There will always be times in life when we feel bloated and not looking our best; maybe through hormonal problems, sluggish thyroids, or just plain old over eating. But the fact is, when we don’t feel good about ourselves it shows in everything we do and this unfortunately can sabotage our lives.
Feeling this way signals time for a change, and of course like with everything in modern day life you would like to see results fast. In this post I will give you the top 10 effective tips on how to lose belly fat quickly to give you a fresh lease of life, and the confidence boost you need to live life to your fullest potential.
Beating the belly bloat:
Maybe you have an event, wedding, or holiday coming up and only have a matter of weeks to get your much desired flatter stomach. You’re wondering if it’s even possible right? Well it totally is, but you will need to be willing to overhaul your diet, AND if possible get some specific belly fat blasting exercises in.
This needn’t be an expensive or time-consuming venture, and you don’t even have to go hungry, I promise. I don’t promote dangerous starvation diets and believe that they do not work in the long run. In fact, they just mess up your metabolism and cause you to quickly gain even more weight than before, weight that you will finder even HARDER to lose the next time around.
This is often referred to as yoyo dieting, and is not a cycle I recommend you get into. Instead you should relearn some new ways of thinking and eating that will help you naturally change some of your bad habits forever. This really is the only surefire way that I know of to look and feel great for life.
That’s not even touching on all the other awesome benefits of a healthy and fit body, such as lower risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and some cancers – the list goes on, and having excess belly fat really is a high risk factor for many health problems.
So let’s get to the point; you’ve decided you would like a flatter stomach and fast, or maybe you would just like to lose a few kilos in general, but you definitely don’t want to be miserable and hungry (who does?). This is where you’ll need to apply some or (if you’re really serious) ALL of the 10 steps on this checklist.
Your own determination and compliance will always determine how successful you are in your weight loss efforts, but fortunately, most of these steps are pretty easily and cheaply incorporated into your life with minimum effort and you should see some results in a matter of days.
The goal here is to change life-long bad habits and create new neural pathways in your the brain (really not as complicated as it sounds, and happens naturally). This in turn will make things easier for you to stick to as they will become second nature in your life.
How to Lose Belly Fat Quickly – Top 10 Effective Tips
1. EAT LOW GI, HIGH PROTEIN FOODS
You should switch to low GI foods as much as possible. GI stands for glycemic index, and is the rating of the amount of carbohydrates in a food and its effects on blood glucose (the lower the GI the better in terms of weight loss).
Eating low GI foods will help keep blood sugar under control which in turn will help to stop sugar cravings. It is usually those annoying sugar/carb cravings that will ruin your diet efforts, and by sugar I don’t necessarily mean just things that taste sweet: refined carbohydrates such as white flours, bread, and rice are high GI and act the same way as sugar does in the body, causing a sugar ‘high’, and soon after the inevitable ‘crash’.
This is when you’ll find yourself craving more and more refined carbs and sugary treats to perk yourself back up again. But this is a slippery slope to addiction and even obesity and disease – they do no not say that sugar is MORE addictive than cocaine for nothing!
Do this first:-
The first thing to do is to try to get yourself off this sugar train as much as possible by cutting out, or seriously down on refined sugars and carbs, such as sweets, cakes, confectionery, pastries and fast foods. Replace these with wholegrains like quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, and oats, plus plenty of pulses, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.
Add in these known fat burning foods:
- Raw Almonds
- Hemp Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Nutritional Yeast
- Berries of all kinds
- Coconut oil in place of other oils
- Green Superfood Powders
Please check out this low GI foods list to find many more foods you can eat on your healthy eating plan. Aadd them as much as possible to your diet in place of other high sugar foods.
2. CUT OUT TRANS FATS
These are the nasty kind of fats found in deep-fried foods, margarines, and fast foods. They are made industrially in a process of adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to turn them solid. They are then used for helping to make food taste better and last longer, but word of warning: they are super hazardous to your health, and can raise your blood cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
These trans fats also increase oxidative stress in the body – meaning accelerated aging both on the inside and outside (scary right?). Eating foods high in antioxidants helps to negate this, but cutting out or drastically down on trans fats altogether is the only long term solution to keeping belly fat off.
