Before we answer those questions, it’s important to understand how fuel (carbs, fat and protein) is transformed into energy and in which cases they are stored as fuel. To be used by our cells, the different types of fuel must go through several stages of transformation to become the one and only form of “usable” energy: adenosine triphosphate — more commonly referred to as ATP. ATP is the universal energy currency for many living organisms from mammals to insects and fungus to plants.
When Tufts University researchers studied the waistlines and diets of 459 people, they found that even in men of similar age and activity level, those who ate white bread frequently weighed more than those who didn’t. “The calories from white bread and refined grains just seem to settle at the waistline more than calories from other foods,” says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., the study author.
If you want to support your weight loss efforts, you have to drink sufficient water. It serves so many key functions towards your efforts to shed the unwanted kilos. Water is critical to ensuring that your brain and your body function optimally. Being dehydrated will downregulate every cellular process in your body. Not getting enough water can also impact muscle protein synthesis and even 3 per cent dehydration can hit your strength and power output when training in the gym.
But just because belly fat comes off a bit more easily doesn’t make it less dangerous. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. “Belly fat is unfortunately the most dangerous location to store fat,” says Dr. Cheskin. Because belly fat—also known as visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs—is more temporary, it’s more active in terms of circulating in the bloodstream. That means it’s likely to raise the amount of fat in your blood (known as blood lipid levels) and increase your blood sugar levels, which as a result raises your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
While there may be no scientific studies showing it’s the ultimate fat burner, water will help fill you up more – something that staves off hunger and stops you overeating. A good trick is to drink one or two glasses of water 10 minutes before you eat a meal – especially if you’re out at a restaurant – this will help with dietary adherence and stop you over-eating. We advise clients to try and drink a litre of water per 25kg of bodyweight every single day.
Here’s a shocker: When a group of U.K. researchers told 30 women to avoid chocolate, then packed them into a room filled with the stuff; the women were much more likely to sneak a bite than individuals who hadn’t been given the order. Blame the allure of the forbidden: The more you tell yourself you can’t eat something you love, the more you’re going to want it.
With potatoes, leave the skin on (with baked or mashed potatoes) or if you peel them, make snacks of them. For example, drizzle olive oil, rosemary, salt, and garlic on the peels and bake at 400 F (205 C) for fifteen minutes for baked Parmesan garlic peels. Keeping the skin on potatoes when cooking them helps keep more vitamins/minerals in the flesh (just don't eat any parts of skin that are green).
Remove cardio and maintain the weight training and fat loss results will still come, provided their nutrition is sound. Furthermore, their physiques will look vastly more impressive compared with those who emphasize aerobic work at the expense of resistance training. By removing weight training and continuing cardio, however, a person will no doubt begin to resemble one of those unhealthy looking marathon runners, the only class of people who appear to have mastered the art of looking lean and fat at the same time.
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.
First, the bad news: Three-quarters of Americans have a "fat gene" associated with a 20 to 30 percent higher risk for obesity. But that doesn't mean you're destined to be heavy. A recent British review found that exercise can trump your genetics. Physically active people with the fat gene are 27 percent less likely to become obese than couch potatoes who have it. We're not talking about training for a triathlon; the active people got just one hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a week. Aim for the recommended five hours a week (three days of cardio and two days of strength training) and you'll rev your weight-loss results even more.
High-intensity interval training (or HIIT) boosts your metabolism, burns calories, and builds muscle: a triple threat belly fat cannot reckon with. “High-intensity interval training is when you perform an exercise at or close to your maximum ability for a short period of time and then take a brief respite and do it again. HIIT should usually be done on a 2:1 interval, meaning if you did an exercise for one minute, you rest for 30 seconds and then repeat,” explains Dr. Alex Tauberg, DC, CSCS, EMR. “This can be a great way to flatten that stomach when you don’t have too much time to work out.”
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Experience has taught me that eating carbohydrates after 6:00 PM will increase my potential for fat storage. Many people I have trained have also experienced a similar effect. After our final meal of the day, which no doubt would, or at least should, comprise around 45 percent complex carbohydrates, especially if we had trained prior to it, there is little point in eating more of this macronutrient until the following morning.
The goal is to break the cycle of the body using just protein or even carbs for fuel; we want the body to be over loaded with dietary fat for a period of time so the system can efficiently use fat as fuel. When you will return to a lower dietary fat intake, yet the body will still know how to utilize the stored fat on your backside as fuel instead of your hard earned muscle.
Most of us eat quickly, chewing each bite just a few times, which means we consume more food than we realize. Slow down and you'll slim down: In a recent study, people who chewed each bite 40 times ate almost 12 percent less than those who chewed just 15 times. When we chew longer, our bodies produce less ghrelin, a hormone that boosts appetite, and more of the peptide hormones that are believed to curb hunger. "Chewing seems to stimulate the gut to make appetite-suppressing peptide hormones," Dr. Cypess explains. Plus, the more you chew, the more thoroughly you break down food, which may release nutrients into your blood faster and give your brain time to register that you're full. From now on, focus on eating slowly at every meal. Put down your fork between bites and work your way up to 40 chews per mouthful of food.
"With all the different tips out there, it can be tricky to understand exactly which exercises work the best. HIIT is great for fat burning and will get your heart rate up, but I’d also recommend including strength (resistance) exercises too. Try lifting weights, using resistance bands or using the weight machines at the gym as these will increase your metabolism to help with weight loss, and increase your muscle strength. It’s important to mix-up your whole-body workouts so you don’t get bored."
"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."
A 2014 Harvard study found that men who did twenty minutes of daily weight training had less of an increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities, and other studies have shown similar levels of success when guys hit the gym to cut down on fat. The implication: Guys can cut belly fat most efficiently with weight training.