Weight gain in the midsection of the abdomen is fairly common, but it also poses health risks, including potential problems with cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels. No amount of situps gets rid of excess abdominal fat, because you cannot choose where you lose fat when you exercise. However, doing daily vigorous activity for a prolonged period gradually changes your body composition from fat to lean tissue, so you lose fat wherever you tend to have it. In addition, small changes to your diet accelerate how much belly fat you burn. Speak to your doctor about health concerns before starting a diet.
Drink a small glass of unsweetened grapefruit juice in the morning. This increases your intake of dietary fiber, which promotes proper digestion, reducing belly bulge. The vitamin C and water content activate amino acids that flush fat from your intestines.
Reduce your daily intake by 500 calories. Drinking water instead of soft drinks, eating smaller portions, switching to nonfat dairy products and eating more fresh produce instead of processed foods keep you feeling full without adding empty calories. Cutting 500 calories per day results in your losing 1 pound per week.
Exercise vigorously for at least one hour per day. Playing tennis, running, doing martial arts, dancing to fast music, doing calisthenics, climbing stairs and swimming laps burn at least 500 calories per hour. Do daily workouts to lose 1 additional pound per week. You will reduce overall body fat, including weight in your abdominal area.
Build muscle with weightlifting, power yoga stretches or resistance exercises like pushups and squats. The more dense your muscle tissue, the higher you raise your resting metabolism so you burn more body fat around the clock.
Tone your core muscle group. Breathe deeply, contracting your core muscles while you do cardio and strength training. Target your abdomen with crunches on an incline or Pilates workouts. This adds more muscle to your midsection, sculpting your abdomen. As you strengthen your core, you also improve your posture, making you appear more trim.
- MayoClinic.com; Belly Fat in Women: Taking — and Keeping — It Off; April 2011
- American Council on Exercise; Why Is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?; Jessica Matthews
- MayoClinic.com; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- The Dr. Oz Show: Dr. Oz's Ultimate Summer Slim-down