Crunches and abdominal exercise machines will tone your stomach muscles, but they cannot trim upper stomach body fat. The only way to target excess belly fat is through a combination of healthy diet and brisk aerobic exercise. If you reduce a total of 3,500 calories in a week, you will lose about one pound. You cannot target the area from which you lose fat, but you can burn body fat in all the areas you tend to store it, including the upper stomach.
Swap fatty foods for fresh plant foods. Eat a bowl of berries instead of a bag of chips. Center your meals around whole grains, leafy greens, vegetables, fruit, legumes and nuts instead of meat, refined sugar, refined carbohydrates and animal fat. You will reduce your caloric intake and fill up on fiber.
Exercise daily. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, running, high-impact dance, swimming laps, climbing stairs, martial arts, kickboxing, inline skating, singles tennis and calisthenics burn 500 calories or more per hour. Do this type of workout for one hour daily and you will lose about 1 lb. of body fat per week.
Keep your exercise routine challenging. As you lose fat and get fit, your body becomes too efficient doing the same aerobic workouts and burns fewer calories as a result. Increase the amount of fat you burn by doing 30-second speed intervals during exercise. Every five minutes, pick up your pace by doing jumping jacks, skipping rope, doing burpees, dashing upstairs or sprinting for 30 seconds.
Build muscle tissue. As women age, they tend to replace muscle with fat. You reverse this process by doing strengthening exercises. Power yoga or sun salutations build muscle while elevating your heart rate and burning fat at the same time. The more muscle you add, the higher you raise your basal metabolism.
Drink plain water to stay hydrated. Sweetened juice drinks, packaged smoothies, flavored waters and syrupy coffee drinks contain refined sugar, excess calories, and little to no nutrients. Sodas have carbonation, which causes stomach bloating.