Some people call it a spare tire.
Still others refer to it as a love handle. Whatever cute, endearing names we give to our protruding stomachs, we are less healthy when we have them. With belly fat comes an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Diabetes and hypertension are also often the result of a gut. A large belly is more than just a dating impediment- it is a life threatening condition that is completely treatable.
So, who doesn’t have some stubborn belly fat they’d like to lose?
Whether it a result of age, eating habits or lack of exercise, almost everyone has a little extra weight around their middle that they’d like to hack off. But belly fat is resistant to many methods and it can be very difficult to find a manageable way to effectively reduce it. Many pills have been introduced lately to the dieting world that tout their ability to help men and women lose belly fat without diet and exercise. If this were actually possible, we’d probably all be skinny and eating donuts 24/7. Since it is not possible to find a diet supplement that magically reduces your belly fat, we’ve got to look to the tried and true methods of weight loss- diet and exercise.
Following are some tips that can help you lose weight overall, but are also extremely good at attacking and reducing belly fat.
1. Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is a fat blasting endeavor that also strengthens leg muscles and tightens a tush. No matter where you want to see a fat reduction, aerobic exercise will help you achieve your goal. When it comes to stubborn belly fat, aerobic exercise is especially helpful because it uses so many calories that the cells in your belly are forced to release some of their stored glucose. With aerobic exercise, you have the flexibility to choose from many different exercises and really work some variety into your routine.
2. Stomach crunches. Stomach crunches, when done properly, strengthen the muscle hiding behind your belly fat. With your stomach muscles tightened, you begin to get a more, “pulled in” look around your abdomen. Additionally, you are blasting fat in order to get the energy you need to strengthen your muscles.
3. Pilates. Pilates is all about strengthening your core – which includes your stomach. Pilates exercises focus on muscle control which can really help you build muscles and learn how to properly use them. Pilates teaches you to use your abdomen and other core muscle groups as a power house. You’ll burn a lot of calories and lose a lot of belly fat practicing the discipline.
4. Yoga. Like Pilates, Yoga is about muscle control, but it is also about stretching and distributing more oxygen throughout your body. Yoga burns calories and strengthens muscles in your abdomen. It also teaches you to focus and be calm- which can help you de-stress.
5. De-stress. When you are stressed, your body produces Cortisol to help you deal with your automatic, ‘fight or flight’ instinct. This Cortisol gets stored as glucose in your fat cells and often results in belly fat. Finding ways of combating stress before you body produces Cortisol is important. Working out, Yoga, meditation and taking time for yourself can help you head stress off at the pass.
6. Eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates. When you eat too many sugars or simple carbohydrates, your pancreas may not secrete enough insulin to absorb it. This means that your fat cells will increase in size since they store the glucose.