Are you wondering how to lose belly fat? And, are you thinking that it might be one of the best secrets of all time? As women, we all despair about our trouble spots, from our jiggly biceps to our flabby thighs.
But, in most surveys, abdominal fat seems to top the list of body complaints. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 35% of Americans over the age of 20 are considered obese.
Even if you aren't overweight, you might still carry that little bit of belly fat that rolls over the top of your waistband or gathers above your hips as love handles.
Today, there are hundreds of fad diets to choose from, yet there are more overweight people than at any other time in history. Learn the truth about belly fat and how to get rid of it...
Abdominal fat can be caused by a number of different things – age, hormones, genetics, metabolism, unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, childbirth, or lifestyle factors. Often, the stage of life you are at can make a big difference in how easily the pounds melt away. Sometimes, diet alone will not fix the problem. Or, simply doing a few extra sit-ups may not always banish the bulge.
That's why the most effective way to get rid of belly fat is to take a three-dimensional approach with a regular program that includes a combination of three factors: diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
Core exercises like planks and crunches are great for working off body fat. The muscles of your core include the abs, glutes, shoulder, and back muscles. By incorporating core exercises into your regular workout routine two or three times a week, you can strengthen and tone your midsection while burning extra calories to help burn the fat.
When it comes to exercising, the biggest key to losing belly fat is to turn up the cardio. The reason cardio is so important is the immediate extra calories being burned. You can do ab exercises for hours and not see any difference with your body fat.
The ab exercises will develop the muscles, but they will still be hidden under a layer of fat. Following regular cardio exercises like walking, running, cycling etc. three or four times a week will burn the extra calories and raise your metabolism to burn even more.
This along with your other exercises like strength training and staying on a healthy low-calorie diet will contribute to melting the fat away over time.
Studies have shown that combining cardio and core exercises with some strength training will increase the amount of abdominal fat that is burned. Add weight training to your workout 2-3 times a week and you will be amazed at the results.
We all know that a proper diet is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. But what are the best foods for reducing belly fat? Fill up on fiber by eating lots of whole grains.
Some studies have shown that people who switched their processed flours for whole grain choices lost more abdominal weight than those who continued eating refined grains. Fiber will also keep you feeling full longer so you are less likely to grab unhealthy snacks.
When you were younger, do you remember your mother making comments about how much harder it is for people to lose weight as they age? At the time, you might have just brushed it off, but if you are over 40, you have likely discovered the truth of this statement. As we get older, estrogen levels drop, which make women more prone to developing visceral fat.
What is visceral fat? Basically, the body has two different types of fat. Subcutaneous fat is the surface layer that causes love handles or cellulite. But, visceral fat is much deeper and builds up around the abdominal organs. Besides the fact that it doesn't look good, it can also increase you risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
If you are over 40, you are likely dealing with crazy hormones, increased cortisol levels, and shortened sleep cycles. All these things work as a team to build a layer of fat around your middle.
However, changes in your body may also mean that what has always worked in the past may no longer be effective. You might have to add more fat burning foods to your diet, mix up your exercise program to include more resistance and interval training, or maybe you just need to take more time to RELAX!
As you age, it becomes harder to build and maintain muscle mass. Decreasing muscle can lead to a slower metabolism and an increase in abdominal fat. For this reason, many doctors suggest that women over 40 need more protein than they did when they were younger.
Make sure you are consuming enough protein – either eggs, lean meats, or plant-based sources – to keep your muscles strong. Also, try to eat most of your carbohydrates early in the day so your body can burn them as energy rather than storing them as fat.
Some simple lifestyle changes can often make a major difference in your ability to lose belly fat.
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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.