Are you finding it difficult to fit into your little black number? Is belly fat giving you sleepless nights? If your answer is yes, then you need to make some lifestyle changes to solve it. Abdominal fat can take serious proportions if not curbed at the right time. No doubt, belly fat looks aesthetically displeasing, but what is more important is its affect on long term health.
It is very tough to remove visceral or abdominal fat especially, if the person happens to be really obese. If you are determined to lose belly fat, you have to make some sacrifices and be very patient. Forget your favourite pizzas and cakes; instead focus on green leafy vegetables and high fiber foods if you want to flaunt a slim waistline.
A change in diet and lifestyle might make you want to back out. But wait, don’t lose heart, the best way to get a slim waistline is exercising. The focus of this article is on the reasons why fat accumulates in the belly and some very simple exercise you can practice daily to lose the extra pounds from your abdomen.
Why Do You Get Belly Fat?
Some amount of belly fat is normal, it helps to cushion the bones and organs and provide protection. Well excess fat might become a cause of concern. Don’t worry; you can cut any type of fat by doing exercise and following a strict diet low on carbs. There are a number of reasons for belly fat in teens and adults.
Scientists have discovered that the number of fat cells you will develop depends entirely on your genes. If your parents or grandparents had excess belly fat, you too might have the same. Yes, it is true genetics is a determinant of how the fat is distributed.
You may have apple-shaped or pear-shaped body structure. Accumulation of fat occurs differently for different people, it actually depends on the body structure.For those who are pear-shaped, the fat tends to accumulate in the lower part of the body like the buttocks. But for those who are apple-shaped, your body tends to store fat around the middle section, thus resulting in fat accumulation around the belly. You must know that there are two types of belly fat, it is either visceral which accumulates around the abdominal organs or subcutaneous which occurs between the skin and abdominal wall.
b. Weak metabolism:
According to Mayo Clinic reports, as age increases the metabolism slows down and this cause belly fat. Women are more prone to belly fat than men.Weak metabolism is yet another reason.
You must have noticed that some of your friends eat a lot of sugar-based foods, fried foods or cold drinks. Yet they manage to keep a flat stomach. The reason being, they have a very high metabolism rate. If your metabolism is not good, you may have a bloated stomach. Thyroid conditions, diabetes and other medical conditions can be the reasons behind slow metabolism.
c. Hormonal Changes:
You might have heard the word ‘middle- age spread’. This means, as women progress towards their middle years the ratio of body fat increases compared to the body weight.During menopause, when the levels of estrogengoes down and the amount of androgens or male hormones increase then there is an increased risk of fat accumulation in the waist.Hormones actually regulate the fat concentration in the body, and your figure depends entirely on it!
d. Stress and hypertension:
Stress increases the levels of cortisol in the blood and it leads to fat accumulating in the body.
Women suffering from diabetes, breast cancer, sleep apnea, colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, stroke and metabolic syndrome have fat accumulation in the belly.
f. Sagging muscles:
If the muscles around your abdominal area are saggy, they may lead to a fat belly. All you need to do is tone your belly to get slimmer waistline!
g. Poor posture:
Slouching is the main reason behind fat accumulation in the body.Learn to sit straight from your very childhood. Sitting with a curved back or spine may result in all the fat accumulation around your stomach area.
h. Sedentary lifestyle:
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes behind the occurrence of belly fat. If you don’t indulge in any physical activity and spend most of the time sitting, watching T.V., reading etc., it is known as a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of regular exercise or not exercising at all can lead to fat storage around the belly area. In other words, being a couch potato will make you fat.
If you eat too much, that can also lead to weight gain and belly fat. Coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, it can have major consequences.
Belly fat is in fact the colloquial term for abdominal fat. According to medical experts, belly fat can be potentially dangerous. Excess of it can lead to a number of health problems including heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, a decrease in the level of HDL or good cholesterol, and can even lead to strokes or sleep apnea. You have to combat this problem before it gets too late.
