Stomach fat causes more than emotional distress when it comes to your overall health. If left alone, it can develop into visceral fat, which surrounds your organs. According to the Harvard Medical School, visceral fat is most strongly correlated with risk factors such as insulin resistance, which sets the stage for type 2 diabetes. By making some changes to your current lifestyle, you can gain back self-confidence and lower your disease risk. Being that there is no such thing as spot reduction, you have to focus on total-body weight loss.
Fill your belly with high-fiber, complex carbohydrates. Give up the highly refined simple carbs in your current diet, such as cakes, cookies, crackers, chips, white bread and candy. Consume whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans as your main source of carbs. The fiber from these foods can help you feel satisfied for hours after you eat them.
Eliminate the processed meats from your diet. Protein is an important nutrient that helps fill you up and promotes muscle recovery. But you should avoid proteins that are dripping in grease, coated with butter or high in saturated fat. Deep fried chicken, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, whole-fat dairy products and pork chops are examples. Stick with healthier protein options like turkey loins, fish, eggs, tofu, chicken breasts and bison.
Eat more frequently, but consume smaller portions. Combine protein and complex carbs in meals and eat every two to three hours throughout the day. This can keep your stomach feeling satisfied while boosting your metabolism. Broiled haddock with a baked potato and steamed broccoli is an effective meal example.
Run in an interval format to promote fat burning in your stomach. Jog lightly for five minutes, then run fast for 30 seconds. Jog again for 60 seconds, then run fast for 30 seconds. Keep alternating back and forth for 20 minutes and finish with a light five-minute jog or fast-paced walk. According to the New York Times, doing bursts of hard exercise improves cardiovascular fitness and the body’s ability to burn fat. Perform interval training three days a week on alternating days.
Perform weight lifting exercises that require you to forcefully engage your stomach muscles for stability. Use a stability ball to do exercises like push-ups, seated shoulder presses, back extensions, lying triceps extensions, seated biceps curls and wall squats. Work out three days a week on the alternating days of your cardio. Do 10 to 12 reps and three to four sets of each exercise. Building muscle can also increase your resting metabolic rate.
Perform ab exercises to tighten and tone your stomach muscles. Target your whole ab region by doing leg lifts, reverse crunches, side bends, stability ball crunches and sit-ups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps, three to four sets and work your abs right after doing cardio.