The key to getting a six pack is to lose stomach fat, but as the stomach is the first place most men store fat it’s also the last place it leaves them. So what’s needed is to lower your overall body fat percentage until it’s below 15, or even better below 10. To do this is actually very simple, it’s just a case of using more calories than you consume, but there are other things that can affect this. For example, you might be someone who finds it hard to give up certain high-calorie foods, or just find it hard to eat less full stop. You might have a very sedentary job that involves sitting at a desk all day, or you might eat less calories only to find your energy levels drop.
Instead what you need to do is boost your metabolism.
Your metabolism is basically the speed at which your body functions, grows, repairs itself etc, so increasing it means increasing the amount of calories your body needs each day. This in turn means that you don’t have to reduce the amount of calories you eat quite so much, but will still lose stomach fat and are more likely to get a six pack.
Here are the 5 best ways to do just that.
1. Eat Several Meals A Day
You might think that to lose stomach fat you should avoid eating, but if you want to boost your metabolism your body is going to need a regular supply of calories. And the more frequently it gets them the better. Only eating 3, 2 or even 1 meal a day can mean a gap of anything from 8 hours to 24 hours between each, which obviously isn’t sufficient to provide a steady intake of calories.
Instead work out your total calories for the day in advance and spread them evenly over 5 or even 7 equally sized meals eaten at regular intervals. That way your body knows that food is never more than a 3 or 4 hours away and it can afford a faster, healthier metabolism.
2. Eat Breakfast
It might seem strange that to boost your metabolism and lose stomach fat I’m talking a lot about making sure you eat enough, but not eating enough or eating wrongly is a very good way to get the exact opposite.
The word breakfast literally means to stop fasting, in other words to eat after several hours of sleep without any food. And if you’re someone who doesn’t like to eat anything just before bed, it can be 12 or more hours since your body last received any calories to replace all the energy used during the night.
The first meal of the day kick-starts your body into action and therefore boosts your metabolism, so delaying this any longer means using up even more stored energy. This might sound good, but this could easily put your body into Starvation Mode so when you do finally eat it will be stored as fat, instead of the easy-access form of energy called Glycogen. It also means that instead of waking up as the morning progresses, when you eventually eat you could feel just as tired as you did when you woke up!
3. Stay Above Your BMR
Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the minimum amount of calories your body needs each day, assuming you did no activity whatsoever. It is calculated using your height, weight, age, and sex:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )
Falling below your BMR can cause the body to go into what is known as Starvation Mode. This has several effects, one of which is that your metabolism will slow which and in turn lower your BMR so you require less calories. Plus your body will become a lot better at storing fat. To lose stomach fat and boost your metabolism, stay a couple of hundred calories above your BMR.
4. Cardiovascular/Aerobic Exercise
The more active you are, the more you will boost your metabolism, because any activity uses calories. Just 20 minutes of intense activity, such as running or using a rowing machine in a gym, can burn 300 calories or more. Plus exercising at high intensities will continue to burn extra calories for several hours after, as the body recovers from the exertion and replaces energy stores. Do this regularly 3 or more times a week and you will boost your metabolism, lose stomach fat, and work your six pack in the process.
5. Lift Weights
Twenty minutes spent lifting weights is never going to use as many calories as twenty minutes spent doing aerobic exercise. In the longer term however, building lean muscle will do far more to boost your metabolism. Aerobic exercise, although very useful if you want to lose stomach fat, effects your body for a few hours at most after each session. Lean muscle requires constant, twenty-four hour maintenance, so even while you sleep it’s causing you to burn calories and so raise your BMR.
As you can see, to lose stomach fat, boost your metabolism and get a six pack you need to do more than just train your abdominal muscles. You need to exercise your whole body and then regularly give it the fuel it needs to make the changes you want it to. Doing one without the other might work in the short term, if at all, but in the long term you’ll hit a plateau and always wonder why you’re not getting results that you can be proud of.
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