[ Read: Aerobic Exercises for Belly Fat ]
Measuring Belly Fat:
Earlier belly fat was considered healthy, it was perceived a reservoir of adipose tissues that could be utilized when a person needed extra energy. With time the views changed, researchers state that excess belly fat triggers chronic cardiovascular diseases. So it is important to measure the belly fat and check how much you need to reduce. Here, are some parameters to measure your waistline.
a. Body Mass Index:
This is ratio of weight in kilograms to the square of height in meters. This parameter helps doctors to judge whether the person will suffer from heart disease or strokes. Since those having BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight and those with BMI of 30 are considered obese. They need to cut down belly fat to reduce the health risks. However, this parameter is not always accurate in measuring belly fat. In fact, you can measure your belly fat with a measuring tape in front of the mirror, and make your own targets to reduce belly fat. Looking at the mirror and checking belly fat will help youto feel motivated to lose that unhealthy fat lining your abdomen.
b. Waist to Hip Ratio:
Keep a calculator handy! To calculate your waists to hip ratio accurately measure the narrowest point of your waist and the broadest part of your hip. Now divide the values you obtained from the measurement and you have your ratio. The waist to hip ratio is a more accurate parameter to measure BMI. Those with waist to hip ratio of 0.8 are susceptible to cardiovascular disease and stroke. If you happen to have this ratio you got be careful.
c. Waist Circumference:
As said before measuring your waist with the tape is the easiest way to check belly fat. Measure your torso at the level of your navel. As per the official guidelines measure your abdomen from just above the hip bone or iliac crest just where it intersects the line dropping down from the middle of the right armpit. Breathe normally while taking the measurement and don’t hold the measuring tape too tight against the skin. Those with waist size more than 33 inches are at risk of developing chronic heart disease.
Food To Reduce Belly Fat:
You need to have high fiber foods to cut down your belly fat that is marring your appearance and confident. Just add these super foods to get an envious waistline you always desired.
It is rich in vitamin E and is high on dietary fiber. It will satiate your hunger and the calories present in almond will not affect your belly fat.
This attractive looking fruit will help you to lose belly fat effectively. So munch on apples!
The monosaturated fatty acids present in avocadoes helps to burn belly fat. The nutrient rich fruit is also high on fiber.
Stay cool with cucumber! The water content in cucumber is really low on calories making it a good choice for losing belly fat.
e. Green leafy vegetables:
It is low on calories and it full of fiber and essential nutrients that prevent water retention. So follow your mother’s advice and have green vegetables to reduce belly fat.
Having beans is a great way to have a toned belly. It also improves digestion and helps to strengthen muscles. Beans satiate your hunger and keep your tummy full, this prevents overeating.
This yummy fruit contains 82% of water and it is really low on calories. Have watermelons to get a desirable waistline.
How to Reduce Your Tummy?
Dieting and exercise go hand in hand. If you had thought that only dieting will burn your belly fat, you are wrong. Working out can be quite painful and tiring. Many of you think of skipping it. Some even start going to the gym but ultimately give up, and then all of what you had lost comes right back! The best way to deal with this is to incorporate a simple exercise routine in your schedule.
[ Read: Diet Plan To Reduce Belly Fat ]
If you really want to lose weight, you need to include an hour of exercise in your daily routine for targeting and reducing belly fat.
Best Stomach Weight Loss Exercises:
Nothing burns belly fat faster than crunches! Crunches occupy the number one position when it comes to fat-burning exercises. Now, it’s time that you start with this abs crunching exercise. Follow the steps mentioned below.
- Lie down flat on a mat with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Alternatively, you can also lift your legs off the floor at a 90 degrees angle. (See picture).
- Now lift your hands and place them behind your head or keep them crossed on your chest.
- Inhale deeply and as you lift your upper torso off the floor, exhale.
- Again inhale as you get back down and exhale as you come up.
- Do this for 10 times as a beginner.
Repeat another 2-3 sets.
One small tip:
As you lift your torso, do not sit up straight. You should be at a 30-40 degrees angle off the ground. Thus, you’ll feel pressure on your abdominal muscles.
