Some Guidelines on How to Lose Belly Fat
- By: Betty Crane
When asked, many people who desire to lose weight do so because of their bulging stomach, and they are always on the lookout for ways to lose belly fat. Belly fat "disfigures" the body and tends to contribute to a negative self-image. Many people, men and women alike, also consider the six-pack abs as the most venerable upper body figure, so they would go at great lengths to get rid of that sagging belly fat. Sometimes, excessive belly fat, especially for the chronically obese, makes it more difficult for the body to move around because of the excess weight, the shift of the body's center of gravity, and the constant exhaustion that follows. It is like carrying an unnecessary backpack inside the body.
Unfortunately, the belly is often the first region in the body that accumulates fat when the body processes digested fats and deposits it on different parts of the body. Fortunately, because belly fat is visceral fat (fat inside the body, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, which is just fat under the skin), it is also one of the first regions of the body that loses fat when the body needs fat, because, being nearer to the bloodstream, it is more accessible than subcutaneous fat. Therefore, any reliable exercise and weight loss regimen is already a sufficient answer to that mounting belly fat. In fact, the loss of belly fat, or waist/hips diameter, is a frequently used metric that determines the progress and success of an exercise and weight loss program.
Diet and exercise are the two highly regarded halves of any credible weight loss program. Diet should be tailored in such a way as to: (1) contain less unwanted fat, especially LDL (low-density lipoprotein) thus prevent adding any more unnecessary fat; (2) accelerate the burning of fat; (3) contain plenty of protein, which provides lean muscle mass, especially in the abdominal region, (4) contain calories that break down easily, as opposed to processed calories that are harder to burn and tend to turn into fat deposits instead. Foods that satisfy these criteria include fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, fish, wheat bread, and whole grain cereals. Foods to be avoided include pork, candies, chips, cookies, sodas, and white bread. The way of cooking food also counts: foods should not be fried, if possible; recommended cooking methods are boiling, baking, or steaming.
Exercise plays a big role, but is sometimes difficult to begin. Because it is hard for those who have plenty of belly fat to perform swift movements needed to start the exercise, and because the body is used to resting often, the person losing weight should do some light but active exercises first, like walking around, climbing up the staircase, or lifting light weights. Once the body is used to the increased metabolism (and probably may have lost some weight by then), it is now advisable to switch to more robust exercises, like running, push-ups, or lifting heavy weights. These exercises are the best ways to lose belly fat, for they not only burn calories; they also acclimatize the metabolism to more activity, thus preventing exhaustion, and they also strengthen muscle size, which makes muscles use more energy than smaller muscles. Sixty minutes of high-impact, aerobic exercise is recommended in order to attain maximum exercise and weight loss benefits.
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