When Crunches and Sit-Ups Aren't Enough
You've been working out all winter and into spring, all that cardio, and circuit-training, not to mention all those sit-ups and belly crunches. Great abs, right? No, you still have that roll around your middle and swimsuit weather is rapidly approaching.
Belly fat is a problem, particularly for those of us who have experienced that approaching-middle-age metabolism adjustment that usually comes somewhere in your thirties, but certainly by early forties. What to do, what to do?http://www.goodmuscleadvice.com/burn-the-fat-feed-the-muscle
Don't panic, there are ways to get rid of that stubborn excess on your midsection . . . and hard exercise isn't one of them! The real elements to any fat loss program are exercise, diet, diet and diet.
Fat is stored energy. Your body stores energy to protect against famine, reduced food availability and for body warmth in winter. We don't live in caves anymore, but our bodies still act as if we do. The key to any weight loss is proper exercise and diet. We are what we eat.
There are a lot of dietary rules for weight loss and there are diets so complex that only a CPA or digital engineering nerd gets anything from them. I don't know about you, but that description doesn't fit many people I know, least of all me.
What we are going to accomplish in this article is to inform you of a few eating rules and the foods that you can eat that will accelerate your weight loss program. The rules will be as simplified as possible so you don't have to carry a ledger to keep track of it all.
This isn't a diet, rather it is some basic information about what to eat, how much and how often (more often than you think).
The First Rule: Ditch the processed foods
You know, the ones in the boxes, cans, bottles and frozen food section of the supermarket. A check of the labels of most, if not all of these time-saving products will show a number of ingredients that sabotage your attempts to lose that belly fat.
Many processed foods are unhealthy, containing high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats and are high in "bad" carbohydrates and have little nutritional value.
Buy fresh, "live" foods instead; fresh organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry. Instead of fish-sticks, sausage biscuits or chicken fingers (what part of the chicken do fingers come from?) prepare some steamed vegetables and a grilled chicken breast.
It really doesn't take much longer to prepare fresh foods than it does to heat junk foods in the microwave or oven, particularly if you don't overcook them.
The Second Rule: Drink lots of water
Water will boost your metabolism, keep your body hydrated, help you control your hunger and it will increase your energy.
Your water may be mixed with something to give it a little flavor, but nothing with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Try green tea, lemon or lime juice, or mineral water.
Green tea actually helps speed up the fat burning process. Drink a lot of water, flavored or not, before and during your workouts.
The Third Rule: Eat More Protein
Lean protein in every meal helps your metabolism while keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in the proper zone. Protein is needed to rebuild muscle tissue. More muscle = more energy expended, so less fat in your storage cabinet (your waist and belly).
The Fourth Rule: Eat Only Good Carbs
Avoid refined starches and sugars, these are not "good" carbohydrates. The best carbs are: Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh or dried beans and other legumes, and whole grains. Sprouted grain breads are touted as being healthy and easily metabolized.
The Fifth Rule: Eat Healthy Fats
Some dietary fat is necessary for good health. The fats to avoid are saturated fats, especially trans fats. Good fats are olive oil, fish oil, flaxseeds and oil, avocado, nuts, nut butters and seeds of all types.
The Sixth Rule: Control Your Cravings
Eating is sometimes an emotional experience. One of the best ways to control your food urges is to never let yourself get really hungry. Don't skip meals, in fact, eat a small meal or healthy snack every few hours. Have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables readily available for hunger abatement.
The Seventh Rule: Exercise until you perspire (glisten for you ladies) on a regular basis
Forget the long and boring cardio sessions, do something that's fun and makes you sweat.The first thing in the morning is the best time. It will actually rev you up for the rest of the day.
The heading on this section is misleading. Foods don't burn fat, your body does. What I'm trying to say is that there are foods you can eat that will turbo-charge your metabolism causing a faster rate of fuel consumption.
Just like in an automobile, a turbo-charger will give it greater power, but at the expense of gas mileage. If you are trying to lose belly fat, this is a good thing.
Mark Hyman, MD, points out in his book, Ultra Metabolism: A Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss that the key to long-term weight loss is to eat foods high on the phytonutrient index (PI) and low in glycemic load (GL).
This simple phrase is the clue to how his program works. Lean meats do not register on the Glycemic Index, nor do they have phytonutrients.
In his Fat Burning Furnace food chart, Rob Poulos is more specific on which foods will increase your metabolism until it is a "fat-burning-furnace."
Let's summarize what we've learned today: There are simple rules for burning off that belly fat and they include avoiding processed foods because they contain ingredients that will sabotage your weight loss program.
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Here is a guy who has competed in bodybuilding 28 times at between 3.7% and 4.5% bodyfat, which is a phenomenal achievement when you realize that it's been done naturally.
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