If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to lose the fat around your middle, you need to think again.
There’s no question your health and overall appearance will improve once your stomach fat is reduced.
But, assuming you want to get in shape by learning how to eat healthy, focusing on losing belly fat is the wrong thing to pivot on.
1. You can’t lose belly fat
That’s right – the notion that certain foods and exercises target your belly fat is a persistent myth.
The claim that it’s possible to spot-reduce body fat comes from fad diets, and bogus claims on diet pill bottles.
In reality, spot-reduction of stomach fat is only possible if you opt for liposuction, or some other form of cosmetic surgery, which isn’t something I would recommend doing.
So, if it isn’t impossible to get rid of belly fat by doing abdominal crunches and eating cabbage soup – what can you do?
- First of all, instead of trying to figure out how to lose belly fat, focus on making healthy food choices.
- Don’t think about what you can’t eat, but focus on the positive – what you can eat.
- Consume a wide variety of vegetables and fiber-rich fruits (berries are excellent), lean proteins (wild fish, grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, and poultry), healthy fats, and some whole grains.
2. Get moving
While you don’t need fancy exercise programs to get in shape – you don’t even need to go to the gym, in my opinion – you do need to be active.
Obviously, there are many ways to stay active, and if you have a favorite activity which keeps you off the couch, stick with it. If you don’t, walking is a great option. Aim for at least 30 minutes three times a week.
Daily, moderate-intensity exercise is the best way to reduce belly fat, because when you lose weight and tone your muscles, your belly fat will start to reduce too.
Some research suggests exercising with weights may be effective in trimming stomach fat. So, it could be worthwhile adding into your exercise routine as well.
3. Don’t focus on numbers
As you lose weight, your stomach size will decrease, but don’t be tempted to focus on the numbers. It’s so easy to jump on the scale every morning to check if you’ve lost anything, but it’s really enough to check your weight once a week.
If you haven’t lost any weight in a week, or maybe even gained a few pounds back, don’t panic. Your body needs time to adjust and adapt to your new eating habits and activity levels, which takes time.
Actually, it’s perfectly normal for your body to take a breather from losing weight for a week or so. Check out this article on weight loss plateau.
4. Believe in yourself
Remember, you don’t need a New Year’s resolution to get in shape – you can shape up on your own terms, anytime you want.
Believe that your body will treat you well if you take good care of it, by eating nutritious foods and being a little more active than normal.