Best Exercises For Reducing Belly Fat At Home And Expert Tips Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 December 31, 2019
Belly fat is the most unhealthy, stubborn fat. The AARP warns that people with belly fat are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers (1). That is why you must change your lifestyle and start exercising. Listed below are a few things you can start doing to reduce and manage belly fat.
Table Of Contents
- 15 Best Exercises To Get A Flat Belly
- Helpful Advice By 8 Fitness Experts
- Lifestyle Tips To Reduce Belly Fat
- Which Exercises Will Help Me Lose Belly Fat?
- Goals, meet achievements.Canyon Ranch® Wellness Resorts
- Is There ‘One Trick’ to Losing Belly Fat?
- First of all, what is belly fat?
- Is there really ‘one trick’ to losing belly fat?
- So, no, there’s not. But here’s what you can do.
- 2. Target sugar
- 3. Go Mediterranean
- 4. Front-load your meal
- 5. Commit to a physical lifestyle
- The bottom line is that when it comes to belly fat, the answer is not in drugs or supplements.
- 7. And try not to sit too much
- 8. Redefine ‘rest’
- 9. Don’t rely on sit-ups to give you a six-pack
- 10. Develop more muscle
- 11. Get some sleep
- 12. Forget about weight loss drugs or supplements claiming ‘one trick’
- Three ways to reduce belly fat
- Is putting on weight just part of getting older?
- What should I do if I’ve got excess weight round my middle?
- So how do I reduce my belly fat?
- Increase protein in your diet
- Exercise – what works best?
- You’re not getting enough sleep
- You’re doing the wrong type of workout
- You’re consuming too much sugar
- You’re not eating enough protein
- You’re feeling stressed or anxious
- You’re expecting a quick fix
- You’re not tracking your progress
- You’re crash-dieting
- You’re doing too much
- You haven’t got the right exercise balance
- You’ve lost motivation
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- 1. Get motivated
- 2. Set a goal
- 3. Don’t go on a diet
- 4. Do some math
- 5. Develop your strategy
- 6. Do your homework
- 7. Get with the program
- 8. Change how you eat
- 9. Add in exercise…
- 10. …but don’t become a gym rat overnight
- 11. Don’t go it alone
- 12. Don’t let plateaus derail you
- 13. Measure success without the scale, too
- 6 BEST Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Men
- 6 Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Women
- Here are more general tips to help you lose body fat
15 Best Exercises To Get A Flat Belly
*Warm up for 10 minutes before starting these exercises. After your muscles are warmed up, take a 10-second break and start with the following exercises:
1. Lying Leg Raises
Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
How To Do
- Lie down on a mat. Place your thumbs under your hips, palms flat on the floor. Lift your feet off the floor a little, look up at the ceiling, and engage your core. This is the starting position.
- Raise both your legs to 90 degrees and slowly bring them back down.
- Right before touching the floor, raise your legs again. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
What Not To Do – Do not place your feet completely on the floor or push your hips up with your hands to lift your legs.
2. Leg In And Out
Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
- Sit on a mat. Place your hands behind you, with the palms flat on the mat. Lift your legs off the floor and lean back a little. This is the starting position.
- Tuck both your legs in. Simultaneously, bring your upper body close to your knees.
- Go back to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 20 reps.
What Not To Do – Do not place your hands too wide apart at the back.
3. Scissor Kicks
Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
- Lie down on a mat. Place your palms under your hips.
- Lift your head, upper back, and legs off the floor. This is the starting position.
- Lower your left leg. Just before it touches the floor, lift your left leg and lower your right leg.
- Do this 12 times to complete one set. Do 3 sets of 12 reps. Take a 20-second break before moving on to the next exercise
What Not To Do – Do not do this exercise quickly or hold your breath while doing it.
Target –Lower and upper abs.
- Lie down on a mat, flex your knees, and place your feet on the floor.
- Place a thumb at the back of each ear. Hold the back of your head with the rest of the fingers. Lift your head off the floor. This is the starting position.
- Initiate the movement by curling up and trying to reach your knees with your head.
- Go back to the starting position.
- Make sure you inhale while curling up and exhale while going down. Do 2 sets of 12 reps.
What Not To Do – Do not tuck your chin in.
5. Bicycle Crunches
Target –Upper abs, lower abs, obliques, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
- Lie down on a mat, flex your knees, and lift your feet off the floor.
- Place a thumb at the back of each ear. Hold the back of your head with the rest of the fingers. Lift your head off the floor. This is the starting position.
- Push your left leg down and extend it straight. Simultaneously, curl up and twist to your right. Try to touch your left elbow with your right knee.
- Curl back down and bring your left leg back to the flexed position.
- Do the same with the other leg. Do 2 sets of 12 reps. Take a 10-second break before doing the next exercise.
What Not To Do – Do not hasten to complete the sets, and do not tuck your chin in.
6. Half Seated Reverse Crunch
Target – Lower abs, upper abs, and glutes.
- Sit on a mat, flex your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Lean back and support your body on your elbows. This is the starting position.
- Lift both your legs off the floor and bring your knees almost close to your nose.
- Slowly, bring your legs down to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
What Not To Do – Do not scrunch your shoulders or curve your lower back too much.
Target – Lower and upper abs.
- Lie on a mat, flex your knees, and place your heels on the mat. Engage your core and place your hands at the back of your head. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and look at the ceiling. This is the starting position.
- Use your core strength to lift your body off the floor and come to a sitting position.
- Go back down to the starting position slowly. Do 2 sets of 12 reps.
What Not To Do – Do not get confused between sit-ups and crunches. You need to literally sit up and go back down to the starting position to do sit-ups. Do not bring your elbows close while sitting up.
8. Heel Touch
Target – Obliques and upper abs.
- Lie down on a mat. Kee your legs flexed, feet wider than shoulder-width apart, and flat. Keep your hands by your side, chin up, shoulders relaxed, and core engaged.
- Bend sideways and try to touch your right heel with your right hand.
- Bend toward the other side and try to touch your left heel with your left hand.
- Do 20 of these to finish one set. Do 3 sets of 20 reps. Take a 20-second break before moving on to the next exercise.
What Not To Do – Do not place your feet too close to your hips.
9. Jackknife Crunch
Target –Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
- Lie down on a mat. Extend your hands over your head. This is the starting position.
- Keeping your back and neck in the same line, lift your upper body. Simultaneously, lift both your feet off the floor.
- Try touching your knees with your hands.
- Get back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
What Not To Do – Do not rest your head on the floor completely between repetitions.
10. Russian Twist
Target – Obliques, upper abs, lower abs, and glutes.
- Sit on the mat, lift both your legs, keep your knees flexed, and lean back a little. Join your palms to balance your body. This is the starting position.
- Twist your upper body to the left and then to the right.
What Not To Do – Do not hold your breath while doing this exercise.
11. Lying Alternate Toe Taps
Target – Lower abs, upper abs, obliques, and glutes
- Lie on the mat and lift both your legs. Extend your hand up, lift your head and upper back off the floor, and engage your core. This is the starting position.
- Curl up and try to touch your left foot with your right hand.
- Curl back down.
- Curl up again and try to touch your right foot with your left hand. Do 2 sets of 15 reps.
What Not To Do – Don’t worry if you are not able to touch your foot. Try reaching beyond the knee and as close to the foot as possible.
