It’s what everyone wants: burning off belly fat quickly. But it is also easier said than done. Or is it? Fitness experts want you to believe it is hard, so you will buy their services. Supplement companies want you to believe it is easy…as long as you buy their product. So what is the truth? Could be really be that you can lose belly fat fast?
Yes and No
It depends on your definitions of fast, in a way. If you are going to believe advertisements about losing 10 pounds in a week, you’ll be disappointed. That’s because most of that weight is just water weight, not fat. You could just as easy add that back on the next week. Even if you keep it off, it’s not taking off any fat, really, so you’ll be lighter, but not look much better (maybe a little less puffy overall).
But if you have a realistic expectation (which depends on how far you have to go), losing belly fat doesn’t have to be a futile struggle.
Targeting Belly Fat
Many people think they can target belly fat by doing specific exercises (like crunches) or eating special foods (think of whatever berry du jour Dr. Oz is touting). But the reality is that you cannot just target belly fat. Everything has to come off at once. But don’t be disappointed, instead be happy that you will be getting leaner everywhere, not just on your belly!
So if targeting fat on your belly really means just burning more fat overall, what’s the best way to do it? There’s no rocket science here, losing fat is actually very straightforward.
So How Do I Lose Belly Fat Fast?
Now you’re asking the right questions. And it’s important to recognize the difference between losing fat and losing weight. Losing weight can be anything, like the water weight for example. It does not help you reach your ultimate goals. The scale can lie to you, so it’s important to track other measurements, like your waist, and just looking at yourself in the mirror.
Losing fat means burning more calories than you eat everyday. So naturally you can lose fat by burning more or eating less. The right way to do it, of course, is to do a little of both.
Burning More Calories
Burning more calories is all about being more active at baseline. Sure, a workout is nice, and 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days per week is good for your overall health. But even with a nice jog, you’re only burning off a couple hundred calories. A bowl of cereal could easily cancel that right out. In order to really change your overall calorie burn, you need to be more active in your day to day life. Take the 10,000 step challenge. It’s likely you’re getting less than 5000 steps currently, especially if you work a desk job. Doubling your current activity might seem like a tall order right now, but if you do it as a step by step process you’ll get there eventually.
This is all about portion control, not about depriving yourself. Use smaller plates and utensils, and take smaller bites to help your body understand how much you’re eating. If you eat too quickly, you won’t realize you’re getting full until you’re stuffed. Then you’ve overeaten and it’s hard to burn off those calories.
While eating multiple small meals isn’t a requirement, it can help you exercise good portion control. Ultimately, however, you have to decide what works for you. Try to shave off 300 calories a day (and increase your activity by 200 calories per day), and you’ll burn a pound of pure fat per week. If you’re starting your New Year’s resolution today, by 2016 you’d be 50 pounds lighter!
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