Diet and exercise can slim down your tummy.
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A tummy tuck might seem like an easy solution to get a flat, firm stomach, but it isn't risk-free, and the aftermath can include scarring, infections, blood clots and pain. Why not save your money and integrate healthy lifestyle changes that can have a similar effect? In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise can slim down your midsection and maintain your results in the long run.
Calories and Spot Reduction
The only way you're going to slim your belly is by reducing your total body fat. Spot reduction, or the notion that you can lose fat from one selected area, isn't possible. Exercises, such as crunches, only strengthen your abs but don't reduce the fat covering them. To lose fat, a caloric deficit is needed; it takes a reduction of 500 calories a day to lose 1 pound of fat in a week. In addition to cutting calories through dieting, MayoClinic.com recommends burning calories through exercise to contribute to your daily deficit, and to keep the weight off.
Reducing and Replacing Equals Results
Cutting calories doesn't have to mean deprivation. You can make small dietary changes that can have a big impact. Reducing your portion sizes, for instance, can reduce the amount of calories you consume; a 4-inch diameter pancake has fewer calories than one with a 6-inch diameter. Skipping desserts and other high-calorie snacks can also help. Alternatively, replace them with nutritious, low-calorie choices; fruits and veggies are lower in calories and more nutritious than chips and cookies. Counting calories and keeping a food journal can help you catch pitfalls early on.
Boost Your Intensity
Study results reported in a 2008 article in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" showed that high-intensity interval training can effectively reduce belly fat. HIIT is best performed once or twice a week as part of your cardio routine. During your workout, alternate between vigorous and moderate cardio for short periods. For instance, ride a bike at a maintainable pace for two minutes, and then burst into a vigorous pace for one minute. Continue to alternate intensities for about 15 minutes.
Lifting Weights Means Losing Weight
By maintaining and building muscle tissue through strength training, you can lose weight. Muscle tissue is burns more calories than fat to maintain itself; the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn even when your resting. Solely working your abs isn't enough. Work your large muscle groups, including your chest, back, legs, arms, shoulders and hips, for optimal muscle stimulation. Twice a week, perform exercises, such as lunges, squats, crunches, dead lifts, pushups, bent-over rows and bench presses.