The area of the body which shows the most obvious effects of weight gain is your mid-section, and as a result, this is the area most people target when they are looking to lose weight. However, contrary to the methods that most people adopt for this purpose, belly fat cannot be done away with simply by doing a couple of mid-section targeted exercises everyday – rather, you need to work on your entire body, and modify your whole lifestyle, before you can expect to see the sort of changes you want.
- Don’t do crunches. This might seem odd, since crunches are meant to tone your stomach, but if you have a lot of belly fat, crunches will just strengthen your stomach muscles – it will not help you burn any of the fat that covers these muscles. In addition to being ineffective for fat reduction, crunches can also cause you to develop a slouching posture, or lead to lower back pain.
- Instead of doing crunches, start strengthening your entire body. You can’t simply lose belly fat, you need to tone your entire body. Strength training is ideal for this, as it prevents muscle loss, builds muscle mass, and aids in the process of fat burning. Incorporate plenty of squats and deadlifts into your regular exercise routine.
- Start eating healthy. This is a no-brainer, but many people think they can slim down simply by exercising rigorously. This is untrue, as any exercise routine needs to be coupled with a healthy diet. As difficult as it may seem, ditch the junk food and all the trans fat in favour of proteins (lean meat, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products), vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), fruits (bananas, apples, oranges, pears), healthy fats (olive oil, real butter, nuts), and carbohydrates (brown rice, whole grains, oats). In addition, you will also need to limit your alcohol consumption.
- Devise a proper eating plan. Do not skip meals, as this will make you hungrier, and more likely to binge on something unhealthy – eating healthy regularly will help you lose fat, maintain your muscle mass, and give you lots of energy. Eat less carbohydrates (as these tend to be stored in the body as fat when not in use) and more vegetables and lean protein.
- Do not focus on losing belly fat alone – concentrate on lowering your overall body fat. Finally, stay motivated – do not expect immediate results, and keep working towards a better, healthier and more active lifestyle – fat loss will naturally follow.