The dreaded belly fat: so easy to put on, yet so difficult to remove.
According to various studies, our modern lifestyle is constantly contributing to rising rates of obesity and belly fat - issues that aren't only limiting our wardrobe choices, but potentially leading us towards an early grave. A combination of eating the wrong kinds of food, and swapping regular physical exercise with hours tapping away at a computer keyboard is leading to additional inches around the waist, muscle loss, and slower metabolisms.
While the common stomach bulge isn't the only sign of our unhealthy attitudes, it is one of the most dangerous. Abdominal fat, which can be split into visceral, and subcutaneous fat, is responsible for carrying fatty acids to the liver, and increasing the presence of bad cholesterol. In other words, struggling to fit into your favorite shirt could be a sign that your health is gradually deteriorating.
Fortunately, experts suggest that while it's difficult to "spot reduce", there are plenty of weight loss techniques that you can use to burn belly fat and slim your abdominal area, so long as you reduce your caloric intake and increase your physical activity levels. So what happens if you're doing both of these things - and still not seeing results?
Contrary to popular belief, the answer may not be to track down the latest diet trends, or follow Oprah Winfrey's lead regarding foods to use and foods to lose - and you certainly don't have to resort to the latest weight-loss devices designed to remove foods from your stomach before they have a chance to digest. But you do have to understand the reasons why you're struggling to burn belly fat, and what you can do about it.
1. You Have No Balance
If your fitness routine is completely lopsided, focusing either completely on cardio, or entirely on strength-training, then you might not see the results you were hoping for when you began looking for weight loss techniques. To burn belly fat, balance is crucial, and that means finding a healthy medium between strength exercises, and cardio.
As tempting as it might be to strap on your waist slimming belt and trust that a quick cardio session will give you those incredible abs, the truth is that studies suggest both cardio, and strength training need to get equal attention if you want to burn belly fat fast, and efficiently.
Start building your fitness routine more efficiently by focusing on strength, and cardio, ensuring that you include a couple of HIIT sessions each week. Research has shown that HIIT can be particularly effective at burning belly fat, and while running is one of the best HIIT weight loss techniques, high intensity doesn't have to destroy your joints. There are plenty of ways to do joint-friendly workouts on elliptical machines, stationary bikes, or rowers.
2. You Don't Know How to Work Your Core
While a waist slimming belt can be a great way to draw heat to your stomach and help you burn belly fat during a full-body cardio and strength training routine, it's worth dropping a few core-focused exercises into the mix too. Just make sure that you remember to be versatile. Too many people get stuck focusing on the benefits of the standard plank, and forget to shake up their workout with new moves.
To burn belly fat, you can't simply rely on holding your plank position for as long as physically possible. Instead, you need to add movement to your routine, helping your waist slimming belt to work hard by challenging your stability and forcing your abs to work harder to maintain balance. Thanks to their focus on flexibility and balance, yoga moves can be useful when it comes to slimming down a stubborn stomach, particularly if those poses focus on strengthening the muscles deep in your core that support your spine and midsection.
3. You're Eating All of the Wrong Foods
While what's in your kitchen certainly has an impact on your ability to burn belly fat, it's important to remember that the perfect diet doesn't rely solely on cutting out everything that doesn't include the words "low-fat" printed on the label. The truth is that many low-fat foods are actually higher in sugar, and it's that sugar that causes you to pack on inches around the midsection.
Instead of throwing away foods and choosing new meals on face-value alone, you need to take the time to check out what's going on in the ingredients. For instance, certain fats, such as the mono and polyunsaturated kinds, can help you to actually lose abdominal fat, by preventing weight from collecting in the midsection to begin with. That's one of the many reasons why so many health experts are beginning to recommend a Mediterranean diet alongside various weight loss techniques to burn belly fat. These diets focus on introducing foods like nuts, olives, and olive oil which are rich in poly- and monounsaturated fats.
4. You're Far Too Stressed
Between family life and work life, (and everything else you might be responsible for), the chances are that you're feeling the stress. Increased stress levels are bad for your health in a range of ways, but in regards to efforts to burn belly fat, stress increases your cortisol levels, which increases your chances of storing weight in your stomach, and slowing your metabolism.
According to studies, when non-stressed and stressed women received the same high-fat meal, the stressed ones were less likely to burn calories afterwards. At the same time, if your stress levels are affecting your sleep, then you're more likely to overeat without realizing it.
Although it might not be possible to rid your life of every stressful factor, it's always a good idea to make time for relaxation when you can. Disconnect from the office when you leave, and try to take some time out to decompress, and ease your blood-pressure levels. Your waist, and your body will thank you for it.
Let's Start to Burn Belly Fat
Now that you know the factors that could be reducing your ability to burn belly fat, you'll have a better chance of seeing success the next time you use your waist slimming belt in combination with a healthy diet, and exercise routine.