Discover How To Lose Belly Fat and Boost Your Metabolism Naturally. This post offers easy, effective and sensible strategies that enable you to shed those extra pounds and keep them off!
Losing belly fat, and then maintaining that weight loss, is possibly the most difficult thing we ever attempt!
However, with a planned approach, following sensible steps and putting in place the guidelines below you can make the seemingly impossible, truly possible.
Why Is It Important To Boost Your Metabolism Naturally?
Harvard Medical School, in a 2015 Harvard Health Publishing article defined Metabolism, or our metabolic rate as:
“the series of chemical reactions in a living organism that create and break down energy necessary for life.”Harvard Medical School
When we start to get serious about weight loss and how to lose belly fat we need to focus on “Calories in, Calories out”.
Calories provide us with fuel needed for metabolism which creates the energy we need to sustain life. If, however, we consume more calories than needed for energy creation we gain weight.
It’s almost as if our brain and body reverts to a primal survival instinct.
Our hunter gatherer ancestors would not have been sure when their next meal was going to be found. So the body, rather than waste excess calories, stored them. This enabled survival. The body had energy stores to call upon when no food was available.
In today’s society, the majority of us, don’t have to concern themselves over where our next meal is coming from. Our body still stores the excess calories, but we never actually enter a state where the body is required to burn them.
Simply put, if our calorie intake is more than we use for producing energy we gain weight. For most people this is stored as belly or hip fat.
The opposite is therefore true. If we burn more calories than we consume, our body needs to find a way to create the energy needed to maintain life. We lose weight.
Adding foods and activity known to help boost our metabolic rate means we force our body into burning calories and using our body’s energy stores.
The more energy required, the more calories we need and the more weight we lose.
How To Lose Belly Fat – Is It Possible To Boost Metabolism Naturally?
The answer is YES! But to do so we need to first understand the factors that have an influence on our metabolic rate.
The following is a list of the key factors which determine the rate of metabolism:
- Our current amount (mass) of muscle tissue;
- Our current amount (mass) of body fat;
- The location of the majority of fat deposits – belly, backside, hips, chest etc;
- The frequency of the meals we consume;
- The portion size (amount) of meals;
- The food types and food combinations of these meals;
- Genetics – not a factor we can influence, but should be considered;
- Current stress levels,
- Diet – Calorie intake compared to physical activity levels.
Let’s Look At How These Key Factors Influence Metabolism.
The most common reason that we store additional belly fat is influenced by all key factors above (with the possible exception of Genetics).
Rather than referencing medical terminology, I think the best explanation is comparing our metabolism to a fire. We know that to have a wonderful hot energy producing fire we need to keep it well stocked!
When we gain weight we simply have not been adding the correct type, or amount of fuel needed and have allowed our fire to burn out.
Let’s look at it another way. Read the following statements and answer each with either Yes or No.
Do you consider that you have defined muscle tone?
Do you engage in a minimum of 30 minutes physical exercise every day?
Are your fatty deposits evenly distributed throughout your body, especially across back, chest, stomach and hips?
Are you as active, physically, as you were 3 years ago?
Do you consider your body tone to be as firm and balanced compared to 3 years ago?
Do you eat regularly, taking smaller small meals more often? (compared to less regular larger meals)
Do you eat a balanced diet, that includes 60% of the portion being vegetable?
Are you able to eat whatever you wish and not gain weight around the belly?
If you have ever decided to go on a diet, did you find your weight reduced quickly?
Consider Your Results.
If you answered NO to 5 or more questions, then keep reading. This post is for you! You’ll learn how to boost your metabolism and burn that annoying belly fat fast!
Let’s Learn How To Lose Belly Fat!
While it doesn’t sound pleasant, the reality is to burn fat and lose weight, we need to get our body to cannibalize its own tissue.
We Need To Become Cannibals!
We lose weight through self cannibalism. If we are not eating enough food to produce the energy needed to sustain us, we need to find it! The body does this by burning our fat stores as a way to gain nourishment.
Sounds gross, but that’s the way it is meant to be.
We need to eat less calories than we require for “normal living”. We need to increase exercise as this will require even more energy and therefore more fat to be burned. And we need to stoke the fire frequently, lots of good balanced food in smaller portions but far more regularly during the day.
Unfortunately we tend to do the opposite!
We eat more calories than we require for energy, meaning we never use the fat deposits stored.
We decrease exercise, mainly due to the hectic pace of everyday life, work longer hours and with the few hours left we, understandably, prioritize it for family and relaxation.
