If you're struggling to get rid of stubborn belly fat, we fell you. Carrying around that extra pooch not only makes you feel bloated or your jeans feel extra tight, but it can also lead to serious health risks.
Abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat, is associated with heart attacks, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, increased blood pressure, and even breast cancer.
If you're looking to finally rid yourself of that extra pooch, here's what you need to do to get a fit and healthy mid-section.
Skip the Treadmill
Logging hours on the treadmill, or any piece of cardio equipment for that matter, won't help you shed weight in your middle effectively or faster. Instead try high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which has been proven to be the best exercise to burn visceral fat. HIIT increases your heart rate while taxing your muscles, making it one of the most efficient workouts you can do for your whole body.
Ditch the Crunches
Doing 100 ab crunches won't get you the washboard stomach of your dreams. Though crunches are an "okay" ab exercise to do, if you really dream of having a lean middle, then focus on improving your core. Core strength helps with balance and stability, and pretty much plays a huge role in all of your everyday activities, which is it's so important to have. Skip the boring crunches and work on planks, V-Ups, decline sit-ups, or even try a Pilates class.
Food is Your Fuel
Remember, "abs are made in the kitchen," which means all your hard work at the gym won't reveal itself unless you fuel your body with the right foods. Ensure your diet is rich with whole foods, including tons of veggies and lean protein sources. Protein is important for increasing your metabolic rate, gaining lean muscle mass, and help keep you feeling full, while cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are not only full of vitamins but will also keep you satiated.
Hydrating yourself with the recommended eight glasses (or more if you're exercising) of water per day is essential to your health, as well as your quest in whittling down your waistline. Regularly drinking H2O will keep your muscles hydrated and help you go that extra mile in your workouts. Plus it helps flush out your system, so you won't feel bloated.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, is linked to belly fat. Anything that lowers your stress levels will ultimately result in a leaner middle. Maybe it's lessening your load at work, joining a weekly yoga class, or starting a journaling practice. Whatever you can do to feel more at peace, the better you will feel -- including about your belly.
There is no "quick" way to diminish that middle and rock a six-pack. However, by keeping your workouts efficient, improving core strength, sticking to a healthy diet and water intake, while lessening the stress in your life, you will be on your way to an improved waistline and a healthier life.
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