The first to come and the last to go. Are you wondering what we’re talking about? Belly fat, of course! It is a problem area for most of us. Every time you get clicked, you suck in your belly, vowing to yourself that you will do something about your expanding waistline, but nothing really works. So even if you have slimmed down, your belly fat simply refuses to go.
If you really want to lose your belly fat, you must get down to the basics. That’s right, healthy eating and exercising is the only way to go, to get rid of stubborn belly fat. You might have read about hundreds of miracle pills that claim to flatten your tummy within a really short time, but the fact is that there is no shortcut to a flat tummy. It is, unfortunately, the truth. So, how do you get rid of your belly fat? What you need to do is follow our targeted program to reduce your belly fat effectively.
A Few Belly Tips to Start off
A potbelly has more serious repercussions than just the visual factor. If you think that you can do a hundred crunches every day and you will have a flat tummy, you are wrong. It certainly takes more than just crunches to flatten your belly. When do we start putting on weight around our midsection? When our cortisol levels go into overdrive, we start to gain unsightly fat in all the wrong areas, especially in the middle. Stress is one of the chief culprits for raising the levels of cortisol secretion.
When this happens, cortisol happens to breaks down the lean muscle, which is the type of tissue that helps burn and accelerate the storage of fat around your belly. And if you combine that with unmindful eating, it takes the cortisol level to another plane altogether. You must really be wary of the fat on your belly, which can give rise to diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and even cancer. So it is very important to get rid of the extra fat on your belly. Shaping up is possible if you incorporate these following points.
- Get more sleep- Sacrificing sleep not only steals your energy and vigor but also helps you get that unenviable belly. When you are really tired, you end up producing more ghrelin which makes you eat more sugar and other foods laden with unhealthy fats. It also impacts your hormone levels and insulin sensitivity, the primary reason for developing belly fat. You need at least seven-eight hours of sleep to fight belly fat.
- Don’t do long hours of cardio- Science backed with evidence has substantiated that the days of stepping on to the treadmill walking for long hours are over. Interval training has arrived and it is here to stay. Short bursts of exercises, a mixture of cardio and body-weight exercises like planks, squats and so on, do the trick with greater efficacy. A twenty-minute regime with a combination of different workouts works like a dream and it will help you inch closer to your body goals.
- Curb your sugar cravings- Yes, you will have to curb your sugar cravings in order to combat belly fat. Make wise choices, skip sugar laden foods and choose foods which are full of protein, which will help you stay full for longer. You can also sprinkle cinnamon on your foods, like on your morning bowl of oatmeal. It will enhance the fat burning properties of the food, helping you burn fat and also control your incessant hunger pangs.
- Eat fat to lose fat- Don’t be surprised. Fat has been labeled as the enemy all these years, but it is not true, it is the sugar that adds inches where it is not needed. Fats, especially good fats which contain omega 3 fatty acids like avocados, salmon, and walnuts are just the kind of fats you should load on. So, if you are avoiding the yolk, don’t do so. Eat it, it not only is it tastier than its white counterparts, but also has the most number of nutrients. Feeding your body with the right kind of nutrients should be your motto.
- Stock on your vitamin C- By that, we don’t mean you should take artificial supplements. No, all you should have is kiwis, guavas, bell peppers and so on; they contain more vitamin C than oranges! Vitamin C helps control those cortisol spikes, so the next time you are facing flak at work or nursing a heartbreak, you will be better off chomping on bell peppers, it will stop you from getting overly stressed and we all know what stress does to your body and belly. Time to restock your refrigerator, then!
- Practice deep breathing- Sometimes it is necessary to take a break from all that is doing the rounds around you. Sometimes when you are facing the blues at your office, walking out and trying to breathe deep, can be the answer. You may gradually may able to calm your jangled nerves. There is a trick to it; inhale and exhale, but take greater time to exhale. Do it at the count of eight and increase the number as you go.
Stealing half an hour to practice your breathing techniques can prove to be a real boon to you. Pranayama helps in this regard, but then when you do it, try to zone out, really tear yourself away from the reality of things and you will be a calmer person, and deal with stress better. If you really are able to keep stress at bay, you will know how it will help you get rid of your belly fat too.
- Eat every three hours- Are you keeping long gaps between your meals? If your answer is yes, then you got to stop right now. Yes, don’t keep long gaps between meals. Space out your calories and eat every three or so hours, it will help regulate your blood sugar and also control the release of insulin, which can coerce your body to store more fat.
Some Diet Tips to Getting Rid of Your Belly Fat
You need to keep a close eye on your diet if you really want to get closer to that hourglass figure of your dreams. The following tips can really help you get ripped. Remember, it is not always a diet but rather your lifestyle which needs monitoring; always restricting yourself may not prove to be that fruitful. Yo-yo dieting seldom helps, and even if you are able to knock off the extra inches with that kind of dieting, there are more chances of it coming back. So follow these tips to keep those inches in check and flaunt the toned tummy of your dreams.
