Getting rid of excessive fat around the waist can be the most difficult and frustrating part of weight loss. No matter how many crunches you do, it seems that the fat won’t melt away. It’s easy to get discouraged.
However, experts along with regular people facing the issue have identified the methods that can help you sculpt your midsection and have a flat tummy. It’s not that hard after all – you just need to understand how these work and why it’s important to use several such methods at once.
Here’s a hint: it’s not about doing hundreds of crunches each day. Below you will find 20 essential tips to busting abdominal fat and banishing it for good.
- Avoid napping!
Napping during the day sounds great and numerous studies prove its benefits, but in you’re aiming to lose weight, it can downright sabotage you. Here is what happens: if you nap right after you’ve eaten something, your body won’t be using the calories as energy/fuel. Instead, it will store them as fat. Napping is a good strategy for people who want to gain weight, but not for the ones like you.
- Avoid sitting
If you can work while standing, that would be great. In fact, try to stand or walk as much as you can, instead of sitting. It boosts the metabolism and helps you burn more calories. Besides, the standing position doesn’t make fat accumulate around the belly.
- Become aware of additive food additives
Many of the processed foods we eat contain additives that enhance the taste and texture and make you eat more and more. One such additive is the sodium monoglutamate. Sugar and some of the artificial sweeteners have similar properties.
Behind enhancing the taste, these make you crave more. The danger of overeating becomes obvious. Excessive sugar or salt in itself is harmful; sugar has plenty of calories, while salt gets you fat by storing more water in your tissues.
- Replace coffee with tea
Coffee can be a very good stimulant and metabolic booster, but green/black tea is always better. It helps you stay alert, at the same time fighting inflammation and oxidation and delivering compounds that trigger the fat burning processes.
The research abounds. Plus, you can enjoy the concentrated power of green tea extract in various over-the-counter supplements. The main antioxidant in it, EGCG, has a powerful effect at cellular level – it breaks down the fat stored in cells, moving it to the blood stream. Also, it increases norepinephrine, the hormone responsible with fat breakdown.
- Avoid dehydration
In times of thirst, our body stores water just like it stored nutrients and calories in times of hunger. Deprivations signals it to hold on to everything it’s got and store it. This is why so many people can’t lose weight effectively when they starve themselves.
The same happens with water. When you frequently become dehydrated, your body begins to store any water it gets, so it will eventually make you look fuller. When it’s getting adequate and regular amounts of water, it begins to function within the normal parameters, thus influencing your hormones and metabolism, too.
- Make probiotics a habit
This is an easy and extremely beneficial health trick. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut lining, that help break down food, control bad bacteria and regulate nutrient absorption. Poor diets and stressful lifestyles can damage the good flora, with serious consequences.
Weight gain is one of them. You can take probiotic supplements before meals, but also include foods and beverages that help multiply these bacteria: kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, yogurt and most fermented foods.
- Brisk walking – the easiest form of exercising
When you are out of shape but have no time for the gym, the easiest form of exercise is brisk walking. It melts the fat because it’s a form of cardio.
Such exercise elevates your heart rate and expands your lungs; it speeds up the metabolism and the fat burning processes. Make brisk walking (for at least 20 minutes at once) a daily habit to diminish the size of your belly.
- Lower your cortisol
It’s official, too much cortisol can make you fat. First of all, everyone knows that being stressed can make you overeat as to give yourself comfort. Also, cortisol (the stress hormone) has a protective role: it prompts the body to bring fat to your core or midsection, to protect your vital organs in times of stress. This explains why some individuals have larger bellies while the other parts of their body don’t seem to ‘catch up’.
- Understand your cravings
We often get fat not because of hormones and lack of exercise, but because we’re making the wrong food choices. And when your body begs for certain foods, we cannot resist. The problem is, what can we do about the unhealthy cravings? You must look into what these mean.
For example, a craving for deep fried foods may signify that your body is lacking fats or sodium. Both are essential to health. Once you understand what deficiency stands behind, you can replace the bad foods with better ones. If you need oils, get good fats from avocado, coconut and olive oil, nuts, seeds, salmon or Greek yogurt. These will not enlarge your waist circumference.
- Fiber against visceral fat
Many people accumulate fat on the inside, which is called visceral fat. It is necessary in small quantities, because it coats and protects the organs. However, too much of it puts one at risk of many diseases.
If this represents your issue, you can eliminate it by focusing on fiber-rich foods. 10 grams of soluble fiber daily will help you with that. Nutritionists say that getting plenty of fiber can work wonders – sometimes it’s the only trick you need to maintain a good weight, without changing anything else.
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- Start a more effective abs workout routine
Doing crunches is not enough for a flat tummy. You should incorporate various exercises that work on your core. Planks and side planks are great, as these work more than just the front abdominal muscles.
Rotating your core is also good. Also learn the alligator drag and walkouts from pushup position. Apart from that, you need to focus on whole-body workouts, because you need to target fat. Sadly, you cannot simply work on your abdomen alone to slim it down.
Plus, strengthening your core muscles isn’t going to create a flat tummy. You can have muscles of steel underneath, but the adipose layers will cover these if not burned.
- Begin HIIT training
High Intensity Interval Training is one very effective method to burn away bodily fat. It gets your whole body working hard, which triggers the oxygenation and fat burning processes.
You don’t need a personal trainer for that. Just train with intense bursts. Use your maximum capacity for several minutes, then have a short rest. You may also transition to a very light exercise to recover. The intense exercise can be as short as one minute: a sprint of 60 seconds for example, followed by walking for half a minute. Don’t cheat: work really hard for the intense part, then go easy enough to recover.
- Get good, regular sleep
Are you panicking because your body seems to store fat when you don’t expect it and only in certain places? This could be caused by a certain imbalance and the easy way to fix imbalance is through sleep. Make sure to get plenty of rest each night – daytime sleep isn’t good if you want to lose weight.
- Keep your estrogen in check
A feminine hormone, estrogen in excess isn’t too good for women though – it can lead to a whole series of health issues. In men, it isn’t really desired; estrogen makes everyone fat, because it’s directly linked to fat accumulation. Some foods (soy) and beverages (beer and alcohol in general) increase estrogen levels so it’s best to avoid those.
- Less sodium, more water
Drinking loads of water, contrary to popular belief, will not bloat your belly. It’s the sodium that does so. Be careful about how much fast food you ordered, as well as processed foods. Too much salt will retain the water you drink. However, decreasing water consumption isn’t something healthy to do.
- Improve your posture
It’s so simple you might laugh at it: sometimes, all it takes to have a better looking tummy is good posture. This isn’t all about your head and shoulders. You need to align everything, from your head to the heels. Make a conscious effort to straighten up your spine at all times. A bulging belly is often caused by a bad posture. Standing up straight and even sitting correctly will elongate your body, stretch the muscles and the belly too.
- Involve your whole body
This should be obvious by now. Burning fat isn’t a one-area-only endeavor. It’s a process that targets your whole body. All the most effective exercises are not as localized as you believe. Therefore, you need a varied exercise schedule, you have to use different fitness equipment and engage in cardio daily.
- Do short-term low-calorie diets
When you eat less calories than you consume for energy, you begin to lose weight, including belly fat. A low-calorie diet can be very effective, but you should not stick with one for more than 7-10 days, because it is restrictive.
When faced with food restrictions, you can experience nutrient deficiencies and harm your overall health. Also, you risk starvation, which will later make you overeat, as to compensate.
- Do a master cleanse diet
Detoxing, or flushing out toxins that built up during long times of eating bad foods, can sometimes be an immense help when fighting excessive belly fat. Protocols like the juice diet will feed your body with important minerals and vitamins from fresh fruits and vegetables.
When the system isn’t busy processing ‘heavy’ foods with animal fat, additives, sweeteners, oils etc., it can focus its energy on getting rid of unwanted substances. When this happens, much of the fat is burned away.
A master cleanse can get you rid of many pounds, like it happened to Beyonce, but you will out that weight back on if you resume your unhealthy diet. During the master cleanse, you cannot eat any solid food. There are milder version of this diet, too.
- Be smart about your breakfast
Rule number one: never skip it! You need to kick start your metabolism early on and to avoid signaling your body that it needs to store fat to make it through the day. Then, you must eat smart.
Have a cup of cooked oats, which are slow to digest and won’t leave you craving for snacks too soon. With these, add enough berries, because berries have loads of fiber, very little sugar and many compounds that burn fat effectively, such as ketones. You can have a savory breakfast too and that’s in fact a great idea, as you should eat protein with your first meal of the day.
Applying these tips to your everyday life can get your abdomen much slimmer in just one month or even less. You need to focus on your well-being first and not on a highly specific area such as your abdomen.
As soon as you make the right changes, your body will start to look better. When you are unsure about what is causing you to gain weight around the waist, you should consult a physician and do a series of tests.
This will let you know whether it’s got a hormonal cause or you’re gaining weight for reasons like overeating, not exercising, or because of a certain chronic condition. To keep track of what you eat, a food diary may not suffice; get yourself a mobile app to count calories and you will know where you stand. Portion control and a good diet are still crucial to losing weight, no matter what.