Nutrition

The 18 best ways to get a flat stomach

Many overweight people have fat around their stomachs. This fat is a risk factor for many health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fat around the belly can be hard to lose. Even when dieting and exercising, it is often the last part of the body to lose weight. However, there are many methods that can both reduce overall fat and tone the abdomen.

The techniques to get a flat stomach are as follows:

1. Add cardio

Running is effective in slimming a person’s stomach. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is a great way to burn calories and improve heart health. Many cardio exercises are effective in slimming and strengthening a person’s stomach. Running, walking and swimming are examples.
Moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise can reduce fat in overweight people, even without reducing calorie intake.

2. Eat more fiber

Fiber can help a person feel full longer, which can reduce the amount of food they eat during and between meals. Fiber also allows the digestive system to function. A healthy digestive system helps reduce bloating and keep your stomach lean.

3. Limit refined carbs

Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body, but not all of them are equally good for your health. The body converts certain carbohydrates, such as white bread and white pasta, into glucose. When a person consumes more glucose than necessary, the body stores the excess as fat. A person looking to reduce the amount of fat around their belly should limit their intake of refined carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are essential for the production of energy, it is advisable to consume healthy products based on whole grains.

4. Increase your protein intake

Protein provides the body with building blocks to repair and build muscle, and it also helps a person feel full longer.
People who ate high-quality proteins, such as milk, eggs, and beef, had a lower percentage of belly fat.

5. Do exercises while standing, not sitting

One should opt for the standing position when lifting weights or doing resistance exercises. Standing while performing certain movements, such as bicep curls, can help a person engage their core while lifting. This engagement can help strengthen core muscles and slim the belly area.

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6. Add resistance exercises

Doing resistance training can help someone who is cutting calories not lose muscle mass. Building muscle mass can also help the body burn more calories at rest. Common types of resistance training include weight lifting and bodyweight exercises, such as squats and lunges. Resistance training can be done alone or in combination with cardio exercises. The results of a study in obese teenagers suggest that the combination of resistance training and cardio training is an effective way to reduce fat mass.

7. Eat more monounsaturated fatty acids.

Avocado is a healthy source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats, which people often refer to as “good fats”, are found in fats that are liquid at room temperature. Healthy sources of monounsaturated fatty acids are:

the lawyer
olive oil
nuts
sesame oil

A 2016 systematic review found that diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids may help reduce body weight.

8. Move more

People looking to lose belly fat can try moving more and doing more activities throughout the day, especially if they typically spend most of the day sitting at work or school.

Here are some examples of small activities that add up throughout the day:

– take the stairs
– to walk
– use a standing desk
– stretch throughout the day

One study even suggested that adding that extra movement could help a person burn up to 2,000 extra calories per day, depending on their body weight and activity level.

9. Replace high-calorie drinks

High-calorie drinks often provide little or no nutrients, and drinking them makes it easier to ingest extra calories without realizing it.
There are obvious offenders, like sodas and energy drinks. However, other popular beverages, including fruit juices, coffee-based milk drinks, and alcoholic beverages, all contain extra calories, often with no added nutritional value.

To avoid consuming too many calories in beverages, a person can:

– Swap the juices for whole fruits, which are full of fiber.
– limit or avoid milk and sugar in coffee and tea
– prepare mixed alcoholic drinks with sparkling water rather than with tonic, cola or ginger ale.

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10. Drink enough water

Drinking plenty of water can reduce fluid retention and bloating, two phenomena that can make your belly look bigger. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can also fill the stomach and help control portion sizes during the meal. Drinking herbal teas is another great way to stay hydrated.

11. Exercise the trunk

The core muscles are those that surround the trunk, which includes the abdominal muscles and the muscles of the back. Working the core can help a person gain muscle and burn more calories throughout the day. A strong core will also support the body during a variety of other activities, including cardio and resistance exercises, reducing the risk of injury. Strengthening the core muscles can help the stomach look and feel more toned as a person loses belly fat.

12. Get enough sleep

One can improve the quality of one’s sleep by keeping electronic devices out of the bedroom. Sleep is necessary for overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight. Research from 2018 found that lack of sleep affects hormones that regulate a person’s appetite and can make them feel hungrier. The authors noted that increasing sleep duration and improving sleep quality could help people lose weight.

13. Reduce stress

There is a link between stress and several health problems. Among these problems is weight gain, which can occur because some people tend to eat when they are stressed. This effect may be due to the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that can stimulate appetite.

Ways to relieve stress include:

– do aerobic exercises
– talk to a loved one
– try mindfulness
– prioritize important tasks
– take a break or even take a vacation
– avoid getting involved in too many projects and events
– take the time to indulge in a pleasant hobby

14. Walk 30 minutes a day

Along with other exercises, a daily 30-minute walk can help a person burn more calories, reduce stress, and move more. Walking 30 minutes at lunchtime can help reduce stubborn fat and make you feel more productive in the afternoon. A 30-minute walk after dinner can aid digestion and prevent a person from spending that time sedentary in front of a screen.

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15. Track food intake

Keeping a food diary can help you think about what you eat and lead to healthier decisions about meals and snacks. People sometimes underestimate what they have eaten during the day or forget to consume essential nutrients, opting instead for unhealthy snacks. Keeping a food diary for 1 or 2 weeks can help a person identify the source of their extra calories.

16. Eat Slower

By eating too quickly, you don’t give your brain time to realize that you are full before you consume too many calories during the meal.
Eating quickly can also cause a person to swallow more air, which can lead to excess gas and bloating.

18. Identify food sensitivities

Food sensitivities can cause a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, including gas, bloating, and constipation. Foods that people are generally sensitive to are dairy, eggs, and gluten. If a person feels bloated or has other digestive problems after eating a particular type of food, they should talk to a doctor or dietician.

Sources

Damaso, AR, et al. (2014). Aerobic plus resistance training was more effective in improving the visceral adiposity, metabolic profile and inflammatory markers than aerobic training in obese adolescents [Abstract].

Friedenreich, CM, et al. (2015). Effects of a high vs moderate volume of aerobic exercise on adiposity outcomes in postmenopausal women: A randomized clinical trial.

Loenneke, JP, et al. (2012). Quality protein intake is inversely related with abdominal fat.

Ma, J., et al. (2016). Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is associated with change of visceral adipose tissue over 6 years of follow-up.

Maillard, F., et al. (2018). Effect of high-intensity interval training on total, abdominal and visceral fat mass: A meta-analysis.

Villablanca, PA, et al. (2015). Nonexercise activity thermogenesis in obesity management [Abstract].

Vissers, D., et al. (2013). The effect of exercise on visceral adipose tissue in overweight adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Yang, Q., et al. (2014). Added sugar intake and cardiovascular disease mortality among US adults.

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