4 practical tips & exercises to reduce WEIGHT & BELLY FAT
What do you know about BELLY FAT other than that body part you often rush to cover under a bag, clutch, corset, cushion (when you sit), or an oversized top? And what do we know about having body fat? Is it good or bad? Now, before you plunge into picking up diet tips & exercises to reduce weight it makes sense to understand what FAT is. Doesn’t it?
By now, you might have got used to seeing those unforgiving ‘fat-cutter’ ads, which go on to classify your body under a pear-shaped, apple-shaped or whatever-fruit-shaped type. And tempting you to buy their product, doubting your chances of losing your pouch otherwise. Well, the fun part is – Every person in this world has FAT. And thus, almost everyone has that extra weight that can be shed.
Sounds good, right? I know. 😀
But, here are some facts you should first know about your BODY FAT. Because, when we talk about reducing weight, we’re essentially aiming at losing unwanted fat.
Your body has largely 2 types of fat – SUBCUTANEOUS and VISCERAL.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat that you have immediately under your skin. And while everybody is born with some subcutaneous fat, your genetics often determine which of your body parts will have more of it. Well, apart from regulating your body temperature, your subcutaneous fat also stores energy & acts as a cushion against many mechanical injuries that your body can otherwise suffer from.
Even models with washboard abs have it. Yes! They just have less of it.
It only becomes concerning when you have too much of it. Especially around your tummy/abdomen. This can often put you at a risk of developing the following health conditions sooner or later in life:
- Sleep Apnea
- Hypertension or any Heart problem
- Dyslipidemia (High Cholesterol)
- Fatty Liver
Visceral Fat is the fat that you mostly have around the internal organs of your abdomen; like the stomach, intestines, liver etc. Known to protect the internal organs as the “active fat”, having too much of it, can be more dangerous for health.
And one is more likely to have excess subcutaneous fat in the belly because of a bad diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress or any underlying medical condition. But don’t worry! YOU CAN LOSE A LOT OF IT. I could. And so have a lot of women & men in the world. Trust me. It’s not that difficult at all if you just try.
The key tips to lose weight & belly fat are – Re-inventing your MINDSET, Introducing EXERCISE & Mending your DIET.
Without any of the above 3, let me break it to you. You won’t really have great success at losing that tummy fat & sustain it for long.
EXERCISE – Get moving! Move more than before. That’s the first ACTIVE STEP. Quite literally. 🙂
Keep upgrading your exercise. If you were sitting all day, start WALKING < JOGGING < RUNNING for about 30 mins a day, at least thrice a week, according to your stamina; which will only increase weekly.
Well, these are not just exercises to reduce weight but they’re equally amazing for your heart.
This improves your heart rate & greatly boosts your metabolism, helping you burn calories more effectively. Begin with simple exercises that essentially burn fat by working on most of your muscles.
However, DO NOT overdo CRUNCHES. Specially without learning about doing them in the correct form. You can read more about how to reduce belly fat with crunches.
Never ignore strength training here. Nothing tones your body parts like it. These are equally important for women of all ages. Especially if you’re looking to lose weight after birth or C-section. Or if you want to lose that jiggly arm fat.
Besides a good exercise routine, experts say that your diet contributes to almost 80% of your fat loss progress.
Diet tips & Exercises to reduce weight & Belly Fat
QUALITY over QUANTITY
It’s true that being in a CALORIE DEFICIT consistently shows you the desired results over time.
After evaluating your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), try to burn more calories than you consume per day. Either through exercising well or reducing unwanted calories.
However, people tend to mistake this for recklessly avoiding the quantity of their food altogether. That does more harm than good to your fat-loss journey. NO! It just doesn’t work that way. You may, in fact, be missing out on macronutrients & micronutrients that are very important for your body in order to maintain a healthy weight. According to experts, reducing any macronutrient to < 20% is actually a FAD DIET. Your body always needs macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Proteins & Fat) and micronutrients (Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Copper etc) to sustain in good form.
Cut down on Simple carbs. Not Complex carbs. Dietitiams usually recommend you to have a diet that’s got 40% Complex Carbs, 30% Proteins & 30% Fats.
REPLACE. Not ELIMINATE
I know we’re, at some point in life, addicted to certain foods like Sodas, Packaged juices, Fries, Ready-to-Cook stuff & a lot of processed food items.
Although eliminating them entirely from your diet seems like the first best thing to do, you will crave for them after a few days or weeks of abstinence. This would only fuel your frustration, craving & finally binge-eating, that would make you feel more guilty than ever.
So, what to do?
Focus more on replacing these ‘tasty’ foods with their healthier versions or alternatives.
Like if you were fond of Chicken Nuggets, Fish cutlets, Paneer Fritters, Pakodas or Dal Vadas, you may want to cook them with a healthier method & have them in the correct portion on your plate. Switch to Shallow-frying/ Air-frying/ Baking/ Grilling/ Boiling or Steaming these items with the desired spices or accompaniments.
Replace Maida with Whole Wheat/ Bajra/ Jowar/ Ragi or any other whole grain or millet. BTW, if you’re from India, one cannot ignore how healthy & delicious all Indian dishes are. So much that you’d never run out of ideas of playing around with your menu every single day.
Switch to dates, jaggery, honey, palm sugar, molasses or any natural sweetener (not Stevia or artificial Saccharine) instead of refined white sugar. Never ignore the empty calories that bleached sugar has, in comparison to the ever-natural sweeteners. Along with it comes the risk of a lot of lifestyle problems. You may be interested to know how I quit & how you can quit white sugar once for all.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
You need not have a thick budget for affording those exotic & often expensive ‘superfoods’ that help you in weight loss.
Eat local. The nutrition value of imported foods is usually lost in transit. Sad, but that’s the fact.
Be creative with your menu. You need not spend a lot of time in the kitchen either for that.
Expand your list. Trash those junky snacks in your pantry. Think how you can prep your dinner or lunch much quicker, healthier & tastier than ever.
Like, having scrambled & sauteed paneer with 2 slices of whole wheat bread or Roti/Bhakri would be complete with a bowl of your favorite salad.
SNACK & FIBRE
Focus on having at least 5 or 6 smaller meals (including snack times) in a day. Include more fiber in your diet. This not just gets easier on your bowels but also helps you remain full for a longer time. It helps end constipation too.
MINDSET behind doing exercises to reduce weight
Having a positively affirmative mindset that you will be able to lose weight is almost half the job done! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise by mocking your efforts. Thumb rule – Just ignore these folks! Let your results shut them up.
Always remember that SPOT-REDUCTION is never possible. To lose stubborn lower belly fat, you need to lose your overall body fat. Your tummy fat is usually the last one to go. So, be consistent, chilled & calm until then.
So, do you feel determined to get up & shed all that fat? Do you know someone who underwent a mind-boggling fat-loss transformation? Let me know what inspires you the most.