Losing belly fat and getting rid of bloating can be such a struggle. In fact, for many of us, our belly is the last place that ‘goes’ as we begin to lose weight. We could be losing inches from our thighs,
arms and shed weight around our neck and face before we see the inches begin to shrink around our waistline.
Not seeing instant results can lead to frustration, so you need to keep in mind that just because you may not see the inches go from your waistline, it doesn’t mean you are failing in your weight loss goals. Weight will come off evenly, for the most part, meaning that you’ll see a reduction in overall weight all over your body rather than just in one place.
You’ve likely heard the term “spot reduction” right? This is when someone focuses on exercises that aim to eliminate fat from specific areas of the body. The truth is, spot reduction doesn’t work.
If you focus only on one area of the body, you’ll still end up losing weight from head-to-toe! This is a great thing because you’ll end up with an even weight loss and a better, more leaner frame.
That being said, incorporating core-based exercises into your weight-loss routine that specifically focuses on the major groups of muscles will definitely help you burn more fat. The bigger those
muscle groups are, the more fuel they need (fuel being calories), which will lead to rapid weight loss.
Let’s take a look at a few things you’ll want to avoid when focusing on getting that flatter, toned stomach:
Tip 1: You Booze, You Lose!
You may enjoy a few glasses of wine with dinner every night not realizing that these sugary calories can stack up, throwing your system off balancing and knocking you off track in your weight loss journey.
Our livers process alcohol before they work on breaking down protein and carbs, which means that alcohol itself slows down your body’s overall fat burning ability.
But hold on! Don’t panic and start pouring that bottle of chardonnay down the drain just yet.
You can still enjoy one glass a day without an adverse effect on your fat burning process. To be safe, stick with 12 ounces of beer, a single wine (5 oz.) or some spirits (1 oz.) with a low-calorie
mixer. Red wine also contains fewer carbs and sugar content than white wine so enjoy that glass of Pinot Noir!
Tip 2: Muscles, Metabolism, Calories and Cardio
The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will work. Muscle beats fat when it comes to overall metabolic activity. This also means that the more muscle you have, the more calories
you can eat and burn all day.
For example, a woman that is 5’4”, 150lbs, has 22% body fat, lifts weights and does cardio 4-5 days a week can eat 2,500+calories per day.
That's more than a woman who is 150lbs, 30% body fat and sedentary 7 days a week. The second woman can only eat around 1,600+ calories.
Each woman requires a different caloric intake due to their size, activity and body fat percentage. The woman with less body fat and more muscle needs more energy (calories) to maintain her body. Resistance training can be your friend in building lean muscle.
Tip 3: Take a Chill Pill
Weight loss pills and other items are usually never as effective as a good diet and exercise regime. When you want to lose that stubborn fat the best pill to take is a chill pill! The anxiety and stress you may feel from your daily life can cause extra cortisol to be produced in your brain. This hormone only encourages your body to store more fat (especially in your abdomen).
Take time out of your day to simply relax whether it’s a few minutes of calm meditation in the morning or a quiet cup of coffee. Work on allowing yourself to not be too overwhelmed and stressed. I know, easier said than done at times but the more you focus on letting go of stress, the easier it will be to condition your body not to hold onto that excess weight.
Tip 4: Eat and Drink More!
You should be very careful about how many calories you cut when you are focusing on a calorie deficit. If you are uncertain abouthow much you should be eating, Cutting 500 calories from your daily diet is usually fine, but cutting 1,000 or more too quickly can wreak havoc on your metabolism and cause you to be fatigued and light headed. While drastically cutting calories can lead to faster weight loss, if you go back to your old style of eating, you’ll see all that weight pack back.
It’s always better to slowly and surely reduce your calorie intake, replacing empty calorie foods with ones that are full of nutrients.
Those foods will leave you feeling full for a longer period of time as well. And don’t overlook the importance of staying hydrated!
Drinking more water is a great way to stay hydrated, have clearer skin and keep your body operating at its peak performance. Get yourself a water bottle and keep it filled up. It might mean a few extra trips to the restroom while you’re at work but you will also see the scale tip in your favor.
Drinking more water also helps to flush out extra water weight and rids your body of toxins that can impede your weight loss.
Tip 5: Green Tea Time
Plenty of studies have shown that the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea helps to boost your metabolism and also targets belly fat. Make a few cups during the week or
swap your morning coffee for tea.
Tip 6: Workout Wise
A big mistake that newbies make in the gym involves constantly working out their abdominal muscles to get the abs they want.
Have you heard the term ‘Abs are made in the kitchen.”? It’s true! Your sit ups, v-sits, hanging leg raises, crunch and tucks won’t do much if you still have a lot of fat to lose.
Consider abdominal training as a sculpting move once you’ve rid yourself of most of your belly fat.
Also, focus on your whole body with compound moves and weight lifting workouts that use bigger muscle groups. Ab workouts shouldn’t take up most your gym session.
Tip 7: Be Aware of Sugar and Labels
Sugar is in practically everything that we eat. It’s usually tucked into processed foods like yogurt, salad dressing, reduced fat ice cream and other treats and snacks. The average American consumes about 20 teaspoons of sugar during their day – usually unaware - as the sugar is packed inside their processed meals.
This can add hundreds of empty calories to your diet without you even realizing it! Sugar intake causes your insulin production to spike, which can then slow down your metabolic rate and make it hard to burn more calories. A good way to avoid excess sugar is by not buying as much processed foods. Try making your meals from whole foods instead
Another way to be sure you are eating right (less sugar and hitting your calorie goals) is to pay attention to labels. When you are working on eating the correct portions and counting calories you
don’t want to get into a spot where you are eating more than you think you are and essentially self-sabotaging your weight-loss goals.
Labels, especially on processed foods, can be inaccurate or very misleading. Take the time to measure your food on a food scale to be sure that you are eating the right amount.
Tip 8: Do It All or Not at All
When you're new to the gym it can be daunting. However, as you get more comfortable and confident in your daily routine, make sure that you’re focusing on what matters most.
Make the most of your gym time by focusing on compound movements that work your whole body, such as squats or lunges.
If you spend too much time working on isolated muscles, you won’t be burning as many calories as you would if you focus on a complete body workout.
Tip 9: Plan Your Meals
When to comes to cutting down inflammation and bloating, you need to think ahead of what you eat. If you know that certain foods might cause you to bloat, skip them!
If you are planning a weekend away and want to look your best, stick with proteins and things like leafy greens. Having a lighter dinner that’s packed with vegetables and protein can help to cut down on the chance that you’ll be holding onto belly-bloating water in the morning.
Tip 10: Food Diary and a Food Scale
One great way to be sure that you are keeping on track is to journal your food intake. It’s very easy to let a few hundred extra calories slip in if you have had a busy day haven’t paid attention to
what you put in your mouth.
Tracking your calories during the day can be an eye opener for those of us who aren’t being as regimented as we thought we were. In addition, being diligent about tracking your calorie intake
will also help you identify just how much carb-creeping can happen when you sample this, take a bite out of that, etc.
Careful food planning and calorie and carb tracking can also be the push you need to lose that last ten pounds even though you thought you were doing all that you could.
When it comes to losing weight, and getting those toned abs you have always wanted, a food scale can be your best friend. It’s a great way to accurately measure your food before you eat it and
be sure that you are staying on track.