Unfortunately, there is no quick fix or magic trick… these things TAKE TIME! But there are some steps you can take to help make progress move a little quicker. Read on for our top tips on busting belly fat below!
TIPS FOR BLASTING BELLY FAT
All the sit ups in the world won’t help if you don’t fix the underlying issues. The reason why you read about them in health and fitness magazines and on “influencer” social media profiles is because abs are sexy, abs sell products and everyone is looking for a quick fix! Trust us, fitness models and influencers don’t get their bodies from doing countless crunches… they focus on doing #22. LIFT HEAVY & focus on your compound lifts.
That means, do your squats, bench press and deadlifts! These are your maximum return-on-investment exercises that will produce the best and quickest results, in the shortest amount of time! Why? Because they target all the major muscle groups, challenge the FULL body and burn more calories per unit of time. They put more stress on the body and force the body to breakdown for recovery and repair to enable CHANGE to happen! Lifting big weights is certainly more challenging than doing hundreds of ab exercises! Just compare how much more fatigued you would feel doing 100 squats versus 100 sit ups!However, there is a caveat to this – make sure you only lift a weight that you are strong enough to do, with good technique and range of motion! Lifting heavy with terrible form, lack of time under tension and very limited range is a waste of time if you’re trying to lose weight and get a flatter stomach!
3. Increase your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and get your body MOVING.
In addition to lifting weights and doing high intensity interval training, you want to make sure your overall activity levels and energy expenditure exceeds your calorie intake in order to produce results. Everyone’s body is unique and different, so different people will lose fat from different parts of their body at different rates and times. Unfortunately, belly fat is commonly one of the last areas to show results, often caused by a long period of having a poor diet, so don’t expect change to happen overnight!
Don’t think that an hour of training in the gym for 3-5 days per week is enough to help you produce results if you spend the other 23 hours in the day sitting idle at your desk or on the couch! You have to keep moving, not necessarily exercising, but try hitting a step target of 10k per day, walk or take public transport where you can instead of driving… wash the dishes by hand instead of using the automatic washer, do things that keep you fidgeting!
4. Watch your total calorie intake, then focus on your minimum protein requirements.
Once you determine your ideal calorie intake based on your goals (for example, calorie deficit if trying to lose weight, calorie surplus if trying to gain muscle) then you should aim to hit a minimum protein target. For women, we recommend 1.2 – 1.4g per kg of bodyweight. For men, we recommend 1.6 – 1.8g per kg of bodyweight. Following this, you can determine your own split of carbs vs. fats based on your individual preferences and what you think is sustainable. To determine your maintenance calories – you could use a fitness tracker such as a Fitbit or Oura ring (which both of us head coaches at Best Body Co. like to wear religiously!) OR you can use a simple online calculator for an approximate measure. We like this one here.
5. Reduce stress, practice mindfulness and improve sleep.
Aiming to sleep at least 7+ hours per day is good for recovery and reducing overall stress and cortisol levels. Elevated stress and cortisol can cause you to store fat around the midsection through increasing your body fat storing hormones and also altering your hunger signals – ever realised when you’re tired and stressed you’re more likely to eat junk, crave foods and mindlessly overeat? You can also take a few natural supplements to help with recovery and sleep – such as magnesium, alpha lipoid acid, fish oils and chromium picolinate. Use our discount code ‘BestBodyCo’ to get up to 30% off at checkout.
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