There are many dangerous and ineffective stories about how to lose belly fat. While there’s no “magic bullet” that will target abdominal fat in particular, this article will explain what causes an expanding waistline and how you can make that spare tire go away
Starting Your Metabolism
Eat breakfast. It might seem counterproductive to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, but studies show that eating breakfast within an hour of waking up keeps your insulin levels steadier and your LDL cholesterol levels lower.
Avoid making sugary cereals, waffles, pancakes, French toast, breakfast pastries, or instant oatmeal the sole focus of your breakfast. If you must splurge and eat something with refined sugars, balance it with protein or fiber.
Eat oats. They are especially good for breakfast. Oats are a low GI carbohydrate, which means that they release less sugar into the blood and help control your weight. You also feel fuller longer if you eat oats.
Fast food is the worst culprit in the battle against stomach fat. It’s convenient, sure, but it’s loaded with calories and fat, and those calories and fat head straight to our “problem areas,” our bellies and butts! Skip the fast food, or at least opt for healthier fast food options, like salads (without fried chicken or calorie-rich ranch on them) instead of fries. But if you are really set on losing stomach fat fast, avoid the fast food altogether.
Get a pedometer and try to increase the number of daily steps you take. Take stairs instead of elevators; walk instead of driving.
Switch out refined grains for whole grains. In a scientific study, people who ate all whole grains (in addition to five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy, and two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry) lost more belly fat than another group that ate the same diet, but with all refined grains.
Grains melt fat. A diet rich in whole grains changes the glucose and insulin response in your body to hasten the melting of fat, and visceral fat, that deep layer of fat, is easier for your body to burn than the subcutaneous fat under your skin (the fat that can be seen and grabbed).
Drink plenty of water. Studies suggest that consistently drinking water throughout the day can lead to a more active metabolism, regardless of dieting. Drinking more water also helps your body flush out waste/toxins and improves your overall health. Aim to drink an 8-oz. glass of water 8 times per day, or 64 ounces total. Carry a water bottle so that you can drink whenever you feel thirsty. Know how to tell when you’re sufficiently hydrated. You’ll know you’re drinking enough water when your urine runs almost clear. If it’s still yellow, drink up.
Significantly reduce alcohol, sugary drinks (like Coke, 7-Up, Pepsi and all the diet drinks), and carbonated beverages.
Exercise in small bursts. Research shows that interval training, or alternating short bursts of energy with brief resting periods, can improve muscle and build endurance more quickly than traditional exercise.
Sprint. Run as fast and as far as you can for 20 seconds, then slow to a walk until you catch your breath. Repeat for 10 minutes.
Take quick walks. Fit some exercise into your work day and take 5-minute power walks. Take long strides and keep a brisk pace, or try going up and down stairs.
Do the bridge. Get into the position for doing a push up/press up. Rest on your elbows and always keep your eyes to the floor. Pull your stomach muscles in tight, imagining them going to your backbone. As you do this, your bottom should be down and your back straight. Hold this position for as long as it feels comfortable. During the holding period, don’t arch your back but keep it as straight as possible. If it feels too hard at first, allow your knees to form a resting platform. Aim to hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat this exercise 3-5 times.
Do squats. Stand with your feet 8-9 inches apart, extend your arms in front of you and squat your hips backward. Do four sets of 15-20 squats, working several minutes at a time.
Stretch the sides of your waist. Stand up straight, with your feet hip-width apart. Put your right hand on your right hip, and lift your left arm straight up, so that your palm faces to the right. Keeping your legs centered, lean to the right and “reach” over with your left arm, stretching your left side. Do 3-5 times on each side.
Once you’ve got the body you want (no belly fat in sight!), that doesn’t mean it’s time to rest on your laurels. Don’t stop exercising. Don’t stop eating right. Keep up with your plan, and you’ll keep your new hot body! Remember, it’s not just about losing belly fat, it’s about being healthier in general. Health is a way of life, a new life plan, and you have to stick with it!