Why lose stomach fat? Because it makes everyone uncomfortable, to say the least.
In everyday life we don’t fret about some loose stomach fat hanging over our waistbands, but festivities, weddings, and seaside vacations leave you staring at the mirror. The frustrating reality is that the midsection is one of the trickiest areas to lose fat from. Many believe that one can lose stomach fat by simply doing a few ab crunches every day. But that’s not the truth. In reality, achieving a flat stomach is a combination of a range of factors like diet, exercise, rest, hydration, and so on. Read on for some great tips on how to lose stomach fat…
Understand the science behind six pack abs for a flat belly.The simple science behind six pack abs is that they exist in everybody. It’s just when you start putting on more body fat that these abs disappear. A combination of two major muscles transversus abdominis and rectus abdominis muscles make up what we consider to be our ‘abs’ zone.
These muscles are buried under the front and side of torso mucles and exist around your midsection like a girdle. Now, if you ate a healthy diet comprising of lean proteins, balanced carbs and less, yet good, fats, you would enter a zone with minimal superficial body fat, and your muscles would become visible, resulting in six pack abs.
Importance of eating lean proteins for a flat belly. First and most important is to understand that lean proteins are proteins from sources that supply little or almost negligible amount of fat. The Harvard School of Public Health notes that lean sources of protein aid in keeping the saturated fat intake at a healthy level. When you are on sources of proteins such as chicken, beans you find yourself losing body fat and at the same time giving shape to your body. You get most of the vitamins from these sources which improve your health as well.
Importance of fiber in your diet for a flat belly. Fiber is one of the most important constituents of our diet. The main function of fiber is to clean our system deep within, help propel our bowel movements and thus form the basis of detoxification of our body. Most astonishing is the fact that when we consume fiber, our body burns ample calories in the digestion process of fiber. Also fiber itself has very few calories. In short, eating lots of fiber in the form of fruits, salads and bran helps our belly to run slim with ease.
Importance of staying away from fruit juices, alcohol and fruit punches for a flat belly. In general juices, alcohol and fruit punches are calorie dense and often disturb the blood sugar levels in our body. Where moderate and controlled alcohol consumption has certain beneficial effects too, fruits are best taken in their natural fiber form rather than taking them in the form of juices. Juices give your body less essential fiber, and the concentrated sugar is not the best thing for you if you are aiming for a flat belly. Eating fresh should be the mantra of healthy living.
Importance of nutrient dense and good fat foods for a flat belly. Nutrient dense and good fat foods are those that have essential fatty acids and other vital nutrients in rich quantity with less calories and saturated fats. First would be something like a grilled fish. With certain essential fatty acids, proteins and less saturated oil, this is a perfect example of a nutrient dense good fat food.
Now consider a pastry. It is more than 200 calories, with a lot of saturated fat and a few essential nutrients to offer. This is something you must take very sparingly. Thus, picking items such as grilled fish or soyabean chaat will help one supply the body with essential fats, improve cardiac health and at the same time keep your body fat low to give you a perfect belly. A nutrient-dense diet won’t leave you feeling hungry so aiming at a flatter belly is much easier with nutrient dense food.
Importance of cardio exercises and strength training for a flat belly. All types of cardio exercise routines elevate your heart rate and keep it in the same way for extended periods of time. This results in increased consumption of oxygen, which leads to fat loss. Fat loss and stamina building are equally important. If you eat healthy and workout, your chances of achieving a flatter belly increases.
Importance of water in your diet for a flat belly. Water constitutes 70% of our body. Most of our metabolic process takes place in the presence of water in our body. Thus, when we are well hydrated the basal metabolic rate of our body goes up. This would mean that our body is able to digest the food we eat in a proper manner, the food is used to burn sufficient calories required by the body and thus you end up with a nice flat belly to improve your figure
Push ups. Place yourself face down with the palms on the floor. Place the palms wider than the shoulder-width, arms extended, legs straight and feet together or slightly apart. Keep the neck, back & hips aligned and abdominals contracted. Do not arch the back downwards or upwards. Keep it flat like a table top. Bend the elbows outwards and bring the chest close to the floor. This is the initial position. Push back upwards till the arms extend completely and feel the contraction in the chest muscles.
Ball balance. Lie on the ball and exhale, pulling your abs in a stabilize position. Now, raise your right arm in a frontward direction and left leg on the back side. Breathe and hold yourself in this position for 10 seconds. In the meantime, using your ab and back muscles, keep the ball steady and body in a straight line. Repeat this same exercise in with the opposite arm and left. Perform a set of 5 on each side. In order to make this exercise harder, hold yourself in the raised position as if you are writing something in the air with your extended arm. Switch sides and repeat.
