If the words "muffin top," "spare tire" or "flabbolanche" could be used to describe your appearance lately, it's time to get rid of your excess belly fat. You can blast away stomach fat and have a midriff you're proud to bare by shedding pounds and toning muscle. Get your tush in gear with cardio and strength-training exercises while making a few belly-flattening diet changes. Soon, the only spare tire around will be the one in your garage.
Blast Belly Fat with Exercise
Get off the couch and move your body with heart-pumping aerobic exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 300 minutes of aerobic exercise each week if you want to lose weight. Don't freak out -- you can break this up in whatever way works best for your schedule.
Lose .5 to 1 pound of flab all over, including your belly, by burning 250 to 500 calories when you exercise. Jogging, swimming, cycling and circuit training will help you burn about 250 calories per half-hour and 500 calories in one hour.
Rev up your metabolism and your calorie burn by adding intervals into your workouts. Move at a faster pace for 30 to 60 seconds after every four or five minutes at a normal pace.
Engage in ab-toning exercises to flatten and tighten your muscles as you lose that jiggly belly. Do situps, front and side planks, and perform stability ball knee tucks to tone your belly. Get down on all fours, and then place your feet on the top of an exercise ball, one at a time. Use your stomach muscles to draw your knees in toward your chest before slowly pushing the ball back out. Do 10 to 20 situps and stability ball knee tucks; hold front and side plank positions for 30 to 45 seconds.
Blast Belly Fat with Diet Changes
Eliminate sugary soda and fruit juice from your diet as it can add to your bulging belly, finds Rush University Medical Center. Drink plenty of water or herbal tea instead, aiming for eight to 10 glasses per day.
Drive past the local burger joint and eat healthy meals at home. Consume fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, whole grains and low- to non-fat dairy. If you're seriosu about a super-flat tummy, avoid foods that cause gas and bloating, such as legumes, cabbage and broccoli.
Reduce your daily caloric intake by 250 to 500 calories to lose another .5 to 1 pound per week. Ditch the sweet coffee beverage, and you can easily save around 500 calories.
Eat more frequently, while consuming smaller meals, to keep your metabolism up and avoid a growling stomach between meals.
- Harvard Medical School: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- Rush University Medical Center: Is There Really "One Trick" to Losing Belly Fat?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity
- Mayoclinic.com: Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training
- Fitness Magazine: Flat Abs Fast
- American Council on Exercise: Ab Exercises
- Talk to your family doctor before you start a weight-loss program.
- Do total-body strength-training moves two to three times per week for 15 to 20 minutes per session to burn calories more efficiently for greater weight loss.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.