“If there’s one thing that comes up over and over with the thousands of patients enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry, it’s weighing yourself every day on a scale,” says Rena Wing, Ph.D., founder of the registry, which tracks more than 4,500 men and women who have lost an average of 20lbs or more and kept it off for at least six years. “Don’t obsess over the number,” she says, “but at least keep track of the general range of what you weigh so you can catch small changes as they occur and take corrective measures immediately.”
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.
A 2012 study also showed that people on a low-carb diet burned 300 more calories a day – while resting! According to one of the Harvard professors behind the study this advantage “would equal the number of calories typically burned in an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity”. Imagine that: an entire bonus hour of exercise every day, without actually exercising. A later, even larger and more carefully conducted study confirmed the effect, with different groups of people on low-carb diets burning an average of between 200 and almost 500 extra calories per day.
The final possible culprit behind stubborn weight issues may be the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain. The most common cause of elevated cortisol is chronic stress and lack of sleep (see tip #10), or cortisone medication (tip #9). It’s a good idea to try your best to do something about this.
So how does this work? A quick run-through: The first tip was to eat low carb. This is because a low-carb diet lowers your levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin, allowing your fat deposits to shrink and release their stored energy. This tends to cause you to want to consume fewer calories than you expend – without hunger – and lose weight. Several of the tips mentioned above are about fine-tuning your diet to better this effect.
You likely keep almonds stocked in your pantry because they’re brimming with healthy fats that keep you slim and satiated. So what if we told you that swapping your sugary pre-workout snack with your favorite nut can help skyrocket your workout’s effectiveness? According to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, popping about 2.6 ounces of whole almonds increased cyclists’ endurance performance and improved oxygen utilization more than cookies did. Researchers suspect that almonds’ nutrients arginine and quercetin may contribute to these fat-burning effects.
While eating carbohydrates early in the day provides us with the energy needed to power through training sessions and complete our daily tasks, and the evening meal containing them helps us to replace lost glycogen from our final workout for the day, consuming carbohydrates after 6:00pm (or around this period) will only lead to an unnecessary output of insulin, an anabolic hormone responsible for, among other functions, increasing fat storage.
The notion that abdominal obesity is the most dangerous kind isn't new. Back in the 1940s, the French physician Jean Vague observed that some obese patients had normal blood chemistry, while some moderately overweight patients showed serious abnormalities that predisposed them to heart disease or diabetes. Almost always, the latter patients carried their fat around their middles. And, almost always, they were men.
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