Many people try and find the magical shortcut to a six pack. The truth of the matter is, there is no short cut. Achieving that toned bathing suit beach belly is possible if you follow these 8 simple tips.
1. Ignore the myths and misconceptions out there
There are lots of false advertising and misleading information out there to add confusion to your already frustrated fitness goals. Don’t be fooled by believing in methods of training and miracle pills that promise quick results.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Workouts promising “Get a 6 pack in 6 days” or methods like “Train in the fat burning zone to lose your belly fat quickly” or supplementation advice like “Take this thermogenic pill and watch the fat melt away” NEVER WORK.
Here are the reasons why.
a) Dedicating yourself to an ongoing workout regime and active lifestyle is the best way to insure that you lose the fat and keep it off. There is no quick fix or workout program that will melt fat to reveal your six pack in a matter of days.
There are great workouts that will be discussed later in this article that will help you maximize on shredding the fat and getting that toned core but they are not overnight fixes.
b) Training in the “Fat Burning Zone” is a bit of a misconception. People go to their gym and hop on a piece of cardio equipment and stare down at the settings and think..”What now? I guess since I want to lose belly fat I’ll train in this fat burning zone.” So, what is the fat burning zone? It basically means that the body burns a greater amount of fat at a lower intensity workout than at a higher intensity workout.
And although this is true, you do burn a higher percentage of calories from fat training at a lower intensity, you burn more total calories overall training at a higher intensity therfore burning more fat in the long run. So the recommendation…Kick it into high gear people!
c) And what is with these thermogenic pills and supplements? If you are looking to lose belly fat naturally the best way is to eat lean and healthy, stay active with a focused workout program, get lots of rest and stay hydrated. Although these caffeine and thermogenic pills will burn a few extra calories the payoff isn’t always worth it.
Caffeine is addictive and can result in headaches and dehydration. You will also notice that most of thes type of supplements usually say on the bottom of the bottle that “These results are not typical and are reccomended as part of an exercise and diet program”
Ok, what that means is the hot model you are looking at advertising that product did not get their results from the pill you are thinking of popping, but rather from an intense workout program and strict diet. So, the advice here…loose the belly fat naturally.
2. Train with full body integration
Hopefully we all know by now that there is no way to spot reduce or target train a specific part of the body. So to lose belly fat, you can’t just sit at home and do 1000 crunches and think that the fat will just melt away. You have to lose overall body fat to lose the fat in a certain area.
The body is a complicated system of bones, muscles and fascia. If we start to think of the muscle system as ONE system instead of many separate muscles we can begin to understand a bit how the body works.
There are many studies out there that can explain the muscle fascia system and the theory of “how our ankle moves has everything to do with lower back stability and even how range of motion is inhibited in the shoulder joint.”
But to make this simple for the reader I will explain how training with full body movements will help you lose more fat and stay in better shape.
The old equation sticks true: To lose fat you have to create a deficit of calories. So the more calories out than in is the ticket! You can create a caloric defecit either by burning calories through activity or by reducing the amount of calories you ingest through diet, or better yet, a combination of both.
Full body workouts with multi joint exercises like squats and deadlifts allow you to lift heavier weight. The heavier the load and more complicated the exercise involving more muscle groups, the more calories your body burns. Full body exercises are also more functional. You are creating more “smart” muscle.
Learning how to squat correctly is more functional in day to day living than being able to do a bicep curl for example. You will create more muscle building hormones as well by lifitng larger muscle groups. Creating more muscle in the body twerks your metabolism.
The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism is which in turn allows for a greater caloric expenditure. So replace fat with muscle to burn away that stubborn belly fat by utilizing full body workouts with multi joint exercises.
3. Don’t forget the cardio
Many people love to hit the gym and get a run on the treadmill in or a workout on the elliptical. But, are you maximizing the best way to burn belly fat while getting in your morning run? Paying attention to your heart rate zone is important. You can track this with a heart rate monitor or on many modern cardio machines.
You burn the most amount of calories in a higher heart rate zone. Your maximum heart rate zone you want to train in is 220 minus your age. So, if you are 30 years old you want to train in a heart rate zone around 70%-80% of your maximum heart rate which is 190bmp (beats per minute) with several shorter bouts of more intense sprints at around 80-90% of your maximum heart rate zone.
