Burn Belly Fat with HIIT Workouts
If you haven’t figured it out by now or joined the times, slow and steady, long-duration cardio is passé. Don’t get me wrong, some form of exercise is always better than none, but aimlessly spinning the cranks on a stationary bike while reading the Times Journal is just flat-out boring. Sure, you might be able to burn a bit of belly fat in that arduous, two-hour workout, but once your feet leave the pedals, your metabolism will go back behind the woodshed for a nap.
That’s where the beauty of HIIT comes into play. In case you are in fact living in the dark ages and have not heard of this training modality before, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. This HIIT might hurt at first, but that pain will soon wear off and it is definitely worth the sacrifice.
Why choose HIIT over slowmo training?
Well the first and foremost reason is because it obliterates belly fat faster than you can recite the alphabet. The story behind this is quite interesting too. Obviously, the harder you twist the throttle, the more calories you are going to burn. But that’s only half the benefits. What happens after you work out is pure magic. Instead of your metabolism coming back to a slow pace, it stays elevated—not just for a few hours either. On average, you can experience a 24-to-36-hour bump! THAT is the key reason HIIT torches body fat.
As an additional bonus, any time you do high intensity training, you also get a spike in growth hormone and testosterone, your body’s natural muscle builders. This is why Olympic sprinters are so thick, toned and muscular. All they do is sprint and perform power exercises that are favorable for fat burning and hormone production.
Must Be Done With All Out Effort
Be aware that HIIT is supposed to be done with all-out effort. Anything less and you won’t get the full effect. In other words, you have to be hyperventilating while training. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but you get used to it after a while.
As a rule of thumb, you need a total of four minutes at the high-intensity level to gain all the belly fat burning benefits. This doesn’t mean to get to that position and stay there for four minutes straight. It’s actually physiologically impossible to go longer than two minutes. Your body will literally shut down if you try.
It is called “interval” training for a reason. Interval back and forth from a high to low intensity. This way you can do short bouts of hard effort intertwined with longer bouts of lower effort. For example, if you like running, start with a light warm-up jog for five minutes and then run as fast as you can for 15 seconds. Jog lightly for 45 then sprint again for 15. Alternate back and forth for 16 minutes and finish with a light cool-down jog. You just met the four-minute criteria and your entire workout was less than 30 minutes!
Once you get into better shape, you will be able to increase the length of your high bursts and also the length of your workouts. Just be patient and work yourself up slowly. Aim for two or three workouts a week on non-consecutive days to ensure you are well rested too.
Lastly, don’t forget to honor your weight loss diet. If you train hard with intervals and eat junk food all day long, two things will happen. You will want to vomit during your high-intensity bouts and you will put out the belly fat-burning torch. Keep it clean in the kitchen and you can expect the full benefits that HIIT has to offer.
What Stalls Progress in Burning Belly Fat
The midsection is the most common problem area when it comes to carrying a few extra pounds. Usually, belly fat is difficult to lose making it one of the most frustrating types of weight to carry.
Try as they might, many people have a difficult time losing belly fat despite their best efforts. While some may tack this up to just not doing enough, there are actually a few concrete reasons why your progress could be stalled when working to burn your belly fat.
The following problems and factors can contribute to the difficulty surrounding this form of weight loss. Do any of these apply to you?
You Don’t Know How to Manage Your Stress:
One of the characteristics of stress is that it can wreak serious havoc on your bodily systems. When left unchecked, stress can literally fester within one’s body, causing them to weaken their immune system, hold onto weight, and feel run down.
Proper stress management, when paired with a regular exercise routine and healthy diet, can help keep the belly fat away once it’s gone. Flab from stress will no longer be able to accumulate because the toxins and chemicals associated with stress will, ideally, be gone from the body.
A great way to burn belly fat is to practice both exercise and stress management is through exercises like Pilates, Yoga, and Tai Chi. Tone your body and free your mind through focused movements, mindfulness and structured breathing.
Most people try to get in a cardio workout a few times a week when trying to shed belly fat. Long jogs, walking, and even running on the treadmill are all a great way to get this exercise in to your weekly routine, but there is a catch. These cardio workouts can quickly become stabilized, meaning your body metabolism will adjust and the pounds will stop coming off.
A better way to strengthen your core and tone your tummy consistently is through weight training. This exercise allows your body to target different muscles so that the routine never becomes complacent and the belly fat is burned off on all sides.
Your Body Needs More Magnesium:
Magnesium is an extremely important nutrient that the body needs to carry out hundreds of chemical reactions. These include everything from regulating blood sugar levels to keeping the heart rhythm steady and sturdy. Studies suggest that magnesium may also be necessary for aiding weight loss, mainly because higher levels of the substance have been linked to lower levels of insulin and fasting glucose.
By simply adding a magnesium supplement or magnesium rich foods such as leafy vegetables, nuts, and beans to your daily diet, you could begin to see positive changes in your health and weight.
