In addition to exercise, healthy eating habits can flatten your tummy.
Excess fat around your middle can affect your self-confidence, especially during the hot summer months when clothes seem to get skimpier and skin becomes more visible. Regardless of how many inches or pounds you desire to lose from your midsection, with a full-body weight-loss strategy that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise you can start seeing results in just a few weeks. In addition to visible results, you'll also enjoy health benefits; as your belly fat reduces, your risk for obesity-related conditions, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, does too.1.
Lose weight gradually at a rate of a half pound to two pounds per week. This weight-loss rate that's recommended by the Weight-Control Information Network is safe and maintainable longterm, and doesn't require drastic measures that can impact your health and slow metabolism. To achieve it, create a weekly deficit of 1,750 to 7,000 calories through exercise and diet.
Reduce your portion sizes and make low-fat food choices so you consume fewer calories. The American Council on Exercise suggests reducing your portions by 10 to 15 percent, and limiting your saturated-fat intake to 7 percent, and your total fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of daily calories.3.
Get nutrients from filling whole grains, a variety of vegetables and fruits, reduced-fat dairy and low-fat protein. Avoid skipping meals, and limit salt and alcohol.4.
Perform moderate aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week to burn calories. Go jogging, use an elliptical machine, ride a bike, jump rope, or walk briskly. Maintain a pace during which you can talk, but not sing.5.
Incorporate short, high-intense boosts into your cardio workout so your body has to work harder and you burn calories more efficiently, both during and after your workout. Regularly speed up to a vigorous pace for 30 seconds to one minute, so you can't talk anymore. Then slow down to a moderate pace for one to two minutes. Repeat the intervals about five times throughout your workout.6.
Strength train on two nonconsecutive days a week. Strength training maintains and increases muscle tissue. Compared to fat, muscle burns more calories to maintain itself; you burn calories even when you're sitting down or sleeping. Perform combination and compound exercises so you work multiple muscles at a time for optimal muscle stimulation, and fat and caloric burn. For instance, perform bench presses, pushups, bent-over rows and deadlifts, and include combination exercises, such as lunges and lateral raises, step-ups and biceps curls, squats and overhead presses.7.
Perform abdominal exercises if you desire to have a well-defined tummy once the excess fat reduces. Although they don't spot-reduce your tummy, abdominal exercises strengthen and tone your muscles, which can prevent injuries, ease back pain, and improve your posture, core and athletic performance. Include exercises such as bicycle crunches, reverse crunches, planks, and hanging knee raises. Work your abdominals on nonconsecutive days so your abs have enough time to recover between workouts.
- Consult your doctor before taking on a new diet or exercise routine, especially if you've been inactive or have a health condition or injury.