“Accept that calories count.” Hensrud says. “This is basic, but there are many fads out there that say they don’t.” By the numbers, one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. So in order to lose a pound per week, you’d have to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories a day. This doesn’t mean that you need to count every morsel that goes into your mouth (though if you’re into that sort of thing, feel free).
Sure, ketchup is tasty, but it’s also a serious saboteur when it comes your weight loss efforts. Ketchup is loaded with sugar — up to four grams per tablespoon — and bears little nutritional resemblance to the fruit from which it’s derived. Luckily, swapping out your ketchup for salsa can help you shave off that belly fat fast. Fresh tomatoes, like those used in salsa, are loaded with lycopene, which a study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan links to reductions in both overall fat and waist circumference. If you like your salsa spicy, all the better; the capsaicin in hot peppers, like jalapeños and chipotles, can boost your metabolism, too.
Fearing all fat is a thing of the past. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) actually help you lose weight, not gain it. When researchers asked women to switch to a 1,600-calorie diet high in MUFAs, they lost a third of their belly fat in just 4 weeks. Sprinkle a handful of nuts on your salad, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over steamed veggies, or mash a quarter of an avocado onto your breakfast toast.
A diet laden with sodium causes your body to retain water. You know that feeling after a sushi meal? Yes, bloating and sluggishness, but the puffy feeling that lasts into the next morning is water retention. The last few pounds of weight you’re trying your hardest to get rid of could be caused solely by fluid. Getting rid of it for good can make all of the difference in how good you feel when you throw on your favorite jeans in the morning.
Attempting to reduce fat in just one part of your body at a time is likely to be disappointing. Fat reduction works like this: When you try to lose fat, the reduction occurs all throughout your body. Unlike muscle-building, it cannot be specifically targeted to one region. Also, the reduction in fat will not be quickly apparent because it will not be focused on only one spot on your body. So it's helpful to have a "slowly but surely" attitude. Note that exercises mostly serve to tone the muscle underneath the fat. But if you want to slim down, the fat has to be burned off. For that, the main thing is to ditch the junk food and the sweetened drinks. Exercise alone might not be sufficient. Here's a program for the period in which you want to lose weight: Plenty of moderate aerobic exercise, no sweetened liquids at all, and no junk food at all. Preferably no sugar, and as little added salt and processed foods as possible. Eat 3 not-large meals/day; do not skip breakfast; and avoid snacks. Limit your calories (better to consult a doctor or nutritionist concerning the amount), and weigh yourself 2-3 times/week. Ignore the sensation of hunger. If you see your weight diminishing at a safe, reasonable rate (1-2 pounds/week), keep it up. Once you've reached your target weight, increase your calorie intake somewhat. And you can then have small amounts of sweetened foods or junk food on occasion (if at all), along with your regular foods (not instead of them). But keep checking your weight 2-3 times/week. Avoid crash diets, diet pills etc. Avoid fatty cuts of meat. Walk as much as possible. Bicycling and swimming are good too. More guidelines: Don't concentrate on specific foods so much as on a balanced, healthy diet plus exercise. Plenty of moderate exercise rather than intense exercise, which can damage your joints. Good nutrition means eating what your body needs, while ingesting as few harmful things as possible. It has also been described as getting enough of each of the major food categories (grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, etc.; plus plenty of water). This will vary somewhat from one person to another; and I don't believe that there's any universal diet that can be prescribed for everyone. Avoid best-sellers with their perennial fad diets. And think twice before using any dietary supplements or weight-loss pills. In general, one's starting point can be a menu of whole grains, whole-wheat bread, a good amount of vegetables, some fruits and nuts, fish, lean meats (in not-large amounts), and some dairy. However, this must be tweaked according to one's health, weight and other factors at the outset; and also adjusted over time, as one sees what works for him/her in particular.
Dieting and exercise go hand in hand. If you thought that only dieting will burn your belly fat, you are wrong. If you really want to lose weight, you need to include an hour of exercise in your daily routine for targeting and reducing belly fat. Here, we have compiled a list of 16 exercises that can help you reduce belly fat faster than you thought it would take:
Studies have found that overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts. Snacking once or twice a day is one of the ways to lose weight that helps stave off hunger and keeps your metabolism stoked. You can also pack up baby carrots or your own trail mix with the healthiest nuts you can eat, plus raisins, seeds, and dried fruit. If trail mix isn’t calling your name, try these healthy snacks for every craving.
To encourage ketone production, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production. And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis.
Choose Liquid Calories Wisely. Sweetened drinks pile on the calories, but don't reduce hunger like solid foods do. Satisfy your thirst with water, sparkling water with citrus, skim or low-fat milk, or small portions of 100% fruit juice. Try a glass of nutritious and low-calorie vegetable juice to hold you over if you get hungry between meals. Be careful of alcohol calories, which add up quickly. If you tend to drink a glass or two of wine or a cocktail on most days, limiting alcohol to the weekends can be a huge calorie saver.
‘Do it for a couple of minutes in bed and you’ll actually be able to wind down and fall asleep more easily. But it’s a skill, so it requires a commitment to practice it, as with anything. Think of it a bit like dating – the first time you do it it’s terrible, it’s uncomfortable, nobody knows what they’re doing, but the more dates you go on the better it gets.
Incorporate lean protein into your diet. Eat 5 1⁄2 to 6 1⁄2 oz (160 to 180 g) of lean protein per day. Choose lean options, such as boneless, skinless chicken breast, ground turkey, seafood, nuts, and legumes (such as beans and soy products). Avoid fatty cuts of red meat, processed meats (such as bacon and deli meats), and don’t purchase pre-marinated meats, which might contain lots of fat, sugar, or salt.
Don’t let extra hours lounging in bed stand between you and a flatter belly. While getting enough sleep can help boost your metabolic rate, sleeping in may undo any benefit you’d enjoy from catching a few extra winks. One study reveals that late sleepers who snoozed past 10:45 in the morning ate nearly 250 more calories over the course of the day, despite eating half as many fruits and vegetables as their early bird counterparts. Even worse, they chowed down on more salty, sugary, and trans fat-laden fast food than those who woke up earlier. If you happen to head out of the house early, you’re in for an additional metabolic boost; researchers at Northwestern University have found that people exposed to just a short period of early morning sunlight had lower BMIs than their late-waking counterparts.