When most people join the gym, decide to go on a diet, or to start exercising, the goal is generally the same – to lose fat . Fat loss is a multi-million dollar industry which is filled with tons of advice which aims make your wallet lighter – not your body.
Fortunately, losing fat doesn’t need to be difficult, in fact, most of the best methods to lose weight are very simple to implement into your lifestyle. Today we are going to be taking a look at the top 17 ways to get rid of belly fat which you can begin using today to strip away fat and get that bikini body just in time for summer.
1. Eat real, non-processed foods
This one alone can account for a lot of the diet problems that people have. Whether you want to believe it or not, unless you are strictly eating proteins and vegetables, it is likely that a good percentage of the food you eat is processed. This is NOT the type of food our bodies were meant to be able to process easily and our bodies end up retaining lots of things we don’t need – adding on weight and fat in the process. Cut all processed foods out of your diet and you should see your waist shrinking rather quickly.
2. Don’t drink your calories
It’s common knowledge that cutting out soda is one of the first steps to fat loss, but soda isn’t the only culprit, even if it’s the biggest one. That glass of orange juice in the morning? FULL of sugar and calories – you’d be much better off eating the actual fruit instead of drinking its juice. Coffee and tea, while healthy on their own suddenly boost fat levels as soon as you add sugar. Even the supposedly “healthy” drinks at the convenience store can include many more calories than you need to be consuming in liquid form.
3. Get a full night’s rest every night
In the busy world we live in, it can be hard to commit to getting a good night’s sleep every night, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your body. Recent studies have proven that getting only four hours of sleep for five nights in a row has the same effect on your body as being legally intoxicated has. Would you consider having three or four beers and then going into the gym? Probably not. Don’t do the same with your sleep either.
4. Keep alcohol to a minimum
Speaking of alcohol, you’d do best to avoid it as much as possible while you’re trying to lose belly fat. We know avoiding alcohol entirely can be difficult – a good part of your social life is likely based around it. We don’t think you have to abstain entirely from alcohol, but making better choices while drinking can mean the difference between a failed diet and a successful one. When possible, choose red wine and clear liquors over things like beer and sugary cocktails. Also, consider cutting back on how much you drink. There are obvious differences between having three drinks and having nine – not just for your diet but for the next morning too.
5. Exercise consistently – no matter how lightly
People often ask what the best exercise for fat loss is. There are definitely some exercises that are better than others in terms of fat loss – but that all means nothing if you can’t stick to them. The best type of exercise to help you lose fat, is the one you will actually stick to and do consistently. Doing a high intensity workout you hate once or twice a week is nowhere near as effective as doing a lower intensity workout you enjoy almost everyday. Your body needs consistency, both in terms of the energy you put in and expend.
6. Eat fats but only the right ones
A common misconception is that to lose fat, you should avoid eating any type of fat out there. Just like people are quick to point out that not all calories are equal though – the same goes for the different types of fats. Forget about all the various different types of saturated, unsaturated, polyunsaturated etc. Just make sure the fats you are eating are good healthy fats. Examples include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, natural fat from organic meat and coconuts. Believe it or not, these fats can actually help you to reduce body fat.
7. Vegetables are your friend
Your mother wasn’t lying to you or just trying to convince you to eat your vegetables by any means necessary – vegetables are important. It’s not necessary to go vegetarian or vegan (unless it works for you!), but adding more vegetables to your diet is never a bad idea. Eating more vegetables means you will automatically eat less of the other things on the menu that might not help with your diet. Just remember to be careful what goes on your veggies. Salads soaked in dressing and veggies that have been deep fried in oil suddenly lose almost all of their health appeal.
8. Make sure to eat enough
One of the pitfalls many dieters suffer from, is becoming undernourished in an effort to “eat less”. If this has ever turned you off from a fat loss diet, rest assured, it’s not all about eating less – it’s about eating right. Still hungry? Go grab yourself some more vegetables. Heck, have an entire bowl of vegetables! By not feeding yourself enough, your body goes into starvation mode and begins to reserve fat for future use. Once your body starts putting your fat into the reserve tank, it’s even harder to get rid of! If you’re hungry, don’t deprive yourself – just make sure you choose something healthy. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Pretty simple step to help you maintain your beach body.
9. Don’t train too much or too hard
Tip #9 is perhaps the trickiest of the 17 fat loss tips. It’s all too common to see someone join a gym, begin working out for three to four hours a day, pushing themselves to the limit for a few weeks, only to never be seen again. The problem is, not only is that type of routine not sustainable, it’s a quick way to an injury and doesn’t do all that much to support fat loss. After about an hour’s worth of good exercise per day, anything beyond that will start to give you diminishing returns. That means your second hour is not as valuable as your first and your third hour is not as valuable as the second and so on.