3. ADD IN HEALTHY FATS
We do most certainly need fats, but we need the healthy kind, not just to keep our heart healthy, but to actually BOOST metabolism. Yes you heard that right, healthy fats such as those found in olive oil, virgin coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and oily fish, actually help your body to excrete that unwanted stored fat, and more specifically that dangerous belly fat that we loathe so much.
The omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish or fish oil supplements are especially good for those in training because they help with blood flow to the muscles. This in turn stimulates enzymes into transporting fat to where it is needed ready to be used for energy, thus boosting the fat burning process.
4. DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, LEMON AND CINNAMON
Apple cider vinegar is a great way to help suppress appetite throughout the day. Some studies have shown that it can cause you to eat between 200-275 calories LESS throughout the rest of your day due to its effect on lowering blood sugar.
These results were seen at a 30ml dose per day, which is preferably taken first thing in the morning before breakfast. Adding cinnamon (which is also known for its ability to keep blood sugar stable) will help to squash sugar cravings even more, plus, also adding lemon juice which is a liver detoxifyer, will make for a triple whammy of a fat burning drink.
How to make this triple whammy fat blaster:-
Add 30 ml of apple cider vinegar ‘with the mother‘ (this is very important as it’s the healthy bit), half a squeezed lemon, and a teaspoon of ceylon cinnamon to 300ml of warm water, and drink in the morning on an empty stomach.
You may wish to add a teaspoon of raw honey for sweetness, but make sure it is a good quality raw honey as this is the kind that is known to help mobilise stored fat ready to be used as energy.
5. CUT DOWN ALCOHOL
You may like a glass of red at the end of a long day to help you unwind and I don’t want to poop on that party, but just remember that alcohol is very high calorie and needs to be added against your daily intake. To make matters worse it also scores zero on every nutritional front.
It’s easy to forget about including drinks into your daily calorie intake (I’m talking about ALL drinks here, including soft drinks, juices, and hot drinks with added milk, cream, and sugar). This is where a lot of hidden and unaccounted for calories and fat may lie, and is something to keep your eye on. For instance:
- 1 small glass of wine – 150 calories
- 1 pint of medium strength lager – 180 calories
- 1 pint of medium strength cider – 210 calories
- 1 pint of Guinness – 210 calories
- Standard 25 ml shot of spirits – 106 calories + extra for mixer
As you can see, just a couple of alcoholic drinks a day that we like to indulge in after a hard days work, can cost you over the course of a week up to 2,900 calories alone. That’s 11, 600 calories a month, which is astronomical when you think about it, and equates to about 6 days worth of calories if you go by the average 2,000 calorie a day diet. So to clarify, that’s nearly a weeks worth of calories per month JUST in alcohol!
This is why alcohol really isn’t your friend if you are trying to lose weight; and more bad news – can actually decrease your belly fat burning abilities.
A glass of red win can be healthy!
However, having said all that about how bad alcohol can be, it so happens that a small glass of red wine does in fact contain a phenol known as resveratrol. This resveratrol has the ability to interfere with fat synthesis, and can also help stop the body from laying down fat stores, plus it is a powerful antioxidant, and antioxidants are anti aging. Hurrah!
So, moral of the story – if you do crave an alcoholic drink to relax at the end of the day then be sure to make it a glass of red…but just the one!
6. WHITE AND GREEN TEA
White and green tea are both effective metabolism boosters, and so you should drink in abundance whichever one you prefer, or ideally a mix of both. Four a day (2 of each) is a good amount for maximum results to boost your metabolism, thus helping you to torch up to 100 calories extra a day, and targeting stomach fat loss specifically.
