With summer on the way, looking slim, fit and athletic is becoming a bigger priority for many people. Whether you’d like to slim down slightly or start losing weight for the long term, there’s no better time to start taking your health seriously.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to lose belly fat and burn away your love handles in a week or less. You’ll also learn the importance of taking a long-term approach to your health and weight, and the secrets of keeping fat off your body once you’ve lost it.
Ready to start? Before you get started, enroll in our Weight Loss Mastery course to learn the basics of effective dieting. From your metabolic rate to foods that contain very few calories, it’s packed with helpful information to help you burn fat easily.
Reduce your carbohydrate intake
For years, the dieting establishment insisted that foods high in fat were the cause of weight gain and obesity. A growing body of evidence is showing that it’s sugar – and not fat alone – that’s the cause of a great deal of weight gain.
From refined bread and white rice to sugar-filled cakes and donuts, many foods that are low in fat are packed with sugar. Burn away your belly fat by cutting the amount of sugar you consume to reduce your total calorie intake.
While sugar may not be as calorie-packed as fat (carbohydrates contain four calories per gram, while fats contain nine) it has a far more significant effect on your average insulin levels, resulting in an increased likelihood of your body retaining fat.
Replace white bread with brown bread and sugar-filled snacks with savory treats to switch your body into weight loss mode. Even a week without sugar is enough to see a significant change in your weight and body composition.
Increase your cardio to burn calories
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to burn fat, reduce your bodyweight and look and feel better. Whether you like to run, swim or ride a bicycle, there’s no shortage of fun and challenging ways to burn calories and downsize your waistline.
If you’re new to cardio, start by walking on a treadmill or around your local park for half an hour at a time. As your endurance increases, you can either increase the time you spend exercising or focus on improving the intensity of your workout.
Just 30 minutes of cardio per day is all it takes to burn hundreds of calories and keep your body fit, firm and healthy. Do you need help making a cardio routine? Learn the secrets to effective, consistent exercise in Fit for Life: The Science of Exercise.
Lift weights to boost your metabolism
Cardiovascular exercise is great for burning fat, but it generally does little to build your muscles and create a fit and firm figure. Combining cardio with weightlifting, on the other hand, gives you a body that’s slim, firm and incredibly healthy.
Don’t worry – lifting weights two or three times every week won’t give you huge muscles like a professional bodybuilder. Instead, with a balanced routine, lifting weights will help you burn fat and tone up your entire body.
This is because weightlifting releases a variety of hormones – from human growth hormone to natural fat burners – which encourage your body to prioritize protein and strip away fat naturally.
Have you never worked out with weights before? Join over 1,800 students and learn how to create a routine that helps you achieve your fitness goals, burn away belly fat and create a stronger, slimmer body in our No Bull Fitness Course.
Burn fat by following the paleo diet
Technology has given us many great things. From communications to education, the developments of the last two centuries have made learning and connecting with our friends and family easier than ever before.
When it comes to food, however, technology may not have been so helpful. Many of the foods we consume today are completely foreign to our stomachs and digestive systems, resulting in health issues and weight gain.
The paleo diet prioritizes foods that humans have been consuming for thousands of years – things like lean meat, beans and vegetables. While it may sound unusual, it’s helped thousands of people around the world lose weight and improve their health.
Would you like to lose belly fat and increase your muscle mass? Enroll in our Getting Started With the Paleo Diet course to learn the basics of the paleo diet, from foods to avoid to foods you should prioritize for good health and a slimmer waistline.
Increase your water consumption
Do you drink enough water? Most people don’t drink enough water to stay hydrated and healthy during the daytime. If you substitute water for cola, lemonade or sports drinks, you could be consuming hundreds of additional calories every single day.
Sweet drinks are packed with sugar, with a can of Coca-Cola containing almost 140 calories on its own. While diet drinks often claim to contain zero calories, they tend to be packed with artificial sweeteners and chemicals that can inhibit weight loss.
Melt away fat by switching sweet drinks for water and tea. Not only does a glass of water contain zero calories – it also keeps your body hydrated and performing at its very best throughout the day.
Eat several small meals every day
The more frequently you eat, the greater your body’s ability to extract the nutrients from meals and efficiently process them. Athletes eat as may as six meals per day to keep their bodies running efficiently and burning away fat at every moment.
Keep your caloric consumption steady but split your usual three meals into six small meals, each half the size of your normal lunch or breakfast. This way, your body will never experience the same insulin spikes or fat storage that it normally would.
Over time, you’ll find yourself eating less since your body is constantly satiated and never desperate for a snack. You may even start to adjust the nutritional content of your meals depending on the time of day for a convenient nutritional boost.
Do you want to learn more about meal timing and weight loss? Enroll in Recovery Nutrition for Athletes to learn about how the content and timing of your meals can help you recover from workouts, burn fat and improve your overall health.
If you’ve spent years eating foods that are packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, it can be tough to break the cycle. One of the best ways to adjust from an unhealthy modern diet to a healthy one is by following a body detox diet.
Detoxes typically involve drastically cutting your food intake for several days while your body clears itself of toxins and chemicals. Once you’ve completed the detox, it’s easier to change to a long-term diet that’s focused on weight loss and health.
Are you ready to detoxify your body and become healthier, more focused and free of unwanted belly fat? Enroll in our 30 Day Body Renovation Detox to detoxify yourself and create a fresh start for optimum weight loss.
Focus on long-term weight loss
It’s easy to lose weight, but it’s often a challenge to keep it off long term. Instead of following a crash diet and losing belly fat for summer, focus on changing your diet habits and improving your health for the long term.
Changing your dietary routine might seem like a challenge at first, but it’s amazingly simple once you apply yourself. Start with a week-long diet and monitor your health and fitness progress over the long term to watch yourself improve.
Remember, health isn’t something you can achieve overnight – it takes month after month of hard work and focus to build your ideal body. If you need help remaining focused on weight loss, join 600 others students in our How to Stop Binge Eating course.
Are you ready to start losing weight?
Losing weight might seem like a challenge, but once you start changing your diet it’s often far easier than you thought it would be. In fact, if you lose weight with a friend, adjusting your lifestyle and becoming healthier can even be surprisingly fun.
Learn more about losing weight and keeping it off with our blog post on easy home recipes and remedies for weight loss. If you need inspiration to keep exercising and dieting, be sure to read our blog post on the amount of time it takes to lose weight.