Guys who carry extra weight in their bellies don't need another article berating them for their physical condition - they're quite aware of it. That being said, fat loss/weight loss can be one of the most frustrating processes to go through. With a new fad diet coming out on a weekly basis, it's hard to know which way to turn. Trimming your waistline could impact your longevity. Know this: Getting great abs is about more than just doing a bunch of sit-ups.
Belly fat is nothing to joke about
Belly fat can be an insidious threat. It's a sign that your body chemistry is out of whack. There are a number of substances your belly secretes to various vital organs.
- Free fatty acids - it impairs your ability to break down insulin, which over time can lead to diabetes.
- Cortisone - high levels are associated with diabetes and heart disease.
- PAI-1 - This blood-clotting agent increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- CRP - It inflames blood vessels, making them more susceptible to artery-clogging plaque.
Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, colorectal cancer, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and more. Getting older plays a role too. The good news is, as a man, losing body fat can be a bit easier than for a woman.
So, how to cut the gut in your 50s without sacrificing all your family time or following some BS diet! Not surprisingly, the solution requires careful attention to both diet and exercise. But which component matters more? If you have to pick just one, diet interventions tend to be more effective for losing weight. In the short term, the calories you consume are more important than the calories you burn. Get your metabolism working for you instead of against you.
Small changes add up to big results
It's amazing what a huge difference a few small changes to your routine can make. Tune into your daily rhythms, energy levels, and reactions to food so you can learn exactly what works and doesn't work for you.
Drink plenty of water
Hydration is the key to weight loss. Did you know that the brain struggles to recognize the difference between being hungry and thirsty? Try drinking a glass of water to see if you are really hungry.
Snack on portion-controlled fruit, seeds, and nuts. One study found that snacking on almonds instead of munching on something high-carb, helped to reduce belly fat and improved cholesterol levels.
Follow a healthy diet
Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Choose lean sources of protein such as fish and low-fat dairy products. Limit processed meats. Sugar and refined carbohydrates push up your blood sugar, subsequently increasing your insulin secretions. Choose moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats - found in fish, nuts, and certain vegetable oils.
Healthy high fiber foods can help you stay fit and get a slimmer waistline. The fiber in fruits and vegetables is a great way to eat plenty of satiating foods, which can help you lose weight and belly fat. Foods high in soluble fiber include oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots and barley.
Say goodbye to alcohol
Remember, calories consumed while drinking count too. You can have alcohol on a very limited basis, but if you continue to drink daily, you can forget about losing your belly fat. This means limiting alcohol to only a couple of drinks on weekends.
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Losing belly fat takes effort and patience. The perfect prescription for keeping your gut in check and your entire body in the best shape possible: Do both strength training and cardio.
Running or walking
Well, the truth is there's no way to target belly fat. Your genetics get to decide where the fat settles in your body, so the best thing to do is start moving. There's no magic supplement or crazy exercise routine. Consistency needs to be at the forefront of your plan to reach your goals. A combination of weight training and cardio workout is the best way for a guy to work off his belly.
Do strength training
And just because you're focusing on the weight training, doesn't mean you should totally ditch a cardio routine - just make sure you're not mindlessly logging miles on the treadmill.
If you're stressed, so is your gut
Stress, like that which happens as a result of sleep deprivation, might mess with your weight. Stress can drive you to eat more, especially when it comes to high-calorie comfort foods. The bad news is you will 'never' sort out your belly fat until you deal with high stress levels.
Take the long-term approach
Because it isn't possible to spot reduce, you'll need to lower your overall body fat to help flatten your stomach. You can do this by increasing the amount of time you spend exercising, including both cardiovascular exercise and strength-training exercises, and following a healthy diet that is low in fat and calories. Remember that this belly fat didn't appear overnight and neither will six-pack abs. If you're looking for a shortcut, you're in for a rude awakening. It's going to take a lot of hard work and dedication over a period of several weeks and months to achieve your goals. But if you stay dedicated and keep yourself on the right track, the results will come - you just have to stick with it.
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