2. Twist Crunches:
Once you get used to the regular crunches, modify the basic crunch to get an even more effective tummy exercise!
- Lie down on the floor with your hands behind your head.
- Now bend your knees as you would do in crunches, keeping your feet on the floor.
- As in a crunch, you would have lifted your upper torso; in twist crunches you just have to lift your right shoulder towards the left, keeping your left torso on the ground.
- Again alternatively, lift your left shoulder towards the right, keeping your right torso on the ground.
- Repeat for another 10 times.
3. Side Crunch:
This is same as the twist crunch exercise. The only thing that you need to do is tilt your legs to the same side simultaneously with your shoulders. The side crunch focuses on the muscles on your sides.
4. Reverse Crunches:
Now it’s time to do reverse crunches. This is another best exercise to lose stomach fat.
This is same as the twist crunch exercise. The only thing that you need to do is tilt your legs behind simultaneously with your shoulders. The side crunch focuses on the muscles on your sides.
[ Read: Yoga Asanas To Reduce Belly Fat ]
5. Vertical Leg Crunch:
- Lie flat on the floor or on the mat with your legs extended upwards towards the ceiling and one knee crossed over the other.
- Now that you have positioned your body perfectly, do the same as you would have done in case of crunches. That is, breathe in and lift your upper body from the floor towards the pelvis.
- Now breathe out slowly. As you bring yourself down, breathe in again and exhale as you go up.
- Do 12-16 crunches for up to 3 sets at a go.
6. Bicycle Exercise:
No, you don’t need a bicycle for this. Thinking how? We’ll tell you.
- Lie on the floor and keep your hands either by your side or behind your head as we do in crunches.
- Now lift both your legs off the ground and bend them at the knees.
- Bring your right knee close to your chest, keeping your left leg out.
- Now take your right leg out and bring your left leg close to your chest.
- Alternate bending your knees this way as if you are paddling a bicycle.
7. Lunge Twist:
This is a beginners’ workout for beginners who want to reduce belly fat quickly.
- Stand with your legs hip width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Lift both your hands in front of you aligning them with your shoulders and parallel to the ground.
- Lunge forward as shown in the picture. Take a big step forward with your right leg and sit down as if on a chair so that your knees are at a 90 degrees angle from the floor. The left leg should be positioned backwards supported by the toes.
- The spine should be kept straight. Don’t bend your spine forward. That is incorrect way of performing lunges.
- First twist your torso to the right and then to the left. Twist just the torso, not your legs.
Continue repeating this for 16 times.
8. Rolling Plank Exercise:
The rolling plank trains the muscles around your abdomen, hip and lower back.
- Position yourself on the floor with your knees and elbows resting on the ground.
- Keep your neck aligned with your spine. Look forward.
- Lift the knees up and support your legs on the toes.
- Contract your knees and keep breathing normally. This is the plank pose. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds.
Now start moving to and fro for the next 30 seconds. This is the rolling plank exercise.
- Lie down on the floor sideways.
- Support yourself on your right elbow and right leg. Your elbow should be perpendicular to the shoulder and the left leg should be above the right leg, keeping them together.
- Keep your knees straight. Your hips should not be touching the ground.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds. Once you get comfortable, you may hold this for 1-2 minutes.
- Repeat with your other side too.
While in this position you may also lift the leg placed on top and bring it back again. This makes the exercise more effective. In that case, it works not only for your abs but also for the thighs and hips.
10. The Stomach Vacuum:
Stomach vacuum exercises are low-impact exercises that place greater emphasis on breathing instead of increasing your heart rate.
a. This is similar to what we call the cat stretch pose. This is also known as the four-point, transverse-abdominal stomach vacuum. Follow the steps mentioned below to do this exercise for reducing belly fat:
- Come down on the ground to sit on all fours, supporting your body on your hands and knees.
- Now inhale deeply and loosen your abdomen.
- As you exhale the breath, tighten the abdomen muscles.
