Many of us have a bit too much belly fat, but it’s possible to lose the extra weight.
The first step of this transformation involves recognizing that nothing will change unless we make a deliberate effort to do so. If you continue to eat the same foods and go through the same motions, don’t expect a different result.
Keys to Understanding Fat Loss
By understanding the principles of how belly fat is accumulated and lost, you can make informed decisions each day about what you eat.
- Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
- Obesity and weight gain almost always result from eating too many of the wrong foods.
- You need a caloric deficit to lose weight, which means decreasing your calorie intake and increasing your calorie expenditure through exercise and physical activity.
- Moderation is very difficult to sustain. It’s hard to say no once you’ve started, and walking away from the table while you’re still hungry will probably lead to snacking.
- Some foods are easy to overeat. Meats, cheeses, cookies, pizza, and other energy-dense foods have a lot of calories packed into a relatively small volume, meaning, by the time your stomach is full, you’ve eaten too much.
- Fruits and vegetables have a significantly lower energy density. By filling your stomach with these nutritious foods, you feel the satisfaction of fullness without consuming excess calories.
- Alcoholic beverages can add calories and lead to bad decision-making, like eating high-calorie and unhealthy snacks.
- Your body doesn’t start burning fat until you stop eating for a few hours. Your metabolism uses sugars and carbs as fuel before it starts breaking down the energy in stored fat. Increase the hours between eating to increase the time spent in the fat-burning stage of digestion.
By becoming a student of fat loss, you can learn to craft a suitable program for your goals.
The Social, Emotional, and Mental Games of Weight Loss
The physical mechanics of weight loss are fairly simple – create a caloric deficit. But changing your social and emotional relationship with food and exercise is not so easy.
- People often overeat and snack on unhealthy foods due to stress and anxiety. Look for ways to reduce your stress levels and learn better and healthier coping mechanisms.
- Some people aren’t even aware that they overeat. Learn to be more mindful of what, when, and why you’re eating. This can be done through calorie counting, food journaling, introspection, and meditation.
- Changing the shape of your body will also affect how you interact with the people around you. Eating is often a social experience, and you might feel awkward not eating certain foods with family and friends. They will begin to perceive you differently, and you will see yourself differently, too.
Embrace this transformation of your identity and allow your healthy choices to strengthen your self-confidence and self-image.