Green tea contains a unique antioxidant called EGCG, which is believed to be anti inflammatory, heart friendly, and anti cancer. It also contains other catechins that can stoke metabolism by up to 4%, which may not seem much, but just think about how this will add up over time, especially if you’re diligent about swapping your normal hot drinks for it.
It also contains NO calories, therefore if you usually have a high calorie latte with sugar as your beverage of choice then this is yet another huge calorie saving in one simple swap.
White tea seems to be just as much of a superstar as green though it doesn’t contain the EGCG antioxidant – however it does contain around 3 times MORE polyphenols than green, hence the reason for alternating.
There’s also another exiting titbit – according to a study produced by ‘Nutrition and Metabolism’ white tea can boost fat breakdown and even block the formation of fat cells. So stick that kettle on!
Oh sleep wonderful sleep! Most of us don’t get enough of this basic and vital function, but did you know that lack of it can have a devastating effect on your weight? More so for dangerous belly fat – so if ever there was an excuse to get more sleep then this is it.
In fact 7-9 hours sleep is so crucial to us that we can actually die from chronic lack of it. Not getting enough good quality kip also ups drastically your chances of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and can lead to a decline in cognitive function.
Tiredness triggers sugar cravings:
Lack of sleep makes you more likely to crave sugar and junk foods due to major hormones being thrown out of whack. You are more likely to produce more of the hunger hormone ghrelin, and less of the satiety hormone leptin, which will spell disaster for your diet.
And worse still, you will be way more prone to giving in to those cravings, as tiredness also negatively affects willpower. Plus those extra calories are less likely to be broken down when you’re tired, this is because your digestive system gets lazy and you doesn’t digest food as well as it should. This means higher than normal blood sugar, and guess what? That high blood sugar encourages fat storage!
To make sure you don’t end up in this vicious cycle make sure you get your sleep, its as simple as that.
7. CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE
Cardiovascular exercise is basically anything that gets your heart rate up, so running, exercise biking, swimming, squash, power walking, HIIT, the list is endless and you can find fun ways to do it.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean expensive gym memberships, there are myriads of activities you can potentially do for next to nothing, both in the home and outdoors. You will find some fantastic examples in this post ‘The Importance of physical Exercise‘.
At least 3×1 hour sessions of calorie burning cardio per week will help fire up your metabolism and keep you in belly fat burning mode.
Check out this YouTube video if you want some ideas for an at home HIIT workout:
9. WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE
Weight bearing exercise is very important to fat burning as it builds muscle, and as I’m sure you’ve heard before, muscle burns more calories than fat even when you’re not exercising – just all the time. So keep muscle mass up as much as possible.
Doing stomach toning exercises such as sit ups and planks will also strengthen and ‘pull in’ the muscles that lie below your belly fat, thus giving the illusion of a slimmer stomach.
Hula Hooping – a way to lose belly fat fast at home:
I couldn’t end this section about exercise without mentioning the fastest and most effective belly fat toner I’ve ever tried and tested, which is hula hooping. The caveat is it must be a weighted hula hoop for maximum effectiveness, but this is exercise is seriously effective and tones your abdominal muscles VERY quickly.
You can do this anywhere, even in front of the TV, and you only need to do it about 20-30 minutes, 5x per week to see quick results. The adult weighted hula hoop (specifically designed for the job) is a cheap investment and is my number one recommendation for fat burning, along with a variety of some other suggestions already on this list…the more the better.
If you want to keep will power and determination up, then track your food intake and activities. You can do this so simply and easily now with modern technology, such as apps and fitness trackers, or even the old-fashioned way of charts, or journaling.
Whatever you choose just be sure to do it as it will make all the difference to see some kind of reference to your progression. It will also create accountability, which has been proven to be the most effective way to keep you going when things get tough.
For example, you can leave your food, exercise, body or weight goals on a chart pinned to the fridge for everybody to keep an eye on. This way, when you feel like caving in you will have an incentive to keep going as you’ll have other people to answer to…in the nicest possible way of course.