In America, we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave. However, we’re also the home of a major health epidemic. Over 70 percent of our citizens are either overweight or obese.
Although, we can hardly blame the individual. Our society consists of sedentary jobs and hobbies. It’s also full of foods that taste fantastic but are steadily increasing our waistlines.
So what’s the answer? How can we blast belly fat?
While it’s important to love ourselves for who we are rather than what we look like, excess body fat can pose a serious health risk. Additionally, being overweight can crush our self-confidence and hold us back from being ourselves.
If you’re looking to trim some inches off your body and blast belly fat, keep reading for our top seven tips.
Cut Out Added Sugars
First, it was fat, then it was sugar, then it was carbohydrates. But which is the real enemy?
In truth, too much of anything can be a bad thing. However, when it comes to refined sugars, the scale is tipped toward “almost always bad.”
All foods serve as fuel or energy for our bodies. However, our bodies can only use so much energy at one time. When we take in large amounts of simple or refined sugars, it’s pure, unadulterated energy that our body doesn’t have a need for.
Since it can’t use the energy, the body releases insulin to begin the process of storing that energy for later – as fat. The problem is, we never need this stored energy because there’s always plenty of food available (one of the perks of living in America).
Over time, more and more energy (fat) is stored, adding to our overall body fat percentage. If you want to blast belly fat, stop consuming refined sugars. Start cutting out the following foods:
Juices (even 100 percent whole and natural)
White flour products (bread, pasta, cereals)
Pastries, donuts, cookies, pies, etc.
Ice cream, shakes, smoothies
Anything with added sugars (yogurt, fruit snacks, trail mix, etc.)
Build Lean Muscle Mass
Next, to blast belly fat, arm your body against it by building lean muscle mass. Building muscle mass doesn’t mean you have to become a bodybuilder or powerlifter. It also doesn’t mean you’re going to look bulky (the people who do have to work hard to get that way).
However, lean muscle mass boosts your metabolism. Your body burns more calories to feed muscle tissue. The more you have, the more calories your body will naturally consume.
Additionally, resistance training results in tiny micro-tears in the muscles, breaking them down. Your body rebuilds the affected muscles while at rest, which requires energy (burning calories). Therefore, when you participate in resistance training you’re burning extra calories both during exercise and long after.
Eat Mostly Whole Foods
One of the biggest causes of America’s weight problem is the food we eat, as we discussed earlier, about added sugars. However, sugars aren’t the only problem.
We live in a fast-paced society where convenience, speed, and immediate gratification are key. The result? Endless supplies of fast-food, frozen meals, and snack foods.
The problem? Very few of these foods provide nutritional value. Without vitamins, minerals, and soluble fibers, our bodies suffer and store excess body fat while our emotional health takes a hit as well.
Change things up. Make sure the majority of what you consume is whole foods. Get in plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid red meat and dairy products.
Take Daily Walks
While it may not seem like much, walking for 45 minutes a day or longer is one of the best ways to blast belly fat. While jogging, sprinting, and other cardio exercises can be more effective at burning calories, they also contribute to an increase of cortisol in your body.
The stress placed on your body during intense exercise triggers a release of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can lead to stored belly fat and the craving of fatty foods. We don’t think running or jogging is a bad thing, but walking is a great option for those who can’t participate in other exercise activities.
Reduce Your Stress
As we just noted, cortisol is a stress hormone that can lead to weight gain. However, to decrease the stress hormones running rampant in your body, you have to address the source. Where does your stress come from?
We live in a stress-fueled society that’s all about working hard, competing to be the best, and adding accomplishments to our name. While there’s nothing wrong with leading a driven life, you should also make sure you’re taking time for self-care, relaxation, and stress relief.
Exercising and eating right, as listed above, can contribute to less stress. However, you should also make space in your life for spending time with loved ones, investing in your hobbies, or simply kicking back to stare at the sky as the clouds roll by.
For a more proactive measure, you can blast belly fat with a medical procedure called UltraShape body contouring. This is a non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound (soundwaves that penetrate your tissues) to target fat cells.
The soundwaves break down the fat cell walls, converting them into triglycerides. In this state, your body can flush them out as waste. This is a great alternative for people who have trouble committing to diets or exercise programs.
However, keep in mind that you can easily gain the weight back in the same area if you’re not managing your food and exercise.