There are four keys to controlling belly fat:
It’s no secret that vigorous exercise trims fat. How much exercise does it take? Half an hour of vigorous aerobic exercise, done four times a week, a Duke University study shows.
What counts as “vigorous”? It depends on how fit you already are. Jogging, if you’re already fit, or walking briskly at an incline on a treadmill, if you’re not yet ready for jogging. Stationary bikes, elliptical machines, rowing machines and swimming are all also effective, with the added benefit of being low/no impact.
Moderate activity – raising your heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week – also helps slow down how much fat you gain; however, to torch visceral fat, your workouts may need to be more vigorous.
If you are not already active, you should of course check with your health care provider before starting a new fitness program. They’ll probably be thrilled that you want to get started, and will check that you’re ready for it.
Let’s face it, there’s no magic diet for belly fat. But the good news is that when you lose weight, on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.
A fiber-rich diet may help. Research shows that people who eat 10 grams of soluble fiber per day, without any other diet changes, build up less visceral fat over time than others. That’s two small apples, a cup of green peas, and a half-cup of pinto beans, for example.
Getting the right amount of sleep helps. In one study, people who got six to seven hours of sleep per night gained less visceral fat over 5 years, compared to those who slept five or fewer hours per night, or eight or more hours per night. Sleep may not have been the only thing that mattered — but it was part of the picture.
Stress happens. It’s what you do with it that matters.
You probably already know that people tend not to make the best food choices when they’re stressed. And when you’ve got chronic stress, that can be a problem.
It should come as no surprise that vigorous exercise is one of the best tools for managing stress. Other alternatives are support from your friends and family, meditation, and having an trusted organization system to help keep all of the balls in the air.
While it’s a bit off topic for this blog, a couple of fantastic planning systems are:
The Secret Weapon, a free Evernote implementation I’ve used for years. Even better, Evernote is totally free too.
Tony Robbins RPM System – the system Tony uses with his million dollar per year consulting clients and to run his multiple business.
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