12. Crossbody Mountain Climbers
Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
- Get into a plank position. Make sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Keep your neck, back, and hips in a straight line. Do not pike up and curve down. This is the starting position.
- Lift your right foot off the floor, flex your knee and bring it close to the right side of your chest.
- Place the right foot back to its starting position. Now, lift your left foot off the floor, flex your knee and bring it close to the left side of your chest.
- Speed up and do it as if you are running! Do 2 sets of 25 reps. Take a 20-second break before doing the next exercise.
What Not To Do – Do not place your palms too far away from your body, and do not droop your neck or lower back.
Target – Full body workout that also targets your abs.
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and place your hands on the floor. Let’s call this the “frog” position for clarity.
- Jump and push both your legs back and get into a plank or push-up position.
- Hop and get back to the “frog” position.
- Jump vertically and extend your hands above your head.
- Land softly on the floor.
- Get into the frog position again, then go back to the plank position. Do 3 sets of 8 reps. Take a 10-second break between the sets. Also, take a 20-second break before moving on to the next exercise.
What Not To Do – Do not set unachievable goals. Burpees are tough to do. The number of burpees you do does not matter. What matters is how many you do while maintaining correct posture.
Target – Upper abs, lower abs, shoulders, biceps, and glutes.
- Kneel down on a mat.
- Place your elbows on the mat.
- Extend your right leg back, then your left leg.
- Keep your neck, back, and hips in the same line. Keep your core engaged.
- Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds. Do 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold.
What Not To Do – Do not place your palms far away from your shoulders. Do not droop your lower back or pike it up.
15. Side Plank
Target – Abs, shoulders, biceps, and glutes.
- Get into a side half-lying pose on your right. Place your left foot across the right foot and on the floor.
- Place your elbow right below your shoulder and your left hand on your waist.
- Lift your pelvis off the floor. Your back should be in line with your neck and head.
- To make this a little tough, open your left hand wide.
- Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. Keep breathing.
- Lower your body. Take a 10-second break, change sides, and do the same on the other side. One set of this exercise is enough for beginners. You may increase the time and sets as you progress.
What Not To Do – Do not droop your pelvis.
To make it more effective and quick for you, here’s advice from 8 fitness experts. Scroll down!
Helpful Advice By 8 Fitness Experts
Doing ab crunches and following a crash diet is not the right way to lose belly fat. If you really want to flaunt a well-toned belly, you have to eat a balanced diet with all the good fats rather than starving yourself.
You should also exercise three to five times a week. Do burpees, side planks, and bicycle crunches.
To lose belly flab, your go-to exercises should be V-ups, planks, and bicycle crunches.
Laura London: lauralondonfitness.com
Lori L. Shemek
HIIT is highly effective for all over weight loss, particularly removing stubborn belly fat. If you are not eating right, you have reached menopause, or you are not losing weight, you should do these exercises. Don’t let the name scare you as it is you who determines the intensity. It is your perceived exertion that counts.
Lori L. Shemek: drlorishemek.com
Practice plank, leg raises, and cross body mountain climbers.
Kelly rennie: busymumfitness.com/
Practice hanging bicycles, decline bench sit-ups, and prone slider toe-ins.
Anthony Trucks: truckstraining.com
HIIT sprints work wonders. Also, boxing and Tabata are great for shedding belly fat.
Lee Brogan: gymfreetrainers.com
Nothing beats Flick step, sweep, and twist exercises when it comes to losing belly fat.
Kerry P. Taylor
Try half Turkish get up, ab wheel rollouts, and standing band rotations to get a flat belly you always dreamed of.
Kerry P. Taylor: www.212healthandperformance.com
Last, but not the least, here are some other ways/tips that you may follow to reduce belly fat.
Lifestyle Tips To Reduce Belly Fat
- Eat Right
Reducing abdominal fat is 80% about eating the right food. Follow a healthy and balanced diet with adequate macro and micronutrients. Most importantly, skip takeaways and fast foods. Eat food prepared at home (2) .
- Drink Water
Always carry a water bottle, and make sure you keep sipping water throughout the day (3).
- Short Bursts Of Exercises
According to recent studies, instead of working out for hours or running a few miles, doing short bursts of active exercises is very helpful in reducing stubborn fat (2), (4) .
- Say No To Sugar
Cut down on sugar to reduce belly fat (5). Use honey or jaggery instead.
- Reduce Sodium Intake
Consuming a lot of salt causes water retention in the body (6), (7). Reduce your sodium intake to see a difference in your belly fat.
- Increase Intake Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for the secretion of carnitine, a compound that helps the body convert fat into energy. It also helps block cortisol, a hormone that is secreted by the body under stress (8). A study conducted at Yale University suggests a potential link between spikes in cortisol levels and abdominal fat (9).
- Consume Fat Burning Foods
You can consume the following foods to burn fat by boosting metabolism.:
- Garlic: A study conducted on mice found that garlic helped in reducing body weight (10).
- Ginger: Ginger has been found to reduce feelings of hunger and, thus, have the potential to aid in weight management (11).
- Cayenne pepper: The capsaicin found in peppers boosted metabolic rate modestly in a study conducted on mice (12).
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon has the potential to prevent metabolic syndrome, which is often characterized by excess body fat around the waist (13).
- Include Healthy Fats
Include polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) into your diet. PUFA help reduce inflammation in the body (14), thereby lowering the chances of accumulating abdominal fat.
- Do Not Skip Breakfast
Many people think that skipping breakfast helps with quick weight loss. On the contrary, skipping breakfast is a major blunder. It increases bloating and pushes your body into starvation mode, a key for abdominal fat gain (15).
- Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Adequate sleep is very important for weight management. Everyone needs six to eight hours of sleep. According to a recent study, too much sleep or a lack of it can lead to weight gain (16).
Hope you now have a clear idea on what you need to do to reduce belly fat at home. It is tough but not impossible. Follow the experts’ advice, do the exercises, eat right, and you will see a difference in your waistline. Cheers!
Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
- “Battling Belly Fat” AARP.
- “Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies” Weight Management: State of the Science and Opportunities for Military Programs, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Water, Hydration and Health”, Nutrition reviews, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Heart Rate Variability in Physically Inactive Adults, International journal of environmental research and public health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Harmful effects of sugar consumption on health, Revue médicale suisse, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Increased salt consumption induces body water conservation and decreases fluid intake, The Journal of clinical investigation, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effect of lower sodium intake on health: systematic review and meta-analyses, BMJ, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Vitamin C supplementation attenuates the increases in circulating cortisol, adrenaline and anti-inflammatory polypeptides following ultramarathon running, International journal of sports medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women, Obesity research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Reduction of body weight by dietary garlic is associated with an increase in uncoupling protein mRNA expression and activation of AMP-activated protein kinase in diet-induced obese mice, The Journal of nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot study, Metabolism, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Capsaicin may have important potential for promoting vascular and metabolic health, Open heart, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Beneficial Effects of Cinnamon on the Metabolic Syndrome, Inflammation, and Pain, and Mechanisms Underlying These Effects – A Review, Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, Journal of traditional and complementary medicine. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammation: The Role of Phospholipid Biosynthesis, International journal of molecular sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Skipping breakfast and 5‐year changes in body mass index and waist circumference in Japanese men and women, Obesity science & practice, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Adequate sleep to improve the treatment of obesity, CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- 12 Simple Yoga Asanas To Reduce Belly Fat
- 25 Best Superfoods For Weight Loss Backed By Science
- What To Eat To Reduce Belly Fat – Flat Belly Diet
- 25 Belly Fat Burning Foods To Eat For A Slim Waist
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Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.
Which Exercises Will Help Me Lose Belly Fat?
Q: I can’t seem to get rid of the fat around my waist. What types of exercise should I focus on to shed extra belly fat?
A: There are few places on the body where fat is as stubborn as the belly. Especially as we age, extra inches seem to pile on effortlessly around our midsection. For most of us, the reasons behind belly bulge include a combination of four key players: genes (how many fat cells you have and where those cells end up settling is partly hereditary); hormones (in women, estrogen production decreases during menopause, which can cause weight gain and added inches in the abdominal area in particular); stress (tension and adrenal hormones have a significant impact on visceral fat); and lifestyle (too little exercise and too many calories lead to extra pounds everywhere, but especially in your middle).
The good news is that belly fat does yield to a combination of diet and exercise, as long as it’s the right kind. Contrary to what you might think, “spot training” exercises that target just one area—like crunches—are not the answer. While they help tighten abdominal muscles, these moves won’t get rid of visceral fat, the kind that lives deep in the belly and is linked to a variety of serious health risks.
What will work is aerobic (cardio) exercise, the kind that burns fat everywhere in the body, belly included. Start with moderate-intensity workouts like brisk walking, running or biking for at least 30 minutes, five days a week, working your way up to 60 minutes if possible. Anything that raises your heart rate and makes you work up a sweat will help reduce visceral fat. Keeping track of your workout results, such as heart rate response and total calorie expenditure, can be a great gauge of your success. As you become more fit you should be able to accomplish a greater calorie burn in less time.
If you want to really step up the pace and burn more calories, try high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, in which you alternate brief periods of intense exercise with less-intense recovery periods. For example, if you’re a runner, try sprinting for one minute, then slow down to a walk or slow jog for another minute, then sprint again, alternating the run/walk 10 times. Studies show that HIIT may be more effective at targeting abdominal fat than steady-state endurance workouts, in which you stick to mostly the same pace for your entire routine.
Two more things to remember: First, strength training matters, too. In a study at the University of Pennsylvania, women who did an hour of weight training twice a week reduced their proportion of body fat by nearly four percent, but they were also more successful at keeping off visceral fat. And, most important, all the cardio workouts in the world won’t result in a flatter belly if you don’t keep a careful eye on the quality of the food you’re eating, too.
More: Strategies for Weight Loss That Sticks
Goals, meet achievements.Canyon Ranch® Wellness Resorts
Is There ‘One Trick’ to Losing Belly Fat?
First of all, what is belly fat?
There are different types of fat:
Subcutaneous fat is the looser fat that lets you “pinch an inch” and can accumulate just under the skin
Intramuscular fat is found within the skeletal muscles
Visceral fat is the packed between your abdominal organs (stomach, liver, kidneys, etc.), which is what we call intra-abdominal or belly fat
Is there really ‘one trick’ to losing belly fat?
When ads claim a “one trick” solution, remember that their main objective is to sell their product rather than to help you. Good marketing means one message, because it is hard to follow too many things at once. So they focus on one fad, and that tickles your curiosity and you click on the link to go their website.
So, no, there’s not. But here’s what you can do.
Typically there are many things you may need to improve to lose belly fat. But start by focusing on changing or improving just one thing. Then, once you conquer that first objective, you can move on to the next thing, and so on.
2. Target sugar
One good place to begin improving your food choices is to eliminate sugary drinks — and not just soda, but juices. Sugar increases belly fat and fiber reduces belly fat; thus when you’re juicing fruits, you’re removing the fiber, leaving pure sugar. So one quick fix, a very concrete fix, would be eliminating sugary drinks.
Replacing sugary beverages with water will help dramatically cut down your sugar intake, and then once you’ve taken that step, you can figure out how to cut down on foods that are high in sugar.
If you have a sweet tooth and need to put that final accent to your meal, eat an apple, melon or fresh berries. Just remember, fruit is not a substitute for vegetables.
3. Go Mediterranean
The popular “flat belly diets”embrace much of the wisdom found in eating a Mediterranean diet, which helps everything from brain health to hearth health. The basic premise for both diets is eat foods rich in monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that may help reduce your belly fat storage. MUFA-rich foods include olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocodos, and fish. Eating yogurt regularly has also been found to be helpful in reducing belly fat.
Another diet trend that promises results when it comes to belly fat: the apple cider vinegar diet. While animal studies have been promising, current research in humans has yet to show impressive results. The data supporting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, however, are real and cause for making some dietary changes.
4. Front-load your meal
Start your meal, especially your largest meal, with seasoned vegetables, be it vegetable soup or the vegetables on your entrée plate. And remember that vegetables should always comprise at least half of your plate and be a mix of starchy (like potatoes) and nonstarchy ones (your leafy greens, broccoli, etc.).
Eating the vegetables first will leave less room for other foods that aren’t as healthy, because vegetable fiber is filling.
5. Commit to a physical lifestyle
The single most important thing people can do to prevent the buildup of belly fat and get rid of existing belly fat is commit to physical activity, and better yet, a physical lifestyle.
For both men and women, the first fat you lose when you exercise is visceral fat.
In a way, moderate-intensity physical activity is that “magic pill” a lot of people are looking for, because the health benefits go beyond keeping your waistline trim: Not only can it reduce your risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart attacks, but studies have shown that physical activity can significantly improve the moods of patients with major depressive disorders.
Overtraining, though, can be problematic when it comes to fighting belly fat because it can lead to coristol overproduction. Excess amounts of this stress hormone has been found to be associated with belly fat.
Simply walking briskly an hour each day can have an impact by boosting your metabolism, as can adding an incline to your treadmill routine.
Here’s something else most people probably don’t know: Fidgeting is good for you. It’s considered a nonexercise physical activity, and it’s an important way to burn energy. You get more health benefits if, in addition to exercising, you are a more fidgety, more active person the rest of the day. This means gesturing while you’re talking, tapping your foot, just moving around.
7. And try not to sit too much
Studies have shown that people who sit eight to nine hours a day, even if they exercise the recommended 150 minutes per week, do not get the same benefits of exercising as people who are more active throughout the day.
If you have to sit most of the day for your job, try to find some ways to move:
- Take small breaks throughout the day to walk around
- Use your lunch hour to take a longer walk
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if possible
- Do stretching exercises at your desk
- Just do your best to move around as much as you can
8. Redefine ‘rest’
Having an active hobby — and if you don’t already have one, developing one — is important. Get engaged in some kind of sport, whether it’s a group activity or something you can do alone. Essentially, if an activity is pleasant to you, you’ll continue to do it.
If your leisure time involves sitting around on the sofa or in a chair, you might actually be offsetting the positive health effects of exercising even if you’re working out regularly.
Unfortunately, the general understanding of rest is relaxing in front of TV or dining out — what we call “passive rest.” But really, our rest should consist of sleep, and our leisure time should consist of fun physical activity, which is active rest.
