There’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re carrying too much fat around your stomach. Not only does it lower self-esteem and make you feel more unattractive, it’s also a tell-tale sign of more devastating health complications and illnesses to come. Some of the more serious illnesses related to belly fat include type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which doesn’t paint a pretty picture for anyone’s future in terms of health and even financially.
If you’ve already accepted that your belly fat is a problem and you’ve started working on it, you might notice that there are some exercises that do wonders for your burning fat and helping you shed pounds. On the flip side, you’re probably also wondering why some exercises don’t do anything to help at all. If that’s the case then what’s the best way to lose belly fat? Let us break it down for you.
Know How Much Your Heart Can Handle
Burning belly fat has a lot to do with maximizing your heart rate and getting as much aerobic exercise in as possible. To do this, you’ll need to compute your maximum heart rate or the maximum number of times that your heart can beat in a minute. Computing for your maximum heart rate is simple.
You can do so by subtracting your age from 220. Another thing you’ll need to do is calculate for your target heart rate. Simply explained, your target heart rate is the optimum number of times your heart should beat while you’re working out to burn the most number of calories possible. Computing for your target heart rate is also simple.
All you have to do is find compute for 50 percent and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. The resulting number is your lower and upper limit for your target heartrate. A simple equation would just be to multiply your maximum heartrate by 0.5 and 0.85. Once you know what your target heart rate is, you can start working towards keeping your heart beat in the optimum range to get the most out of your workouts and burn as much fat as possible. You can also use your heart rate to estimate how much calories your burning.
Count Your Calories
When we say to count your calories, we don’t mean that you should go crazy and obsess over every little you eat. What we mean is that you should be mindful of what you put in your body and know when to stop eating.
Think of it this way, to lose just a single pound of fat, you have to be able to create a caloric deficit equivalent to 3,500 calories. It’s hard enough to burn off a full meal’s worth of calories, so do you really want to be drinking a can of soda, which could easily cost you up to 200 calories out of your daily allowance?
It’s also crucial for you to compare your calorie intake with variables like your weight and age to ascertain whether or not you’re creating the deficit that you need to lose weight. A basic rule of thumb is to eat less if you’re not working out. Similarly, if you’ve added a bit more calories to your day than you intended, you can ramp up your exercise time or the intensity of your work out to make up for it.
Give High Intensity Interval Training a Shot
There’s no shortage of positive feedback for high intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. According to studies done by the American Council on Exercise, HIIT workouts are fantastic at helping you increase your metabolism for up to a day after the workout. These work outs have also been proven to burn far more subcutaneous belly fat or visceral fat than aerobic work outs.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, HIIT workouts consist of a short warm-up period, followed by a short but intense workout that is designed to get you to 90 percent of your total maximum intensity. HIIT workouts don’t necessarily have to be in a CrossFit gym or a field. You can complete them during a run or even at the swimming pool. It’s about adding short spurts of heart pumping workout to your routine.
For example, if we were to apply a high intensity interval training routine to your run, you would spend about 1 minute jogging at a leisurely pace then 1 to 2 minutes sprinting. If you’re a beginner, you can have longer jogging periods than you would sprints, eventually working up to a point where you are sprinting longer than you are jogging. You can kiss your belly fat goodbye with this kind of work out, we guarantee it.
Manage Your Stress
We often underestimate just how much damage stress can do in our bodies. We rationalize that stress is all in the mind, but the facts are absolutely clear: too much stress will manifest in your body and it won’t be pretty. The reason is because stress produces a hormone called cortisol.
Seriously guys, it doesn’t get any worse than cortisol. Not only does cortisol encourage fat retention, it sends the fat straight to your abdominal section. To be honest, having constantly high levels of stress will result in not only weight gain, but a ton of other health complications including high blood pressure, constant migraines and even cardiovascular diseases.
Take note of the things in your life that cause you stress, whether it’s professional or personal, and make sure to consider other stressors as well. That’s right, stress isn’t limited to the mind. You could be stressing your body to the point that it’s retaining fat rather than shedding it.
Some of the more common stress factors to look out for includes over exercising (yeah, it’s possible). Too much exercise can actually cause your progress to plateau rather than to rise. Other things to assess include your workload and the quality of sleep you’re getting.