Did you know that even people with sexy, ripped, six-pack abs have belly fat? Everyone has belly fat, but too much of it can negatively affect your health. More than just having that punch in the stomach, beer belly, love handles or muffin top, you won’t want to have too much fat in the stomach because it can lead to serious health problems later on.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to get rid of belly fat that you can make a mental note of, and follow.
How Would I Know If I Have Too Much Belly Fat?
First, how would you know if you have too much belly fat? Get a measuring tape and wrap it around your waist, exactly at the belly button level. The tape measure should be level and you should do this while standing up. Take note of the results.
For men, a 40-inch measurement and below means that you do not have too much belly fat. For women, it should be less than 35 inches. Anything more than these two measurements for both sexes puts you at risk of certain health problems. But do take note that even thin people can have too much belly fat – especially if you are leading a sedentary lifestyle. The keys to avoiding the hidden dangers of too much belly fat is to always watch what you eat, and to always stay active.
The Hidden Dangers of Too Much Belly Fat
Also known as visceral fat, too much belly fat results to hidden dangers for one’s health. If you’re of average height and you gained too much weight for the past year, for example, your body will store fat in unusual places. For leaner individuals, fat is stored right under the skin while other fat is stored around the heart, lungs, and other organs. If there’s too much fat, it will be stored around other internal organs including the heart, putting you at risk for the following health conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Certain Types of Cancer
Next, what are the culprits for excess belly fat? Take a look:
- As you age, your metabolism naturally slows down. If you don’t make the conscious effort to stay active, it can result to extra fat being stored in your belly.
- Genetics also plays a big part in the tendency of people to have excess belly fat. For instance, those whose families have naturally pear-shaped bodies tend to store the extra fat in their buttocks or thighs. Those whose moms have naturally apple-shaped bodies might have inherited the tendency to store extra fat around the belly area.
- Having a sedentary lifestyle where you eat but very seldom exercise can lead to too much belly fat. Overeating, a poor sitting posture, stress, sagging muscles, and hormonal changes are the other factors that may lead to the appearance of extra fat in the belly.
11 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat
So what are the simplest ways for you to get rid of belly fat? Here are eleven suggestions:
1. Eat your way towards a trimmer belly.
Yes, there are food items which you can add to your grocery list without guilt – because they can actually help reduce your waistline. Apples, for instance, are good for snacking because they are rich in fiber. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and are very high in fiber, while green leafy veggies are very low in calories while being fiber-rich at the same time.
Avocados can be used in salads or dips, and they are also fiber-rich fruits with a high level of monounsaturated fatty acids. This is a good type of fat that will help trim your belly. Cucumber and watermelon have very high water content and very little calories, making them ideal belly-busting food items. Finally, make sure to fill up your grocery cart with beans which help tone the muscles, improve digestion and strengthen the body.
2. Go for food items which make you feel fuller, faster.
Aside from fiber-rich fruits, veggies and grains, there are more food items that you can add to your list if you want to eat your way towards a trimmer belly. These are food items that make you feel fuller, faster. When you’re eating, nutritionists recommend that you stop doing so when you feel almost full. This is because it takes a few minutes for the stomach to send a message to the brain that it’s already full. By the time that your brain tells you that you can’t eat a single bite more, you would have already been stuffed with food.
Some of the food items that will make you feel full more quickly are: beans, soup, dark chocolate, pureed veggies, nuts, apples, yogurt, grapefruit, avocados, pickles, chickpeas, lentils, chilli powder, eggs, oatmeal, and whey protein.
3. Gobble up the good fat.
Trans fat is what should be avoided because they clog up your arteries. Good fat, on the other hand, come from certain food sources and they make your body more sensitive to insulin, leading to speedier metabolism and energy production. Some of the good fat that you should be looking for from food sources is a healthy balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Fish oil is an excellent source of Omega 3 while Omega 6 can be found in preferably grass-fed beef and other meats.
4. Drink plenty of green tea.
Drinking four cups of green tea per day will help you shed the excess pounds. Green tea has compounds which help speed up the metabolism and has plenty of other health benefits as well.
5. Pump up your vitamin C consumption.
If you don’t like eating citrusy fruits, you might have to take a supplement to get the recommended dose of vitamin C. But you should definitely pump up your consumption of vitamin C, preferably from natural food sources, because it helps boost your immune system. Vitamin C also helps create Carnitine, a compound which helps the body turn fat into fuel. Aside from citrusy fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, kale, kiwi and chili pepper are excellent vitamin C sources.
6. Live a stress-free life.
Almost all working adults have to deal with certain levels of stress on a regular basis. A high level of stress leads to the over-production of cortisol, which leads to excess fat in the body. There are plenty of ways for you to beat the stress including giving yourself some me-time through a massage, going out with friends, indulging in relaxing exercises like yoga, or even simply running with music blaring on your headphones.
7. Work on losing the excess fat in the rest of your body first.
If your goal is to work on having sexy, ripped abs, you cannot perform targeted exercises on the stomach without losing the body’s overall fat first. You can shed the excess weight that you have through diet and exercise. Once you have successfully managed to reach your weight loss goal, that is when you can start with targeted exercises that work on trimming and sculpting the belly.
8. Take full advantage of the outdoors to work on losing your belly fat.
If you hate going to the gym, why not take full advantage of the great outdoors to work on losing your belly fat? You can go swimming, walking, jogging, running, hiking, cycling – all of these are basic cardiovascular exercises that will help you achieve your ideal body weight. Again, it’s only once you have managed to get rid of the excess weight that you can get those sculpted abs.
9. Start strength training.
Strength training is all about doing exercises that help develop the strength of your core muscles. For best results, vary your strength training exercises. You can probably do some cardiovascular exercises first. Then, proceed to weight training after some warm-ups. From there, you can vary your workout regimen through targeted strength exercises that will help you trim the belly fat.
10. Do short bursts of exercises.
It cannot be stressed enough that you will not be able to develop those sculpted abs without working on ridding your body of excess fat in the first place. Even if you can perform dozens of crunches, it will not work on sculpting your abs if there’s a full layer of fat on top. Go for short bursts of exercises which engage multiple muscle groups, then you can proceed with the last step.
11. One word: crunches!
Sure, this may not necessarily be an easy-to-do exercise, but crunches are necessary if you really want to get sculpted abs. Once you have done enough cardiovascular and strength training exercises, you can proceed with doing the basic crunches. From there, work your way up to the more difficult reverse crunches, twist crunches, vertical leg crunches, side crunches, bicycle exercises, rolling plank exercises, lunge twist, bending, stomach vacuum exercises and a lot more.
All of these crunching exercises are already geared towards not just losing the flab in your belly, but turning that part of your body into rock hard, sexy abs!