Ask Dana – How Do I Get Rid of Belly Fat?

By on December 28, 2015

When it comes to questions about health and fitness, I’d have to say that one of the most popular, if not the most popular question there is has to do with getting rid of belly fat.

It’s a very common problem – and affects many people for several different reasons.

There are also a multitude of factors involved that create the accumulation of belly fat, so while I’ll definitely discuss ways to get rid of it, I’m first going to bring awareness to what causes it.

By being aware of the cause, you’ll gain a better understanding of how the effects come to be and from there, you’ll not only have an opportunity to get rid of it, but you’ll also be in a position where you won’t necessarily gain it back again by repeating the same mistakes/ behavior.

Ask Dana – How Do I Get Rid of Belly Fat?

There are many factors that create the undesired effect of excess belly fat.

Several of them being:

  1. Body type. An apple, or android body shape has a higher chance of storing fat in the midsection as opposed to the pear, or gynoid shape where fat is typically stored in the hips and lower body.
  2. Unhealthy eating habits.  This isn’t limited to the act of consuming junk food. It also contains the component of obsessive-compulsive behavior by using (abusing) food and developing an addiction to it regardless of how healthy or unhealthy it is.
  3. Lack of physical activity. If you consume calories and do not expend enough to maintain a healthy balance, the additional calories that aren’t used will end up getting stored as fat. If this happens for a good, long time, then regardless of body type, it’ll end up accumulating in your mid-section as well.
  4. An excessive production of the stress hormone cortisol. I’ll get into this more in a bit.
  5. Medical issues such as hypothyroidism, or age related issues such as a natural decrease in metabolism.

So now that we’ve identified what contributes to the problem, and before I get into the solution…let me first tell you what I’m NOT going to discuss.

I will not be discussing:

  • What diet(s) to follow.
  • How to spot train fat away – because you can’t.
  • What supplements to take. For that, I’d recommend seeing a well-qualified registered dietician or an honest and ethical medical provider.
  • How to get “six pack abs”

How to Get Rid of Belly Fat

In my opinion, based on my education, experience and observations – the best and most effective way to get rid of body fat is to develop a clear understanding of what well-being means to you and then practice this for the rest of your life.

So what does this mean in practical terms?

Glad you asked…

Understanding the concept of overall well-being is more important than you know.

It not only includes things like “diet and exercise”, but involves your mental, emotional, psychological and yes, spiritual health.

When you live a life that isn’t of your highest good – meaning you work a job, and involve yourself in activities that don’t serve your best interests, you create an internal environment that you will likely feel the need to escape from.

This is when unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical energy/stamina and an increase of stress take over.

An overabundance of stress can cause an overproduction of cortisol in the body. This is a hormone meant to help you deal with emergencies. In and of itself, at the right time, and for the right reasons, cortisol is a beneficial thing (think running away from a bear). But a chronic case of stress (think job, relationship, etc) results in a regular production of cortisol and this is where imbalances in the body happen…and thus, leading to possible weight gain in the mid section in addition to a host of other unpleasant effects such as impaired cognitive function, hyperglycemia, decreases in bone density and muscle tissue, and other factors.

So how do you develop an action plan you can implement starting today?

Again, I’m glad you asked.

Here are some steps you can take right now to not only rid yourself of belly fat, but can serve to help you keep it off.

  1. Take a good, hard look at whatever caused the weight to accumulate to begin with helps because doing this will show you what you can stop doing now, and avoid doing later on to not only help to rid yourself of what you don’t want (belly fat), but also stop causing in the long run.
  2. Discover what healthy foods you naturally enjoy eating and add them into your diet as often as possible to help crowd out the need for the junk.
  3. Set a realistic time and place for the junk – and hold yourself accountable for following this. You can read this post to help you deal with cravings if this is something that affects you.
  4. Create a well-balanced health and fitness routine that includes a wide variety of different activities. You can start a walk at home program right now by clicking on this link, a TRX workout…or even a chair workout over here.
  5. Re-evaluate your life. Are you living on purpose? Are you doing what you love? Or are you going through the motions…engaging in a stressful lifestyle that keeps your body in a constant “fight or flight” mode? And if so, what step(s) can you take to create a life that feels more like something that fits you and has your best interests at heart?
  6. Get checked by your physician to see if there are any medical issues contributing to your weight.
  7. Keep your blood sugar stable by eating something every three hours or so. You’ll avoid hypoglycemia – which not only has the tendency to cause a decrease in muscle tissue (as the body needs energy for survival and will take it from your muscle tissue if you don’t supply it with food), but you’ll keep from feeling the need to raid the local bakery/ vending machine, etc.

If you were looking for a quick fix, then as much as I hate to disappoint you, I’d rather offer you a more well-rounded action plan to not only fix the problem, but recognize it in its entirety to prevent it from happening again once you DO fix it.

I’ll offer you some additional links here to help you get started on a safe and structured exercise program that you can start today, regardless of your current level of fitness.

You can also read this post to get some ideas of how to incorporate some clean and healthy foods into your diet – along with some recipes you can try out for yourself.

I hope this helped.

If you follow the advice here as dispensed, and take away the need to be in a hurry in an effort to do things the right way, then the likelihood of you needing to ask this question again will be reduced.

Do you have any questions you want answered?

About Dana Gore

Author of the book A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You), Dana Gore completed the curriculum at Fitness Institute International, Inc. as an outstanding graduate in 2009.

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