- Hold this abdomen contraction for 15-30 seconds.
Repeat the process again.
Another type of stomach vacuum exercise is elevators. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit on a chair. Imagine your belly to be an elevator that’s moving up.
- Now inhale deeply using only your nose and think that it’s the 1st floor.
- Breathe out using your mouth and simultaneously push your belly towards your spine, imagining that you are going up to the 5th floor.
- Breathe out fast 5 more times, squeezing your abs every time you exhale the air.
- Repeat the same steps another 5 times.
c. You can try standing pelvic tilts. This is another form of stomach vacuum exercise.
- Stand with your legs hip width apart and bend your knees slightly.
- Inhale deeply through your nose and push your belly inwards towards your spine, and at the same time roll your hips out in front.
Do 5-6 sets of this exercise.
11. Captain’s Chair:
All you need to do this exercise is a chair.
- Sit on the chair with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
- Keep both hands beside you with your palms by the side of your hips, facing downward.
- Inhale deeply.
- Now as you exhale, bring both your legs upwards such that your knees are close to your chest. Hold for 5 seconds. Don’t bend forward and arch your back.
- Bring down your leg slowly and repeat again.
12. Bending Side to Side:
This is the best workout to slim down your waist. This is yet another perfect exercise for reducing belly fat!
- Stand erect with your feet together. Raise your hands above your head as in a ‘namaste’.
- Now keeping your legs grounded, bend your body to the right as much as possible till you feel a strain on your left waist. Stay for 15 seconds.
- Return back to the original position.
- Now bend left. Retain this position for another 15 seconds.
Slowly, you may increase the holding time to 30 seconds.
[ Read: Ways To Reduce Abdominal Fat ]
Cardio is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and shed unwanted flab from your body. Cardio exercises are immensely helpful for reducing belly fat. At the same time, doing cardio on a regular basis will offer you with other health benefits such as reduction of stress, an increase in your lung capacity, better sleep and a sense of overall well-being.
One of the very first cardio exercises to reduce belly fat is walking. Surprised? Do you think it’s too simple to be effective? Well then, you should know that walking is a great and effective way to burn away that ugly belly fat. In fact, it is an excellent fat burner for your entire body. If you follow a healthy diet along with walking at a steady pace for 30-45 minutes for at least 4-5 days every week, you will witness a gradual change in your weight. This low-impact exercise increases your metabolism as well as your heart rate. A heightened metabolic rate will burn away calories at a faster pace, thus helping to eliminate the fat accumulated around your belly. In fact, walking has a decreased risk of injuries and is considered to be a good workout for beginners.
You have to prevent your body from getting used to any fixed workout routine. Hence, you can switch occasionally. Try running for a change. It is an effective way to keep your heart rate up, burn calories and lose belly fat.
If you don’t like running, try jogging instead. Research suggests that jogging is more effective at breaking down unwanted fat when compared to weightlifting. This is a form of aerobic exercise that is extremely useful for fighting obesity and staying fit.
This is another kind of effective cardio exercise that helps you to shed belly fat by burning calories. Ensure that your heart rate goes up while you are cycling.
With swimming you get cardio, weight loss and toning at the same time! The strokes that you choose should be up-tempo and strenuous in order to help you burn more calories. You can start with swimming 1-2 times every week.
You can follow these effective and simple exercises to reduce belly fat. You can easily do most of these exercises at home without the help of any personal trainer. All you need is determination and a lot of stamina. Reducing tummy fat is no longer an elusive dream!
3 Best Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat –Experts Roundup
Belly fat is something that makes you look really bad and it is also very unhealthy. The sedentary life and wrong food choices are responsible for belly fat. However, not to worry, you can always do some core strengthening exercises to get the desired washboard abs. Here are some expert tips to show you the way to shed those extra ponds from your belly.
1.Kerry P. Taylor:
Try these exercises to get a flat belly you always dreamed of:
1. Half Turkish Get Up: Melt your belly fat with this core strengthening exercise that works wonders for your abdomen, back muscles and hamstrings. It is the most complete exercise.