Statistics suggest that out of 900 months in his life, the average man in the U.S. spends approximately 198 months watching TV, five months complaining about his boss, and five months waiting on hold.
Think of the other things you could do with those 208 months of your life. You could find activities that are better for your health and will help keep the belly fat away.
9. Don’t rely on sit-ups to give you a six-pack
Unfortunately, sit-ups and crunches can’t eliminate visceral fat directly. You can’t reduce fat from specific parts of your body by exercising that body part; our bodies simply don’t work that way.
With sit-ups or other abdominal exercises, you’re toning the abdominal muscles but not burning intra-abdominal fat. The key is to lower your overall body fat with moderate-intensity physical activity and a healthy diet; when you reduce your total body fat, you’ll also be reducing your belly fat.
So if you want to do abdominal exercises, make them part of your fitness routine. Just don’t treat them as a substitute for the recommended 150 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity physical activity.
10. Develop more muscle
While sit-ups can’t “target” belly fat, what they can do is help you burn calories, strengthen your core and develop more muscle. Because muscle is more metabolically active than fat, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn when you’re at rest.
You can also try lifting heavier weights and resting less between repetitions, which can promote calorie burning after you leave the gym.
Burning those extra calories can help you achieve and maintain a healthier weight in conjunction with regular cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet.
11. Get some sleep
A recent study of 70,000 individuals showed that those getting less than five hours of sleep were more likely to gain 30 or more pounds.
12. Forget about weight loss drugs or supplements claiming ‘one trick’
So far, there is not one single drug that is approved by the Federal Drug Administration for the reduction of belly fat. Supplements claiming a “one trick solution” to belly fat are not strictly regulated, and a lot of the claims made in the ads are not backed up by research.
The bottom line is that when it comes to belly fat, the answer is not in drugs or supplements. Enjoying a healthy lifestyle should be the focus. And while that’s not as simple as swallowing a pill, the benefits will last a lifetime.
Three ways to reduce belly fat
Whether you’re overweight or not, carrying more fat around your belly is linked to a number of serious health problems, such as:
- heart and circulatory problems
- high blood pressure and stroke
- insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- bowel cancer
- sleep apnoea
While anyone can have this type of deep visceral fat around their inner organs, it’s important that you make some changes to get your body into a healthier place.
Is putting on weight just part of getting older?
It’s true that as we get older, we need less calories to keep our body working well. Changes to our hormones during this time mean that we start to lose muscle and gain fat. This makes it harder to keep to a healthy weight but that’s not to say it’s impossible. In fact, people who are aged 65 and over are healthier than their ancestors and are living longer.
Although you can’t escape the ageing process, when it comes to managing your weight, there are other factors that are within your control. These include your lifestyle habits, choices and behaviours (especially around diet) and how active you are.
What should I do if I’ve got excess weight round my middle?
Regardless of your height or BMI, you should aim to lose weight if:
- you are a man with a waist measurement of 94 cm (37 inches) or more
- you’re a woman with a waist measuring 80 cm (31.5 inches) or more
And your risk of serious health problems will greatly increase if:
- you are a man with a waist measurement of 102 cm (40 inches),
- you’re a woman with a waist measuring higher that 88cm (34 inches).
If your tummy weight is in the higher risk category above I would advise you to contact your GP. You might also find it helpful to contact a dietitian, who will help you to develop an individualised plan for a healthier lifestyle.
So how do I reduce my belly fat?
If you want to reduce your belly fat, you’ll need to burn more calories (energy) than you consume, and eat the right kinds of food. Here are my suggestions on what to eat.
- Make sure you eat a balanced diet. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg each day, and include higher-fibre starchy foods in meals.
- Have some reduced-fat diary or soya drinks fortified in calcium.
- Eat more beans, pulses, fish and eggs.
- Eat small amounts of unsaturated oil.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day.
- Avoid adding salt or sugar to your meals.
And finally, cut out sports drinks, sugar sweetened drinks and other foods that have a lot of added sugar in them. Be aware that low-fat options might have high amounts of added sugar in them.
Increase protein in your diet
Protein can be a helpful way to lose weight because it makes you feel fuller than carbs and fat do. So if you include a lean source of protein, such as skinless white chicken, in your meals you may find that you’re not as hungry, and so eat less.
Make sure you include protein with each meal. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, mackerel, salmon, eggs, milk, red lentils, chickpeas, brown bread, nuts and soya. And remember that a portion of protein is about as big as the palm of your hand.
Go for foods that are rich in protein and low in fat (known as lean protein sources) as some sources of protein can be high in saturated fat. Alternatively, there are lots of protein products on the market, such as supplements and powders, but if you decide to use these make sure you have a trained sports dietitian or nutritionist supervising your diet.
Exercise – what works best?
Any form of exercise for at least 30 minutes a day is good for you. Use every opportunity to become fit whether you are at home, at work or with friends. This could include cycling to work or getting off the bus or train one or two stops early.
But combining resistance (strength) exercise and cardiovascular exercise is ideal. Resistance exercises are a great way of helping you to maintain your muscle mass and your glucose metabolism (the way your body processes sugar and uses it for fuel), which are important for managing your weight. Resistance training has also been shown to reduce fat around your tummy area.
But, if you’re able and would like a boost for your exercise regime, I’d really recommend you do high intensity interval training (or HIIT for short). This will really get your heart rate up and burn the fat. HIIT basically means that you go all out for a short burst, followed by a lower-intensity exercise or rest – and then repeat. This form of training is good for people with very busy lifestyles as they can get similar health benefits in a shorter duration of time.
Putting it all together
A few small changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference and reduce your waist circumference. So, reduce your portion sizes, cut out sweet treats and alcohol, meet recommended guidelines for exercise, and increase your intake of fruit and veg. In addition, strength training exercises are recommended at least twice a week.
And if you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you might need to exercise more.
Even healthy people become unwell sometimes. Health insurance can help you get prompt access to the treatment and support you need to help you get back on the road to recovery. Learn more with our useful guide to understanding health insurance.
Lose Your Belly Fat Fast. Image credit: neali0o
One of the biggest questions I get is “how do I lose my belly fat? I’ve tried several things but nothing worked”. When I ask what you tried I hear 100 daily sit-ups, cutting calories drastically, excess cardio, fat burners, etc.
If you can’t lose your belly fat, you’re using the wrong approach. You don’t need endless sit-ups, supplements, starving yourself or worse surgery. Here are the 10 best ways to lose your belly fat – quickly and naturally.
1. Stop Doing Crunches. Crunches will strengthen your stomach muscles, but won’t burn the belly fat that covers your abs. Spot reduction is a myth. You’re wasting time & effort doing 200 daily crunches.
Crunches can also cause lower back pain, slouching shoulders & forward head posture. The Reverse Crunch doesn’t cause these problems, but again: spot reduction is a myth. To lose your belly fat, you need more. Keep reading.
2. Get Stronger. Strength training builds muscle mass, prevents muscle loss and helps fat loss. The Squat & Deadlift work best to build strength.
- Your lower back keeps you upright from the back. Your abs from the front. Both muscles will work hard during heavy Squats & Deadlifts at keeping you from collapsing under the weight.
- Squats & Deadlifts allow you to stress your body with heavy weights, working all your muscles from head to toe. This helps getting stronger quickly and building muscle fast, including ab muscles.
