New medical studies continue to pile on evidence that maintaining a healthy weight is the number one factor in fending off disease and living longer. There is also a tremendous social pressure to lose weight for one who has extra fat on his/her body. The most common area where one usually wishes to lose weight is on his/her belly. While there are no ways to specifically target the fat around the midsection, a few powerful tips for weight loss in general can be applied to lose that spare tire. Here are four of them:
1. It is important to incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your weight loss program. Anything that gets your heart rate up and leaves you feeling winded when you’re done is generally good for losing belly fat. Some exercise ideas include riding your bike, walking, running, swimming, or aerobics. Do any of these activities for 30 minutes, four to five times a week, and you will generally be getting the proper amount of cardiovascular exercise.
2. There is a powerful misconception that the optimal way to get your calories is by being three square meals per day. Studies show that eating smaller meals five to six times a day can help you both lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. The reasons for this seem to be twofold. When you eat, you naturally use energy to digest your food. Thus, the more often you eat, the more energy you will be expending trying to digest that food. Additionally, eating more often means you will be hungry less and therefore less likely to binge.
3. While slightly counterintuitive, putting muscle on your body can actually help you lose fat. The reasoning behind this is that it takes your body more calories to maintain muscle than it does fat. Doing some simple strength training exercises such as lifting weights, push-ups, or pull-ups can add muscle to your frame, thereby increasing your metabolism and burning fat.
4. Most people (Americans in particular) obtain far too many calories from their drinks. Colas and juices can contain as much as 150 calories per serving. Just two servings per day can lead to 35 extra pounds of body fat per year. Replacing these drinks with cold water can help you lose belly fat through two ways. First, you are eliminating a large chunk of calories out of your diet which contains almost no nutrients. Also, when you drink cold liquid your body must expend energy to maintain your natural body temperature.
Spare tire, love handle, call it what you will — many people struggle with trying to lose stubborn belly fat. Belly fat, however, is no different from any other fat on your body. Using common weight-loss techniques, such as the ones described above, will help you lose weight in a healthy manner.