Burn Belly Fat | Five Metabolic Boosts
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]crawny teenagers sprouting belly fat by mid thirties is a commonplace. Very often you also find those lucky souls that can hog as much as they want and still remain in shape while you gain weight sniffing food. Remember Catabolism and and Anabolism that you learned in School? One burns energy and the other stores it. An example of abuse of Anabolism is the Anabolic Steroids that some Bodybuilders use to achieve massive gains in muscle size and strength. When you were in your teens, your catabolic activities were hyper, and you burned off fat faster than you could store. You do find overweight teenagers, but they are exceptions because of a number of reasons including an excess of junk food and sedentary lifestyle.
One of the best ways to burn belly fat is tuning up your metabolic engine.
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]etabolism is a word that we generally use to refer to the fat burning activities that go on inside our bodies. Actually, it is a complex biochemical process that involves the calories in our food and how they are combined with oxygen to give us energy.[pullquote-left]This is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It accounts for 70% of calories burnt. The remaining 30% is dependent upon how we eat and digest food and our physical movements.[/pullquote-left] Even at rest, we need energy, to breathe, for example. In other words, we are burning calories for energy even when we are asleep. This is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It accounts for 70% of calories burnt. The remaining 30% is dependent upon how we eat and digest food and our physical movements. It doesn’t have to be exercise, even a walk to the toilet is movement and so is picking up a pen you dropped. Obviously, some movements burn more calories than others.
It is genetics that determines metabolism and some of us burn off fat faster than others do. Exercise and lifestyle play a role and so does age. For every ten years after mid 20’s, most people will lose about six pounds of muscle unless they are actively adding to it through exercise and diet. Muscle burns calories. An excess of calories lead to weight gain. For someone who is not particularly active (that describes too many of us today), weight gain equals fat gain. Individuals with a developed musculature will have a higher BMR. So you see how age slows down metabolism.
Metabolism is not the only factor that determines how much weight or fat you gain. If it were, we would have an easy solution. However, it certainly IS a factor – one that you can influence. Here are a few ways to achieve that.
1. Strength Training
You push against a resistance and increase muscle strength and size – that’s basically what strength training is. This could be a set of push-ups using the weight of your own body as resistance or curls with dumbbells. The point is to build more muscle. As we mentioned earlier, when you have more muscles you burn more calories – even at rest. This is because it boosts your resting metabolism. Properly designed workout plans of may be 30 minutes twice per week can put your metabolism in overdrive so that you keep burning calories doing absolutely nothing afterwards..
2. Interval Training
Push yourself very hard (skip nonstop and as fast as you can for one minute with a timer set) and then relax (walk around your room or gym in measured steps, and take care not to go too fast; do this for three minutes). Get creative and go for 8 to 10 sets. [pullquote-right]An excess of exhaustion sometimes accompanied by a throbbing head and an inclination to throw up are all indications of overtraining.[/pullquote-right]Interval training is generally considered better for building fitness while preserving muscle and burning more calories over brief periods of time than traditional aerobics. For best results, combine Interval Training with Strength Training. You can do it in a single day or choose alternate days. Listen to your body. You should feel good after training. An excess of exhaustion sometimes accompanied by a throbbing head and an inclination to throw up are all indications of overtraining.
3. Don’t restrict your calories all at once
Your body will sense danger and slow down your metabolism instead of speeding it up. Fat will be stored in your midsection to prepare for a lean period that your body imagines must be ahead.
4. Do not skip Breakfast
If you are seriously looking for the best way to burn belly fat, then fill your belly with food in generous servings during the first meal of the day. Sure, you are in a hurry to get to work, you have seen on TV how the smart guy is rushing out to work with a piece of toast in his mouth. But trust me, you don’t want to be that guy. You were asleep, and your metabolism slowed down, and your body was in maintenance mode. If you do not have a proper breakfast, you send your body extremely confusing signals. And remember, at the first sign of danger (meaning scarcity of food), your body begins to store fat. The thermogenic effect of protein is between 20 and 30 percent. Compare that with Fats (0 - 3%) and Carbs (5 - 10%). Click To Tweet
Having said that, there are arguments for skipping breakfast and feeling full of energy with just a specially prepared cup of black coffee or tea. You need special ingredients for that special cup and it basically gives your body a replacement breakfast of good fat and caffeine. This is what is commonly known as a ‘hack’ and we can talk about that in a separate article. In any case, you need that breakfast, traditional or replacement.
4. Include Protein in Diet
This is not the same as being on a high protein diet all the time. That could lead to complications. However, very often, we forget to include protein in an otherwise healthy meal. The easiest way to compensate is to have eggs – however you like it.[pullquote-left]The thermogenic effect of protein is between 20 and 30 percent. Compare that with Fats (0 – 3%) and Carbs (5 – 10%).[/pullquote-left] If you have protein in your diet, you burn an extra 150 – 200 calories. How? Well, protein does not burn anything by itself. It just helps your muscle tissues. You can lose weight either through lost muscle mass or fat. If you have adequate protein in your diet helping your muscles, you tend to lose weight through fat loss. Also, remember we mentioned you lose calories when you eat and digest food? This phenomenon is called Thermogenesis. The thermogenic effect of protein is between 20 and 30 percent. Compare that with Fats (0 – 3%) and Carbs (5 – 10%).
5. Choose your Carbs well
Avoid refined sugar, white bread, cookies and the like. Take your carbs from fruits instead. Whole grains were considered a good, natural source of carbs but have since acquired a bad rep. There is no easy answer what with all sorts of opinions and facts being thrown around, and put GMO into the mix and we have complete chaos. Well, not really, but we would have to have a separate article (a really l-o-n-g article) to get into all that. For now, let’s just say that if you are trying to lose weight / fat, it is probably not a good idea to include grains in your diet (wheat being the commonest, perhaps). Want refined, add it to your taste and social grace - don't put it in your mouth Click To Tweet
Did we begin with tips for boosting metabolism and end with dietary advice? Kind of, but with only what pertains to the original topic. Bad carbs slow down metabolism, period. What are bad carbs? The ones that come with the label ‘refined’. If you want refined, add it to your taste and etiquette. Anything refined that goes inside your mouth is bad news.
[dropcap]C[/dropcap]oncluding remarks: you may have noticed that this article sort of skims over the surface of most things. Yes it does, because it was meant for the busy person who wants quick tips on how to burn belly fat. There is a lot more to everything that we have mentioned, and for those that have the inclination and the time for a lengthy read, there will be more under the ‘Lifestyle’ and ‘Food’ categories. Until then, do post a comment on how (if at all) you are doing with the tips we have mentioned here.