We all have our problem body parts, but take a look at many of the fitness and diet magazines that populate bookstore racks, and you’ll see that our bellies are very often the area of the body we consider most undesirable due to excess fat.
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Too much fat in that area causes pants to fit poorly and can be a source of low self-esteem. Furthermore, fat carried in the abdominal area is more likely to contribute to health problems than fat that resides in other areas of the body.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to give yourself a great chance of getting rid of bothersome belly fat – and keeping it off.
1. Steer Clear Of Sugar
Eating too much sugar can cause you to have too much belly fat. That’s because sugar is made up of half glucose, half fructose, and only the latter type gets metabolized by the liver in significant amounts. When you eat more refined sugar than your liver can handle, it will get converted into fat. Numerous studies indicate that much of that extra fat goes to the belly.
Cutting down on your sugar intake can be hard work, simply because many people don’t realize there’s a good chance that the majority of the foods in their kitchen cabinets have sugar as a main ingredient.
Although it’s obvious that certain things you consume, such as cakes and cookies, are loaded with sugar, you may not be aware that you’re also eating sugar through lesser-known sources, such as breads and sauces.
If you’re serious about reducing the amount of sugar you eat, it will be necessary to keep a sharp eye on the ingredient labels for all the items you buy. Most should let you know how many grams are in particular foods.
It’s probably not practical for you to separate yourself from sugary foods all at once, so make the transition gradually. That way, your body should get used to having less of the ingredient over time, and you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing something huge from your normal dietary regimen.
Be especially careful about consuming what’s often referred to as “liquid sugar.” Sugar contained in beverages doesn’t register in the brain the same way as solid sugar sources do, so you may be consuming many more calories than you thought.
Sodas are obvious culprits when it comes to sugary drinks, but you may be surprised at just how much sugar there is in beverages that may seem healthier, such as sports drinks.
2. Pick Up The Pace With Your Protein Intake
Although you probably already know that protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, you may not know how it seems to have a strong correlation with belly fat. Specifically, studies have shown that people who eat more protein have less belly fat and vice versa.
There’s also another protein perk you should know about: it could help you curb cravings, which could be useful for overall weight loss in addition to slimming down your stomach. If you have questions about how to add healthy and varied sources of protein to your diet, consider contacting a dietician or nutrition counselor and letting him or her know about your stomach-flattening goal.
3. Get Serious About Going To The Gym Or Staying Active
If you’ve spent any amount of time reading tips for getting rid of belly fat, you’ve seen lists that often include gym. There are a huge amount of possible exercises you can do to trim your tummy.
Before getting into those specifics, make sure you’re in the right mindset so you’ll be motivated enough to keep going to the gym even when you feel like you’d rather do anything but that. You may find it helpful to recruit a friend to help you stay on track during those days when you’d rather stay in bed or don’t feel like getting up from the couch.
Regardless of the kinds of workouts you do, try to continually push yourself so you’re burning more and more calories with almost every workout. That will aid in general weight loss, and it could help you get the tighter tummy you want.
Mix things up so you’re exercising both your upper and lower body but separating the two areas when possible. This approach makes it easier to go through very effective workouts more efficiently. If you can’t afford a gym membership or would rather just work out at home, always do things to keep yourself feeling excited about staying active.
Possibilities include watching a favorite TV show while you break a sweat, listening to upbeat music through your earbuds or experimenting with new settings on your workout equipment to keep things challenging.
Furthermore, consider that many of the everyday tasks you do could become ways to burn calories. Yard work is a great example. Wearing a pedometer as you go about your day is an excellent way to get an idea of how many calories you burn just by doing the things that need to get done.
4. Consider Switching To A Low-Carb Diet
Studies suggest that by eating a diet that is low in carbohydrates, you may lose more weight than you would by not specifically trying to limit carbs when you eat. Scientific research as also shows that beyond aiding in overall weight loss, low-carb diets work especially well in getting rid of fat around the belly and certain internal organs.
Moreover, deciding to limit carbohydrates in your diet has some very quick effects that could shift the scale in the right direction in just days. For example, this kind of diet helps you get rid of water weight, and that kind of outcome could make you feel more motivated to stick to your new dietary habits so you’re not just shedding fluid but also flab from your belly.
5. Keep A Lifestyle Diary
Many people ultimately become frustrated when trying to lose belly fat because they work hard towards the intended outcome but realize results aren’t happening as easily or quickly as they expected.
If that sounds familiar, start keeping a diary that tracks your amount of activity along with what you’re eating and how much. All of the tips you’ve read about here are related to diet and exercise, and this final pointer could help you put everything into practice and notice results that last.
If you’re not into using a pen-and-paper method, look for one of the many diary apps you can use on your phone or tablet. Having this type of diary could also help you keep tabs on the progress you make over time, which could keep you feeling good about your quest to get rid of belly fat.
There’s no need to feel embarrassed about your belly fat for any longer. By taking the tips above to heart and practicing them in your everyday life, you could get a firmer stomach that is free of excess flabbiness.