Spot reduction still doesn’t exist, so Squats & Deadlifts won’t burn your belly fat directly. However they’ll strengthen your abs and lower your waist size. If you never did both exercises, check StrongLifts 5×5. Only takes 3x45mins/week.
3. Eat Healthy. As the saying goes “abs are built in the kitchen”. You can train hard & build muscular abs, but if you eat junk food all day, you won’t lose your belly fat. Stop eating processed food. Eat whole, unprocessed foods.
No need to be perfect. Eating junk food actually helps fat loss by keeping your hormones sharp. Don’t overdo it though. Eat junk food 10% of the time max. That’s 4 junk meals/week if you eat 6 meals/day.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption. To lose your belly fat, what you drink is as important as what you eat. Alcohol from time to time is OK. But forget about losing your belly fat if you drink beer & sweet alcohols daily.
Beer drinkers always have a pear shape: belly fat & man boobs – especially as they get older. Alcohol also stresses your liver which has to overwork to clear the toxins. This can get in the way of building muscles.
Drink alcohol 10% of the time. Example Friday & Saturday night. Normal alcohol consumption, not the get drunk. Rest of the time: water, water with squeezed lemon, green tea, etc. Either that or forget about losing your belly fat.
5. Eat Less Carbs. You need carbs for energy. Problem is that most people eat way more carbs than they need. Your body will stock the carbs it doesn’t need as fat. And this is often how you get belly fat.
Unless you’re a skinny guy who needs to gain weight, lower your carb intake. Keep eating fruits & veggies with each meal. But cut back on potatoes, pasta, rice, breads, … Eat these post workout only.
6. Eat More. Eating tons of healthy foods won’t make you fat. Especially not if you exercise 2-3x/week. Starving yourself is the number 1 nutritional mistakes. Healthy nutrition is important for 3 reasons:
- Energy. Food is energy. Your body uses food for weight lifting, working, digestion, etc. Lack of food means lack of energy, in all areas of life.
- Fat Loss. Eating the right foods helps fat loss: protein has the highest thermic effect and satiates, healthy fats promote fat loss, …
- Maintain Muscle. If you starve yourself, your body will burn muscle for energy – NOT fat. You’ll become skinny + fat.
Hunger means you’re not eating enough. Don’t worry about calories. Just eat breakfast and eat every 3 hours from there on, including post workout. Eat healthy foods 90% of the time to lose your belly fat fast.
7. Eat More Protein. Protein has a higher thermic effect than other foods: your body burns more energy processing proteins than it does processing carbs and fat. That’s why high protein diets work great at burning your belly fat.
How much protein do you need daily? Do like I do: eat whole protein with each meal without worrying about the numbers. Check the 10 cheapest sources of protein to keep it budget-friendly.
8. Eat More Fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Bad nutrition and lack of exercise do. Eating fat actually helps fat loss. Your body won’t stock fat as easily if your give it a constant intake of healthy fats.
Fish oil is the best source of fat to lose your belly fat. Fish oil naturally increases testosterone levels and increases fat loss. 6g omega-3 per day is a good start. Check Carlson Fish Oil: 1600mg omega-3 per tbsp.
Stay away from trans-fatty fats present in products like margarine. Trans-fatty fats are bad for your health. Eat whole unprocessed foods 90% of the time as I recommend in point 3 and you’ll avoid trans-fatty fats easily.
9. Lower Your Body Fat. As a man, your belly is the last place where you’ll get rid of fat. If you have man boobs and a double chin, you’ll have to lower your body fat to lose your belly fat. Here’s how:
- Get Stronger. Strength training builds & maintains muscle, increases fat loss, helps sticking to diet, … Check StrongLifts 5×5 if you don’t know where to start: it only takes 3x45mins/week.
- Eat Healthier. Apply the 8 nutrition rules. Eat breakfast. Eat every 3 hours. Proteins, veggies & fruits with each meal. Carbs post workout only. 2 cups of water with each meal. Whole foods 90% of the time.
- Add Cardio. 15mins post workout, build up to 3x45mins/week. If you have less than 15% body fat, just get stronger and eat healthier. That will lower your body fat and make you lose your belly fat.
Check the fat loss guide for more info about how to lower your body fat.
10. Stay Motivated. Looking at your belly or in the mirror gives you inaccurate feedback. What you see is influenced by food intake, water retention, light and your own perception. Self-image issues can make the last one tricky.
- Measure Body Fat. Every 2 weeks using a fat caliper. It doesn’t need to be accurate. What matters is that the trend goes down.
- Measure Your Waist. Also every 2 weeks. If you get stronger and eat healthy, your waist will go down fast. Your pants will start to feel loose.
- Take Pictures. Shoot pictures of yourself every 2 weeks: front, back & side. The side pictures will show the most change.
Success breeds success. Track progress accurately so you know where you are and stay motivated to keep working at losing your belly fat. Don’t just read this post and go back to what you were doing. Take action. Lose your belly fat.
‘How to lose belly fat?’ is the eternal question for so many, and it turns out there’s a reason belly fat is known as the most stubborn to shift. The fat cells that gather around your lower abdomen are known as ‘beta fat’ cells, which are notoriously hard to get rid of.
So what do you do if you’ve been exercising regularly and maintaining a balanced diet, but you’re still failing to get rid of any of your belly fat? Bupa UK’s Dr Luke James has some suggestions about where you might be going wrong:
You’re not getting enough sleep
“From scrolling through social media to having a late-night coffee, there are plenty of ways we unknowingly keep ourselves awake at night. Aside from feeling tired and groggy the next day, not getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night can affect weight loss.
“When we’re lacking in sleep, our body’s hormones get thrown off balance which can impact our hunger levels the next day. We all have two hormones that affect our appetite: ghrelin and leptin. When we don’t get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes us feel hungry) rise, and our leptin levels (the hormone that makes us feel full) drop. This means that when we’re awake, we tend to eat more but feel less satisfied. Try going to bed a little earlier than usual to avoid this imbalance and remember to remove any distractions that might prevent you from nodding off.”
You’re doing the wrong type of workout
“Only doing abdominal-focused workouts, like crunches, won’t help you banish the bulge. Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to take a whole-body approach to tackle it. HIIT training (high intensity interval training) is a great way to burn fat and get your heart rate up. Squats, burpees and treadmill sprints are all examples to try.”
You’re consuming too much sugar
“If your diet consists of lots of sports drinks, sugar-sweetened drinks like fizzy pop and flavoured waters, or sugary foods like chocolate and cakes, it will make losing weight harder. While whole fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly good for you, they can also sometimes cause weight gain if you eat too much, as they have high levels of natural sugars in them. Low-fat food options might have high amounts of added sugar in there too, so make sure to check the food label.
“Try cutting back on the amount of simple carbohydrates you eat, like pasta and bread, and substituting for healthier alternatives like courgetti. It won’t be easy, but by dropping your overall carbohydrate intake (not eradicating carbs completely!) you will have the best chance of tackling your belly fat.”
You’re not eating enough protein
“Protein is great for fat loss. It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, eggs, milk and chickpeas. And if you’re finding it difficult to avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrates, try substituting them for protein shakes or bars. Remember also to opt for the lean sources of protein because some sources can be high in saturated fat.”
