Lower belly fat is a crucial indicator of your state of health. Extra weight in the abdomen is a warning sign that you could be a likely candidate for some of the most persistent and impactful health issues in modern society.
To lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, you must drop excess weight around the middle. Maybe you recognize your dilemma but don’t know how to lose lower belly fat.
If so, we have good news for you. The steps you need to take aren’t complicated but require dedication. If you stick to a good workout routine, you should see results.
The following article outlines the benefits of strength training, cardiovascular workouts, and nutrition.
Strength training can increase your metabolic rate by triggering muscle growth. Doing so will help you lose weight because muscles are better at using calories than fat. And once an exercise session raises your metabolic rate, the process remains elevated for as many as three days.
But the first thing people think about when it comes to strength training is becoming stronger. While your goal may not be to become an Olympic athlete, greater strength can improve your quality of life.
Strength Training For a Better Quality of Life
Lifting your kids or grandchildren could become fun again rather than a cause of injury. You’ll also find greater strength at your command when moving furniture, changing a flat tire, or moving a heavy pot from the stove to the table.
As your muscles become stronger, you’ll also find your stability increases. And if you have an excellent range of motion due to trained muscles near the hips, you’ll find it easier to keep your balance.
Strength Training For Lower Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Strength training exercises prime your body to store less fat. Once your body stores are less fat in the abdomen, you lower your risk of contracting significant illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In addition, strength training signals your body to extract glucose from your blood to be used in the muscles. Removing glucose from your bloodstream helps protect you from developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Additionally, strength training reduces bad cholesterol, another leading indicator of the risk of heart disease.
Strength Training For Stronger Bones and Better Mental Health
Strength training has become a go-to exercise regimen to prevent osteoporosis. The exercise triggers bone cell growth to make your bones stronger. Strong bones are a great deterrent to fractures that some people are prone to after even minor falls.
If you find yourself in a better mood after your strength training exercises, it’s probably not your imagination. Strength training can have a positive effect on your mental outlook.
You may find you have less anxiety and a more upbeat mood. The feeling is due in part to the way exercise signals the release of endorphins.
The increased blood flow to the brain caused by strength training may also be why many report an improved ability to think clearly.
Most people don’t think of weight loss when cardio is mentioned. They automatically think of improvements to the heart and lungs. And that’s true because a good cardio workout can make your heart and lungs more efficient.
Cardio for Heart and Lungs
The heart will begin to pump more blood with each contraction, so it needs to work much less. Cardio exercise can also improve your blood pressure. For many years, leading health organizations have recommended incorporating a vigorous cardio workout into your weekly routine.
Cardio exercise lowers the chance of stroke because it increases blood flow. In turn, blood flow to the brain can help combat deterioration common with illness and aging. For example, cognition and memory may improve.
When you start cardio exercise, you will first notice how quickly you get out of breath. Your stamina will gradually increase if you stay with the program. This improvement benefits everyone, especially anyone who has struggled with ongoing lung issues.
Cardio for Bones and Joints
One of the biggest challenges facing aging is the fear of brittle bones. Cardio exercise also helps to strengthen bone structure and the tissue surrounding bones. One of the results is a decrease in the likelihood of breaking a hip should you fall.
The range of motion common to cardio exercise can help keep joints limber. It’s also common for those who perform cardio exercises to report less arthritic pain.
Cardio for Stamina and Healthier Skin
Many people fail to realize the day-to-day benefits of cardio exercise. For example, if a person is sedentary, walking through a grocery store, transporting groceries from the car to the home, and then putting the groceries in the refrigerator and cabinets can be overwhelming.
Engaging in a good cardio workout helps your muscles adjust to the demands common to your life. So in time, a trip to the grocery store can be less intimidating, perhaps even enjoyable.
Cardio exercise can help you stay more alert throughout your workday. You might think this increased alertness would work against you at bedtime, but that’s not the case.
On the contrary, exercising during the day helps regulate your body to be prepared to sleep at night. The key is to work out earlier in the day so that you don’t interfere with the natural drowsiness associated with bedtime.
It’s no coincidence that people who exercise often seem to glow. This may be due to having healthier skin. Cardio exercise brings oxygen-rich blood to the face’s tiny blood vessels, helping it quickly and easily regenerate new cells.
Cardio for Lower Blood Sugar
Getting off the couch and being active is an excellent deterrent to common modern diseases like diabetes. Extra weight can make you more vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes, so that a solid cardio routine can be invaluable.
You also may notice an increase in your levels of good cholesterol.
Cardio for Digestion
Meanwhile, excellent blood flow to the digestive system can mean less trouble processing food. The more efficiently your body handles your food intake, the more it can convert that food into needed energy.
Cardio for Emotional Balance
Cardio tends to stabilize mood swings. One of the standard pieces of advice for those dealing with mental and emotional issues is to get moving physically.
