For many of us, the chub on our belly is the hardest to lose, but with vacay time right around the corner, no excuses are allowed! The belly fat has got to go, and here’s how:
Reduce your sugar intake (especially the artificial kind)
If your diet is high in sugar, especially artificial and processed sugars, it is going to be really difficult for you to lose weight and tone up around your stomach area. Why? In a nutshell, excess sugar is stored in your body as fat, especially around your midriff. We know that every girl faces sugar cravings from time to time, some more often than others, but it is important that you find a way to combat and overcome these bouts. For starters, substitute foods with artificial sugar for fruits with a low sugar content – avocados, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries are great options. But remember, as with anything you eat, portion control is important!
Substitute high calorie foods with low calorie foods
Your calorie intake has a major impact on your rate of weight loss and toning up. Rather than skimping on food or starving yourself, substitute the high calorie items in your daily diet with low calorie items. For example, opt for grilled chicken over fried chicken, baked apple chips over fried potato chips, brown rice over white rice…you get the idea. It is also important that you eliminate (or drastically reduce) the unnecessary items that add wasteful calories in your diet – things like candy, aerated drinks and creamy salad dressings are no good.
Late-night snacking is the enemy
If you are trying to lose weight and tone up your belly, snacking, especially late at night, is your worst enemy. Stay away! The problem is that when we snack absentmindedly – for example, when watching a movie – you don’t really know how much you’re eating. That is why it is important that you eat sufficient and healthy meals throughout the day, so that you don’t feel like snacking later at night. Plus, when you snack before bed, your body doesn’t have time to process the sugar in snacks, so it will get stored as fat. If you are feeling hungry, opt for a low-sugar snack like cranberries.
Cardio is your best friend
Of course, you cannot lose weight around midriff without exercising, and cardio is really important in getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. Before you jump into crunches, planks and the works, you have to get your cardio routine in place, because cardio truly is the best way to burn fat. We recommend forty minutes of cardio at least four times a week, but five is even better. You don’t necessarily have to hit the gym or join fancy classes that burn a hole in your wallet – start with walking, jogging, cycling or even dancing at home to the Billboard Hot 100! If you want to achieve faster results, high-intensity workouts are really good, but make sure that you stretch properly before and after. You can finish off your cardio workout with some ab exercises after.
Look for foods that help in burning belly fat
It might sound contrary to everything you think you know about eating healthy, but there are certain foods that actually promote fat burn, especially around the belly area. For example, when you eat carrots, the energy taken to digest them will burn more fat than what they actually contribute to your body. Fish and nuts are great examples of foods that empower your body to burn more fat, too. When you are planning out your meals, stock up on protein, because it is the least likely to be stored as fat in your body, and it helps in building muscle if you are looking to tone up and become stronger. Finally, try to eat five to six small meals everyday rather than three large meals – it will help your body distribute the energy equally and reduce the need for snacking in between meals.
Above all, remember that achieving a flat stomach and maintaining it requires hard work! Staying motivated and focussed on your goal is the most important thing.
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