Are you tired of doing hundreds of crunches with little or no results? If so, follow these 11 real world ways to lose belly fat and uncover your abs:
1. Eat Fewer Carbohydrates
One gram of carbohydrates holds three grams of water. Eating too many carbs causes fluid retention and bloating. If you want ripped abs, reduce your carb intake. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of belly fat. At the same time, add more protein to your diet to fuel your body and prevent muscle loss. Take your daily carbs from spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, garlic, onions, asparagus and other vegetables. Stay away from rice, pasta, cereals, bananas, and refined sugar. The first results will appear within a few days.
2. Lower Your Sodium Intake
Too much sodium contributes to bloating and water retention. It may also increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems. Those who want a flat belly should not exceed 1,500 milligrams of salt a day. There are plenty of ways to replace salt in your diet, such as using herbs and spices for extra flavor. Next time you cook, add rosemary, green pepper, basil, oregano, low-sodium soy sauce, mustard, chili peppers and other spices to your meals. Avoid processed foods, deli meats, pickles, salted peanut butter, potato chips and other foods with added salt.
3. Avoid Digestive Stress
If you want to lose belly fat, cook simple meals containing whole, natural ingredients. Don’t mix protein with fats and carbs. Sugary or fatty foods cause digestive stress and make you feel bloated. Mixing fries with meat and sauces is not a good idea. Your daily menu should include steamed vegetables and fish, grilled meat, raw nuts and seeds, low-fat curd, yogurt, and cottage cheese. These foods are easy to digest and provide your body with essential nutrients. They also contain quality protein and complex carbohydrates, which promote muscle growth and repair. Vegetables are rich in fiber, so they keep you full longer.
4. Give up Processed Foods
Ditch the processed foods from your diet. Abs are made in the kitchen, so you must pay attention to your diet in order to lose fat. Pizza, hot dogs, frozen dinners, chips, cakes, and sweets cause belly fat. A diet rich in processed foods can increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, stroke, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol and other health problems. For a flat belly, eat fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, and low fat dairy products. Cook your own meals and avoid pre-made dishes. If you go out, order grilled meat or fish with veggies. Salads are a great option too. Don’t buy anything that contains more than five ingredients.
5. Make Smart Food Choices
The key to a flat belly is to eat the right foods. This includes flax seeds, nuts, broccoli, berries, salmon, tuna, egg whites, and green leafy vegetables. Many healthy foods, such as whole grains and potatoes, won’t help you lose stomach fat. Your diet should be based on protein-rich foods and good fats. For example, bananas are packed with vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, potassium, and fiber. However, they also contain tons of sugar. Unless you’re an athlete or have an active lifestyle, keep bananas to a minimum. Eat strawberries, blueberries, avocado, apples, oranges, pineapple and other low-carb fruit.
6. Eat More Fiber
Dietary fiber keeps you full between meals and promotes good digestion. It also slows the absorption of sugar into your body and keeps your blood glucose levels stable. The best natural sources of fiber are green leafy vegetables, oats, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, tomatoes, and legumes. These foods will keep you fit and healthy. Some can even speed up your metabolism, causing your body to burn more fat for fuel. Despite being a grain, oats promotes weight loss and can help you get a flat belly. That’s because it contains more protein and fiber than other grains.
7. Avoid Drinking Soda
Soda is packed with calories and has no nutritional value. Diet drinks should be avoided too because they may increase blood sugar levels and trigger cravings. These beverages reduce nutrient absorption, cause diabetes, and contribute to weight gain. They also contain high levels of free radicals, which leads to premature aging and tissue damage. People who drink sodas regularly are 84 percent more likely to get a stroke. These drinks also increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, immune system depression, and even cancer. If you care about your health, stop drinking sodas. Not only you’ll lose fat, but also live longer.
8. Get Rid of Stress
When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol. Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol leads to weight gain and slows your metabolism. It also causes your body to store abdominal fat and burn fewer calories. High levels of cortisol trigger sugar cravings, hunger, increased appetite, and mood swings. The best way to keep this hormone under control is to relax and get plenty of sleep. Play your favorite sports, spend time with your friends, and take a nap in the afternoon. Find a hobby or start exercising. These small changes will improve your mental well-being and keep you fit.
9. Mix Cardio and Strength Training
Cardio and strength training go hand in hand. Cardio burns calories, while strength exercises tone your muscles and increase metabolism. Weight lifting can boost your metabolic rate for up to 36 hours after your workout is done. For a flat tummy, do both cardio and strength exercises. Aim for three or four workout sessions a week. The more you exercise, the sooner you’ll lose belly fat. Train one or two muscle groups a day and forget about crunches for a while. If you’re new to exercise, take one step at a time. Don’t try to change your daily routine suddenly.
10. Do Compound Exercises
Compound movements, such as the front and back squat, dead lifts, chest press, shoulder press, pull-ups, chin-ups, and lunges, burn more calories than single-joint exercises. They engage all muscle groups and boost your overall fitness. Compound exercises are the basis of bodybuilding, but they can be performed by everyone. If you’re a newbie, use light weights. As you progress, increase the load gradually. Maintain proper form and do at least three exercises for each muscle group. These movements are ideal for both men and women as well as for teens. Not only they shape your body, but also strengthen your core and increase your endurance.
11. Try Interval Training
An overwhelming number of studies have found that interval training burns more fat than any other workout. The most popular routines include HIIT, tabata, and elliptical interval workouts. This training method involves short bursts of high intensity exercises such as bur pees, squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, walking lunges, and box jumps. It usually incorporates both cardio and strength exercises. Compared to other workouts, interval training burns more calories in less time. It’s one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat and get in shape. This kind of training also keeps your heart healthy, increases aerobic endurance, and accelerates your metabolism.