Diet and exercise are the two ingredients any doctor would tell you make up the recipe for weight-loss success. However, it is possible to cut exercise out of the equation and focus solely on diet to lose weight. Belly fat is the most health-hazardous type of fat on the body because it greatly increases your risk of stroke, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A healthy well-balanced diet can help melt away belly fat over time.
Calorie deficit is another term for losing weight. This simply means your body is burning more calories than you’re eating. By cutting calories from your diet, your body will start burning fat for energy. To burn 1 pound of body fat, you have to eliminate 3,500 calories from your diet, or the equivalent of 500 calories per day. A healthy rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week, so make that your target.
Good Foods and Bad Foods
It’s not only how many calories you consume, but also the types of food you eat. Your diet should focus on whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins and fruit. More importantly, eliminate the unhealthy foods from your diet, such as soda, candy, snack cakes, desserts, fried foods and specialty coffees. These foods contribute empty calories to your diet, which will slow your weight-loss progress. A single soda can have as many as 250 calories, while water has zero calories – choose wisely.
How Many Calories?
There’s a quick and easy way to determine a customized diet plan showing you what to eat and how many calories to target each day – best of all, it’s free. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker plan gives free nutritional advice and calorie targets based on your age, weight and health goals. For weight loss, SuperTracker will give a plan that reduces your daily caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day.
How Long Does it Take?
Patience is the key when trying to lose weight. Everyone’s body is different, so it’s impossible to pinpoint a length of time required to tighten the tummy. Just know that it’s not something that will take a week or two. It may take two months before you see any results, although you’ll probably notice your jeans fitting better within a few weeks. Take it week by week and focus on achieving your weekly weight-loss target; the results you’re looking for will come before you know it.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.