Getting rid of that stubborn fat around the midsection is a challenge most of us struggle to overcome. How did we get the term love handles anyway? Certainly no one loves them! If those love handles make you cringe every time you look in the mirror then start changing your lifestyle to get that troublesome midsection under control.
Belly fat isn't just unsightly, it can also be hazardous to your health. Carrying extra weight around your midsection increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other chronic illnesses. The reason belly fat is dangerous is because this is the area where we collect the largest amount of visceral fat. Visceral fat, sometimes called "hidden fat", is the fat that surrounds the internal organs as opposed to subcutaneous fat which lies under the skin. The good news is that, according to Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D. and researcher at Penn State, visceral fat is more metabolically active and easier to lose than subcutaneous fat.
So how do you eliminate that spare tire? To rid yourself of unwanted inches around your waist, you need a plan. That plan must include two vital components: Diet and Exercise. One without the other will keep you from finding a better body. Many people make the mistake of working only their trouble areas. Doing 100 sit-ups a day won't, by itself, eliminate belly fat. Now, I'm not saying that abdominal exercises are not worth while. They are a great way to tone and build your abdominal muscles. The problem however isn't just having tone muscles, it's eliminating the belly fat that's covering them up.
Our bodies do not have the capability of eliminating fat from just one area at a time. Spot training the midsection won't banish the belly fat. A balance of full body resistance exercises and cardiovascular training is the best way to battle the overgrown belly. A 30 minute total body circuit three times a week will get your body burning calories for up to 120 hours during that week. Add a couple of 30-45 minute cardio sessions and you're on your way to eliminating the love handles.
Now, exercise is only going to get you so far. A balanced, nutritious diet is essential for taking off the inches. Get your fat consumption under control, reduce your intake of refined foods such as white bread, and start eating more whole grains, vegetables and protein. Start your day by eating more protein and you'll be less hungry throughout your day. Whole grains can have the same effect by increasing your fiber consumption and keeping hunger at bay.
You don't have to fast to lose weight. In fact, eating too little can actually increase your body fat. If your body is deprived of the nutrition it needs, it begins to cannibalize muscle tissue and keeps the fat stored in your body as a defense mechanism. Fasting also decreases your chance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You are far more likely to revert back to poor eating habits if you're starving yourself than if you are getting your fill of nutritious foods. Eating more often can actually help you lose weight as long as you are eating the right foods.
Belly fat can be managed and eliminated with the proper plan in place. Don't waste another day staring at the mirror and not liking what you see hanging around your waistline. Make a lifestyle change that will knock that belly fat off and keep it off for good.
References: WebMD - The Truth About Belly Fat by Kathleen M. Zelmen http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-belly-fat
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