How to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Everyone has problem areas they do not like about their body. Some people do not like the way their thighs or bum look. Others may not like the rolls they have on their back. In this article we are going to address the problem area of belly fat through positive lifestyle changes, including exercises and eating habits.
What Causes Belly Fat
In order to be able to get rid of belly fat, it is important to know what first causes it. Belly fat is caused by a lack of strength and tone in the core muscles of a person’s mid-section. As a result, the muscles experience atrophy. This can be corrected through exercise, but requires commitment and time to see improvement. Belly fat is also caused by excess body fat which has settled around a person’s midsection, or belly area. While the belly can be focused on, to really reduce belly fat, a person must look at lowering their overall body fat to see significant improvement. This is possible through exercise and changes in eating habits.
Change Up Your Workout Routine
For many people, they go for a nightly run or get on a treadmill, but they never think about strength training or toning their muscles. Weight or resistance exercises, stretching, and toning exercises are all parts of a workout routine that need to be addressed in order to rid your body of problem areas, like belly fat. Many of these do not require specialized equipment or expensive gym memberships, just time and a commitment to following through with your workout regimen.
Take Time Out for Yoga
Many studies have found that stress can help to increase the amount of body fat a person holds. By lowering stress, you can help to lessen this amount of body fat. Participating in yoga, focusing on your breathing, and meditating, you can reduce this stress. In addition, many poses in yoga are designed to make you more aware of your posture and your core muscles. This is particularly important in helping to improve the appearance of your belly fat. Not to mention the stretching done in yoga helps to elongate your muscles and giving them more tone and strength. You can take a weekly yoga class from the local park district or the local gym or community college. Or you can even consider making it a part of your daily routine at home. The important thing is to find ways to de-stress, strengthen your core muscles, and become more aware of your body and posture.
While your focus is on losing excess belly fat, surprisingly tons of crunches does not eliminate belly fat. However, it does improve your body’s core muscles and posture, so taking time to do crunches a couple days a week is important. Look at doing standard crunches to strengthen your abs. Twist crunches will help to strengthen your oblique muscles. Bicycle crunches and long arm crunches or reverse crunches all work on various areas of your midsection and help to tone your core muscles.
Grab an Exercise Ball
You can use an exercise ball to do crunches or other core exercises. Because it will take extra balance to stay centered on the ball it will also give you an additional work out for your core muscles. You can also find times to sit on the ball throughout your day to help strengthen your muscles and bring an awareness to your posture. For instance, sit on it while at your desk, or while watching television at home. Or use it while folding laundry. The need to reach and move, while staying centered on the ball can be a great core workout without you even thinking about it.
Many people look at changing their diet and they often forget to look at the drinks they have every day. Many beverages are loaded with sugar, caffeine, and unnecessary calories. Instead, look to meet your daily recommended amount of H2O intake before turning to drinks that offer empty calories. Plus the H2O can help your body to get rid of toxins and help to flush out the unwanted fat you are aiming at getting rid of. And the best thing about H2O, is it is entirely calorie free. If you do not like the taste of H2O, consider adding a little bit of lemon or orange to your H2O. It adds very little calories, but a big amount of flavor to the H20 and quenches your thirst.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Part of ridding your body of stress is also making sure you get plenty of sleep. When you sleep is when your body is able to heal and repair itself. It keeps your body working properly, and also boosts your immune system and metabolism. If you are not getting plenty of sleep, it is only a matter of time before your body begins to feel the effects. Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and avoid those afternoon naps and late day coffees, they will only disrupt your ability to sleep later. If you are having trouble sleeping, drink a cup of warm chamomile tea, take a warm shower, do some relaxation exercises, and then lay back down again. Your body will thank you in the morning.
Evaluate Your Diet
Many people cringe at the idea of going on a diet. The problem is they eat a certain way for a period of time, see results, and then go back to eating the way they were before. As a result they end up right back where they were before, or worse. Instead, you need to make changes to your diet, or way of eating, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle change. Instead of processed grains, look for whole grains. Instead of juice, opt for the whole fruit or vegetable instead. This way you get the vitamins, and the fiber found in the natural state. Look for lean protein options, like fish and chicken. Indulge but look at your portion sizes. Consider splitting an entree with a friend or taking half home with you instead of eating it all at once when dining out. You do not have to deprive yourself, but instead make smart choices to help you reduce your overall body fat.
Healthy Carbs and Fats
Many people try to avoid all fats, or all carbs when they are wanting to reduce body fat. What they do not realize is all of these are essential for the body to be able to function properly. When the body gets too much of one and not enough of another, that is when it starts to have problems. Instead of entirely eliminating carbs from your diet, look for ways to eat healthier carbs instead. Look for whole grains, or naturally occurring sugars like fruit if you are craving something sweet instead of processed sugars found in candy and juice. Opt for carbs that are lower on the glycemic index, like sweet potatoes instead or white potatoes. When looking at your fats, consider the source of the fat. Animal fats are usually higher in cholesterol and not as healthy for you. Similarly, fats are often found in sauces and fried foods that you might not even think about. Instead look to find healthy fats like seeds and nuts, or in coconut and olive oil for cooking. You do not have to eliminate carbs and fats entirely, just think smarter about the choices you make to see the belly fat reduce.
When looking at proteins, it is important to look for protein sources that are lean. Fish may have fat in it, but it is full of omega oils, which are health for the human body. Chicken is a lean protein, and is also easier on the body to digest than red meats are. This does not mean you cannot have your burger and fries with the guys on a night out. It just means you plan ahead and limit the number of times your make this your primary meal for the day. Also, plan your meals and prep them in advance. This will not only save you time and money in the long run, but more importantly, it will help to reduce the temptation to run out and grab takeout when you know you have a meal already planned and prepared for you at home.
Make it a Family Affair
Eating healthy can also become a family affair. There is no reason why one person has to be restricted to a “belly fat” diet while everyone else is eating burgers and fries. Instead find ways to introduce the entire family to a more healthy eating lifestyle. Make small changes along the way so everyone in the family is on board. Get the whole family into the kitchen to prepare meals together. Not to mention, the earlier you start children out in life eating healthy, the more likely they are to continue it on into adulthood.