Plus the majority of us still maintain eating habits that don’t make a lot of sense. If we go back and think about our fire analogy, can we expect our metabolic fire to burn bright if we maintain “traditional eating routines”?
Traditional meals have consisted of:
- A carbohydrate and fat loaded breakfast (or none at all);
- A carbohydrate, or processed foods, loaded lunch (or none at all);
- A more balanced (sometimes) but typically larger and denser meal consisting of protein, carbohydrate and vegetables. But taken at the time of day we can’t utilize the energy. In fact our largest energy source is consumed at the time of the day when we are typically turning the fire down, or turning the fire off to get some sleep!
If maintained these metabolism killing habits become especially noticeable as we age. If over 30, we can probably all remember a time when we could eat the same foods as we do now and we were lighter in weight.
That’s because our metabolism slows down with age.
Combine that with the natural decline in the amount, and type, of physical activity that we engage in as we age. This is true wether you’re 15-25, 25-35 or 35 – 75. As we age, we naturally slow down.
The issue is that our body doesn’t regulate for this slower metabolism and decline in exercise. We continue to store and preserve extra calories for energy we might need later and to live longer!
Our ancestors genetics are hard wired into us, when food is available eat it, and store it if you can. Plentiful food meant longer life. Decreased food meant lessened life expectancy.
Our body has not caught up with modern times. We no longer need to store excess food to use as energy in times of shortage, and we no longer need additional energy depots to try and outrun a hungry predator!
We simply keep storing those bountiful calories and the belly fat appears!
How To Lose Belly Fat? Boost Your Metabolism!
Here are several ways to fire up our metabolism:
1. Build Lean Body Mass.
Let’s hit the hardest method first! Exercise .
It is only natural that metabolism decreases along with age, but it is possible to counter the effects.
The amount of muscle a person has is a very strong determinant in the ability to burn calories and shed fat. So it goes without saying that exercise is essential.
This doesn’t mean running marathons or hitting the gym (although both are excellent if that your thing!)
Focus on exercise that builds strength. Resistance training twice or three times a week, preferably using some form of weights, is an excellent way to build lean muscle mass.
On the other days you can keep it simple. Adding easy exercise, such as walking the dog or using the stairs rather than the elevator, can help burn those extra calories.
The key is to match eating to the amount of physical activity we engage in. Less exercise, reduce food.
Here are some guidelines in getting the right exercise:
For strength training
- Increase the amount of repetitions of a particular exercise.
- Add the level of resistance
- Utilize advance exercise techniques if possible
For cardiovascular training
- Insert intervals between exercises
- Perform cross-training and combine the exercises
- Add up on resistance and speed
2. Always, Always, Always Eat Breakfast.
Still a huge amount of us ignore the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
It is a clinically researched, tested, and proven fact that those of us who eat breakfast are thinner than those of us who do not.
Metabolism will slow down considerably if breakfast is taken during mid-morning or if we wait until the afternoon to eat.
3. Avoid Refined Sugar.
Sugars, are an important part of a natural diet, taken in moderation! However refined sugars are the enablers of our body to store fat.
These sugars send signals to our body and brain saying “Wow, energy overload, lots of energy here, too much energy, please start storing it!”
For regular metabolism and to maintain, or lose, weight we need to consume foods that helps us sustain even blood sugar levels.
Of note, if you exercise 2-3 times a week this helps to stabilize blood sugar.
4. Eat Spicy Foods.
Easy and Simple.
Studies indicate that cuisines utilising hot spicy foods, such as peppers and chilli, can increase metabolism.
A perfect reason to create a curry, chomp on chilli and get your sweat on!
5. Sleep More.
Truly! It’s not all about the gym and the exercise.
Our brain is the control center for the body. So we want this control center to be in great shape and sending the correct sigansl and messaging.
The only time our brain is able to relax and repair is when we are asleep.
According to research, weight gain is more common for people who do not get enough hours, or enough quality, sleep.
The science of sleep has also proven that our muscles are regenerated during the last couple of hours of the sleep cycle. Muscle mass requires repair to build, so sleep is vital for losing belly fat!
6. Increase Water Intake.
Water flushes out the toxins that are produced whenever the body burns fat.
The vast majority of our bodily functions involves the use of water. When we become dehydrated, through lack of water, our bodily systems start to shut down.
Dehydration also slows our response speed, causes us to enter a state of stress and as a result we store fat.
