Carrying excess weight around your waistline is more than an aesthetic issue. Subcutaneous fat, or the fat you see around your belly, covers more dangerous visceral fat, which surrounds your organs. This type of belly fat affects your cardiovascular health, puts you at risk for various diseases and slows your metabolism. While you cannot target belly fat with exercise and diet, you can gradually decrease your percentage of body fat wherever you tend to store it. Follow a flexible, healthy fitness program and food plan at home to lose belly fat.
Swap sweets, junk food and foods high in trans fat and saturated fat for fresh, unprocessed foods. Removing tempting snack foods and processed foods from your kitchen makes it easier to stick to a healthy food plan. If you cut 500 daily calories from your consumption, you'll be on track to lose 4 pounds per month.
Snack on citrus fruit, lightly dressed salads, berries, apples, pears, vegetables, legumes and unsweetened whole grains. These foods contain high amounts of insoluble and soluble fiber, which fill you and provide key nutrients without adding excess calories, fat and sugar to your diet. They also regulate digestion so you experience less belly bloating.
Add activity to your daily life. Haul boxes or bags one at a time up the stairs. Squat and stretch while cleaning the house. Dance during commercial breaks when you watch TV. Play hide-and-seek with your children around the house. March in place while washing dishes and talking on the telephone.
Exercise vigorously daily. Elevate your heart rate for a prolonged period by doing aerobic workouts such as dancing to fast music, running up and down the stairs, jumping rope, doing dynamic yoga stretches, jogging on your treadmill or doing calisthenics. If you exercise vigorously 300 minutes per week, you can lose between 2 and 3 pounds of body fat per month.
Perform muscle-building calisthenics and stretches that use your body weight as resistance. Pushups, pullups, sun salutations, squats, lunges and triceps dips add muscle tissue that replaces excess fat. This shift in your body composition raises your basal metabolism so you burn more calories even while resting.
Follow the Centers for Disease Control's guidelines for the amount of activity a healthy adult needs. These guideline give suggestions as to what kinds of exercise, the intensity and duration.
Skip sweetened carbonated beverages, which add empty calories and contribute to belly bloat.
- Harvard Health Publications: Abdominal Fat and What to do About It
- ACE Fitness: So, You Want To Spot Reduce? Here’s How
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Fiber
- Harvard School of Public Health: Strength and Flexibility Training
- Centers for Disease Control: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?