A lot of my clients complain that as they get older their belly seems to be getting bigger. Unfortunately, that’s a natural thing that happens to most people. They also complain that no matter how hard they exercise or how well they stick to their nutrition plan that belly just won’t budge. This actually isn’t entirely true though. It’s true that belly fat is hard to lose but it’s not impossible. As you decrease your body fat your belly is shrinking, just not as fast as the rest of your body is.
What’s The Deal With Belly Fat?
Fat burning is a two-step process. The first step is lipolysis which is when the fat cell releases fatty acids into the blood. The second step is oxidation which is the process whereby cells use those fatty acids for energy.
Lipolysis is stimulated by the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline which are catecholamines. The catecholamines enter your blood stream and then attach themselves to special receptors on your fat cells. Once these catecholamines attach themselves they cause the fat cells to release their fatty acids which can then be used by other cells in your body.
Sounds simple enough, right? Here’s where the frustration comes in. There are two types of receptors on your fat cells that the catecholamines attach to: alpha receptors and beta receptors. Beta receptors are the ones that trigger the release of fatty acids whereas the alpha receptors hinder it. It just so happens that fat cells in your belly and quite often hips and thighs have more alpha receptors than beta receptors making them resistant to your fat loss efforts.
You Are Not Doomed!
Now that you know the facts you can understand why certain areas of the body seem to resist fat loss. The good news is this doesn’t mean that you can’t lose fat from those trouble areas, it just means you need to do the right stuff and then be patient.
Tried And True Fat Loss Tips
Eat enough of the right foods
Do NOT be tempted to starve your fat away! This just backfires in the end. Make sure you’re getting enough calories to support your body and your activity level. You can either hire sports nutritionist or Google the info. Then you need to make sure you’re getting your calories from the right sources. Personally, I like to eat about 40% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat. Depending on my training and my goals I find about 1800-1900 calories feels good. This just seems to work well for my body. I mainly eat clean whole foods and supplement with a high-quality whey protein shake and egg whites if I need to bump my protein up a bit. Everyone is different to be ready to experiment a bit and try to avoid going to extremes on anything. Your body hates extremes.
I cannot stress this enough! You must lift some heavy weights (especially as you get older) if you want a healthy body composition. A lot of women fight it but every single one of my female clients who I’ve talked into lifting heavy has at some point sent me a message thanking me because they’re finally seeing the results they want! If you’ve never lifted before you really need to hire a qualified trainer to show you proper technique. Heavy weight training is awesome when done right, dangerous when done wrong.
Stop doing so much cardio!!!
Are you one of those people who spends hours and hours a week doing cardio and feel frustrated with your results? I was!! That’s because too much cardio tells your body it needs to get really good at storing energy (ie FAT) so that it can fuel the long grueling cardio workouts you keep making it do. This is not to say that you shouldn’t do cardio, just don’t do marathon steady state sessions. Instead do HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is where you go as hard as you can for a short period of time, recover and then repeat. These workouts can be as short as 15-20 minutes including the warm-up. There are lots of studies that have been done to prove how effective HIIT is.
A dehydrated body is a sick body. All of your cells absolutely require a certain amount of water every day. Your kidneys need enough water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated your kidney’s can’t do their job of purifying the blood. When this happens, your liver has to help your kidneys out. Your liver’s main function is to metabolize fat. If the liver is having to help the kidneys do their job it can’t metabolize fat as efficiently. Aim for about 3-4 litres/day.
Don’t be tempted by the latest miracle pill that’s going to ‘melt the fat right off your body’. There are some great supplements that you can try but be sure they’re from a reputable company and be sure you use them as they’re meant to be used: AS A SUPPLEMENT. This means that you need to already have your nutrition and fitness plan dialed in before supplements can help you. There are some great fat burners but if you’re using fat burners without moving your body they won’t do a thing for you except make you super hyper and maybe a bit nauseous. Exogenous ketones can be a great supplement but only when used in conjunction with a keto or keto-like diet (in other words low carb).
Don’t Get Frustrated
I know it’s frustrating when you’re doing everything you need to do but your results are slow or even seem non-existent. The good news is you can lose that fat! The bad news is you’ll need to be patient and perhaps more diligent than you have in the past. Fall in love with the process and be consistent and persistent!