The belly is often the last place where fat is lost, especially in men who are prone to store fat around their midsection and in post-menopausal women. Stubborn belly fat will only reduce if you reduce your total body fat. This requires a caloric deficit that's accumulated through diet and exercise. A deficit of 500 calories a day can result in weight loss of 1 pound a week.
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Cardio and Strength Training
Experts generally favor 30 to 60 minutes of moderate cardio on most days of the week and full-body strength training on at least two days per week to lose weight. By incorporating high-intensity intervals, or HIIT, into your cardio routine, you have the upper hand. According to the Journal of Obesity, HIIT is more effective in reducing belly fat than any other type of exercise. Simply incorporate short bursts of vigorous cardio into your workout, such as switching between a jog and a sprint.
Diet and Stress
Eating smaller portions and making low-calorie food choices can reduce your caloric intake and contribute to weight loss. For nutrients, turn to fiber-rich whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, vegetables, lean protein and fruits. Limit sugar and salt, and use unsaturated fats rather than trans and saturated fats. Also, manage stress in your life, as high stress levels trigger the release of cortisol in your body. Experts at the University of New Mexico state that this stress hormone can relocate fat to your stomach and trigger hard-to-control cravings for weight-loss-sabotaging foods.
- ExRx.net: Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths
- American Heart Association: Losing Weight
- Journal of Obesity: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Aim for a Healthy Weight
- University of New Mexico: Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight