10 Tips For a Stronger and Flatter Midsection Body
If your belly is the one place where fat just won’t disappear, while there’s no magic one-step cure, here are some must dos that are proven to whittle your midsection body.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one exercise or piece of equipment that will spot-reduce fat from your belly. What you need to do is fast-paced cardio to burn calories, which will reduce your overall body fat and slim down every part of your body, including your tummy. Skip the leisurely walks with your dog, and choose the types of cardio that burn the most calories, such as biking, running, and jumping rope.
Include Short Bursts
Basic cardio isn’t enough. In order to target the waistline, interval training is a must. It involves mixing up your regular pace with fast-paced bursts. Here’s a 40-minute workout perfect for newbies that incorporates two-minute sprints with one-minute walking recovery intervals. Running isn’t the only way to do intervals. They can also be done when biking, swimming, jumping rope, or even dancing. Doing hill repeats is also a form of interval training that as a bonus will also tone your tush.
While crunches alone won’t trim your middle, you don’t want to skip them altogether. Once you’re incorporating cardio regularly and the fat starts to melt away, you want to reveal toned abs underneath. Complement your cardio with strength-training sessions that include core work such as these plank variations, these core-carving yoga poses, or this 10-minute ab workout using hand towels. Simply balancing on one leg on a BOSU will target your core too.
Avoid These Foods
Being overweight or having weak abs isn’t the only issue causing your pudgy tummy. If you’re having digestive issues, a bloated belly can also make you look plumper than you are. It helps to avoid foods that are known to cause bloating like dairy products and high-fat and high-sodium items. Skip chewing gum since it causes you to swallow air, and you’ll also want to turn away carbonated beverages such as seltzer and beer since they release carbon dioxide, which can translate to bloat. For instant relief from bloating, try this yoga sequence.
Say Yes to These
Constipation is one cause of bloating, so be sure to get enough fiber per day (25 to 30 grams) by eating avocado and these other high-fiber foods. Drinking enough water is also key to keeping things moving along. You’ll be pleased to hear that blueberries are proven to diminish belly fat as well as pineapple, so sip on this flat-belly smoothie or crunch on this flat-belly salad to keep you regular and help you debloat.
Don’t Skip This
Definitely don’t pass over the first meal of the day, since eating within an hour of waking will jump-start your metabolism, helping to reduce your overall body fat to reveal your slimmer middle. Pass on sugary, refined-carb meals, and opt for a combo of protein and fiber-filled complex carbs. The protein will give you energy, so you’ll feel pumped for that early-morning cardio workout, and it also helps build muscle. The carbs will sustain that energy and keep you feeling full. If you’re short on time, smoothies are quick and satisfying, as well as overnight oats, or make a batch of these apple ring pancakes the night before, so they’re ready to enjoy with some scrambled eggs or yogurt.
Including two snacks between your three main meals is also a must. Eating a little something every few hours will stop hunger from causing you to overeat, which will prevent weight gain. Keep it under 150 calories, and choose foods high in protein and fiber to fill you up and offer energy.
Knowing how many calories you’re taking in and using up is one way to keep you honest about weight loss. Though it may seem tedious, keeping a food journal works because it helps keep you accountable for every bite. In fact, one study found that those who logged what they ate six days a week lost twice as much weight as those who only kept track of a day or less. In order to lose a pound a week, you need to cut 500 calories a day — 250 through exercise and 250 through diet is a good breakdown. Just be sure not to dip below 1,200 calories, since not consuming enough calories will make your body hold onto fat.
Hit the Hay
Getting enough rest is also proven to aid in weight loss, which can help slim your waistline. Sleepiness makes people snack more, consuming extra calories, while also making them too tired to work out. Wind down 30 minutes before bed, avoid using screens as they stimulate your brain, and hop in bed early enough so you’re asleep at least seven hours before you need to wake up.
We’re all born with what we have, and if genetics blessed you with an apple-shaped body, you can do what you can to eliminate that extra belly fat, but don’t beat yourself up about it. Skip the morning stare-downs in front of the mirror, pinching that extra inch, and slip on clothes that flatter your figure. If you’re a mom, be extrakind to yourself — flab, stretch marks, and all! Although your tummy may not be as taut or smooth as it was before pregnancy, the sheer fact that it was the first home to your son or daughter makes it beautiful.