Want to burn belly fat quickly? There’s a good reason you should. Excessive abdominal fat doesn’t just look bad… it’s also linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health risks. In this article you will learn some time tested steps you can take to get rid of that Buddha belly for once and for all.
How much belly fat is too much?
You can easily determine weather or not you have to much belly fat. Just measure the circumference of your waist using a simple tape measure.
For women, anything above 35 inches (88 cm) is considered to be abdominal obesity.
For men it’s anything above 40 inches or 102 cm.
Whenever you want to measure your progress, it’s better to use a tape measure than a scale. The reason for this is that you might be gaining lean muscle mass (which is 4 times denser than fat tissue) while you lose fat.
This means your scale could indicate the same weight… but your body composition muscle/fat could be completely different. You can also use a smart scale (which does measure body composition).
If you have too much abdominal fat (and you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t) then you’re not alone. Roughly one third of the entire world’s population is obese.
Here are some simple, proven steps you can take to get rid of belly fat quickly:
Step 1: Get a handle on your habits
The first thing you should do if you want to get rid of excess belly fat is determine where it all came from in the first place. The best way to do this is to track it.
Start tracking what and how much you eat every day. The same goes for exercise. Keep track of the amount and type of exercise you do on a daily basis.
There are plenty of free calorie/activity tracker apps that can help you with this. You can find some good ones here
Of course you can also use a note pad. The key is to be brutally honest and thorough so you get an accurate picture of your calorie intake, eating habits and daily exercise routines.
Step 2: Eliminate refined sugar and refined (white) flour as much as possible
Following the previous step will give you a clear picture of your eating and exercise habits.
The second thing you should do if you’re serious about getting rid of that belly pooch is to ban foods that contain a lot of refined sugar from your diet.
Research suggests that eating too much (refined) sugar is probably the primary cause of obesity.
This is especially true for ‘liquid sugar’! Studies show that sugar-sweetened drinks are linked to a massive 60% increased risk of obesity in children.
Foods that are high in refined sugars:
Drinks: lemonade, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavored lattes, store-bought smoothies and fruit juices.
Sweets: candy, cake, doughnuts, cookies and crisps
Processed foods: frozen meals, canned fruits/vegetables/soups, condiments, sauces, dressings, pasta sauces.
Cereals: most breakfast cereals (especially those geared towards kids).
So, start elimating foods and drinks that are high in refined sugar from your diet and replacing them with real foods (fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs and other 1-ingredient foods).
A great resource on eating real foods for fat loss and increased health is The Fat Burning Kitchen by nutritionists Mike Geary and Cathering Ebeling.
Here are some more nutrition tips you can start using to rev up your metabolism and start burning belly fat quickly:
Increase your protein intake.
Protein helps to keep you feeling satiated. It also raises your metabolic rate and helps you maintain lean muscle mass. Aim to have some protein at every meal.
Eat foods high in soluble fiber
Fiber helps you feel full by absorbing water and forming a gel that slows down food as it passes through your digestive system.
Most vegetables and fruits are great sources of fiber. So are legumes and many seeds and nuts. In other words, by eating more whole, natural foods, you are automatically increasing your intake of soluble fiber.
Another thing you can do to increase your fiber intake is to switch from white flour products like white bread and white pasta to whole grain variaties.
White flour products have basically been stripped of pretty much all their fiber and healthy nutrients. By replacing them with whole grain alternatives you are not only adding more fiber to your diet but a lot of extra nutrients as well.
Add apple cider vinegar to your diet
Among many other health benefits, research shows that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can reduce the storage of belly fat.
Spice it up
Another thing you can do if you want to burn belly fat quickly is to ditch high calorie sauces and condiments and start using herbs and spices to flavor your meals. Many herbs and spices have metabolism boosting properties.
Some of the best spices to use to boost your metabolism are turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper and ginger.
Avoid trans fats
Trans fats , made by hydrogenating vegetable oils, have been linked to insulin resistance, inflammation and abdominal fat gain.
So, next time you read a food label and it mentions ‘partially hydrogenated fats’… you probably want to put it back on the shelf.
Step 3: Move!
The best way to burn fat quickly is by using a two-pronged attack:
Reduce the amount of calories coming in. This is what you did in the second step by replacing high sugar foods with healthier alternatives.
Increase the amount of calories going out. The best way to do this is by getting active. The more you move, the more calories your burn.
If you followed step 1 then you should have an overview of your daily activity. Now it’s time to start looking for ways to increase it. There are lots of ways you might do this.
Here are some examples:
Do you watch TV? Try doing a quick workout during commercial breaks. If you’re an avid TV watcher, these short workouts can really add up.
Take a walk during your lunch break. It’s recommended that we take an average of 10.000 steps per day. This comes down to about a 30 minute walk. Conveniently, the average lunch break is about 30 minutes.
Use the stairs in stead of the elevator whenever you can.
Stand at times that you usually sit, like when you’re on the phone or while you’re watching TV. You might even want to get a standing desk.
Do you live within 5 miles of where you work? Ditch the car and take the bicylce instead.
Take your journal from step 1 and look for creative ways to fit more activity into your daily schedule.
If possible, try to plan three high intensity workouts every week. These don’t have to be very long. Nor do you need any expensive equipment. Personally I love the short 10-20 minute bodyweight workouts taught in the Curveball Effect Total Body program. You can find my review here.
I’m also a big fan of kettlebell training. I have a 36 pound and 50 pound kettlebell and even after 7 years they are still providing plenty of bang for their buck.
I use the F4X protocol taught in Old School New Body for my kettlebell workouts. It provides a great high intensity resistance workout without risking the potential joint damage often associated with heavy weight training.