The desire to lose belly fat seems to be an ongoing battle for most of us. As we move along in society’s advancing technology, it’s a bit interesting that we’re having such a hard time with getting leaner, healthier, and subsequently happier with our physiques.
There are those of use, however, that manage to get leaner, but struggle with that last strip of belly fat hanging on for dear life. No matter what we happen to endure we somehow can’t get to that next level of lean. Some of us have a great winning streak only to fall short of our goals. Family, school, work, and life just get in the way of our best efforts. That’s natural, understandable, and none of us are immune.
Can you lose belly fat?
Some individuals feel that they can’t fight the uphill battle of losing body fat. They feel that it’s all due to genetics, an inescapable lifestyle, or just a predisposed lack of will. The cards are stacked against you, life isn’t fair.
The simple truth is that it is absolutely possible and realistic to lose body fat. The simple principle of calories in and calories out still applies as a primary factor . The human body hasn’t changed all that much over the years regarding gaining or losing weight. The physics still works.
However, as a society we’ve complicated things. As we wade deeper into technology we somewhat demand easier, smarter, and more convenient ways to accomplish our physique goals. Whether it’s to lose body fat or gain muscle, we want our results faster, cheaper, and yesterday.
Fad diets, the most advanced training programs, and the latest, sexiest supplements are the new normal. Social media, slick marketing, and falsified testimonials rule our exposure to the fitness industry and leave us as confused and frustrated as ever. We are left to our own devices to search, sift, and impossibly reach a decision as to what to do next.
Let’s first look into why you’re not losing belly fat to begin with and then move forward with a more realistic, logical plan of attack.
Why you’re not losing belly fat
We could easily call this the three A’s of why you’re not succeeding. One, two, or all of these may sound eerily familiar.
Analysis paralysis: A simple Google search for “losing body fat” will render literally millions of results. Common sense would dictate that you would fact-check siad results with credible techniques and only look at those from reputable institutions and universities. But we live in the real world with real jobs and little time for such thorough vetting. It quickly becomes apparent that you will start to suffer from analysis paralysis where you become frozen without conclusion due to the virtual landslide of information presented.
One quick trick is to put on your commonsense hat and throw out the obvious imposters. Basically, if something defies logic, it’s probably not all that feasible or realistic. Also, look for information that can cater somewhat to your lifestyle. In other words, spending all day preparing and eating bland foods on a strict, utopian schedule isn’t all that helpful for the working family full of obligations.
Narrow your focus down to a few reputable sources, try them out, and then give it time to legitimately make a sensible assessment. Afterward, make small adjustments where necessary instead of overhaul after overhaul.
Accountability: Many individuals that hire personal trainers are covertly hiring an accountability buddy. Training knowledge, in general, is rather easy to find. Google searches, online programs, and Youtube provide more than enough self-taught information for the greenest of newbies to get started.
Accountability, on the other hand, is often difficult to naturally and independently come by. Friends that tag along to the gym come and go, serious training partners may have different goals than you, and going it alone presents too many tempting opportunities to skip on those tiresome rainy days when it’s just easier to stay home.
As one of the more challenging aspects of motivation, accountability must first start with you. You must become accountable to yourself first and foremost. Making a pact, telling others, or even physically writing out an agreement that you sign can symbolize that very accountability you’re seeking. Later, build on that by attracting others to go along on the journey with you. Those around you will sense your commitment and will have no choice but to support you and possibly jump on for the ride.
Action: This final factor is possibly the most important, but seldom followed. It’s also void of any trendy tricks, hacks,or workarounds including bells and whistles. Action is just that: acting on what you planned on doing. So many of us are self-inflicted with inaction. While we lack motivation and inspiration we tend to rely on that lack to explain our inaction. We feel comfortable to blindly and ineffectively wait around for something to strike a chord so we can finally get up and get busy.
The cold reality is that that strike will never come. We are waiting on something that doesn’t exist. Seldom does action result from inspiration. The opposite is almost always true. Getting off our butts and taking the first real step will do more for your motivation than just sitting and thinking about ways to be inspired to act. Taking action also takes away any excuse. It’s almost like acting without thinking. Yes, that sounds a bit convoluted, but it’s a powerful tool toward any goal, much less about losing body fat.
You have the knowledge, you have a rough plan, put it in immediate action. Acting on your plan is so much better than formulating the perfect plan never to be enacted.
How to lose belly fat
So, how do we lose body fat? What are the nuts and bolts of stripping away adipose from our bodies so that we can live leaner, healthier, and reveal all that hard work under the hood? As stated before, calories in and calories out account for a lot of your success or failure.
The simple fact is that we as a nation just eat too much . Do this for long enough and we gain unwanted pounds. This creates a serious challenge for many reasons. One, it’s just plain unhealthy. The obese poulation has more health problems, docotor’s visits, and are on more medication than the leaner folks . Two, years and years of overeating creates deeply ingrained habits that become incredibly comfortable over time. This, in turn, makes any type or severity of change extremely difficult.
Those challenges are met with resistance. We chalk it up to genetics, unfounded and self-diagnosed metabolic diseases, and society’s pressures on our lives.
But, are there things that even the most stubborn, set-in-their-ways individual can do?
Let’s look at a few things that can be put into action immediately and create some serious and sustainable momentum.
- Low hanging fruit: What could you do right now that would require very little effort? Something that doesn’t require you to upend your life and overhaul your daily schedule? Some examples could include ditching full-sugar sodas for the week, having a small, but healthy breakfast three times per week, or working out two or three times per week for 15 minutes each day. Whatever it can be to get you moving in a positive direction so you can build on it later.
- Stair-stepped method: This goes hand-in-hand with the above. It only takes a few weeks to form a solid habit so taking up one thing new every two weeks or so will have monumental effects on your long-term success . Adopt something new only after two or three weeks of a previous habit. If you fall off the proverbial horse, simply get back up and pick up where you left off.
- Support and getting back up: Speaking of getting back up. Don’t fall into the trap of throwing it all away after one or two speed bumps. Just get back to where you were. No need to start over all the time. We all have setbacks and will falter. Learn to keep moving forward even if it’s two steps forward and one step back. A good group of support will help keep you on track so tell others of your goals.
Roadblocks to losing fat
Like I said, we will all face setbacks, but it’s how we handle them that determines our long-term success. Let's look at a few common hiccups.
- Lack of patience: Let’s face it, we aren’t getting any better at cultivating patience. Our world is only getting faster and less tolerant when it comes to results. But this is one of those factors that’s a hardcore fact. In order to have the success you desire, a hefty portion of patience is a must.
Not being realistic: Losing 10 pounds of body fat in two weeks isn’t only unrealistic, it’s also downright impossible. Be realistic with your goals and use some common sense. Losing a pound or two per week sounds much more realistic and doable than the previous example. Give yourself room to take your time. Life will send you plenty to stress about and will try its best to get you off track.
- Losing site of objectives: Losing body fat is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, have patience, and keep your short-term objectives in the forefront along with your long-term goal as well. Review them each week if necessary and you’ll be better prepared when life throws a wrench into your gears.
Losing body fat isn’t fun nor the easiest thing to do. It takes accountability on your part to be successful. Start small and take decisive action. With a good support system in place you’ll have a better chance of staying the course. Most of all, have patience and be realistic. Nothing is guaranteed overnight, but all of your hard work will be worth it in the end.
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