Having a toned sculpted body is all the rage these days. That’s why hundreds of nutrition plans and calculated workout routines are gaining immense traction globally. However, despite all the grinding effort weight watchers and fitness fanatics put into their body transformation journeys, somehow “trouble spots” remain unbothered by all the fat-blasting exercises and low-calorie diets. Belly fat takes the cake in being the most stubborn area. Is it at all possible to whittle your waist and get rid of belly? Keep on reading and discover how to blaze away your tummy fat in a safe tried-and-true way.
Types of bellies
On you way to the perfect body it is essential to understand the difference between the fat in your body. There are two main types of body fat: visceral and subcutaneous (1).
Visceral fat sit close to your vital organs (stomach, liver and other). In high amounts it increases your risks to get a number of health conditions, such as cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes and more.
The second type – subcutaneous fat – is a soft layer of fat that sits directly under your skin. It is completely harmless and is essential for your body – it protects it from injuries and helps to control the body temperature. It also produces hormones leptin and adiponectin. The first one helps to burn stored fat and control your appetite, and the second one helps to prevent diabetes and controls the levels of sugar and fats in your body.
So, subcutaneous fat is essential for your body and its proper functioning. However, it is vital to minimize the amount of visceral fat for you to live a long and healthy life.
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How to get rid of belly fat?
In most cases belly fat occurs because of long-lasting unhealthy habits (2). For example, it can be caused by high level of stress, alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, excessive calorie intake, wrong gut bacteria in your body and many other factors. However, there is always a way out. Below you can see a number of solutions which will help you to get rid of belly fat.
1. Healthy diet
Sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself in everything you would like to eat. It means that your nutrition plan should be well-balanced. It is important to focus on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Make sure to get enough protein from lean meats and low-fat dairy. Fish, nuts and certain vegetable oils will provide you with necessary amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Limit your sugar intake and avoid saturated fats. Make sure to drink necessary amount of water (5).
2. No sugar
A lot of added sugar will cause weight gain and belly fat. It can be quite challenging, because sugar is addictive, but by eliminating it from your dietary plan you’ll get a slim and healthy body.
3. Control your portion sizes
Even if you eat healthy foods, they still contain calories. That’s why it is highly important to control your portion sizes.
4. Be physically active
This is the rule number one. Without physical exercises you won’t get the desired results. 10 000 steps per day, strength trainings twice a week, running, walking, swimming or any other kind of exercise will help you to stay toned, slim, and healthy.
5. Minimize the levels of stress
If you want to reduce your belly fat, it is essential to learn to manage stress. Stress can increase cortisol levels and lead to weight gain. Moreover, it causes numerous health issues (4). Today there is an endless list of ways to remedy the situation – meditation, yoga, music and more. Just choose the most suitable method and your body will thank you.
6. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep increases stress levels and causes weight gain. That’s why it is essential to sleep at least 7 hours per night.
Exercises to get rid of belly fat
There is a wide range of exercises that will help to get rid of belly fat. Below you’ll see three the most common moves.
1. The hundred
Lie down on the floor on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Now lift your legs up so your feet are in a table-top position. Keep your feet flexed. Lift your extended arms approximately 1 inch above the floor, point your fingers away from you. Lift your upper back off the floor to engage your abs. Breathe in. Now you should start pumping your arms up and down. Hold your neck and chest off the floor. Perform the exercise to a count of 100. Then hug your knees and exhale to relax your abs. Repeat 2-3 reps if possible.
2. Scissor switch
Lie down on your back and tuck your hands behind your head. Now lift your legs up at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your feet are flexed. Lift your chin to your chest and engage your lower abs. Slowly lower one of your legs towards the floor until it gets one inch above the floor. Get back to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. Do 20 reps, 3 sets.
3. Jackknife crunch
Lie down on the floor and extend your arms reaching the wall behind you. Now simultaneously bring your arms up towards your legs and bring your extended legs up towards your head. Touch your knees with your hands and carefully get back to the starting position. Perform 20 reps, 3 sets.
To improve the effect of these exercises it will be great to start your workout from cardio exercises. You’ll jolt your metabolism back to life, get you heart pumping and your pulse racing which will result in big-time fat loss.
How to get rid of belly bloat?
Many people also suffer from belly bloat and think that it is excess weight. However, it is another problem which needs another solution. Belly bloat can happen because of several reasons. For example, food allergies or intolerances, hormones, dehydration, gas build-up and some other issues can cause this condition. The ways to solve the issue differ corresponding to the cause of the belly bloat. For example, sticking to a healthy and well-balanced diet, eating slowly and chewing thoroughly, consuming naturally probiotic foods (3) (yoghurt, kefir, dark chocolate and more) can be helpful.
What foods should I avoid?
The list of foods to avoid is not that long. If you want to burn belly fat you should limit processed foods, alcohol, inflammatory foods (sugar, artificial trans fats and other foods which cause inflammation), sauces and dressings. All these foods are high in calories and lead to health issues and weight gain.
In conclusion, despite the fact that it’s quite hard to get rid of belly fat and get the body of your dream, there are many methods which can help you to do that. All of them will improve your health and transform your body. However, it is vital to consult a health professional before starting new workouts or diets. In this way you’ll get desired results without risks for your health.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Belly fat in women: Taking — and keeping — it off (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- Changing Your Habits for Better Health (2019, niddk.nih.gov)
- Probiotics: What You Need To Know (2019, nccih.nih.gov)
- Stress and high blood pressure: What’s the connection? (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- Water: How much should you drink every day? (2017, mayoclinic.org)