If you really want to learn how to burn belly fat and boost your metabolism naturally, focus on the faucet! Take a minimum of 7-8 glasses of pure water every day. That’s 1 – 2 liters!
So What Should You Eat?
1. Eat More Meals Of Smaller Size.
Portion control is critically important.
To keep your metabolic rate high you should eat small portions of healthy foods regularly. Try to consume 6 snack sized meals every 2 – 3 hours. This keeps the fire burning bright!
Never skip meals. People tend to skip meals in order to lose weight, this is a big mistake because it slows down metabolism.
Never, ever, miss breakfast. Breakfast is the meal that kick starts your metabolism after a night’s sleep. If we miss this vital morning meal we retain a sleepy sluggish metabolic rate.
Harvard Medical School published an article in their online publication, Harvard Health Online, which confirmed that eating small healthy meals more often provided the following benefits.
A decrease in hunger and an increase in fullness, which can potentially prevent overeating. In fact, when people become very hungry the risk increases that they will choose unhealthy high-calorie foods, such as pizza and soda. This can lead to eating too much at one sitting.
Harvard Medical School
More opportunities to consume healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
2. Plan Your Meals.
Always prepare in advance so that you can easily eat the right amount of food, at the right time, in the right combinations.
Do not wait until each meal time to get prepared. When hungry we often select easy food choice, which usually is not the healthy choice.
If you prepare in advance you are more likely to stick to your schedule. The downfall of any weight loss plan is skipping a meal or eating sporadically. We need to train our body to become used to receiving its energy source consistently.
3. Avoid Unnecessary Stress.
It is impossible to avoid all stressful situations. But we can plan for the times and conditions that we are aware will cause us to enter a stressed state.
Stress triggers the release of a steroid called cortisol, which decreases metabolism.
Research has also shown that we tend to over eat, and from the wrong food groups, when stressed.
And remember, starting a diet can be stressful! Try to keep your cool by remembering that the worst thing you can do when trying to figure out how to lose belly fat is stressing about it!
Commit to your plan, believe in yourself and stop any stress!
4. Suggested Food Combinations To Boost Your Metabolism Naturally.
Eating the right foods at the right time is key!
Some key rules to keep a healthy metabolic rate for losing belly fat are:
- Do not eat large portions of carbohydrates. No meal should be more than 40% carbohydrate.
- Avoid eating carbohydrates and protein in the same meal.
- Every meal should be 60-70% vegetable / fruit.
The following is a recommended how to lose belly fat daily plan which will keep your metabolic fire burning!
The foods listed give examples of the food types, so feel free to substitute and replace with your favorites.
The timings give an example of a schedule. It is to demonstrate the time gap between meals. Just take note of the time you eat breakfast and then apply a similar timespan. It doesn’t need to followed minute by minute!
If you choose 2.5 hours or 4 hours as the time between meal it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you try to maintain similar spacing between meals to regulate your metabolism.
- 7.30am Breakfast – Fresh Fruit Salad (Approximately 1 cup of Rockmelon and 1/2 cup of Grapes);
- Mid Morning – 10.30am – Protein (1 oz Hazelnuts and 1 Banana);
- Lunch – 1.30pm – Vegetable and Protein – Tuna Salad Greens (2 oz tuna, 1 cup mixed greens, 1 tomato and 1/4 sliced cucumber with 1 tablespoon of an olive oil balsamic vinegar mix – vinaigrette);
- Afternoon Snack – 4.30pm – Vegetables (1 cup of sugar snap peas and broccoli);
- Evening Meal – 7.00pm – Balanced (4 oz lean steak, 1/2 cup roasted parsnip, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup string beans);
- Evening Snack – 9.30pm – Fruit Vegetable Blend (1/2 an apple and 1/2 banana blended with 1/2 cup ice cubes, or water).
Boost Your Metabolism Naturally With 2 Super Foods.
1. Green Tea
Try to replace black teas or to substitute coffee with Green Tea. By drinking Green Teas you gain double benefits as it is said to stimulate metabolism, and does not cause the undesirable side effects of coffee – dehydration.
2. Energy Foods
Include more energy giving whole foods in your diet, such as dark blue / black berries, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Achieving our desired body weight is not impossible if we have determination and patience. Both of which are key drivers for any weight loss plan.
Eating Right, Exercising and Maintaining Positivity are other key ingredients to keep in mind when learning how to lose belly fat and boost your metabolism. The strategies suggested in this post are simple, effective and safe!
Forget the Fads and Do It Properly!