With all the headlines screaming out about the dangers of obesity, you might be left wondering how to get rid of stomach fat once and for all. Studies have shown that abdominal fat storage is the worst kind, because it can lead to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. All the crunches in the world won’t flatten your stomach unless you reduce your overall body fat percentage.
These tips will teach you how to get rid of stomach fat over time, and how to make your stomach look smaller while you wait.
Participate in Fat-Burning Cardio
Some people avoid cardio exercise because it bores them, but nothing is better for burning fat. For optimal fat loss, beginners should do 30 – 45 minutes of cardio exercise, 3 – 5 times a week. Stick to low-intensity exercises at first, like walking, water aerobics, or machinery like a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical cross-trainer.
Advanced fat-burners can get even better results by doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The idea is to punctuate your cardio workout with short bursts of high-intensity aerobics.
HIIT can be done while running, swimming, jumping rope, or using exercise equipment. Start by doing 30 seconds of your exercise at a moderate pace. Then spend the next 30 seconds pushing as fast and hard as you can. Slow down for 30 seconds, then repeat.
Do this for 5 – 8 minutes, and spend the next 3-5 minutes cooling down. That’s it! Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but when you do get into the habit of doing it at least 5 times a week, you will be sure to shed some serious fat.
Add Strength Training to Your Routine
The more muscle we have, the faster our bodies metabolize fat. That’s why strength-training is so important to an overall fat-loss regimen.
While you should strive to do cardio 5 times a week, 3 days of strength-training is all you need. Plan to spend 15 – 20 minutes per session. You can use dumbbells, barbells, machines, or resistance bands.
A sample strength-training plan might look like this:
Monday – Upper Body (Dead lifts, bicep curls, hammer curls, bench press, push-ups)
Tuesday – Cardio Only
Wednesday – Lower Body (Squats, leg press, reverse leg curls, wall sits)
Thursday – Cardio Only
Friday – Core (Crunches, sit-ups, exercise ball, bicycle crunches, Pilates)
Saturday – Cardio Only
Sunday – Rest
Give Your Diet a Makeover
Many diet plans promise to show you how to get rid of stomach fat, but most of them boil down to the same rule: To lose fat, you must eat fewer calories than you burn.
Get rid of extra calories by switching to low-fat dairy products and lean meats, and filling up on vegetables and low-sugar fruits like berries and melon.
The goal is to create a 500-calorie deficit per day. If you reduce your daily caloric intake by 250, and burn another 250 calories through exercise, you will be off to a great start.
Tone Your Abs
There’s no way to reduce fat in one area of your body without reducing it all over. Still, you can do exercises that target your abs so that when you lose the belly fat, you’ll have sleek muscles to show off.
If crunches aren’t your thing, consider taking up bellydancing, power yoga, or cycling. These are fun ways to strengthen your core and tone your abs without the repetition of endless crunches.
Cut your Sugar and Salt Intake
If you’ve done all you can, but you’re still wondering how to get rid of stomach fat, you might have another problem – bloating. An overabundance of sugar and sodium can cause you to retain fluid, and many people retain that fluid in their stomach area.
Look for low-sodium alternatives to your favorite foods, and watch out for hidden sodium in soups, sauces, and frozen entrees. Try to stay under 3000mg of sodium a day. Carbs are another notorious cause of bloating. Get most of your carb intake from whole grain products, fibrous fruits, and vegetables.
Now you have a good understanding of how to get rid of stomach fat – by reducing your overall body fat, adding muscle, and paying attention to your nutrition and caloric intake. Stick to your program, and you’ll soon lose those stubborn inches around your middle.