The amount of fat that we carry around our middles has been slowly increasing over the years as national body shapes have changed from hourglass to apple-like. Belly fat is not exactly attractive so it’s not surprising that so many people are tempted to try weird and wonderful methods to try and lose it. Here are some genuine tips that will help you lose that muffin top and gain a slimmer silhouette.
1. Say no to sit-ups
Isn’t that what everyone wants to hear? The truth is that sit-ups alone only work a tiny proportion of the muscles in your abdomen, and although they will tone those muscles, they are unlikely to slim your waist and give you the toned look you crave. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can give up on exercising altogether. To really tone your stomach, you should try a work out that uses all of your core muscles. Exercises using a Swiss Ball are particularly good for that. But there is no point having great abs if no one can see them – you have to lose the fat that is covering them. A full body regime will burn body fat everywhere and will help reveal your killer abs.
2. Don’t ignore carbs
The low-carb diet is one that has come and gone over the years, but it is not necessary to cut carbohydrates out of your diet in order to lose your belly fat. Eating wholegrain carbs such as barley, couscous, brown rice and wholemeal bread actually reduces overall body fat, and will make you feel fuller and more satisfied, helping you to reduce your overall calorie intake.
3. Choose dairy
Eating 3 servings of dairy a day, particularly yogurt, has been shown to reduce belly fat. The Calcium in the dairy helps to stop the hormone cortisol from encouraging your body to store fat, particularly on your belly.
4. Pick up the weights
Although cardio exercise is great for our overall health and fitness, lifting weights is actually beneficial to losing belly fat, so it is a good idea to include some weight lifting in your exercise regime.
5. Get some sleep
Sleep actually helps to regulate your hunger hormones. Without enough sleep, your hunger will be stimulated and it will take more to satisfy you. Increasing your sleep to 7 or 8 hours a night will help you control your hormones and your belly fat!
6. Reduce your exercise
Exercising hard for 30 minutes is actually more beneficial than 50 minutes of more sedate exercise, with more belly fat being burned.
7. Have a high-protein breakfast
Breakfasts full of sugar will only make your energy crash and hunger kick in, leading to snacking and over-eating. Try having a filling protein breakfast, such as eggs, to help keep you happy.
8. Stress bust
When we are stressed, our bodies produce the belly fat-loving hormone cortisol. Cortisol particularly likes to store fat on your waist so try to beat stress before it takes hold, and keep that belly at bay.
9. Get moving
You might not have time to go to the gym, but simply moving around instead of sitting down all day will burn calories and belly fat without you even sweating. Take the stairs instead of lifts and walk around when you’re on the phone.
10. Eat all your meals
Skipping meals will make you crave more later, and will lead to overeating. Eating sensible meals throughout the day is better than skipping and bingeing.
11. Be nutritious
If you don’t feed your body enough vitamins and minerals, it will continue to crave food until it gets what it wants. By eating nutritious food, your body will feel satisfied and not beg you for more.
12. Drink more water
We often misinterpret thirst for hunger, but rather than a fatty snack, all our body really wants is a drink. Water is great for flushing out toxins, improving your digestion and complexion and for helping your lose that belly fat.