Whether it is baby weight or the result of too many holiday cookies, belly fat is something all women strive to make disappear. As stubborn as it is, there are ways to decrease the amount of fat that has made an appearance over the top of your jeans. The best way to combat belly fat is dependent on several factors combined. Keeping these smart remedies in mind, you can develop a plan that will help slim down your waist and leave you feeling healthy and beautiful.
Exercise regularly. Cardio workouts are the best choice when it comes to melting away the pounds. However, you don't have to have a gym membership to get a effective cardio exercise: Grab your sneakers and take a brisk walk or jog, dance around your living room or incorporate toe-touches while reaching down to fold laundry. As you advance in your cardio workouts, include interval and circuit training to really scorch calories. In addition to cardio workouts, yoga and Pilates will also put you on the right track to losing the extra padding while strengthening and toning your abdominal muscles.
In combination with cardio exercise, muscle-strengthening activities are a great way to counteract weight gain, as well as decrease the amount of belly fat you may have. However, try not to focus solely on toning your stomach. A total body workout is the best way to see results. In your workout, you can include exercises for your arms, shoulders, chest, back, hips and legs. Most activities can be done in the comfort of your own home, such as pushups, situps, squats and planks. It is recommended by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to engage in muscle-strengthening activities at least two times a week to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Plan your meals in advance, keeping the suggested five food groups in mind: fruits, vegetables, protein foods, milk and grains. Eating six small meals a day will stabilize your blood-sugar levels, and keep you from visiting the vending machine when feeling sluggish. Stay away from empty-calorie snacks and drinks, and be patient -- you may feel hungry the first couple of days, but keep your eye on the prize.
Drink plenty of water. Hydration is the key to keeping your body healthy, so drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is the first step to combating accumulated belly fat. As your exercise level increases, you should drink even more than 64 ounces of water per day. If that seems like too much of one beverage for you to drink in one day, drinks such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water, so mix in some variety to meet your hydration goals. In addition to hydrating your body, water also helps flush unwanted toxins and improves skin tone. Bottoms up!
Sleep 6.5 to 7.5 hours per night. If you do not get enough rest, your body will compensate exhaustion by craving high-sugar foods for energy. Erratic sleep patterns can also disrupt your metabolism, which can lead to weight gain, fatigue and illness.
- Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program.
Ashley K. Alaimo is a writer, blogger and certified teacher in New York. She has a master's degree in elementary education and early childhood education from Medaille College, as well as a bachelor's degree in music and theater from Buffalo State College. Alaimo has also worked as an education specialist with ages birth to 12 years old, creating classroom and enrichment curriculum for various early childhood centers.