Keys to a Slimmer Stomach

Keys to a Slimmer Stomach

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

With a little work, you won't have to settle for a fat belly.

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Belly fat increases your risk of undesired health conditions, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. It also makes it harder to fit into your favorite jeans. Spot reducing belly fat with abdominal exercise doesn't work. The only way to slim your tummy is by losing total body fat through proper nutrition, exercise and plenty of sleep. When your overall body fat reduces, you also will reduce your belly fat.

Watch What You Eat

A caloric deficit of 500 calories a day can result in weight loss of 1 pound a week. Dietary changes can contribute to this deficit. Dr. Mehmet Oz, the professor of surgery and vice-chair at Columbia University, recommends limiting saturated fats, found in foods such as margarine and cookies, and eating more monounsaturated fats, found in foods such as olive oil, seeds and nuts. Oz states that saturated fat increases belly fat and transfers fat from elsewhere in your body to your tummy. Other things you can do to lose weight include eating smaller portions and swapping out high-calorie foods for healthier, low-cal alternatives.

Sweat Off the Pounds

Cardio or aerobic exercise, such as rowing, bicycling, jogging, or swimming, burn calories that contribute to your daily deficit. Harvard Health Publications suggests doing at least 30 minutes of cardio a day to slim down your belly. Consider doing high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. Study results published in the "Journal of Obesity" showed that this type of exercise is most effective in reducing belly fat. For instance, alternate between a three-minute jog and a one-minute sprint, or ride a bike at a leisure pace for three minutes, before going all out and sprinting for one minute.

Strengthen Your Large Muscle Groups

Harvard Health Publications recommends strength training at least twice a week to reduce body fat, including belly fat. In addition to strengthening and toning your body, you'll stimulate muscle tissue, which unlike fat uses up a lot of calories to sustain itself. Muscle takes up less space, so you'll also lose inches. For optimal muscle stimulation and caloric burn, target your large muscles: hips, legs, arms, back, chest, shoulders and abdomen. Include exercises such as lunges, bench presses, bent-over rows, lateral raises, squats and shoulder presses. For your abs, include exercises such as planks and reverse, bicycle and basic crunches.

Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress can increase belly fat, because it stimulates the release of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This hormone awakens hard-to-control cravings for diet-sabotaging foods, and it also relocates fat from other areas of your body to your belly. To prevent high stress levels, consider taking yoga classes, meditating, and practicing deep breathing. Getting more sleep can also make you more stress resistant. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night.