10. Protein bars are high protein candy bars and nothing else
Protein bars have had huge marketing campaigns behind them for years now and you can see them on sale in almost every gym you visit. The problem is, these protein bars are little more than a glorified candy bar with a bit of protein added. You wouldn’t eat a Snickers and a couple eggs before or after your workout would you? Eating a protein bar is essentially the same thing. Try to get your protein from healthier and more natural sources and save the protein bars for when you’re really in a pinch and nothing else is available.
11. Change up your diet periodically
When dieting, it’s important not to let the same type of diet go on for too long. For one, when you are eating the same groups of foods over and over again, it can cause you to become bored with your food and stray away from your diet. Also, your body starts to get used to this new diet and the fat loss can slow down, and do a number on your metabolic rates. If you’ve been on the same diet for a few months, you would be wise to switch things up a bit to something that also supports weight loss, but allows for some new and varied food choices.
12. Drink enough water
We know you’ve all heard this one before, but it’s completely true. Water hydrates us, makes sure we stay full of energy and helps to wash out our insides. If you needed any more convincing, humans can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. It’s also important to point out that not all low calorie drinks count as water. Don’t think you are going to hit your water goals by drinking diet soda or other similar drinks. Your body needs clean, fresh water. If you want that bikini body, make water consumption a priority.
13. If you use cheat meals, never make breakfast your cheat meal
Cheat meals have been becoming an increasingly popular concept and for good reason – a strict diet is much less stressful when you know eating whatever you want is just a few days away. Some people find the cheat meal to be the secret to a successful diet, while others find bouncing off the wagon is dangerous enough to keep them off. If you are able to handle cheat meals though, make sure you never use cheat meals as your first meal of the day. Your first meal and its contents will determine how your body processes food for the rest of the day, so avoid junk for breakfast, even on cheat day.
14. Put on some muscle to help burn that fat
This one is hard for people, especially women to wrap their heads around. They want to lose belly fat, so they focus almost solely on cardio exercises that don’t build muscle. They want to be smaller, not bigger, right? Well, what they don’t know is that building a bit of muscle is a great way to continue burning fat. For the ladies, don’t worry because you aren’t going to turn into a body builder overnight – but a little extra muscle could help you reach your goals a lot faster. When our bodies gain more muscle mass, it helps to burn away the fat in our bodies even while we are resting. Want to burn fat while you sit on the couch? Forget that thing you were about to buy off of that infomercial and build some muscle – it will keep working for you even after you’ve decided it’s time to relax.
15. Avoid sugar or sweeteners whenever possible
This can be hard for people with a sweet tooth, but it’s definitely something that’s worth getting over. Sugar is everywhere in our society, and it goes by many different names and disguises itself well. Fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup – all types of sugar to avoid that are included in everyday food items. To make things worse, most of the sugar free sweeteners are closer to spiking your drink with dangerous chemicals than actually sweetening them. Most of these artificial sweeteners, despite being low or no calorie, can actually cause wight gain at a higher level than sugar itself.
16. Eat a breakfast that is high in protein
We already discussed how what you eat for breakfast will determine how your body processes the food you put into it for the rest of the day. By that logic, eat a bunch of carbohydrates in the morning and you may get some energy but it wont’ do much for your fat loss goals. On the other hand, if you start out the day with an ample helping of protein (~25 grams), your body enters fat burning mode for the rest of the day and keeps you strong. Remember, lean proteins are your friend all day long, but especially at breakfast time.
17. Don’t use the scale as your only means of measuring progress
It’s all too common for people to hop on the scale every morning and become ecstatic or enraged at the results. Both sides of the spectrum are well represented. Everything from “Wow, I ate like crap yesterday and lost weight!” to “AHHHHHH!!!!! I’ve been doing my diet perfectly and I gained weight! I want to quit!” are commonplace. The problem is, the scale is not an accurate representation of what is happening, especially if you are weighing yourself everyday. Things like gaining muscle, having just drank a few glasses of water, or not having used the bathroom yet can all affect your weight. Instead of weighing yourself, start measuring the key areas of your body you want to shrink – those numbers don’t lie.
This might all seem like quite a lot to implement all at once and it is. While you can certainly see amazing fat loss results by implementing the 17 fat loss tips on this list, you might overwhelm yourself by going too fast. Try to start out by implementing a handful of them immediately. Keep the other tips in mind with a solid plan to implement them slowly until you can build a consistent, sustainable routine and you will have that bikini body ready to go.