, has been found to suppress weight gain.
Oolong tea, which is Chinese brown tea, has long been drunk in Asia as it’s believed to improve digestion and increase metabolism.
Red tea, is the best for weight and belly fat loss because it stops the feeling of hunger, as well as providing other special benefits that the other tea does not.
A Few Tips to Help You Get Started
Not ready to jump ship? Try replacing one cup of coffee at a time. You don’t have to completely turn your diet around if you can’t. Go slow until you can appreciate the nuances of tea.
If you really can’t abide the taste of unsweetened tea, try using alternative sweeteners such as the ones mentioned above. You can also try having your tea with sweet fruits such as apples and strawberries. The natural sweetness of the fruits will complement the tea.
Don’t care for hot tea in the summer? Try iced tea. Iced green tea is popular in many Asian countries, and iced black tea is a staple in many fast food restaurants (although most are sweetened). To kick it up a notch, add a few crushed mint leaves.
There you have it!
Three ways on how to lose belly fat naturally.
Now you that already know, it’s important for you to take action and start out by choosing the one the most suited for you.
Even better, try them all and say hello to a flatter, not fatter, stomach in no time at all!
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