Millions of people would like to lose excess belly fat, and unfortunately, belly fat is often the most resistant to dietary changes and harder to lose than other areas for some. Excess fat around your mid-section affects your aesthetics when you want to look good in a bikini at the beach or fit into a form fitting outfit. In addition, belly fat also carries a risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Most men claim that next to a head full of hair, they would love to have a firm and toned waistline. The waistline is also the area that women would love to minimize the most, second only to hips and thighs.
So can you get rid of belly fat? Yes! But you should understand that it won’t happen overnight. You will have to put in an extra effort to have your belly look trim, toned and sexy.
Next to proper nutrition, cardiovascular exercise is the most important thing to incorporate into your daily life. Keep in mind that any exercise is better than no exercise. While there have been hundreds of exercises developed for people who want to lose belly fat, there is no one exercise that is better than the other. It all depends on your lifestyle, the time you have available and your health. If you don’t ‘exercise at all, the easiest thing to do is to start walking. Walk at least 1 hour a day 4-6 days a week, building up the intensity as your fitness level improves. Other options for cardiovascular exercise include jogging, biking, rowing, and swimming to name a few.
If you do not feel like doing structured exercise, rake the leaves, shovel the snow, play soccer with your kids or perform some other household duty that gets your heart rate up. Remember that you do not necessarily have to join a gym to lose weight (and more specifically belly fat).
Strength training that target your midsection will help builds the muscle underneath any excess fat. Start with exercises that target your abdomen including basic exercises like crunches, and full sit ups. To add variety, try planks, side planks, pushups, reverse crunches, and ab-roller exercises. Another great exercise is to walkout from a push up position. This is a difficult exercise but is very effective.
Try doing 10 reps of three sets of three different types of exercises at a minimum. You can progress by adding other types of lightweight training by using a fit ball, exercise tubing and doing various exercises using a weight bench or step. Add variety and take a yoga or Pilate’s class (or DVD) on the weekends.
The other aspect of losing belly fat is to eat the right foods in the right portions. Try to minimize your sugar intake from cakes, cookies and other junk foods and of course avoid eating fried foods. Focus instead on eating a large variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grain foods. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise. Reduce your alcohol intake to one1 drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men, and also get adequate sleep. Studies show that people who get less than six hours of sleep tend to over eat junk foods to keep their energy levels elevated.
In order to lose belly fat, you need to be consistent in your physical activity. Just going for a walk once a week or doing one set of push-ups is not going to do it. More importantly once you have achieved some success, you will still need to continue exercising regularly and eat the right types (and amounts) of food. Unfortunately we tend to gain weight as we age with slower metabolisms, so you’re eating habits may need to change as you get older.
Finally, try and minimize and control your stress levels. One of the best ways to lower your stress is to exercise – it is much cheaper than counseling. If you remain dedicated to exercise and proper nutrition, then you could lose the belly fat within three to six months so be patient.
Editor’s note: Contributor: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate wellness solutions. For more information, visit www.milehighfitness.com or email email@example.com