Because your body does not allow for you to train at the highest level of intensity for long periods of time you have to bring the heart rate down a bit to recover before raising it again to your intense effort. You will burn more calories during your sprints at a higher zone, so the more times you can take your body up into a higher heart rate zone during your workout the more calories over all you will burn.
This is called interval training. If you are a beginner start at a lower zone like 60%- 70% and climb to 70%- 80% during your sprints. Work on tracking this and making improvements over time. Interval training is also a great way to maximize what is called EPOC (Excess post- exercise oxygen consumption).
It is basically a way that your body pays back itself for a borrowed energy source which is oxygen used during your workout. This allows for you to burn more calories even after your workout. Some people call this after burn. This type of cardio workout is a great way to burn belly fat naturally.
4. Diet and nutrition is the key to success
No matter how great your efforts are at the gym or during your workouts. You can easily blow it all by grabbing a greasy burger and fries on the way home. Eating clean and healthy with attention to how many calories your consume daily is your goal to getting rid of that stubborn belly fat.
You want to eat a high protein diet with complex carbohydrates and good fats. Focus on organic meats like chicken and fresh fish and pleny of leafy green and colorful vegetables. Cook with natural olive oils and eat good fats like nuts and avocados.
Break your meals up and eat 5-6 times a day with focus on portion control and appropriate nutritional balance per meal to keep an even metabolism.
A good rule of thumb I always go by is your protein is your open hand (So like a 6-8 ounce portion or chicken or fish), carbs are a closed fist (So a small sweet potatoe or 1/2 cup of brown rice for example), and then as many colorful veggies as you want to fill the plate since they are low in calories and high in fiber (an aid in digestion) and packed with nutrients. Go organic, go raw, go green and always remember brown complex carbs instead of simple white carbs.
5. Rest sleepy head
Many people forget that recovery is just as important as your workout. You don’t build muscle at the gym, that occurs when your body is at rest and recovering. Overtraining can be just as counterproductive as no training at all, or in some cases even worse.
You could get injured and then be on a long or even permanent vacation from the gym. Make sure you get the adequate 7-8 hours of recommended sleep a night and that you take a rest day from your workouts.
Keep your body fresh and ready for battle the next time you walk into the gym for your intense workout and that belly fat will stay on the run.
6. Hydrate and lubricate
Water plays an obvious vital role in our bodies and daily lives. The body is made up of roughly 70% of water. Water is vital in regulating body tempurature, lubricating joints, aiding in digestion, transportation of nutrients and in many other important roles.
It can also help control calorie consumption by acting as an appetite supressant as well. Stay hydrated to help control metabolism and fight off hunger pains. Many links have been made through research of dehydration and obesity.
During exercise it is recommended to consume 8 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of intense workout. Stay hydrated before and after your workouts to keep the body regulated and running like a well oiled machine to help burn that belly fat.
7. Cut to the core
So although spot reduction is not a method to eliminate fat in a specific area, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend special focus on your trouble spot. So if you are looking to melt away that belly fat make sure you are getting in a core workout several times a week.
The core is not only your abdominals and obliques, but also your lower back, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors. All of those muscles work synergistically to function as a strong core and stabalization system.
Focus on planks and short range crunches for the abdominals, rotational movements for the obliques, back extensions for the erector spinae muscles of the lower back, straight leg raises for hip flexion and extension, long lunges and deadlifts for hamstrings, and some bridges for focus on the glutes.
Get that entire core complex working as a unit and watch how the belly fat starts to melt off as your core becomes a battleground for fat.
8. Stop stressing out
Stress releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone and is a response to stress and low levels of blood glucose. It is the flight or fight hormone and when your cortisol levels are too high for too long it has been shown to increase abdominal fat.
By following the eight tips above you can help battle stress and keep your cortisol levels in check. Some other stress relieving techniques are meditation, yoga, breathing techniques, stretching and massages, Tai Chi, and even short mid day naps.
By following these 8 tips you can melt away belly fat naturally and permanetly. So many people focus on the visual of a healthy body and forget about the functionality of one. So while you workout to lose belly fat and gain your six pack, don’t forget to focus on the entire body to remain strong and toned.