Wednesday, May 09, 2007

How to Eat to Lose Belly Fat

When it comes to losing belly fat your diet is probably about 80% of the solution. How, what, and when you eat has a huge effect on your body fat levels... especially your abdominal fat levels. Most good fitness experts will tell you that the best way to reduce stomach fat is to eat a "clean" diet based around natural unprocessed foods, limit sugar intake, increase your intake of protein and healthy fats, and exercise regularly.

Yes, it is possible to get rid of some belly fat without changing your diet and just working out more often. But unless you learn to identify fattening foods and make healthy eating a daily "habit" any weight loss you experience is going to be temporary. Also by changing your diet, cutting out the "junk" foods, and eating healthier, nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis you'll do more than just lose stomach fat... you'll also significantly boost your energy, improve your health, reduce your risk of disease, and feel much, much better!

The 3 Keys to Eating for Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

In the most simple terms, there are really only 3 keys to eating for faster, healthier weight loss and less belly fat. Here they are...

1. Learn to identify the "good" foods as well as the "bad" foods
2. Eat small, balanced meals containing the good foods 5 to 6 times per the day
3. Limit or completely eliminate the bad foods in your diet

Learning to identify good and bad foods really isn't that difficult to do. There are many books on diet and nutrition available for purchase. But a simple rule of thumb is this: the more a food was touched by other humans, the less healthy it is. Processed foods (even many so-called "diet" foods) simply aren't as healthy as natural foods and are a big contributor to the obesity problem we're facing.

The absolute "best" foods for losing body fat and boosting your health are lean proteins (including meats, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, and whey protein powder), fresh and steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, oatmeal, beans and legumes, and healthy oils (such as olive oil). Keep in mind that even some totally "natural" foods -- such as white potatoes -- aren't good to eat when you're trying to lose weight, for reasons explained below.

[Note: If you really want to learn how to identify which foods are good and which are bad for losing belly fat and getting fit, I highly recommend reading the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle book.]

The Big Secret to Losing Belly Fat: Control Insulin Production

Controlling your body's production of certain hormones -- especially insulin -- is vital to any weight loss plan, but even more so when your focus is on losing belly fat. You see, studies have shown that elevated insulin levels "force" the average person's body to store more fat in the abdominal region, rather than in other areas of the body. Why is this? No one knows for sure. But there is little doubt that eating foods which boost insulin levels causes an increase in abdominal fat levels in most people.

Generally, any food that contains refined flours and/or refined sugars is going to cause a significant increase in your body's insulin production. Obviously, these foods (which include most candies, sodas, and junk foods) fall into the "bad" food category mentioned above and should be avoided as much as possible. Other common foods that can raise insulin levels are starchy carbs (such as white potatoes, breads, cereals, and pastas) as well as high-sugar fruit juices.

One of the best traditional diets for controlling insulin levels and therefore reducing belly fat is the "Mediterranean" diet. This diet is based on naturally healthy whole foods such as fish, lean meats, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. Unlike the typical Western diet, the Mediterranean diet limits processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats. Besides helping to control insulin production, eating in this way helps to control inflammation in the body that can cause disease, quicken the ageing process, and even increase the amount of stomach fat you have.

For an extremely useful, easy-to-follow guide to losing abdominal fat, getting fit, and looking better fast click here.