If you have a slow metabolism, here are 5 ways approved by the doctor to burn belly fat

    Abdulaziz Sobh

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    If you have a slow metabolism, trying to lose abdominal fat can be daunting, to say the least. Good news: it is still possible, and experts recommend some ways to make it happen. But there is also a reason why losing weight, including abdominal fat, is so difficult when you have a slow metabolism.

    To explain that, let's first define what your metabolism really is. When we say "metabolism," we are really referring to the metabolic rate, which is the way your body converts what it eats and drinks into usable energy, and how it stores that energy so you can use it later. There are innumerable factors that determine what "type" of metabolic rate you have (fast, slow, etc.), and the most important are also those that have no control over the age and their genetics.

    However, their metabolic rate is also closely linked to their body composition and muscle mass, said Elizabeth Lowden, MD, a bariatric endocrinologist at the Northwestern Medicine Center for Surgical Weight Loss and Metabolic Health at Delnor Hospital. Specifically, you can increase your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass and reducing body fat.

    Therefore, it is a double challenge if you have a slow metabolism and want to lose body fat. Its slow metabolism makes fat loss difficult, but fat makes the acceleration of your metabolism difficult. It's a frustrating puzzle, said Holly Lofton, MD, director of the Medical Weight Control Program at NYU Langone Health. "We have to break that cycle somewhere"

    Do I have a slow metabolism?
    "Those with a smaller body, which are shorter and may have difficulty maintaining muscle mass, tend to have slower metabolisms," said Dr. Lowden. How can you tell if it's you? Test your metabolism, said Dr. Lofton. You can do it in weight control centers, as well as in some gyms and dietitian offices, and you have a few different options to choose from.

    The first is called indirect calorimetry, which determines your metabolic rate by measuring your oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. The second option is the bioelectric impedance, which measures the mass of fat, muscle mass and the percentage of water, and of them, its metabolism, through a painless electrical impulse that crosses your body.

    If none of the test options are available to you, Dr. Lofton said, you can also get an approximate estimate of your metabolic rate from an online calculator. "Keep in mind that these are only based on height and weight, and they will have some errors depending on fat mass," Dr. Lofton warned. Here are some other ways to determine if you have a slow metabolism.

    Being in a caloric deficit
    If you have a slow metabolism and want to lose abdominal fat, the first priority is to eat fewer calories, Dr. Lofton. You want to have a slight caloric deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than you burn. "Weight loss is always reduced to energy balance," explained Dr. Lowden. Dr. Lofton recommended reducing approximately 250 calories a day to start. Here is exactly how to get into a caloric deficit, if you have never done so before.

    Slightly decreasing food intake has two positive effects. On the one hand, you will start losing fat. Maybe not necessarily from your belly; Now is a good time to remember that you cannot reduce fat locally, but by reducing body fat as a whole, you will begin to see results around your abdomen. And when you reduce your body fat percentage, it will also begin to speed up your metabolism, said Dr. Lofton.

    Increase physical activity, especially intense cardiovascular exercise
    While reducing your caloric intake, Dr. Lofton also recommended exercising more. Building muscle through strength training is actually the best way to speed up your metabolism, but when your overall goal is to lose abdominal fat, Dr. Lofton really recommended starting with cardio. "The body loses fat efficiently by performing intense physical activity," explained Dr. Lofton. Both cardiovascular and strength training is important for your overall health and weight loss, but initially increasing your cardio while reducing your caloric intake will lead to faster results.

    Any type of exercise will be useful to start: walk more, climb the stairs, get up and move throughout the day. But the best weight loss results will come when your heart rate is really increasing, "snorting and snorting, struggling to the point that it is difficult to have a conversation, but it is still possible," said Dr. Lofton. "That is the level of intensity you want to reach."

    High-intensity interval training is an option to prove that it has been shown to help with fat loss, especially when it comes to visceral fat, Dr. Lowden. Visceral fat is the fat around the organs, unlike subcutaneous fat under the skin, which is the type you can see. (Here is more about the difference between the two). Visceral fat is actually the most dangerous type, said Dr. Lowden, which leads to metabolic health problems such as abnormal blood sugar, heart disease, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease. Therefore, doing HIIT really benefits you in many ways: it will help you lose fat in general and dangerous visceral fat in particular. We recommend this 45-minute HIIT bodyweight workout to lose weight as a good place to start.

    Work the muscle
    When you are at half your target weight, Dr. Lofton recommended starting strength training to further increase your metabolism. A caloric deficit and cardiovascular exercises should help you lose fat, which improves your metabolism; Now, increasing lean muscle mass will speed it up even more. Muscle increases your basal metabolic rate, explained Dr. Lowden, which means that your body burns more calories at rest. "Higher levels of muscle mass can also increase the number of calories you burn during activities and exercise," he added. Basically, muscle is equal to a higher metabolism in general. Start with this four-week weightlifting training plan designed for beginners.

    Increase your metabolism with healthy fats and proteins
    Healthy fats and proteins take longer to digest your body, and you really spend more energy digesting them than other foods, said Dori Arad, Ph.D., director of Mount Sinai PhysioLab, in a previous interview. Although building muscle is the best way to increase your metabolism, eating more of these foods can give you a small boost. Protein has the additional advantage of helping you build muscle too. And when it comes to losing weight and working on your metabolic rate, every little bit counts!

    Choose healthy fats like:

    Nuts, including almonds and walnuts.
    Fatty fish, such as salmon and trout
    Avocados
    Olive oil
    And choose lean sources of protein, such as:

    Chicken without skin and turkey
    Beans and Lentils
    Fish
    tofu
    Ground beef that is 90 percent lean or lean

    Make long-term changes and stay constant
    Having a slow metabolism and trying to lose weight can be incredibly frustrating, for all the reasons we have discussed, but it is not an impossible task. The difference between a "fast" and "slow" metabolism is less than you might think, Dr. Lowden, and can be overcome with constant changes in lifestyle. "Lower basal metabolic rates mean that patience and consistency are important," he said. "It may take longer to make the right changes and see the results you are looking for, but that does not mean it will fail."

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