Side lying shoulder & double leg raise (Obliques). Lie on the side with the legs extended & the body in a straight line. Extend the lower arm so that it is perpendicular to the body. The palm of your hand should face the floor. Keep the upper arm by the side, aligned with the body. Balance & slowly raise the lower shoulder (the one touching the floor) & both the legs off the floor simultaneously. This works the side (waist) facing upwards. Come down slowly. After completing a set of certain repetitions, repeat the procedure on the other side. In order to make this exercise tough, you can do bicycle crunches too (as shown in the pic above).
Elevated plank. Place your forearms on the ball and keep your fingers interlaced. Now extend your legs straight behind and take the help of your toes for support. Now exhale, pulling your belly button towards your spine and hold yourself in this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Make sure your back is straight and in a flat line. Give yourself a break of 30 seconds and repeat. In order to make this exercise easier, you can perform it by placing your forearms on the floor. And, for a harder version of this exercise, move from a plank to a swiss ball. Here, try and bring your knees towards your chest and do 10 repetitions per leg.
Reverse Crunch. Lie on your back with the arms extended downwards towards the feet and palms on the floor. Place the hands under the lower back & hip. Legs should be bent at 90 degrees up in the air. Using the abdominal muscles, i.e. contracting them, roll the spine & the hips upwards so that the knees come towards the face. Slowly go down without changing the angle of the legs. Note – Do not extend the legs while lifting the hips off the floor. Keep the knees together & the legs strictly bent at 90 degrees.
The first thing that you should be doing soon after you wake up is to start your day with a glass of lukewarm lemon water followed by a vegetable juice like mint and coriander or ghia juice. This will help kickstart your metabolism at a healthy pace. You should then do some physical activity like brisk walk or jogging for a minimum of 30 minutes with some exercises concentrating on the stomach.
Breakfast is super important. Never skip your breakfast, if you want to lose weight. When you wake up in the morning your metabolism is at its peak and if you don’t eat food in the morning then your metabolism will slow down during the day.
With slow metabolism whatever you will eat for the rest of the day, your chances of gaining weight are higher.
Office desk healthy habits play a major role. Once you are in office, try to be conscious of your eating habits. Drink water at regular interval by keeping a bottle of water at your desk. If you love munching, then keep all healthy snacks like whole wheat biscuits handy. Even better – rely on fruits. Limit your intake of tea or coffee at work. On the very outside, you should have only one cup before lunch with one or two digestive biscuits.
Office lunch room healthy practices. Try to watch your lunch at work, because when we have company we tend to overeat. So, the golden rule is to carry your own lunch. It should ideally comprise of a chapatti (or some other cereal), vegetables, lean meat (or a healthy vegetarian protein source), curd and salad. If you cannot carry your lunch, then stick to non-fried food. Try to walk around and stay active immediately after lunch. This will help you digest your food.
Evening snack time is a small meal but it can take a toll on your dietary regime. Why? Because it is this time of the day when most people go out and binge on street food or unhealthy food. To avoid this, stick to healthy options like bhuna channa or dry bhel puri, or one fruit in your evening snack. If you are a tea drinker, then you can have a nice cup of tea with 2 -3 whole wheat biscuits or cream crackers.
Flat belly routine right before you go to bed. Now it is time to sleep! Wait, we should not go to sleep just after dinner. First we must digest our last meal of the day. So go out and take a light walk for 30 mins, or remain active at home. Eating just before sleeping can make you uncomfortable. However, this is not true for everyone. Know your body well and if late dinners give you an upset stomach, then eat a couple of hours before sleeping.
Avoid alcohol and aereated drinks. Eat less junk, refined and sugary foods. These are the worst enemies of a flat stomach, and they are often the cause of many other chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc.
Meditate, and use other stress reduction strategies that will keep your cortisol levels under control and keep you from gaining abdominal fat and not make you age faster.
Get more active. Even if you spend 1 hour a day in the gym on all days of the week, it is still just 7 hours of a total of 168 hours in the week. Try to make the best of the remaining hours by getting more active. Plan playtime with friends/kids, and move a lot more during the day.
Perform 2-3 HIIT or high intensity interval training workouts a week. These need not and should be long in duration, 10-20 minutes is enough if done correctly.