With summer upon us it is almost inevitable that you will be eager to lose the belly fat you have accumulated over the winter months, in order to get that ‘beach body’ everyone yearns for. While there is a ton of information available to help you lose weight, very little is mentioned about the importance of insulin management and boosting metabolism.
Insulin Management through Nutrition
Despite there being a ton of gimmicky products on the market, none of these will address the real reason you are struggling to lose belly fat. A big belly indicates that you are insulin resistant, so when you over eat foods that rate high on the Insulin Score scale not only will you not be able to burn fat off, but you will be storing it instead. Many carbohydrates such as rice rate high on the Insulin Score scale. Losing belly fat therefore, becomes a matter of increasing metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
Health and fitness begin with nutrition. When you have belly fat and eat too many carbohydrates (high on Insulin Score scale) such as rice and pasta, the body is prevented from drawing on the fat cells for energy. Cutting sugars and starches from your diet will help to raise your metabolic rate, but it is important to understand that eating too few calories will have the opposite effect (lower metabolism). By following a ketogenic diet for two to three weeks, followed by a few weeks on a low fat diet, and back onto a ketogenic diet again you can increase insulin sensitivity, burn fat and increase your metabolism.
A ketogenic diet focuses on eating foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates, along with lean protein, and forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates while supporting metabolism and keeping insulin levels balanced. It is important to realize that the purpose of the low carbohydrate diet is to increase insulin sensitivity and should not be followed for more than 3 weeks at a time.
Just as with any healthy lifestyle nutrition plan it is essential that you drink adequate amounts of water to aid fat loss, promote metabolism, keep properly hydrated, expel toxins from the body and generally improve overall health.
Insulin Management through Exercise
While sit ups are a popular exercise undertaken by those mistakenly believing doing them will help burn belly fat, sadly they will do very little to fuel your metabolism and burn fat. Fat burning hormones such as thyroid hormones need to be raised, and this is achieved through cardiovascular and resistance training (weight training).
‘Peak Fitness’ is an exercise routine that can be done on most pieces of exercise equipment such as a treadmill, rower or spinner bike, and involves warming up for three minutes, working out at maximum effort for 30 seconds, followed by 90 seconds of recovery at normal effort. This is repeated 8 times in total followed by another 3 minutes to cool down, and will take only 20 minutes in total. The increase in metabolic rate will continue for the next hour. This exercise routine can be done every second day, or in a cycle of 2 days on, one day off, but the most important thing is that when working out at maximum effort you raise your heart rate up. Do weight resistance training on your ‘off’ days to ensure all muscle groups are worked each week.
Following your workout with a liquid whey protein shake with a very small amount of sugar added will help you to recover faster. If you want to eat fruit it is best to do so immediately following a workout as fruit not only supplies you with a bit of sugar but also is a good supply of antioxidants.
Combining a ketogenic diet with Peak Fitness and resistance weight training will have you well on your way to raising your metabolism, managing insulin levels and losing that annoying belly fat. Adding in a good quality whole food vitamin and mineral supplement will also be beneficial to making your fat burning hormones work in your favor. Do not opt for synthetic vitamins as they will not have the same benefits as whole food vitamins.
As with any diet and fitness plan it is important that you consult your health care professional before starting, particularly if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.