Excess fat in the belly area can place you at risk for health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, finds Harvard Medical School. A slow, safe rate of weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week can help you lose up to 8 pounds all over in 30 days. Although it's not possible to lose fat specifically in the belly area, losing weight all over will help you trim down your belly.
Combine a healthy, calorie-reduced diet with your aerobic and strength-training exercise program to further reduce belly fat and whittle your waist. Always check with your doctor before you start a new weight-loss plan.
Participate in aerobic exercise for at least 300 minutes per week to burn calories and lose fat all over your body, as well as in the belly area. Go for a jog, swim or bike ride for one hour to burn approximately 500 calories and lose 1 pound per week. Double your efforts to lose 2 pounds weekly with exercise alone.
Increase your calorie burn, suggests the Mayo Clinic, by incorporating intervals into your workouts. Move your body at a faster pace for one minute after walking, swimming or jogging at a moderate pace for four to five minutes.
Burn more calories each day with small lifestyle changes to burn more fat all over and in your belly area. Walk up the stairs, rather than taking the elevator or escalator. Park at the farthest end of the parking lot and walk to burn a few more calories than you would if you parked in the first space available.
Perform situps to tighten your abdominal muscles for a slimmer-looking belly area as you lose weight. Alternate between lifting your upper body toward the center and your right or left side to include your oblique muscles in the muscle-toning workout. Do situps every other day to sculpt and tone your abdominal and oblique muscles for a slimmer-looking belly area.
Tighten and tone your abdominal muscles, along with the other core muscles of the pelvic area and back. Kneel on the floor, with just your lower legs on the floor and the remainder of your body in an upright position. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell in both hands at chest level. Lean your upper body and upper legs back 45 degrees, using your stomach muscles to control the movement. Count to two, and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform eight to 15 repetitions of this exercise, called the Matrix, every other day.
- Harvard Medical School: Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Rush University Medical Center: Is There Really "One Trick" to Losing Belly Fat?
- Mayo Clinic: Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training
- Women's Health Magazine: Belly-Blasting Workout
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.