2. Ab Wheel Roll Outs: This is done using exercise wheels to strengthen all the core muscles. This is a great way to ab-crunches which automatically helps to shed weight.
3. Standing Band Rotations: Stand sideways to a cable band with feet hip-width apart, pull the cable close to body at the height of your chest. Keep your hands in the middle and use all your core muscles to brace your torso.
Kerry P. Taylor: www.212healthandperformance.com
Do three sets of AB Circuit and repeat it 10-20 times. Each exercise is meant for the abs to complete the movement and the focus shouldn’t be on the legs.
1. Flick Step: Bend knees and shift weight to that side. Squeeze the oblique’s and rock the hip to lift the other leg (should have some resistance through the toe to allow to “flicking” up off the ground). You should do 10 reps each side, then 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10)
2. Sweep: Start with basic abs tuck (standing crunch). For that you have to lift one knee using the abs, and bend the other knee to sit slightly on the ground. Bring the rib cage to the bellybutton so that the spine is in C-curve position. Simultaneously, squeeze the oblique on one side to crunch while reaching down for the opposite foot.
Do 10 repetitions for each side, then do 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10).
3. Twist: One foot placed slightly in front of the other with body facing the corner. This should resemble the movement of wringing a towel while taking knees further “inward” and opening body in the opposite direction. Start with knees bent and straighten with the twist by lifting the hip and leading it to the opposite corner.10 reps each side, then 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10)
Doing ab crunches and following a crash diet is not the right way to lose belly fat. If you really want to flaunt a well-toned belly you have to eat a balanced diet with all the good fats rather than starving yourself. You should also exercise for three to five times a week.
1. The side plank exercise is the best way to reduce belly fat. There are only two points of contact with the floor which helps the core muscles to contract even harder. Lie on your side with your legs top of each other, rest on your lower forearm that is bent on the elbow. Force your upper body off the floor by using your forearm and place other hand on your hips. You should resemble a diagonal line from head to toe. After you lift your bodies just hold it for 30-60 seconds.
2. Burpees are tough compared to side plank but it is also a great way to lose belly fat. For this you have to first stand and then with a quick movement contract your abs and go into a side plank position with your bottom tucked in. Do the push-up and jump back to the standing position. Do 30 repetitions and add 10 more as you progress.
3. Doing Bicycles not only help to melt belly fat it also works on the muscles of your upper body. For this you have to lie on your back and raise your legs at 90 degree, then bend your legs to 90 degree and hold it. Keep your hands under your head and slowly raise your head and shoulder off the ground. Now with a fast movement bring your right elbow to your left knee and extend your right leg in the front. You have to switch sides fast to create the cycling effect. Use your core muscles to keep your head and shoulder above the ground throughout the exercise. Do 20 repetitions and add 10 as you become stronger.
4. Laura London:
1. Bicycle Crunches are a great ab exercise and work the abs from every angle. It’s a combination of the regular crunch, a side-to-side motion that hits the oblique muscles and a reverse crunch that targets the lower abs. You can change the difficulty level by increasing or decreasing the range of motion used and the speed of movement as well as the intensity of the crunch by holding and squeezing.
2. Ab Plank is a great exercise to really challenge your entire core and build up your strength and endurance. The Plank works the lower abdomens, the oblique muscles and your lower back. It takes focus and concentration plus some upper body strength. Start with holding the plank position for 30- 40 seconds and build your way up. You will be amazed at how strong your cores will get by doing this exercise regularly.
3. V-Sit Ups are one of my favourite exercises for my abs because it is quite challenging. The V sit-ups work on the upper and lower abs regions and you also have to focus on your balance to keep the abs engaged at the same time. It’s a great strength builder for your core.
Laura London: http://www.LauraLondonFitness.com
5. Lee Brogan:
1. HIIT Sprints: This is done using a treadmill or running or outdoors. I get clients to run as fast as they can for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds rest and will repeat this between 10-15 times depending on fitness levels. HIIT training stands for high Intensity Interval Training and is very effective way to burn calories andfat.
