Getting rid of belly fat is almost 100% related to your diet. Many people ask me what exercises they can do to get rid of fat on their lower belly or love handles. Truth is, the only way to get rid of this fat is to lose overall body fat which is done through consuming less calories than your body uses. Let me explain this further.
1. EAT AT A SLIGHT CALORIE DEFICIT
Let me use myself as an example. If I were to sit at a desk all day and not do any exercise, my body would use up around 1600 calories (to work out how many calories your body would burn, have a read of my previous blog post on how to calculate your daily calorie intake).
If I were to eat 1600 calories per day, the same amount that my body needs to function in a day, then I am not in a calorie deficit. I am eating at a maintenance level and will maintain my body weight.
I I were to go for a run and burn 500 calories, then my body would use up 1600+500 calories which is a total of 2100 calories. If I were to eat 1600 calories, then my body is in a calorie deficit of 500 calories (2100-1600). Therefore I am eating 500 calories less than what my body actually needs for this day, and this will see me lose weight.
It really is quite simple. Generally, if you eat more than your body uses up, you will gain weight. If you eat the same, you will maintain weight. And if you eat less, you will lose weight. However, I would not recommend eating less than a 500 calorie deficit as this can cause problems for your body and make long term fat loss more difficult.
2. BE CONSISTENT
Your diet needs to be consistent for you to see any change. If you eat at a calorie deficit for a few days, then at maintenance for a few days, then you pig out for two days on the weekend, you will not be in a weekly calorie deficit and you will either maintain or gain weight, depending on how much food you have eaten.
Eating badly for one meal won’t make much difference. Just like eating well for one meal won’t make much difference. You need consistency to get results.
The best way to do this is to have a routine. I eat pretty similar foods every day of the week. This helps me eating consistently and eat similar amounts of food each day. I do eat a little differently on weekends but am still careful not too go crazy and binge out on junk foods.
3. CARDIO AND RESISTANCE TRAINING
There is no exercise that can get rid of belly fat from your lower body and hips (i.e. you can’t spot reduce). The best type of exercise to achieve fat loss is cardio as it burns the most amount of calories. The more intense the better.
I do a combination of steady state cardio (power walking, jogging, running) and high intensity interval cardio (sprints, cycling). Both are great for burning lots of calories and I would use a combination of both.
I know I’ve said it a lot of times but resistance training is very important when it comes to fat loss. The more muscle you have, the easier it will be for you to reduce body fat, and the more calories your body will burn.
4. DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Your body uses water for many important bodily functions. If you do not drink enough water, your body will hold on to as much water as it can. The result? Bloating due to water retention.
Aim to drink 2L of water per day. If you do an intense workout, you will most likely need more than this. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated so make sure you drink some water!
5. STRESS LESS
Stress can interfere with your body’s hormones, particularly cortisol and adrenaline.
High levels of cortisol has been linked to weight gain, particularly in the stomach area, as well as a reduced metabolism, sleeping problems and depression. Not to mention, stress can cause you to eat comfort foods and sit in front of the couch instead of doing your workout!
Stress has many more negative impacts on your body, I have only just touched on the basics. Managing your stress levels will help you maximise your results and lead a healthier and happier life.
Love Rachael xx