Not in an extreme, Atkins sort of way, but having a little protein at every meal fires up your metabolism. "Your digestive system uses more energy to break it down, so you burn more calories," explains Lisa Dorfman, R.D. However, keep protein levels to between 20 and 35 percent of your diet; eating too much of it can cause kidney strain and may cause your body to store too much fat.
To banish stubborn belly fat, you have to ramp up your workouts. In a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, people who completed a high-intensity workout regimen lost more belly fat than those who followed a low-intensity plan. (In fact, the low-intensity exercises experienced no significant changes at all.) "You need to exercise at full intensity because the end goal is to burn more calories, and high intensity exercise does just that," says Natalie Jill, a San Diego, Calif.-based certified personal trainer. High intensity workouts mean you're going all out for as long as you can. If this sounds intimidating, think of it this way: you'll burn more calories in less time.
To lose fat and keep it off requires an approach that is both effective and easy to maintain. For most, a wide variety of foods in the right quantities and at the right times is best. If we eat too much - the standard "three square meals" a day - we run the risk of putting on weight due to the sluggish metabolism this encourages combined with the surplus of calories that will require burning at any one time. Eat too little and we again encourage a slow metabolic rate due to muscle loss while discouraging the thermogenic effect (when foods themselves increase the metabolism) that foods, in sufficient quantities, will create.
When insulin is produced for no apparent purpose - for example, when we eat a large pizza late at night - the glucose (a form of sugar converted from carbohydrates) that prompts its release will be, in large part, transformed into glycogen (another form of sugar stored in the muscles and liver) and tucked away for future use. And this is where the problem lies. Once our body's capacity for glycogen storage has been reached (around 350 grams in most adults) any remaining will be converted into fat. For a well fed bodybuilder - especially one whose diet includes 40 percent of their total daily calories in the form of carbohydrates - this 350 gram limit will probably be maintained into the evening hours.
But in today's unenlightened "believe everything you hear" age this most effective and proven approach, for some strange reason, does not seem to attract much interest. This is no more obvious when one witnesses the "technological" revolution that is happening within the fitness industry, where a newer even more ridiculous gadget compared to the one that preceded it promises to build you the body of your dreams, with little effort on your part, "in 30 days or your money back"; where a machine that does most of the work for you is touted as a suitable replacement for actually applying a modicum of effort. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDHGaU_jGrQ