6 Ways to Trim Your Belly Fat
Belly fat isn't just unsightly, it's dangerous, too. Excess fat around the midsection can crowd internal organs and put your health in jeopardy.
In fact, studies have shown that people who carry extra weight in their abdomen have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The only way to reduce belly fat is to reduce your overall body fat percentage through healthy diet and exercise.
While you're working on it, you can follow these tips to flatten your belly faster:
Find an ab routine you can stick with.
Let's face it: crunches just aren't very fun, especially if you do hundreds of them every day. Luckily, there are other ways to flatten your belly that won't leave you bored.
Look for challenging routines that strengthen your core, like Pilates or exercise ball routines. You could also try simple exercises to lose belly fat and cardio workouts that feature lots of abdominal work, such as bellydancing.
Many smokers smoke because they believe it helps them relax and helps them stay thin. Actually, the opposite is true. Besides its other detrimental effects, smoking can actually make you fatter around the middle.
That's because, in spite of the fact that smoking is thought to be relaxing, it actually stimulates production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes the body to store fat, particularly around the belly.
According to Dr. Jacob Seidell of the National Institute of Health in the Netherlands, smokers generally have more abdominal fat than their non-smoking peers. By quitting, you can trim your belly fat and reduce your risk for heart and lung disease.
Skip the alcohol.
There's a reason why people associate beer with big bellies: People who drink more than one alcoholic beverage at a sitting are far more likely to have higher BMIs than those who drink only sparingly.
Alcohol gives you extra calories but doesn't provide nutrition. It can also lower your inhibitions toward overeating. These are good reasons to sip on water, tea, or diet soda instead.
Eat more fiber.
Sometimes belly bulges are caused by a downright embarrassing problem: constipation. To combat this, you should consume at least 35 grams of fiber each day in the form of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This will keep your bowel movements regular and, in turn, make your stomach appear flatter.
Drink more water.
Bloating can make your stomach look much larger than it really is. If you think you might be bloated, it's time to increase your water intake. Some people hesitate to drink water when they're already retaining fluid, but water is actually the solution to the bloating problem.
When you put more water into your system, your body will let go of the fluid it's been holding on to. Water will also help curb your appetite; sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger, leading to endless cravings and mindless snacking.
Snack on fat-burning superfoods.
Wise food choices can help shrink your belly. This is a great nutrition secret for great abs. When you snack, choose whole roasted almonds, boiled eggs, and low-fat dairy products. These foods contain just enough fat and protein to leave you feeling fuller longer, plus they have all been featured in studies linking them to increased fat burning ability.
Work your abs all day long.
You can give your abs a constant workout by practicing good posture.
When you're sitting at a desk, pull yourself forward to the edge of your seat. Straighten your back and pull in your stomach muscles. You can keep the ab work going while you run errands, too. Simply suck in your stomach as much as you can, imagining that there's a magnet pulling your navel back into your spine.