Stomach fat, or the so-called “beer belly”, is a common problem many men end up facing, especially as they get older. Besides being unattractive, it can lead to many potential health problems as well. Men tend to naturally store excess fat around the mid-section, initially developing what’s commonly referred to as “love handles”. However, this seemingly minor problem can turn into outright obesity if left unchecked.
Since stomach fat is notoriously difficult to get rid of, it raises an obvious but important question: what’s the best way for guys to lose the belly fat before things get out of hand? Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you to do just that.
Get a Handle on Stress
Reducing stress will go a long way in decreasing cortisol in the body. It’s well documented that high levels of cortisol over time will cause a gain in weight, especially around the stomach area. Even if you eat all the right foods and work out every day, if you don’t get your cortisol levels in check you will have a hard time trying to lose the extra weight.
Load Up on Vitamin C
Another way to deal with excess cortisol is by getting plenty of vitamin C, which helps to neutralize high levels due to stress. If you’re unable to avoid a certain amount of stress, consuming lots of this vitamin will definitely help to balance out any harmful effects associated with increased cortisol. Vitamin C is also great for the immune system and is necessary for carnitine production, which aids in fat loss.
Pump Some Iron
Obviously, when it comes to any type of weight-loss, exercise is a no-brainer. Weight lifting and strength training not only burn up calories but help to improve the body’s response to insulin and glucose. Strength training is essential for weight loss because it burns calories while improving insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake. Lifting weights helps build muscle, which in turn burns more calories in the long run compared to just doing cardio.
Don’t Ditch the Fat
While cutting fat out of your diet might seem like the obvious move, it can actually play an important role in weight loss. The key here is making sure it’s the “good fats”, not unhealthy trans fats.
Monounsaturated fats decrease both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, at the same time increasing “good” HDL cholesterol. Foods like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, avocados, canola and olive oils are high in these types of fat.
Likewise, polyunsaturated fats decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol as well. Seafood such as salmon and sardines contains high levels of polyunsaturated fats, and so does corn, soy, safflower and sunflower oils.
Keep Your Fats Balanced
Ideally, you’ll want to keep your intake of omega-3 fatty acids roughly equal to your intake of omega-6’s. Unfortunately, because of widely used cooking oils and livestock being fed corn and grains rather than grass, most people end up consuming far more omega-6’s than omega-3’s.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for insulin response, heart health, blood pressure and too many other benefits to mention them all. To get more of these powerful nutrients eat plenty of wild caught fish and grass-fed meats.
Interestingly, over half of the neurotransmitters which signal the brain and homone receptors are located in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. If your intestines aren’t functioning efficiently you’ll have a difficult time losing weight, not to mention a whole host of other negative consequences, including mental fog, fatigue and poor mood. Taking probiotics ensures that the naturally occuring bacteria in the digestive tract remain at optimal levels, thereby digesting food properly allowing for better nutrient absorption.
Take HCL Supplements
Another tip to aid with digestion and speed up fat loss is to take a hydrochloric acid supplement, which will boost the amount of stomach acid present and more thoroghly digest your food. This will allow for enhanced absorption of many nutrients, including protein, zinc, iron, calcium and vitamin B.
Get Plenty of Shut-Eye
A lack of adequate sleep can screw up your homone levels, increase cortisol and increase insulin sensitivity, all of which contribute to your belly size. You also produce more of the hormone ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates hunger and can easily trigger cravings for junk food. You should ideally get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night to maintain optimum health and weight loss.
Eat Plenty of Protein for Breakfast
Starting your day off with a good amount of protein will set off your neurotransmitters in the right direction for the day. You’ll stay satisfied longer and your blood sugar will remain stable. Avoid high-carb foods that will spike your blood sugar, then cause a mid-morning crash and only leave you feeling hungry again.
Consume Lots of Green Tea
Green tea contains large amounts of polyphenols, which are compounds that have been shown to speed up the metabolism and burn fat. Drink at least 4 cups a day, or better yet, fill up bottles with green tea to keep on hand so you can sip on it all throughout the day.
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