- Drink more water- Yes, drinking more water helps to do away with bloating and also helps you to get rid of the accumulated toxins. You will feel lighter and more toned.
- Finish dinner early- Finish your meal three hours before hitting the sack. If your food is well digested before you sleep, you will have a slimmer waistline for sure.
- Eat more protein- Eat more good quality protein to keep yourself satiated. It will help drive away your hunger pangs, so you are less likely to overeat.
- Make your in- between meals healthy- Make snacking a healthy affair. You need to eat foods which have a combination of good carbs, protein and healthy fats, like an apple and a teaspoon of almond butter, a handful of unsalted nuts, homemade granola, roasted makhana or lotus seeds, something that will keep your fat burn on at optimal levels.
- Eat good carbs- It means you need to consume whole grains, especially millets, brown rice and so on; healthy carbs help your body to assimilate nutrients better.
- Eat mindfully- The more you chew your food, enjoying each morsel, the less likely you are to overeat. So, when you eat, concentrate on the food instead of your gadgets. You will be surprised how a little amount of food can satisfy your hunger pangs.
Exercise Regime for Belly Fat
Ditch your old cardio routine if it is not giving you any results. It is interval training which will help you shed the excess kilos and get a toned and flat belly. Blast your belly with these really effective exercises. It will really give the definition to your abdomen you have been seeking all these years.
1. Thread the Needle
This exercise really helps tone the deepest muscles inside your abdomen, tone them and incinerate the extra layer of fat on your abdomen.
To do this exercise, you need to start out in a push-up position. Ensure that your body forms a straight line right from your head all the way to your toes. There is a difference between this exercise and a push-up, here you don’t go up and down, and you’ll just move one arm at a time under your torso and reach as far as you can. Just start with your right arm and then reach underneath your torso whilst you move your head in that direction as well. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then put it back down. Repeat the procedure with your left arm in the opposite direction. Do this exercise for at least 4 sets of 10 reps each.
2. Leg Circle
A pilates workout and training is your best bet to a flat tummy because it works on all of your abdominal muscles, especially the six-pack rectus abdominis, which runs right down your center, the obliques, which are around your sides; and last but not least, the deep transversus abdominis, which is often ignored in traditional workouts.
Lie down on your back with your legs extended along the floor. Lift your left leg toward the ceiling, and keep your toes pointed. Your hands should be at your sides, palms firmly down. Hold on to this for 10 to 60 seconds. If you find this position uncomfortable, bend your right leg and keep your right foot flat on the floor. Try to make a small circle on the ceiling with your left toes, rotating your leg from your hip. Take a deep breath in as you begin the circle and breathe out as you finish. Keep your body as still as possible, you shouldn’t rock your body and tighten your abs drawing in your navel. Do 6 circles, and then do this in the opposite direction for six more. Repeat this with your other leg.
3. Squat and Reach
Squats are great compound or multi-joint, exercises, they are great for building strength. Squats are not only great for your calf muscles but also help create an anabolic environment, which promotes muscle building for the entire body.
Start with your feet slightly wide, keep them about hip-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Keep your weight on your heels and sit back into your deep squat. Ensure that your knees do not go beyond your toes. Hold your squat; raise both of your arms overhead. Hold this position for a moment, and then resume your standing position while lowering your arms to your sides. This comprises one rep. Perform about 15 reps.
This exercise helps strengthen your core, upper, middle and lower abs. It helps improve your balance. This especially works on the internal and external oblique muscles. It helps build six and eight pack abs.
Lie on your back, and place your arms to your side, off the floor. Try to lift your legs off the floor, and point them so that they are at about a 45-degree angle. Lift your head, so your shoulders are right off the floor.
When you are ready to begin, lift your upper body off the floor, and bend your knees. You can lean back to make this move slightly harder. Gradually lower your upper body back down to the floor and straighten out your legs as you do so. Stop right when your back is on the floor, but ensure that your head, shoulders, or legs do not touch. This completes one rep. You need to perform 25 reps.
5. Reverse Crunch
If you’re looking to get an effective abdominal workout, you should definitely try the reverse crunch. Where traditional crunches are what you will call rather basic, the reverse crunch takes your ab routine to the more advanced level.
Lie on your back on the floor. Keep your hands on the floor beside you. Bring your knees toward your chest and keep your feet together. Engage your abs to gradually curl your hips off the floor and into your chest, and slowly lower them back to the starting position. This is one set. Repeat for one minute. Don’t use your legs to create momentum, rather use your abs to control the movement.
How to lose belly fat fast? If you are still wondering about that, these lifestyle changes and exercises will definitely help. Remember that diet and exercises go in tandem, you cannot out exercise a bad diet or just diet and expect your obliques to show up. Also, when you want to indulge in some food, you can do so once in a week; just don’t get too stressed about the whole thing. Stress is what needs to be eliminated from your life first; fat loss and a toned tummy will definitely follow.