That doesn’t mean you’ll never have moments of sadness or stress. But it does mean that the moods are likely fewer in number and less in severity.
Both weight training and cardiovascular regimens need fuel in the form of solid nutrition. Unfortunately, the people most in need of weight training and cardio lack a healthy eating plan.
Don’t Be SAD
Far too many people have a SAD eating regimen. SAD stands for the standard American diet.
What does that mean? It refers to the tendency to rely on ultra-processed and sugary foods as regular meal parts.
One study found that more than 50% of the typical American diet relied on unhealthy foods. It’s been said that most SAD regimen ingredients can be found at a neighborhood convenience store.
According to a National Cancer Institute report, 75% of Americans eat an entire day without fruit. And nearly 90% don’t get enough vegetables per day.
Americans score poorly on a dietary quality index that reflects how much healthy plant-based food a person eats. The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best possible score. The SAD eating plan scores 11.
Fast food and so-called junk food depend to a great extent on sugar. It’s common for 20% of the calories to come from sugar. These foods also spend a significant amount of time on shelves or under heating lamps, requiring lots of preservatives and emulsifiers.
Take Stock of Your Eating
How can you tell if you’re on the SAD plan? Write down all the foods you can remember eating over the past week.
Do you see a lot of entries for fast food? Are there many doughnuts, cakes, ice cream, or other sugary desserts?
There are also beverages to think about. Standard soft drinks are filled with sugar, but so are flavored waters and many other drinks marketed as healthy. And don’t forget the hidden added sugar in your favorite coffee drink.
Be Aware of Empty Calories
You could also be getting too much of your calories from simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are part of healthy living, but simple carbohydrates, as opposed to complex ones, need careful monitoring.
Simple carbohydrates quickly elevate blood sugar levels, predisposing someone to type 2 diabetes. So look again at your list of meals and see how many contain bread and pasta. Remember to include pizza and breakfast cereals.
The lack of fresh food means many people miss valuable nutritional components. For example, the fiber found in fruit and complex carbs helps keep the digestive system running efficiently but also helps fight obesity.
Another missing nutrient is potassium. Potassium is vital for keeping blood pressure regular and guarding against hypertension.
We can wrongly think we’re getting fiber and nutrients from white rice or the bun on our Big Mac. But white rice and white bread have lost much of their nutritional benefit through processing. Gone are the fiber and vitamins.
Improve Your Nutritional Profile
But you can change your sad American diet into a smart American diet.
Simply substituting a few fast food meals for home-cooked ones can have a powerful impact on your health. The meal does not have to be complicated. Often it’s the simple meals that can be most nutritious.
The key is to limit the amount of highly processed ingredients you use. Realize that making white flour pancakes smothered in syrup will not likely boost your nutritional profile.
Replace desserts containing unhealthy amounts of sugar with fruits containing natural sugar. You’re likely to eat less fruit than you would dessert. So your body should have less sugar to process daily.
Swap nutritionally dangerous soft drinks for herbal teas. A squeeze of lemon in your tea will often satisfy the urge for sweetness.
Upgrade Your Carbs and Protein
And replace most of your simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal. You will feel full after eating a modest amount of oatmeal. In comparison, the same amount of simple carbohydrates would only leave you craving more of the same.
Smart eating for those who consume meat includes healthy protein sources, such as organic chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef. Standard grocery store beef is produced by feeding cattle large amounts of grain and increasing their size with hormone injections.
Eating smart results in training our bodies to enjoy healthy foods. But at the same time, our bodies become accustomed to running efficiently on fewer calories than we were consuming when eating ultra-processed and fast food.
Beans to the Rescue
Improving your meals doesn’t have to be expensive. Fortunately, beans, one of the healthiest foods available, are often within the financial reach of most households.
Not only are beans readily available, but they also come in various flavors, which helps prevent flavor fatigue. You won’t get tired of the same food.
Because beans are found worldwide, there is no end to the innovation various cultures have brought to their dishes containing this simple but nutritionally essential food.
Be Careful of Snacks
One of the reasons people often struggle to eat correctly is the urge to snack. If this is your issue, try removing all tempting snack items from her home. Then replace them with healthier alternatives such as fruits and nuts.
In time you could find yourself looking forward to the mid-morning banana with Greek yogurt just as much as you used to crave that jelly doughnut.
Get Professional Insight on How to Lose Belly Fat
Belly fat can be challenging to shed. But with the right program, it’s possible.
Don’t give up. Maintain a healthy eating routine, a solid strength training program, and a cardiovascular regimen.
Sometimes it’s easier to reach goals if you have ongoing support from a teacher or counselor. If you’d like expert coaching on how to lose belly fat, join Leo Costa Jr.’s RAMP Training.