You can tone your abdomen muscles with crunches and you can lose weight with dieting, but that doesn’t always mean you’re getting rid of belly fat, especially the kind that surrounds your internal organs and is responsible for a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.
Crunches may help superficially but the best ways to get rid of belly fat involve different types of exercise. Find out how to take the best approach for losing the belly fat and maintaining your overall health in the long run.
How to Exercise to Get Rid of Belly Fat
No matter if your abs are toned or not, the right way to exercise to get rid of belly is cardio, according to numerous studies. Short bursts of exercises are good, but you need to plan ahead for vigorous exercise at least a few times every week.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer running or biking as look as you push yourself to sweat a few times a week. You can use stationary bikes, go for aerobic exercise or even interval training, that helps you combine high-intensity cardio with lower intensity exercises.
A study conducted at Duke University has found that you can easily stop gaining belly fat with as little exercise as walking 30 minutes, 6 days a week. In order to start burning the belly, you do need to exercise more and more often. For instance, if you decided to jog 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, you’ll be looking at a reduction in your belly fat of up to 7% in 8 months.
The best ways to get rid of belly fat even faster include weight training, 2-3 times a week, on top of the help the cardio workouts. They don’t have to be long sessions, just vigorous ones.
What to Eat to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Eating the right kind of fats is definitely one of the best ways to get rid of belly fat. Trans-fats are the worst, but monosaturated fatty acids can actually help you in your goal. Olive oil is one of the easiest options to eat some healthy fats, added in salads or other meals, but you should also focus on Omega 3 fatty acids, found in salmon, avocado and many types of nuts. Another type of healthy fats, polyunsaturated fatty acids, can also help the digestion process by signaling to your brain when you’re full, and they’re most commonly consumed in pine nuts.
Foods with a low glicemic index control any spikes in your blood sugar, helping you get less cravings when you know you’re already full. Forget about white rice and pasta and go for whole-grain foods, along with beans, chickpeas and lentils.
Other things you add to your diet include dairy (low calcium leads to more fat), green tea (the antioxidants help you stay in shape), and fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C (which can better control your hormones when you’re under stress).
What NOT to Eat to Get Rid of Belly Fat
The biggest enabler of belly fat formation is a high consumption of sugar. When the body is processing high amounts of sugar, it will always convert them into fat that surrounds your internal organs and belly fat. Fight sugar cravings by eating more fruit and fiber-rich foods. Snack on nuts and you also get the added benefit of healthy fats.
Alcohol is another big problem, since it breaks down into sugar as it’s being digested. A glass of red wine a day isn’t a problem, it actually helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy. The real enemy is binge drinking, even if it’s as infrequent as once a month or less.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleeping between 6 and 7 hours a night is a necessity if you want to stay healthy in the long run. Sleeping more might actually be as bad as sleeping less when it comes to visceral fat. Even if you want to sleep more or need to sleep less, try to keep your rest schedule regulated and don’t work at night. Losing sleep has a big impact on your hormones and it also influences impulse control.
Working on Stress Management
The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to eat more or gain weight even if you eat the same. One of the best ways to get rid of belly fat is to keep your stress in check. You might benefit from meditation, more exercise and simply more “me time”. Even slowing down your breath when you feel you’re anxious can help reduce stress levels.