Your body is your temple so you want to keep it looking its very best, but sometimes, no matter how much you diet and exercise, you simply can’t shift that excess belly fat!
Why is that?
Why do you still have a little pocket of fat that hangs over your jeans?
Why do you have to hold your tummy in every time you want to wear a bikini?
Stubborn belly fat is the barrier between wearing that fabulous body-con dress or those skinny jeans with a body-skimming T-shirt but it can be removed.
It’s not just about looking lean and trim, holding onto excess belly fat could contribute to health complications.
Extra belly fat can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
It can also add to heart disease risk and even be a factor in encouraging cancerous cells.
So getting rid of it healthily and steadily is the key.
It’s simply a matter of knowing what to do, in this piece we look at what you need to do to lose belly fat forever!
Yes, we know you’ve heard it all before but there’s a reason why you keep on hearing how good exercise is for your body.
You need to make it a part of everyday life and factor in at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise every week.
Not only does it help to reduce that belly fat, it makes you feel better all over, increases your fitness levels (that means more energy) and gets you moving.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle then building in exercise will definitely make the difference between that pocket of fat and a leaner, trimmer tummy.
Try it, start slowly and ease yourself into a routine, download a good fitness app and build up over a couple of months.
You should start seeing an improvement within just a few weeks.
2. Tone your Abs!
A flatter stomach is achievable with exercise (as long as you combine it with a healthy diet).
If you’ve never tried sit-ups or core exercises this one is definitely for you.
There are lots of workouts available online or on YouTube that help you to tone up your tum.
Spending five minutes a day on repetitive stomach exercises will trim down that fat and turn it into lean muscle.
From sit-ups to crunches, planks to Pilates, there are so many great toning exercises to try.
Start with a set of 15 stomach crunches, then move into a 30 second plank, switch your plank to two side planks (either side for 30 seconds) and go back into side twists (like a stomach crunch but you twist your upper body from side to side with your shoulders lifted away from the floor).
Finally, try bending your knees and lifting them off the floor while reaching with your elbows to each knee (side to side), right elbow to left knee, then switch left elbow to right knee.
Perform this exercise with your upper body raised away from the floor.
Repeat five on each side.
3. Stop Eating Carbs
One of the quickest ways to a flatter stomach is by getting rid of “bad” carbs.
So, no more bread or pasta, anything that contains gluten should be binned (the supermarkets are full of gluten-free products nowadays), no more potato crisps, breadsticks or white rice.
You can still eat carbs but make them good carbs such as vegetables, whole fruits, lentils, peas, kidney beans, most nuts and seeds and your wholegrain carbs such as pure oats, brown rice and quinoa.
When you cut carbs out of your diet, your body eventually reaches a state of Ketosis, so it burns off fat – this is known as the Keto diet.
For more on our Keto diet tips, click here.
4. Drink that Water!
Honestly – the best liquid to drink is undoubtedly water and actually, upping your intake of H2O will help to reduce your belly.
Contrary to popular belief, not drinking water will bloat you out more and have you ever thought that the excess belly fat is a combination of fat and bloating?
Water retention is the number one cause of bloating.
Drinking at least 2 liters a day of water will reduce water retention, get rid of toxins and impurities, make you feel brighter and more energized but it will also make you feel fuller for longer!
Water is your best friend when it comes to trimming the fat.
5. Think about Liquid Calories
As well as food calories, there are also liquid calories to consider and many people eat a healthy diet, even exercise regularly but don’t think about their drinks!
A regular coke contains 139 calories if you consume three of those you’re already at almost 420 wasted calories!
Combine that with sweetened tea, sweetened coffee and adding full-fat milk and you’re on a roll!
Switching out full-fat milk for skimmed, banishing the sugar and trading in your sugary drinks for water (which you can sweeten just by adding natural fruit sliced up) is an easy win, try it and see how lean your belly becomes.
6. Always Eat Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is not the answer to a skinnier, leaner tummy.
In fact, studies show that by missing out on the most important meal of the day, you could increase your weight rather than reduce it.
Actually, those that skip breakfast tend to be larger than those that don’t.
It’s even better to eat small portions more regularly, so split up your food intake into five different times during the day, this also stops you snacking and helps you to stay fuller for longer.
Just make sure they’re good choices, lean meat, poultry (without the skin), fresh fish, lots of vegetables, salad (without fatty dressings, try balsamic vinegar instead), fresh fruit, a handful of nuts…just be controlled, there’s no need to go hungry.
7. Don’t Eat After 7 pm
We are not suggesting you never go out for dinner, but when you’re eating at home with your family, or even alone, be strict about when you have your last meal of the day.
That’s because if you eat late, the body doesn’t have enough time to fully digest your meal before bed.
Unfortunately, the later you eat, the more likely the food will turn into fat than be used as an energy source.
That’s why a big meal makes you feel full and uncomfortable in the morning, it could also be the reason why you don’t sleep as well as you should!