A diet that’s low in fat and carbohydrates can improve artery function, according to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins researchers. After six months, those on the low-carb diet had lost more weight, and at a faster pace. But in both groups, when weight was lost—and especially when belly fat shrank—the arteries were able to expand better, allowing blood to travel more freely. The study shows that you don’t have to cut out all dietary fat to shrink belly fat. For heart health, simply losing weight and exercising seems to be key.
A number of athletes told us that they don't abandon heavy free-weight workouts when trying to get cut. "I've lifted weights for over 10 years," says Louisville personal trainer Lindsay Cappotelli, "and I've found that heavy weights lifted for 5-8 reps with a focus on big lifts like the squat, deadlift, and bench press has worked best for me. You always hear, 'Train with light weights for high reps to burn fat,' but I've found the opposite to be true."
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.
Hitting big compound movements like the squats, deadlifts and pull-ups ahead of isolation exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions is the best bang-for-your-buck way to recruit the most muscle mass and burn more calories. If you are trying to lose fat, you need to lift hard and heavy. Doing 100 reps with a 2kg dumbbell won’t be enough to stimulate the muscle growth you need to improve your body composition.
If you're cutting calories, especially from dietary carbohydrate and fat sources, your body is more apt to start using amino acids for energy, which is one reason why the majority of athletes we spoke with increased their protein intake while on a fat-loss program. Whey powders like MuscleTech's Platinum 100% Whey mix easily so can be consumed without a blender.
Another win for your morning cup of joe: Caffeinated coffee keeps things moving through the digestive tract. Since staying regular is key to a tighter-looking tummy, drinking about 8 to 16 ounces of java at the same time every day can help you stay on schedule. Remember: Sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, so skip fancy flavorings and synthetic sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, which can cause bloating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UupXb75cYkc
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios — at GH, we're nuts about nuts! People who snack on nuts may have lower abdominal fat than those who munch on carb-based treats, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, a heart-healthy (and more satisfying) pick than their grain-based counterparts.
Insulin (in-suh-lin): A hormone made by the cells in your pancreas. Insulin helps your body store the glucose (sugar) from your meals. If you have diabetes and your pancreas is unable to make enough of this hormone, you may be prescribed medicines to help your liver make more or make your muscles more sensitive to the available insulin. If these medicines are not enough, you may be prescribed insulin shots.
Every time you complete 10 reps on the rowing machine, lift the handles straight up over your head—without bending your elbows—for two consecutive repetitions before returning to normal rowing form. This works your shoulders and back harder, as well as your legs, since they have to produce more power to give you the momentum to perform the move, says McGarr.
Teaming up with other people who are also looking to lose weight may make individuals more likely to reach their weight loss goals. People can find weight loss support from friends, family, and online communities dedicated to healthful lifestyles. Studies have shown that simply receiving text message support can promote healthful behavior that can lead to lasting weight loss.
"Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly."
By maintaining a low fat (though it is important to include a good supply of essential fatty acids) diet comprised of higher amount of protein and complex carbohydrates, and through portioning meals comprised of these over three hourly intervals (while being sure to avoid carbohydrates in the evening), one can more effectively replenish any lost nutrients while continually stoking the metabolism to burn a greater deal more body fat. And since such a regime can be easily followed compared to the more extreme approaches that work well in the short term but are difficult to maintain, it can be adopted for life.
Keep a food journal. You're serious about this, right? So grab a notebook or download an app (there are dozens of free ones out there). When you come face-to-face with what you're eating, it's a lot easier to see where your downfalls are. And to see your progress! And lots of apps have neat things you can mess around with that are pretty motivating, Index of / this diary, you'll be counting calories and tracking them. That way if you do really well on one day, you can fudge a little on the next. Or vice versa.
Yeah, we just told you to pump iron, but you also need to eat it. "If you don't have enough of this mineral, your body can't get enough oxygen to your cells, which slows down your metabolism," explains Samantha Heller, R.D., a nutritionist at the New York University Medical Center. Most multivitamins contain around 18 mg (the RDA for adults); you can also get your fill by eating three to four daily servings of foods rich in iron, such as lean red meat, chicken, fortified cereal, and soy nuts. If you're feeling symptoms like fatigue and weakness, ask your doctor to test you for anemia (it's a simple blood test) at your next physical.
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.
27. Use tech and other tools to your advantage. "I started out just by cutting little things like soda out one by one so I wouldn't burn myself out mentally and give up. I then discovered counting calories on MyFitnessPal, which was [a huge help] for me in my weight loss. A few years in, I lost my way a little bit and found Renaissance Periodization diet templates, which helped me rebuild a healthy relationship with food."
It's easy to overdo it when you're eating something delicious — and that's why it's good to focus on foods that will force you to slow down. "Slowing down can help you check in with your hunger levels. For that reason, I love snacking on 100-calorie packs of in-shell pistachios," Gorin says. "Shelling the pistachios helps you slow down your snacking, and the shells leave a visual cue to remind you of how much you've eaten. Because you're more in tune with what's gone into your mouth, you may be less likely to have extra servings." In one preliminary study, people snacking on in-shell pistachios ate 41% less calories than those who ate the shelled version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxktmQ3zJOA