Summer has already passed. As a certain character from a certain famous TV series once said, winter is coming. So many of us would probably say “oh well, there is always next year”, when we look at our “toned summer body” or loose belly in the mirror.
And when we think of what is yet to come? Starting from Halloween at the end of this month, Thanksgiving and then Christmas – okay, let’s face it, we are never getting that “Victoria’s Secret model” body we’ve yearned for since forever.
The next few months are basically a constant free food festival.
Hey, brave people! Don’t give up yet! If you are determined to lose some fat from your belly, here are some mistakes you might be unintentionally making. And of course – the advice on how to fix them.
1. Being patient is the key
Well, if you have tried to diet before, you would know that it is a time-consuming and a rather exhausting process. Sometimes it seems to that you try so hard and put so much effort it in, but the hard work doesn’t pay off. Read what Dr. Luke James, an expert on shifting stubborn fat has to say:”It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet”, “Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change.”
2. Stay away from sugar
What you might not be aware of is that holding back from sugars and carbohydrates is of crucial importance when you are desperately trying to lose belly fat. Cutting down on calories is one thing, but this..This is much more important.”Try cutting back on the amount of simple carbohydrates you eat, like pasta and bread, and substituting for healthier alternatives like courgetti.” It’s also important that you don’t cut out carbs completely, but consciously limit your intake.- says Dr. James.
3. Getting enough protein is extremely important
Adding foods like protein shakes and bars is a great idea for your diet. Dr James says: “Protein is great for fat loss,”. What many don’t know is that protein is a great source of energy. He adds: “It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack.” So, try swapping that slice of toast you usually eat for breakfast for a boiled egg? Why not?
4. Get enough sleep
As hard it is to believe, the amount of sleep we get can have a serious impact on our body weight. Dr. James also has something to say about this: “We all have two hormones that affect our appetite: ghrelin and leptin. When we don’t get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes us feel hungry) rise, and our leptin levels (the hormone that makes us feel full) drop. This means that when we’re awake, we tend to eat more but feel less satisfied.”
For adults, it has been estimated that seven to nine hours is the perfect amount our body needs in order to rest.
5. Change your workout plan
We tend to believe that if you focus on your abdominal workout- and only that- it equals abdominal weight-loss. This is definitely not the case. It is much more complex than that. “Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to take a whole-body approach to tackle it.” Maybe go for a quick sprint, or try doing squats to see what an impact it will have on your belly. If you want build your muscle, which would basically mean burning your fat faster, try lifting weights. It all comes down to increasing the amount of interval training in order to loose belly fat.
6. Working out too much does not equal a flat belly
“Your body needs a healthy balance of exercise and rest. Doing too much prevents the body from shifting excess fat. Exercising without rest can impact our levels of the steroid hormone cortisol and cause an increase of stubborn fat stored in the belly,” says Dr. James. So that basically means that it is actually possible to work out too much and not lose weight at the same time. I know, it can be a bummer.
7. Dieting too much is not good either
Crash-dieting, the term often used to refer to suddenly changing your food intake, is a very unhealthy method of approaching weight-loss. And what this actually means is that it should be avoided at all costs. “It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight.”
Try making smart choices about what you should cut down on. Instead of cutting them altogether, try replacing random foods with their healthier options.
8. There is a high possibility you are stressed out
Okay, let’s face it: I haven’t even met a person who has never been even slightly stressed out. As hard as it sounds, learning how to manage stress is out of crucial importance. Dr. James says: “Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on our bodies, it can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure.”
9. Try tracking your process
As it has been already mentioned, the process of losing belly fat is slow and complex. However, what we can do about it is try to track it as often as possible. As hard as it sounds, don’t give up the progress you achieve!
“There are some great apps and wearable tech devices available that make it easier to stick to your plan. They can help you monitor your goals, your food intake and the calories burned during exercise. If these aren’t an option, write down a meal and exercise plan. This will help you stick to your goals and remain focused.”
10. Lose motivation
It has happened to each one of us. After a long, stressful day at work, you would certainly not feel motivated enough to work out. There is nothing you would rather do that a nice, hot batch and a few slices of pizza while watching a random movie. However, try to make an effort in not letting a bad day ruin your workout plans. If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, ask a friend to join you for your workout and then afterwards cook something healthy for dinner together.” Or, if you don’t feel up to any intense exercise, go for an evening stroll or do some yoga. You’ll feel better anyway.
And last but not the least – make sure you are on a diet because you want to. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to keep up your motivation levels, and the progress you make won’t feel just as good as it should.