2. Boxing: I let my clients do boxing as I feel that it’s a great way to pump up your heart rate and increase sweating. Higher the heart rate the more calories they’ll be burning. Usually I instruct my clients to do one minute of punches or combinations usually on boxing pads but can also be done on a punch bag followed by 30 seconds rest. Usually I repeat this exercise several times until my clients are fit. Then I let them hold the plank in between rounds as an active rest.
3. Tabata: Tabata is another form of interval training and involves 8 rounds of 20 seconds exercise followed by 10 seconds rest. Sounds easy enough but exercise should be done at a high intensity. This exercise can be done using rowing machines, dumbbells or thrusters. This is a tough exercise and is best for those who have very less time in their hands.
Lee Brogan: http://gymfreetrainers.com/
6. Lori L. Shemek:
1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This type of exercise is your key to melting belly fat fast. HIIT is highly effective for all over weight loss, particularly removing stubborn belly fat. If you are not eating right, you have reached menopause or you are not losing weight you should do these exercises. Don’t let the name scare you as it is you who determines the intensity. It is your perceived exertion that counts.
There are different types of HIIT but an easy one to begin with is to simply warm up for 3 minutes on an elliptical machine or by walking. Then work out for 30 seconds so that at the end of the exercise you feel satisfied. Reduce the speed to slow down to a moderate pace. Do this 7 more times or for total 8 intervals. Start with one interval and as your body is ready to take more increase the intervals. Studies show that HIIT to be the absolute premier cardio for weight loss and optimal health as compared to longer, traditional cardio.
2. The Bicycle: This is one of the best exercises for flat, well-defined abs. Lie on the floor with just your fingertips touching the back of your head. Bring your right elbow to your left knee as you straighten your right leg. Switch sides and continue to pedal. Do 1-3 sets with 15-25 repetitions.
3. Exercise Ball Crunch. This is one of the most effective ways to strengthen and flatten abs. Studies show this exercise is 40% more effective than regular ab crunches as it targets smaller muscles for flat toned abs including the oblique’s for a small waist and the outermost muscles that your typical ab crunch may miss. To begin, lie down on the ball positioning it under the lower back. Place arms behind your head. Tighten your abs as you lift your torso off the ball while keeping the ball stable. Lower back down and repeat 15 times with 1-3 sets.
Lori L. Shemek: http://drlorishemek.com/
7. Kelly Rennie:
- You should practice Plank.
- Leg raises are great ab exercise. They are the best way to reduce belly fat.
- Spider crunches for that desirable abs. For spider crunches, start in a push-up position. Now, lift your left leg and bring it close to your left arm. Return to the starting position and repeat with right leg.
Kelly rennie: http://www.kellyrennie.com/
8. Anthony Trucks:
These three exercises are great way to get a strong core:
1. Hanging Bicycles: This is a simple body weight core strengthening exercise that also improves muscles of your arms. It is done using a hanging bar.
2. Decline Bench Sit Up Ceiling Touches: This great exercise works on your shoulder, abs and lower back. Sit on the bench with the weight on your lap. As you move backwards, lock your arms and raise the weight above your body. Touch your back to the bench and use your abs to sit up. As you sit up you should keep your arms and weight pointed to the ceiling.
3. Prone Slider Toe-Ins: Go into a prone or plank position, your body should be horizontal or parallel to the floor. The legs should be straight and toes should be in. You have to use a slider to move back and forth. This is best done at a gym where all gym equipment is available.
Anthony Trucks: http://truckstraining.com
Do leave us your comments below. And don’t forget to checkout this video on the Top 5 Exercises to reduce Belly Fat @
- 10 Simple Tips To Reduce Lower Belly Fat
- Top 5 Aerobic Exercises To Reduce Belly Fat
- 9 Simple Ways To Lose Tummy Without Exercising
- A Simple Diet Plan To Reduce Belly Fat
- Top 12 Yoga Asanas To Reduce Belly Fat
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