You’re feeling stressed or anxious
“Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly.”
You’re expecting a quick fix
“It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated when you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen the results yet. But be realistic – you won’t see the affect overnight. Your brain’s wiring plays a huge part in resisting changes in lifestyle, and it takes time to establish new habits – up to 12 weeks. Stick with it for at least eight weeks and you should notice a change.”
You’re not tracking your progress
“There are some great apps and wearable tech devices available that make it easier to stick to your plan. They can help you monitor your goals, your food intake and the calories burned during exercise. If these aren’t an option, write down a meal and exercise plan. This will help you stick to your goals and remain focussed.”
“Crash diets (dramatically cutting down how much you eat) might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but they’re hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off. It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets.”
You’re doing too much
“Your body needs a healthy balance of exercise and rest. Doing too much prevents the body from shifting excess fat. Exercising without rest can impact our levels of the steroid hormone cortisol and cause an increase of stubborn fat stored in the belly. Not allowing your body to recover can increase the risk of injury too, so make sure you factor in rest days to your plan.”
You haven’t got the right exercise balance
“With all the different tips out there, it can be tricky to understand exactly which exercises work the best. HIIT is great for fat burning and will get your heart rate up, but I’d also recommend including strength (resistance) exercises too. Try lifting weights, using resistance bands or using the weight machines at the gym as these will increase your metabolism to help with weight loss, and increase your muscle strength. It’s important to mix-up your whole-body workouts so you don’t get bored.”
You’ve lost motivation
“One of the hardest parts of losing weight is maintaining the lifestyle changes you’ve made. It’s difficult to stay motivated all the time, especially if you’ve slipped up along the way. But don’t let this affect your end goal. If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, ask a friend to join you for your workout and then afterwards cook something healthy for dinner together.”
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Related Story Catriona Harvey-Jenner Digital Features Editor Cat is Cosmopolitan UK’s features editor covering women’s issues, health and current affairs.
A fat belly is linked to various diseases as it is the most harmful fat in your body. Aside from working out, avoiding junk food and alcohol are among the ways to get a flat belly.
Additionally, check out these tips for how to burn belly fat in less than a week.
1. Include aerobic exercises in your daily routine
If you want to burn fat fast there is no getting around cardio training. Studies find that this is the most effective form of exercise to reduce belly fat.
By burning many calories your general health will improve. Hence, start doing high-intensity workouts of running, swimming or aerobic classes, but keep in mind that frequency and duration are essential for satisfying results.
2. Reduce refined carbs
One should avoid consuming refined carbs to lose fat around the abdominal area and have good metabolic health.
It is not necessary to stick to a strict low-carb diet, however it should be replaced with unprocessed carbs. Instead of white bread, white rice and sodas, eat more vegetables and whole grains.
Read also: Six reasons why you still have a fat belly despite exercising
3. Add fatty fish to your diet
Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines or tuna is a high-quality protein and rich in omega-3 acids. By eating 2 to 3 portions a week you can reduce the risk of illnesses like heart disease and also burn your belly fat.
Studies revealed that Omega-3 fats have the ability to reduce visceral fat that is around your abdomen.
4. Start the day with a high protein breakfast
Start your day with some Greek yogurt, protein smoothies, scrambled egg whites or porridge. After eating proteins in the morning, you will feel full until lunch without any hunger pangs.
Proteins increase your metabolic rate while retaining muscle mass during weight loss. You can also add proteins such as eggs, fish, chicken, beans or dairy in every other meal.
5. Drink enough water
Even if you don’t want to lose weight, staying hydrated is important for your general health. Drinking 4 to 5 liters of water each day is recommended and will burn more calories.
Also, drinking right before eating reduces your appetite as well as calorie intake. Make sure to avoid any other beverages containing lots of sugars and calories.
Drinking warm water with lemon in the morning on an empty stomach helps kickstart your metabolism and digestive system as well.
6. Reduce your salt intake
Consumed salt retains water and makes your belly feels bloated. Before making a purchase always make sure the nutrition label does not mention high sodium levels since processed food consists of salt, added sugar and unhealthy fats.
7. Consume soluble fiber
Similar to proteins, soluble fibers make you feel full for a few hours so that you don’t have to consume unneeded extra calories in your meal.
Soluble fibers absorb water and form a gel that lowers fat absorption — a good thing for someone seeking to lose weight. You can find them in barley, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. (sop/kes)
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Contrary to what many fancy programs would have you believe, weight loss really isn’t rocket science. And if that scale needle has crept up up up, barring a medical condition, you know how it got there: Too many burgers and fries and not enough burpees and flyes. Ready to turn it around? Here’s the no-nonsense skinny on getting that way.
1. Get motivated
It’s not enough to say, “I want to lose weight.” Not-so-newsflash: The majority of Americans (69%) are overweight and more than a third are obese—a lot of those folks no doubt profess a desire to drop a few, too. Need a nudge? “You can gain an inch of penis length for every 10 pounds you lose,” says Rovenia “Dr. Ro” Brock, Ph.D., MS, RD. OK, not really, but as the gut shrinks, the prominence of the member grows. Seriously, though: You need to find your own “come to Jesus” moment for weight-loss motivation, whether it’s some scary health test results, a frustration with huffing and puffing at the top of every flight of stairs, or a vanity-driven desire to get back to your college weight. Whatever it is, it needs to be for you.
2. Set a goal
In most cases, your primary goal will be related to the scale. But be realistic: Know that a one- to two-pound loss per week is what experts consider healthy and sustainable. “Be specific,” Brock says. “Not just, ‘I want to lose weight,’ or ‘I want to lose 30 pounds,’ but ‘I want to lose 30 pounds in the next six months.” Michael Pickert, MD, an internal medicine physician who himself dropped 120 pounds, suggests this calendar-based strategy: Select a date by which you would like to have a measurable loss. Count the number of weeks between then and now and multiply by 1.25 (a conservative per-week loss). Then do it again, until you’ve reached your final target.
3. Don’t go on a diet
That’s right—Banish that four-letter word from your weight-loss vocabulary. “Diets don’t work,” Pickert says. “They have an end.” Diets are also synonymous with deprivation, which generally isn’t sustainable. Cutting out foods or entire food groups that you love, and that you’ve loved your whole life, isn’t realistic for most people. Still, 80 percent of losing weight is controlling what you eat. So you’ll need to develop an “eating strategy” that can work for you for the long haul, says Pickert. Brock concurs: “If you want permanent weight-loss, you must make permanent lifestyle changes.”
4. Do some math
One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. So to lose one pound of fat per week, you need to cut 500 calories per day from what you eat. Take your current weight and multiply it by 11. That’s a rough estimate of the calories your body needs to maintain status quo. Your new aim: To subtract 500 calories from that number, by making eating and exercise changes.
5. Develop your strategy
No, this doesn’t necessarily mean overhauling your entire refrigerator overnight. And it doesn’t mean putting foods on the no-never list, either (remember: deprivation doesn’t work). It means figuring out what swaps and compromises you can make without feeling totally compromised. Then start small. For example, Pickert says, let’s say you have ice cream or chips every night. How about cutting that back to every other day? Or you have to have your french fries. Fine, but maybe sub them once per week with a baked potato.
