Body fat is healthy, but there are good reasons to lose excess weight around your waistline.
Harvard Medical School estimates that about 90 percent of most people’s body fat is under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat.
The remaining 10 percent is called visceral fat. It is located under the abdominal wall, in the space surrounding the organs. It’s the fat that’s been linked to a variety of health problems, including:
Type 2 diabetes
If your goal is to get rid of belly fat, there is no easy or quick way. Fad diets and supplements won’t work. Also, targeting one body part for fat loss probably won’t work.
Your best bet is to lose total body fat through diet and exercise. Once you start losing weight, there’s a good chance some of it will come out of your belly.
How long this lasts varies from person to person. Read on to find out the average time it takes to get rid of excess belly fat and how to get started.
How long does it take to burn fat?
You need to burn about 3500 calories to lose 1 kg of weight. Because 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat.
To lose 1 kg of weight per week, you need to cut 500 calories from your diet every day. At this rate, you can lose 4 kg in a month.
Increasing physical activity will help you burn more calories. Exercise also increases muscle mass. Muscle is heavier than fat, so you may look leaner but not on the scale.
Everyone is different. There are many variables to how much physical activity you need to burn calories.
The bigger you are, the more calories you burn doing something. Men have more muscle mass than women of the same size, which helps men burn more calories.
How to create a calorie deficit
A calorie is a unit of energy from food. The more energy you use, the more calories you burn. Unused calories are stored as fat. By taking in fewer calories and expending more energy, you can burn fat stores.
Here are some ways to cut calories that you can start today.
Drink water instead of soda.
Try black coffee instead of flavored coffee with added cream and sugar.
Reduce your alcohol consumption.
Avoid high calorie foods
Avoid fast food and highly processed foods.
Eat fruit instead of baked goods and packaged sweets.
Choose low-fat dairy products over high-fat dairy products.
Eat grilled or baked foods instead of fried foods.
Check the calorie count on restaurant menus. You’d be surprised how many calories are in a standard restaurant meal.
Use a free calorie counting app.
Reduce the portion
Measure the oil used for cooking.
Cut back on oil and other salad dressings.
Use a small plate or bowl.
Eat longer and wait 20 minutes after eating to see if you are full.
Take home half of your meals at restaurants.
Don’t eat in front of the TV, which is easy to snack on.
Also consider the density of the food. For example, 1 cup of grapes has about 100 calories, while one cup of raisins has about 480 calories. Fresh vegetables and fruits are full of water and fiber, so they can help you feel fuller without the extra calories.
You need a lot of protein to maintain muscle mass.
In 2016, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials of diet and weight loss. They concluded that adults aged 50 and older lost more fat and maintained more lean mass on an energy-restricted, high-protein diet than on a diet with normal protein intake.
In addition to regular exercise, try these calorie burners.
Stand farther apart and walk extra steps.
Better to ride a bike or walk than to drive.
If possible, use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
Take a walk after eating.
If you work at a desk, get up and take a short walk or stretch at least once every hour.
Many enjoyable activities like hiking, dancing, and even golf can help burn calories. For example, a 125-pound person can burn 135 calories and a 185-pound person can burn 200 calories in 30 minutes of gardening.
You move more and burn more calories. And you’re more likely to lose belly fat.
How to measure success
To monitor overall weight loss, weigh yourself once a week at the same time of day.
If you’re eating good protein and exercising regularly, you’re probably building muscle. But remember that scale doesn’t tell the whole story.
Use a tape measure to see if you’re actually losing belly fat. Always measure in the same place.
Stand up straight, but without sucking on your stomach. Try not to pull the band too hard to pinch the skin. Measure the level of the belly button.
Another sign is that your clothes are fitting better and you’re starting to feel better too.
Exercises to burn belly fat
A study published in the journal Obesity shows that high-intensity interval training is more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal fat than other types of exercise.
Abdominal exercises don’t affect visceral fat, but they help build muscle, which is a good thing.
The most important thing is to keep moving and build up the exercise every day. You don’t have to stick to one thing either. Mix it up so you don’t get bored. Try:
30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days
aerobic exercise twice a week
strength training to build muscle mass
stretch first thing in the morning and before bed
Targeting only belly fat may not be the best plan. To lose weight and lose weight, you need to make changes. If it seems overwhelming, start with one small change and add others as you get ready.
All is not lost if you back out – it’s not a “diet”. This is a new way of life! And slow and steady is a good plan.