Your Hormones Are Out Of Whack
Did you know hormones play a role in fat distribution? “A reduction in estrogen for women and testosterone for men, particularly as we age, can trigger the redistribution of fat to the stomach,” Clarissa explains.
Additionally, certain hormonal imbalances such as PCOS can increase the risk of insulin resistance which can lead to an increased production of fat cells. Eating a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates, sugars and alcohol can increase our insulin levels which promotes fat storage, increase the risk of fatty liver, all resulting in a higher incidence of weight gain around the stomach. If you are concerned about hormonal imbalances, book an appointment to speak to your GP.
Dab A Spot Of Vanilla On Your Wrists To Limit Sugar
In a study done by St George’s Hospital, volunteers who wore a vanilla-scented patch on the inside of their wrists reported reduced cravings for chocolate and other sweet foods compared to a control group. You can replicate the study with a little vanilla extract.
Taylor & Colledge vanilla bean extract, £7.05,
So How Do I Reduce My Belly Fat
If you want to reduce your belly fat, youll need to burn more calories 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.
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The Best Exercise To Lose Belly Fat
Before you ask about the best exercises for a flat stomach, let’s get clear on why crunches and sit-ups alone not going to be the thing to help you lose belly fat. ‘While crunches will help strengthen your abdominals and core muscles, theyre not enough in isolation to burn calories,’ Luke Hughes, Origym PT says.
Instead, Hughes recommends a rounded bodyweight or free weights workout routine done at a higher intensity as the best exercise to lose belly fat. These sessions will help to burn calories and increase muscle mass, which will, in turn, tap into your body fat stores even within a limited time period.
Do note though, too much HIIT can elevate cortisol in your body, which could hinder how effectively you lose stomach fat . Aim for three to four sessions per week and make sure you’re allowing your body plenty of time and space to recover.
‘Burning calories through cardio exercise like this helps to burn belly fat, particularly when we operate at a calorie deficit,’ says Hughes. ‘Try adding star jumps and mountain climbers into your workouts.’
Okay Now You Can Do Some Crunches
Although you cant spot reduce fat, you can target building lean muscle tissue, which in turn helps burn fat. There are literally dozens of muscles between your shoulders and your hips that are involved in every movement you do, says DiVecchio. The fastest way to create a lean midsection begins with choosing the right moves.
Aim to do ab work three or four times a week on non-consecutive days with at least 24 hours of rest in between sessions, says Gagliardi. During those sessions, you can start with simpler moves like crunches, bicycle crunches, and planks. Even though you may only be directly targeting your abs three or four times a week, you should still be activating your core in every workout you do, says Gagliardi.
There are tons of different ab workouts you can do right in your home. Once youre comfortable in an ab routine, work your way up to more complex ab exercises, like side-to-side med ball slams and weighted Russian twists, says DiVecchio.
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Is The Military Diet Based On Evidence
There have been no studies on the military diet. However, the average person is very likely to lose a few pounds due to the week-long calorie restriction.
If fewer calories enter your fat tissue than leave it, you lose fat. Period.
However, proponents of the diet claim that it has a certain weight loss advantage due to the food combinations in the meal plan. These combinations are said to increase your metabolism and burn fat, but there is no truth behind these claims.
Coffee and green tea do contain compounds that can slightly increase metabolism, but there are no known combinations of food able to do this (
6 ). But most of the meals in the military diet are low in protein and high in carbs, which is a bad combination for weight loss.
Some people also claim this diet has similar health benefits to intermittent fasting. However, there is no fasting involved in the diet, so this is false.
The military diet can help you lose weight because it is very low in calories. However, it has no special advantage that makes it more effective than other calorie-restricted diets.
The 12 Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat For Men And Women
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.
FYI : 3,500 calories = 1 Pound of fat
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Ways To Lose Belly Fat And Live A Healthier Life
Maintaining a trim midsection does more than make you look greatit canhelp you live longer. Larger waistlines are linked to a higher risk ofheart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Losing weight, especially bellyfat, also improvesblood vesselfunctioning and also improves sleep quality.
Its impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you cant see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D. , director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
Heres how to whittle down where it matters most.
What Should I Eat To Lose Belly Fat
Get the Recipe:Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach
There’s no one exact diet that blasts belly fat more than others. Rather, to fight belly fat, you need to consider the timing, size and nutritional quality of your meals in order to maintain a healthy weight, reduce visceral fat and avoid uncomfortable bloating. Start with these tips to begin your journey to losing belly fat, the healthy way.
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Slow Down Your Eating
Eating slowly will also help cinch your waist, too. Inhaling croissants while run-walking to work will do little to satiate you not that youll do much digesting anyway, with all that cortisol flooding your system. Instead, by making time to eat and focusing on your food , youll wind up eating less and youll feel fuller for longer.
9. Get Quality Sleep
Multiple studies have shown an association between short sleep and weight gain. When youre low on Zzzs, activity in the brains frontal lobe is impaired. At the same time, the more primal parts of your brain that deal with things like desire and motivation are lit up like the Blackpool Illuminations.
Inadequate sleep also wreaks havoc on your metabolism. When the body doesnt get enough rest, it conserves energy by slowing down basic functions. The combination of untameable cravings, little willpower and inefficient processing is an open invitation for fat storage. Follow our advice to improve your sleep tonight.
How Much Body Fat Should You Have
The way in which women could and should lose belly fat is different to that of men. Women need somebelly fat to function fat cells store oestrogen, so having too little can cause your whole hormonal function to go out of whack, causing serious health issues such as irregular periods and even infertility.
To that end, striving to lose fat from your stomach with the aim of getting a six-pack, for most females, wouldn’t be healthy. Instead, aim to sit within the 21-30% body fat category. This is what’s considered a healthy body fat percentage range for women.