6. Do your homework
One of the biggest issues is misinformation. Pickert uses olive oil as his example. Ask most people, “is it good for you?” They’ll say yes. But it has the exact same number of calories per tablespoon as any other type of pure fat (butter and lard included): 120. So by cutting down on ALL oil, you cut calories out. (Pickert is a big fan of measuring the oil you use, and blotting foods of excess oil before eating.) Brock recommends meeting with a nutritionist to learn more about developing healthier ways to modify your meals—even if you end up deviating from it some, you’ll be better off than going into it blindly.
7. Get with the program
Most people fail at weight loss because they don’t have a plan, says Brock. She recommends plotting out your menus for the week, and sticking to them as closely as you can. “When you plan your meals, you’re much more likely to shop for only those foods on the plan,” she says. “It not only saves calories, it saves money, too!” Another part of the plan is learning about portion size and how many calories are in what you’re eating. Logging your food in an app that does the calculating for you (such as MyFitnessPal) is the easiest way to gauge your intake—and keep yourself honest. Not sure what a portion size is? Measure it out until you can reliably eyeball it, Brock says.
8. Change how you eat
You eat your food (especially snacks) right from the container? How about divvying out a portion into a bowl—and when it’s gone, there’s no going back for seconds. Another issue is eating too quickly. Pickert calls it the “batter up” mentality: putting a bite in your mouth, and shoveling the next bite in before you’ve swallowed the last one. His solution is to actually put the fork down and cross his arms until he’s swallowed. “You don’t need to chew every bite 30 times,” he says.
9. Add in exercise…
Yes, there is another way to control your calories: by moving more to burn them off and by building muscle, which boosts your metabolism overall. “Exercise will help you reach your goals quicker without starving yourself,” says Eric Emig, personal trainer and founder of Evolution Fitness in St. Louis. “You can burn several hundred calories, and eat a little more. Or, you can keep the calories the same and be 200 to 300 calories closer to your goal.” If you only make changes to what you eat, your body will lose both fat and muscle. Which is why strength training is also important to reduce muscle loss. “Every pound of muscle helps you burn an extra seven to 10 calories per day,” Emig says. “It doesn’t sound like a lot until you gain or lose 20 pounds of muscle.”
10. …but don’t become a gym rat overnight
If you haven’t been exercising, start small. Swimming, deep-water running, or water aerobics are the most joint-friendly for someone who is obese. Then, graduate to a walking program, slowly increasing the amount of time walked, without worrying about the distance, until you’re up to a half hour. Then, Emig says, resistance training can be added in 30 minutes sessions twice a week. “With resistance training, supersets of opposite muscle groups with short intense bursts of cardio are the best,” per Emig.
11. Don’t go it alone
Pickert can’t emphasize enough how valuable “the role of the spouse” is in meeting goals. His wife still has responsibilities, such as making sure he eats slowly, even five years after his weight loss. It’s all about accountability, Emig says: “Sign an exercise contract in front of friends. Get an exercise partner who is more motivated than you, or already exercises. Sign up for exercise classes. Hire a trainer that you have to meet at least once a month to keep you on track.”
12. Don’t let plateaus derail you
They happen. The body gets used to everything, so it will adapt to your new eating and moving routine. That means when you see things stalling, mix up your routine. That said, consistency is key, in terms of your commitment to the program. Pickert cautions against weighing yourself too often—the number on the scale doesn’t mean that things aren’t happening in your body. (He points out that when you start a calorie-deficit eating plan, your body can lose eight pounds in water weight, which means it has several weeks of actual fat loss at the one-to-two-pounds-per-week rate to catch up.) “But if you realize you’re not making it, circle a new date on the calendar and adjust your math,” Pickert says. “Don’t give up.”
13. Measure success without the scale, too
How your clothing fits (or no longer fits) is an awesome indicator of progress, especially if you’ve added strength training into the mix—while you shouldn’t be gaining from muscle training (if you’re overweight to begin with), you may not lose pounds as quickly as you lose inches. And then there are the unexpected physical benefits of a shrinking body size. “I vividly recall feeling that I had more of a spring in my step after losing just 20 pounds on my eventual 120-pound-trek,” Pickert says. “Later on, after 50 pounds, I noticed one night how much easier it was to roll over in bed; I didn’t have to make a plan with a leg kick and a flip anymore!”
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Losing belly fat may seem like a daunting task that is next to impossible, however it is the most dangerous place to store fat in the body and surrounds the internal organs making it more difficult for them to function properly.
Also known as visceral fat, this unattractive fat circulates throughout your bloodstream putting you at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
It’s time to move, sweat and lose weight ! Here are the best exercises to lose your belly fat :
FYI : 3,500 calories = 1 Pound of fat
6 BEST Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Men
There are many exercises to choose from for men, but it is best to start with the best six exercises below that will yield huge payoffs: fewer injuries and more muscle.
Here are six exercises for men to consider that don’t require any equipment :
1. Abdominal Crunches
Ab crunches are still an excellent way to reduce body fat while burning calories.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, hip-width apart.
- Place your hands behind your head with your elbows open wide.
- Take a deep breath and engage your core muscles (upper and lower abdominal muscles) as you lift your torso including your shoulders while keeping your head back without pulling on your neck.
- Perform 20 repetitions.
Good to know : Abdominal crunches is also a good exercise to strengthen your lower back and reduce low back pain !
2. Bicycle Abdominal Exercise
- While still on your back, continue to keep your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees into your chest then straighten one leg while turning your upper body toward the opposite bent knee.
- Alternate with your right and left legs until you perform 20 repetitions – 10 on each side.
- Turn over on your front and place your elbows underneath your shoulders.
- Flex your feet and lift your entire body so it is parallel to the floor.
- Hold for 60 seconds.
- Work up to 1, 2 and 5 minutes.
In addition to working the abdominal muscles, this exercise works every muscle in your body.
4. Walk or Run
Walking or running is an excellent exercise to not only reduce belly fat, but it will also lower your risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes cancer or high cholesterol. It is a great way to tone and strengthen your abdominal core muscles, arms and legs.
You can burn 100 calories per mile, depending on your weight, just running. Start off slow and work your way up to 30 to 40 minutes every day.
5. Leg Lifts
When you get back from your walk or run, you can perform leg lifts.
- Lie on your back with your palms face down tucked just underneath your hips so your hands are peaking out.
- Engage your core muscles and lift your hips and legs up keeping them straight.
- Perform 10 – 12 repetitions.
Burpees are one of the best ways to lose belly fat faster than any other exercise.
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees to a squat position – place your hands on the floor – and jump back to a plank position.
- Bring your feet back by jumping towards your hands and stand up.
- Repeat 10 times.
Option : Hindu Push-Ups
If any of the exercises listed above do not appeal to you or want another option, you can perform Hindu push-ups.
- Begin by bending over and walking your hands forward to a downward facing dog position like in yoga with your hands shoulder-width apart and hips pointing to the ceiling.
- Slowly lower down to plank position and hold for 3 seconds before dropping your hips to the floor and lifting your chest to the sky.
- Go back to plank position and lift your hips to the downward facing dog position.
- Repeat 10 times.
This exercise works your entire body including your core muscles, chest, shoulders, back, triceps, hips and legs. In fact, all of the exercises listed above are very effective in helping you lose belly fat quickly.
