Whether you are into bikinis or not, you definitely dream of having a flat belly. As summer approaches, most people waste a lot of time on planning their outfits to hide the layers winter has added to their bellies. The danger here lies not only in how you look from the outside, but also in how your body functions inside. Abdominal fat may be a risk factor for several diseases and can affect your confidence.
Understand your body:
You most probably don’t understand why abdominal fat is hard-to-reach and how it is formed. First of all, you need to understand your body and keep in mind that your body is unique and is not similar to anyone’s body.
Second, you have to know that belly fat is considered a visceral fat and this kind of fat is located beneath your stomach muscles which makes it close to your inner organs. This makes such kind of fat hard-to-reach, break, and dangerous for your health as your inner organs depend on it to get its energy. Studies say that visceral fat cells are metabolically active and they produce hormones and chemicals that have a strong effect on all your body organs. Having a high percentage of visceral fat increases the risk of diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and certain cancers.
Third, Adrenal glands may contribute to increasing the visceral fat in your body. These glands are responsible for releasing cortisol that activates glucose and fat to support your body with energy till you eat. If there is an adrenal imbalance, this directly affects your weight and the storage of fat in your body. Thus, when there is an Adrenal imbalance and your body is provided with more insulin, visceral fat is stored in your belly.
If a flat belly is what you are looking for, this article is the perfect guide. Here are 20 essentials to get rid of belly fat.
1- Fix your Posture
The Biggest Loser ‘s trainer Kim Lyon says “When your posture is good, you’re automatically engaging and toning your stomach muscles”. This means that you need to always straighten your back while standing or sitting, and make sure you engage your tummy muscles by slightly sucking in your belly. You can set alarms that remind you to stand tall and suck it in. This will make you look great and slightly lose belly fat.
2- Stay Hydrated
Your body saves water when you don’t drink enough. This causes weight gain and bloating. You need at least 8 cups of water or sugar-free- fluids during the day to stay hydrated and boost your metabolism. So try not to forget to drink those 8 cups every day!
3- Chew your Food
Have you heard about mindful eating? This a technique that our moms used to force us to follow when we were kids and it has turned out to be effective. This term is used to describe slow eating and chewing food well. Set a 20-minute timer while having your meal and make sure you chew each bite really well. This will satisfy your hunger fast, decrease the amount of food intake, and ease the digestion.
4- Cut Calories
Cutting calories is the first step to weight loss in general. However, cutting too many calories may affect your metabolism and encourage your body to store its fat. Try to track your food calories and cut from 500-700 calories from your general calorie intake.
5- Eat More Fibers
If you aim at fighting belly fat, eat more fiber. For every 10 grams of fiber you consume daily, your belly will lose about 4% of its total fat.
Here are the best 10 fiber sources:
- Brown Rice
- Sweet potatoes
6- Take Probiotics
Add probiotics to your diet to make sure the digestion process goes smoothly. Probiotics are good bacteria that exist in foods like yogurt, green olives, and others. These foods help in breaking down food and preventing gastrointestinal problems that cause bloating.
7- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
MUFAs are a healthy kind of fats that should replace other kinds of fats in your diet. Research showed that MUFAs benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control which directly affect the weight loss process and improves it. Make sure you add the following MUFAs to your diet:
- Olive oil
- Nuts, such as almonds and cashews.
- Nut butters
- Peanut oil
8- Eat More Protein
Your body burns a lot of calories while digesting protein. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel full. Moreover, it helps in protecting and strengthening your muscle mass during weight loss. You need to take 20-30% of your daily calorie intake from protein.
9- Add Fish Oil to your Diet
Eating fish should be a weekly routine and you shouldn’t neglect the importance of eating fish at least once a week. If you are not a big fan of fish, replace it with Omega 3 supplements.
10- Unsweeten your Coffee
Drinking sugar-free coffee helps you boost your metabolism and urges your body to get rid of the excess water.
11- Eat Whole Food
Your diet should be full of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, and unprocessed meat. These foods are rich in the elements your body needs and helps your body burn more fat.
12- Drink Green Tea
Studies show that drinking a cup of green tea daily before lunch or dinner, increases fat burning up to 17%. Just make sure it is unsweetened.
13- Eat Dark Chocolate
Look for a chocolate bar with 70% or more cocoa and make eating a square or two a daily habit. Dark chocolate is a good source of MUFAs that encourage your body to burn belly fat.
14- Cut salt
Foods that are full of sodium encourages the body to bloat and save water. De-Bloat by cutting salt and use lemon juice or cayenne pepper instead. Both have an added benefit of boosting metabolism.
15- Do some cardio
Weight loss isn’t about food only. It needs some cardio to work. If you want to burn that visceral fat, do aerobics that burns more fat than any other kind of exercise. Moreover, add some boxing, weightlifting, and resistance training to your workout program.
Walking for 30 minutes every day will not only help you feel more active, but will also contribute to decreasing your waistline. Instead of using a car or getting on a train or a taxi, a good walk will benefit you. It will definitely help you look and feel better.
17- Strengthen your core
Adding abdominal exercises to your fitness routine is an essential for a flat belly. These workouts help you strengthen your core and look slimmer and leaner. Do crunches, planks, sit ups, and Pilates roll-ups to slim down your belly.
Check these workouts to get started:
18- Reduce stress
Remember the Adrenal Glands? These glands are strongly affected by your stress level. When you are stressed, the glands produce more cortisol which decreases your weight loss. To maintain a successful weight loss process, you need to reduce stress.
19- Sleep well
A good sleep is very important for weight loss. Sleeping less than five hours a night for adults and less than 10 hours for children increases the risk of weight gain and slows down your metabolism. Sleep is not a luxury, it is a must for a healthy life.
20- Stay Motivated
Always keep in mind that losing belly fat does not only make you look great, but it also protects you from many diseases. Stay focused and remind yourself all the time why you have started by writing down your goals and attaching the notes in a place where you can always see them.