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Focus On The Way Your Clothes Fit More Than Reading A Scale
As you add muscle mass and lose fat, the reading on your bathroom scale maynot change much, but your pants will be looser. Thats a better mark ofprogress. Measured around, your waistline should be less than 35 inches ifyoure a woman or less than 40 inches if youre a man to reduce heart anddiabetes risks.
Do Sit Ups Burn Belly Fat
While there is no single exercise that burns just belly fat, any exercise can help reduce overall body fat when done regularly in combination with a healthy diet. Abdominal exercises such as crunches or sit-ups do not specifically burn belly fat, but they can help the belly appear flatter and more toned.
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Invest In Ankle Weights
If you dont have time to go to the gym, ankle weights are a great investment for a quick home workout to blast the inner thighs . We love these .
Wearing weights means your muscles have to work harder to move the extra load, so youll gain strength as well as tone in your legs, explains Bell.
Next step: bent-leg raises. Start with 1lb ankle weights and sit in a chair with your knees bent, feet on the floor, says Angie. Extend one leg straight and hold for 60 seconds. Then bend the knee 45 degrees and hold for 30 seconds. Lower your foot back to the floor. Change legs and repeat. As you get stronger, increase your ankle weights to 1/2lbs at a time.
But note, dont use ankle weights for aerobic workouts as you could put unnecessary stress on your joints.
Track Your Food Intake
Most people know that what you eat is important, but many dont know specifically what theyre eating.
A person might think theyre eating a high protein or low carb diet, but without keeping track, its easy to overestimate or underestimate food intake.
Tracking food intake doesnt mean you need to weigh and measure everything you eat. Tracking intake every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize the most important areas for change.
Planning ahead can help you achieve specific goals, such as boosting your protein intake to 2530% of calories or cutting down on unhealthy carbs.
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Exercise And Strengthtraining: A One
Exercises that increase the heart rate and make you sweat help you lose weight in general both visceral fat and the subcutaneous fat under the skin. Aerobic exercise burns overall calories and helps you reduce total body fat.
Dr. Butsch says the key to losing abdominal visceral fat seems to lie in a combination approach. He suggests trying 20 minutes of whole-body strength training plus a cardio routine to strengthen muscle cells and increase fat burn.
How Many Crunches Should I Do To Lose Belly Fat
Nonetheless, crunches, when done regularly and properly, do help in burning fat. How many crunches should an individual do every day? 10-12 repetitions and three sets of crunches will be good enough. In addition, you may do three sets of two or three variations to engage the other muscles in the stomach.
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Simple Ways To Lose Belly Fat Based On Science
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Losing abdominal fat, or belly fat, is a common weight loss goal.
Abdominal fat is a particularly harmful type. Research suggests strong links with diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease .
For this reason, losing this fat can have significant benefits for your health and well-being.
You can measure your abdominal fat by measuring the circumference around your waist with a tape measure. Measures of above 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women are known as abdominal obesity .
Certain weight loss strategies can target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.
Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.
To Perform The Bicycle Crunch:
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Lose Weight With Friends
If you struggle to lose weight on your own, consider making it a team effort. According to a study published in the journal Obesity during a 12-week, team-based weight loss competition, getting encouragement from teammate increased the odds of achieving clinically significant weight loss by 20%.
“In our study, weight loss clearly clustered within teams, which suggests that teammates influenced each other, perhaps by providing accountability, setting expectations of weight loss and providing encouragement and support.”
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
How are you sleeping? A study by America’s National Sleep Foundation found that people who slept for less than five hours a night gained more abdominal fat over five years and those who slept for six or more. Aim for eight hours.
Lack of sleep and stress can raise your cortisol levels, which make it harder to lose weight. When this stress hormone is being released, it gives your body the message to hang on to weight. Add to that the urge to comfort eat when you’re tired or stressed and the chances of you putting on weight increase.
This is where exercise comes in. Working out regularly or doing something relaxing such as walking or yoga will naturally help to destress you, so you should see the effects on your mental health.
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Create A Calorie Deficit
If you want to target belly fat, combining diet and exercise can help create a calorie deficit. Exercise burns more calories throughout the day and increases metabolism. Adding a healthy, low-calorie eating plan can give you more bang for your buck, helping you lose weight everywhereincluding your belly.
This was the conclusion from one study, in which participants either dieted, exercised, or did both. The group that dieted and exercised reduced their body mass the most while also âsignificantlyâ reducing their abdominal fat.
Even small changes to your diet can make a difference when trying to lose weight, so donât feel like you have to follow a strict regimen or cut out entire food groups. For instance, you could cook healthy meals at home more often and eat out less.
Not a fan of exercise? You may just not have found something you enjoy. Start simple and easy with walking, swimming, stretching, yoga, or basic strength training. Or think outside the box and consider climbing, boxing, basketball, or jumping rope.
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Keep Whole Grains In Your Diet
You don’t have to go low-carb to ditch those extra pounds around your waist in a short period of time.
To get rid of belly fat, ditch refined grains like white bread and white rice, and eat more whole grains such as:
In fact, opting for more whole grains might just get you there faster. Researchers at Tufts University have linked eating three or more daily servings of whole grains to as much as a 10 percent reduction in visceral body fat, the kind that ups your risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
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Weight Loss Surgery Isnt A Miracle Cure For Obesity
No weight loss surgery can be a miracle cure for conditions like obesity. Instead, itâs a tool that can help people at risk of more severe complications if they donât lose weight achieve and maintain long-term weight loss.
But for the surgery to be successful, patients need to be committed to making lifestyle changes and taking an active role in their own care.
Interestingly, one of the most important things patients can do is lose weight before the surgery. But before we get into that, letâs learn a little more about the surgery itself.