You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep:
Whether you’re exercising religiously and eating a strictly health diet or not, your stomach fat won’t budge if your body is not getting enough sleep. Sleep is a restorative process that helps your body let go of stress and tension, allowing healing and calmness during the night. If you’re trying to lose weight but denying your body the rest it needs, it could cause you to hang onto that belly fat because the stress and tension are still present.
Salt and Sugar Still Have a Place in Your Diet:
While there is nothing wrong with salt and sugar in moderation, these substances can cause your stomach fat to become stubborn. Keeping salty and sugary foods in your diet can undermine your efforts for a flatter stomach by simply replacing or maintaining what you’ve been working so hard to burn off.
While sugar and salt are potentially the same across the board, where you get them from makes a difference between a fit stomach and a flabby one. For instance, if most of your sugar is coming from sodas, highly concentrated juices, and similar beverages, you could be making it hard on yourself to shed those last few pounds. Similarly, consuming overly salty foods like hamburgers, chips, french fries, and the like could be causing the belly fat to stay the same, even with exercise.
The bottom line is that a sculpted stomach will not be ruined by salt and sugar, but it could be ruined by where the salt and sugar are coming from. Instead, add naturally sweet and salty foods to your diet such as fruits, nuts, oats, grains and lean meats.
Bottom Line to Burning Your Belly Fat
Belly Fat is frustrating but it does not have to stick around forever. These few reasons why your weight loss progress may be stalling can help you and others fine-tune their lifestyles to promote healthy weight loss.
It is important to not get overly stressed when belly fat or flab in other problem areas is not coming off as quickly as you’d like. Instead, step back and evaluate the factors to see what may be causing your body to hang onto the extra pounds you’re trying to burn away. With time, effort, and proper self-care, you’ll be seeing a flatter stomach, fitter body, and a healthier you in no time at all.
The Science Behind Belly Fat Metabolism
Every cell of the human body is involved in some sort of metabolism. We need it to run intracellular processes and to keep each organ going at their optimal state. Proper body metabolism involves the use of protein, carbohydrates, and lipids in our diet. Without these three components, burning belly fat cannot occur.
Our metabolism is controlled by the following mechanisms:
If, on the other hand, we eat and do not exercise, the basal metabolic rate will determine how many calories we can eat per day before gaining weight. You can calculate your basal metabolic rate by using any one of the many basal body rate calculators available on the web.
Any calories we eat beyond that which is determined by our basal metabolic rate must be burned off through regular exercise or the body turns the nutrients into belly fat, which is stored in fat cells around the waist. This is what is behind the “calories in and calories out formula” for weight loss, where a deficit needs to be created in order to lose excess weight.
The Role of the Thyroid Gland in Metabolism
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in front of the larynx and windpipe in the neck. It produces vital hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which go to all the cells of the body and turn on cellular metabolism. Women, especially, are prone to low thyroid conditions, which cause cellular sluggishness and fatigue. Instead of using calories for metabolism, the metabolism of the cells decreases dramatically and calories from protein, carbohydrates, and fat in the diet are turned into belly fat, causing an increase in weight and an increase in the percentage of body weight that is made from fat.
Those people with hypothyroidism (a low thyroid condition) will have a slower heart rate, ongoing fatigue, dry skin, constipation and slowed body functions. Fat will accumulate in place of normal metabolic cellular functioning and weight loss is very difficult for them to accomplish.
The Role of Insulin in Burning Belly Fat
Insulin is produced by the islet cells of the pancreas and is the hormone responsible for taking glucose from the bloodstream, turning it into cellular fuel. Type 2 diabetics and many people who are overweight suffer from some degree of insulin resistance. This means that glucose cannot enter the cells, even under high insulin conditions, and the cells are starved of the fuel necessary for metabolism. Glucose levels rise and, in order to bring the blood sugar level back down again, insulin must put the glucose somewhere.
The two places that insulin puts excess glucose are the liver and fat cells. In the liver, the glucose goes to make a storage-form of insulin called glycogen. When glycogen stores are full, the rest of the glucose goes to make body fat. Obesity and insulin resistance can lead to having fatty liver and increased fat stores throughout the body. The goal of most medications that treat type 2 diabetes is to decrease insulin resistance so that more glucose from the diet goes to cellular metabolism and less to storage in fat cells.
Belly fat metabolism is complicated. It depends on having enough thyroid hormone to entice the cells to become involved in metabolism. It also depends on the ability of the body to recognize insulin as a means of putting glucose into the cells so that it can be utilized for cellular processes rather than stored as fat. As we become heavier with increased amounts of difficult to burn belly fat, this sets up a cycle of decreased physical activity, poor metabolism, and ever-increasing amounts of glucose stored as more fat within the fat cells of the body.
Truth and Lies About Belly Fat
Have you ever felt frustrated it does not matter how many sit ups you are doing your stomach just doesn't seem to get any flatter? There are many lies about how to operate lower abs and lose tummy fat. Here we'll dispel a few of the untruths and leave lower ab frustration and sorrow behind.