Proven Methods To Help You Shift That Belly Fat

An expanding belly can indicate an increase in both visceral and subcutaneous fat. In simple terms, the subcutaneous fat is the fat we can feel and visceral fat, responsible for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among others, is the fat we can’t.

Interestingly, the harmful visceral fat is easier to lose than our jiggly subcutaneous friend which, though it poses less danger to our health, invariably makes us feel uncomfortable and unattractive. So, if you want to lose that fatty, loose skin around your midsection, which will ultimately make you look and feel better and also take on that visceral fat to improve your overall health, you’re absolutely going to need to rethink your diet and exercise.

But don’t panic, we’re here to help you do just that with some proven ways to help you lose that frustrating subcutaneous tummy fat while at the same time combating that nasty visceral fat too:

Work Your Abdominals

Working your abdominals can be tedious and often equates to a few crunches tagged on to the end of another workout. Now, while it may be true that working on your abs alone won’t help you lose weight or become healthier, it will help create a strong core. Having a toned, strengthened abdominal area will mean fewer inches around your waist, which not only looks great but helps protect against backache and will certainly improve your posture. Get your heart rate up during your abdominal workout by increasing the reps and repeating the circuit at least 3 times.

Events such as pregnancy and or significant weight loss can have a serious effect on our abdominal area, such as loose separated muscles causing extra skin around the tummy. In some instances, exercise and diet may not be enough to repair the damage and it may be time to consider a tummy tuck. If this sounds like a possible solution to your abdominal issues, we’ve linked a video so you can learn more about the procedure.

Here are some of the most effective exercises to include in your abdominal routine. Start with as many as you can and build up to 15 reps on each side and repeat the circuit three times.

  • Bicycle crunches: Lie flat on back with your legs bent at 90 degrees and hands supporting the back of your head. Twist the body and bring the opposite knee to opposite elbow. Then rotate to another side, making sure not to push your head with your hands.
  • Side plank dips: Lie on your side with your legs straight and stacked. Position yourself so your weight rests on your forearm and the outside edge of your bottom foot. Your elbow should be directly beneath your shoulder, and your upper arm should be perpendicular to the floor. Align your body so it forms a straight line from your neck to your ankles, and place your top on your hip. Lower your hips a couple of inches towards the floor, then return to the start.
  • Toe Reach: Lie on your back with your legs at a 90-degree angle to your torso. Using your lower abs, lift your torso off the ground and reach for your toes. Lower back to start.

Weights and Cardio

Experts say that, ideally, we should be aiming for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five times a week (150 minutes in total), or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise a week.

However, this doesn’t mean going to a boring cardio class or lacing up your running shoes every day in order to burn calories. It could mean going for a brisk walk or bike ride both of which can be incorporated into your normal routine. Having said that your local gym will have some great facilities and classes that vary your workout so you won’t get bored.

  • Weightlifting: This type of exercise isn’t just for building muscle, being extremely effective for losing both visceral and subcutaneous fat too.
  • HIIT: High-intensity interval training isn’t only great for overall fat loss–it’s particularly good for reducing abdominal and visceral fat as well.
  • Yoga: Most people practice yoga to improve flexibility, balance, relieve stress, and reduce aches and pains but regular practice can also help you lose weight. While yoga generally doesn’t burn as many calories as cardiovascular exercise, some types of yoga and certain poses will elevate your heart rate and strengthen muscles. Yoga also has a positive influence on the mental aspects associated with successful weight loss and maintenance. It increases body awareness and fosters a sense of self-control.
  • Circuit Training: This particular type of exercise combines cardiovascular fitness and resistance training. With a short rest interval between stations, which can be anything from skipping to burpees or weights, cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and tone of the body is improved with regular circuit training. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a set time before moving on to the next exercise after a short rest period, plus a longer rest between each circuit. A successful circuit targets all the muscle groups and builds cardiovascular endurance. Definitely a great choice for targeting belly fat.

Adjust Your Diet

Gaining belly fat is primarily a result of eating more calories than your body requires for your particular lifestyle needs.

Any calories that surpass these requirements are stored as fat. Over time, if your body doesn’t have the opportunity to use these stores, this will be reflected in your physical appearance and you could also be putting your health at risk too.

  • Calories in, calories out: Reducing tummy fat is the same as reducing fat anywhere on your body; you need to consume fewer calories than you use. A good way to start is by cutting out all processed foods, fatty foods, sweets and sugary drinks. While the occasional treat is absolutely fine, you can’t consume these types of food on a regular basis and still hope to lose weight.
  • Protein and fibre: Both of these groups digest slowly, staying in the stomach and intestine longer and providing a more sustained feeling of fullness. Healthy fibre sources include fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and good protein choices include white meat chicken without skin, fish, eggs, beans, tofu and nuts and seeds. They’ll also help with building muscles which in turn help burn more calories.
  • Good carbs: It’s all about eating the right type of carbohydrates and that means saying no to simple carbs which your body breaks down into sugar and causes a host of ill effects including fatigue, mood swings and food cravings and can also affect our weight. These bad carbs include things like white bread and pasta. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are digested more slowly. They release a steady supply of sugars into the bloodstream and keep blood sugar levels stable. Complex carbs are found in vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
  • Good fats: While saturated and trans fats can have negative effects on your health and your waistline, unsaturated fats from plant-based foods can improve your health, especially your heart health. They can be found in foods like avocado, olives and olive oil, nuts and seeds and fish and should be consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet along with regular exercise.

Cue You

A balanced lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and plenty of physical activity is the best way to lose those extra inches from around your tummy. Implementing our simple steps will not only help you achieve a new level of body confidence but  also goes a long way to preventing chronic illness in the future.

Remember that the only thing stopping you from reaching your goals is…well, you. So, find out what really motivates you, commit to the long haul and put all that self-doubt aside.