With that said, it is critical that you must change your lifestyle that includes a healthy diet combined with these exercises because both will play a major role in losing belly fat. In other words, you can exercise all you want, but if you are not eating healthy meals, it will be extremely difficult to make any progress in reducing your belly fat.
Here are 6 tips to consider:
- Do NOT skip meals.
- Include high-quality protein at every meal.
- Avoid sugar and highly-processed foods.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Schedule your workout like you would a meeting with a client – the client is YOU.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
If you make these changes and perform the above exercises, you will be successful at losing belly fat.
6 Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Women
Women are built for child-bearing which makes us fat-storing machines. Fast and furious efforts to lose belly fat are often not sustainable and can lead to health issues, eating disorders, and the loss of precious muscle.
In order for women to lose belly fat and body weight safely, they must commit to a long-term program that combines simple exercises with a healthy diet.
Losing one to two pounds per week is a safe and realistic goal. It will also help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Plus, belly fat is unsightly and makes your clothes fit tight and uncomfortable. There are two types of fat :
- the soft fat that makes you look pudgy and
- the visceral fat that causes your body to release cortisol, the stress hormone and other compounds that increase inflammation throughout your body.
The first fat you lose when you start an exercise program is visceral fat, however the subcutaneous fat may take a little longer to lose, so be patient.
For women, here are 6 exercises to consider in order to lose belly fat:
1. Cardiovascular exercise
Whether it is walking, running or riding a stationary bicycle, choose one that you will do and be consistent. Aim for 40 minutes per session because glycogen is used up to do the work during the first 20 minutes. Once that is used up, the body taps into body fat including the fat in your belly, to do the work.
Walking, running or riding a bicycle requires your body to use large muscle groups and will raise your heart rate as you build up a good sweat. This will burn more calories and help you lose belly fat more efficiently. Also, the body converts stored triglycerides from fat cells into energy, especially when you burn more calories than you consume. Visceral fat is usually the first to go because it is metabolically active.
If riding a bike or running doesn’t appeal to you, then find a dance or STEP class at your local fitness center that may help you stay more consistent. In other words, look for something you can enjoy doing and look forward to.
2. Jumping Jacks
These are considered a cardiovascular exercise but also work every muscle in your body. Performing them at a high intensity will help you lose belly fat more quickly. Aim for 20 jumping jacks three times per week.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves short bouts of movements or exercises with all-out effort followed by the same exercises performed at a lower intensity. A good example of this would be going for a walk at a normal pace and alternate between walking and sprinting for one minute throughout your workout.
4. Strength Train
Women should make a point of lifting weights that will create toned muscles and help your body burn more calories at rest. Look for strength and tone classes at your local gym or fitness center or you can purchase a set of 5 or 8-pound dumbbells and perform a variety of simple exercises twice a week.
Include bicep curls, Triceps kick-backs, lunges, and squats. Aim for 12 repetitions. If you don’t want to purchase dumbbells, you can use two, one-gallon jugs of water to do your workout.
5. Basic PLANK
Performing a basic plank will help strengthen and tone your entire body making it easier to lose belly fat as well as fat all over your body.
- Begin in a push-up position on your knees and draw your belly in towards your spine keeping your back straight.
- Hold the position for at least 30 seconds and work up to holding it for a minute or longer as you increase your strength.
6. Standing Belly Press
Invest in an exercise band with two handles.
- You can purchase a strap that allows you to place it in a door jam or wrap the band around a pillar and walk straight out in front of you holding both handles.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and press the handles out from your chest and hold for 2 seconds – release and repeat 10 times.
- You build strength in your core muscles by resisting the band as you press the handles away from your chest.
You can lose the belly fat when you combine exercise with a healthy diet. In addition to eating healthy and exercising, you must learn how to handle stress. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself through meditating, practicing yoga, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Try different types of yoga for stress reduction and exercise. Yoga and meditation are the best way to regulate ghrelin (hunger hormone), cortisol (stress hormone) and other hormones that trigger storage of belly fat. Plus, yoga and meditation can help you sleep better – an added bonus to help you lose that belly fat.
Here are more general tips to help you lose body fat
The focus should be on losing body fat all over, not just in your belly. Be aware of the decisions you are making throughout your day that may preventing you from losing belly fat.
For example, are you consuming a lot of alcohol, soft drinks, fast food, or don’t make time to exercise ?
Burn More Calories Than You Eat
Losing belly fat really does boil down to burning more calories than you eat. If you cut 500 calories every day for one week (7 days) then you would lose one pound of fat. (source)
Counting calories every day can be quite tedious, so an easier approach would be to cut your meal, entrée or sandwich in half at lunch, for example, and save the other half for dinner.
Plus, eating foods that are high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, oats, whole-grain breads can slow down digestion and help you stay full longer. Aim for 25 grams of fiber per day. (source)
Have a look at our healthy fat burning foods list !
Schedule a Walk
Walking every day is a great place to start establishing a time to exercise. Don’t feel like you have to walk three miles the first day out. Aim for five minutes or set a short-term goal.
Many times, people make the mistake of exercising too much too soon and overdo it. An easier approach would be to take a short walk after dinner, and gradually increase how much you walk each day.
Building muscle applies to both men and women and adding strength training to your weekly regimen is an excellent way to burn more calories, even while sitting reading this article. The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn after your workout and it will go a long way in losing belly fat in the abdominal area.
If possible, meet with a nationally-certified personal trainer to learn how to lift weights properly with good form to prevent injury and will yield results. Start out by lifting weights twice a week and gradually work up to three days per week.
Strength training is one of the best ways to lose belly fat and keep muscle. You don’t have to join a gym to weight train. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a mat.
Eat Healthy Fat
One of the worst things you can do to lose belly fat is choose fat-free products in the grocery store because they are loaded with sugar and lack healthy fats. The body stores sugar as body fat so make a decision to reduce sugar intake and enjoy healthy fats such as fatty fish, eggs, nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
These healthy fat foods will keep you full longer and help reduce inflammation throughout your body. For example, look for wild salmon to enjoy on the grill or chop up a quarter of an avocado and add it to your dinner salad.
To boost belly fat burning, we suggest to use fat burner supplements like PhenQ or Raspberry Ketone. Most of boxer or MMA fighters use them during their diet to drastically cut weight before a fight !
Eat Protein at Every Meal
Protein is necessary to support lean muscle tissue and help repair those tiny tears caused by lifting weights, prodding out body fat in the process. Aim for 70 grams of protein per day and consume at least 12 grams of protein before your workout.
Face stress head-on
Stress can wreak havoc on your entire body because many people tend to eat more food to feel better, making it difficult to lose belly fat. Instead of turning to junk food, find a way to deal with stress. Restorative yoga is an excellent option.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can often cause you to grab empty-calorie foods for a quick wake-up fix during the day sabotaging your belly fat loss efforts. Aim for at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. (source)
Avoid Excess Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much alcohol can stimulate your appetite and overload your liver. Most alcohol drinks are mixed without ingredients that are high in sugar. Watch your intake because the calories can add up quickly.
Eat More Meals at Home
Cooking at home allows you to control portions and how your food is cooked. Eating out at restaurants more often than not can cause excess belly fat. Learn to cook healthy meals at home.