Losing belly fat is an obsession shared by women worldwide, with many resorting to starving themselves for weeks or following the most outrageous diets.
The allure of a trim, toned waist is completely understandable – who doesn’t want to show off their svelte figure on Instagram while strutting the beach or hitting the club?
Losing belly fat, however, takes a lot of discipline and dedication, but it is absolutely worth it when you put on your bikini and bask in the admiring glances of your friends.
There is also a healthy and natural way to lose belly fat that doesn’t involve the seven-day egg diet, a juice cleanse or trying to sustain yourself on meal replacement shakes and fat burners for months.
A detox is not sustainable
It’s the first thing we do when 1 January rolls around, we find some crazy detox diet online that promises amazing weight loss results within seven days.
While it is true that you can lose up to 4kg (sometimes more depending on your weight) in that amount of time, the reality is that you can’t sustain that eating plan for a long period of time, which means you will eventually revert back to your old eating habits, picking up the weight you had ‘lost’.
When you detox, you often eliminate or reduce high-calorie, low-nutrition foods such as carbs, sugar and processed foods, which helps to reduce water weight, but not necessarily fat weight.
A detox is great to get your body in the fat burning zone and to kickstart your weight loss journey, but it shouldn’t be the only step you take.
Once you have completed your detox plan, whether you followed it for three days or seven days, you should follow a healthy, balanced diet and a moderate exercise plan to maintain the weight loss from your detox.
Five sustainable ways to help you lose belly fat:
- Cut down on carbs, not fats. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, fish and oils keep you fuller for a longer period of time, reducing the chances of you craving that chocolate or packet of chips between meals.
- Pick a healthy eating plan you can stick to and one that is sustainable. One of the many benefits of a low-carb, low-sugar eating plan is that the only requirement is to make better food choices. This type of eating plan will also naturally steer you away from unhealthy foods like bread, pastries, sugar, sodas, pastas, etc.
- Exercise is important. You can’t expect to get washboard abs only in the kitchen. You need to put in some work at the gym as well, and 60 minutes of crunches every day is not going to cut it either. You need a full-body workout for 30-60 minutes at least five days a week to get to your goal.
- Cardio is not the answer. Many women make the mistake of spending countless hours on the treadmill when lifting weights will get you to a toned, flat belly much faster. By lifting weights we’re not saying you need to compete at the strongman competition or CrossFit championships – use weights that are comfortable for you, but still challenging.
- Read the food labels. Many foods, especially yoghurts that claim to be fat free of low-fat, are often higher in carbs and added sugars. Rather opt for the full fat foods with a higher fat content if their carbs and added sugars are lower.