The long hours, lunches on the run, lack of time for exercise, and chronic stress associated with leading a business or organization are just a few of the reasons why so many managers and executives find themselves accumulating extra fat around their midsection. Unfortunately, it is this type of fat that is associated with the majority of obesity-related health conditions. While genetics plays a large role in determining whether you gain weight around your belly like an apple or around your thighs like a pear, it is possible to implement a few simple lifestyle changes to help you keep your waistline in check. The following are the most effective methods that we have found to lose belly fat.
You do not have to spend hours in the gym or go on overly restrictive diets in order to lose belly fat. The following are five effective techniques for avoiding the dreaded managerial spread that are easy to incorporate into even the busiest lifestyle.
1. Lose Belly Fat by Doing Interval Training
While any type of exercise will provide health benefits, not all exercises are created equal when it comes to altering body composition. A study published in the Journal of Obesity found that high-intensity intermittent exercise, also known and HIIE, was more effective in targeting subcutaneous fat than other forms of exercise. HIIE uses short bursts of intense exercise targeting multiple muscle groups followed by short recovery periods. HIIE takes less time out of your busy day than a traditional workout and helps rev up your metabolism so that you more calories and fat even when you are back at your desk.
2. Getting Enough Sleep Can Help You Lose Belly Fat
Long hours at the office and constant deadlines crying for attention make managers and executives especially susceptible to chronic sleep deprivation. According to a survey sponsored by pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, only 45 percent of the more than 4,000 workers surveyed described themselves as good sleepers. The remaining 55 percent reported having trouble sleeping or chronic insomnia. Setting a goal of getting 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night can help reduce sugar and fat cravings, reduce cortisol levels, and improve insulin sensitivity, which can help you lose belly fat and feel better mentally and physically at work.
3. Lose Belly Fat by Cutting Sugar
Sugar is calorie-dense and nutrient-poor. Sugar and other simple carbs are also stored by the body in the form of fat. Even if you are careful to avoid the doughnuts and cookies in the office break room, you may still be getting too much added sugar in the form of supposedly healthy foods, such as fruit juice concentrates or “raw” sugar. According to the American Heart Association, added sugars should make up no more than half of your daily discretionary calories. The difference between the amount of calories that your body needs to simply function and the number of calories that you burn through physical activity is considered discretionary calories. As a general rule, women should have no more than 100 calories per day of added sugar and men should have no more than 150 calories per day. To put that in perspective, one soda has approximately 8 teaspoons of sugar totaling 130 calories.
4. Eating Fat Can Help You Lose Belly Fat
Contrary to what some diet gurus would have you believe, fat is not a dirty word. In fact, fats are necessary for energy, the processing of nutrients, and even proper cellular function. Fat also helps the body burn excess fat. Of course, this does not mean that all fat is created equal. Saturated fats, such as those found in fried and process foods, are associated with weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, and other health concerns. Instead, you should focus on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, fish, and olive oil.
5. Lose Belly Fat by Reducing Stress
The fact that you work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment may predispose you to develop excess abdominal fat. Chronic stress causes the body to release more cortisol, which is commonly known as the stress hormone. Over time, high levels of cortisol alter metabolism and can increase cravings for fats and sugars, which can promote belly fat. Although it will not give you six-pack abs, implementing stress reduction techniques into your daily routine may help you lose belly fat. Consider signing up for a yoga class or practicing meditation. According to Psychology Today by becoming more mindful of your thoughts and emotions, you may be able to avoid the triggers that lead to poor food choices.
We would love to hear about your favorite ways to beat belly fat. Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.