A Woman’s Guide to Losing Belly Fat
Is there extra or unwanted fat around your belly making you feel embarrassed? Are you ready to do something to achieve a flat and trim stomach? Abdominal, or visceral fat, is the most dangerous kind.
For women, a waist size of more than 35 inches (89 centimeters) is a sign of unhealthy fat around the belly and can put you at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Here are some things you can do:
• Stretch and crunch
People often make the mistake of jumping into an abdominal workout without stretching, which makes you do almost all the work with your hips and back; the stressed area around the core muscles makes it hard for them to activate.
Before you do crunches, put a foam roller in the center of your back, touching the edge of your shoulder blades, stretch your back over the roller, arms up. Repeat until your back feels loose.
• Healthy Diet
Focus more on plant-based foods including many colors of vegetables and fruits, and whole grains. Choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products. Reduce consumption of saturated fats found in meat and dairy. Moderate, healthy fat is what you find in nuts and certain vegetable oils.
• Olive oil
Olive oil has components that sends signals to your brain that you’re full. You feel less hungry, which manages your appetite. Try using olive oil in your food or dip some multi-grain bread in one tablespoon of olive oil for 15 minutes then eat it; this will keep you from overeating and putting on extra fat.
• Green Tea
Experts suggest sipping green tea to cut belly fat. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Functional Foods showed that those who sipped on 1 1/2 cups of catechin-enriched green tea daily lost 16 times more visceral fat than those who drank green tea without added antioxidants. If you drink regular green tea you need 2-4 cups daily for this effect.
• Keep Moving
The Department of Health and Human Services suggests moderate aerobic activity for all healthy adults, like brisk walking, for 2.5 hours or 150 minutes each week. Cardio should be done 75 minutes each week and strength-training activities at least twice a week. You can spread your exercise into 3 ten minute bursts every day if that is what works best for you. You will reap the same benefits as you’ll have from doing a thirty-minute stretch of moderately intense activity.
• Limit alcohol
Alcohol accumulates as weight in the middle of your body as it is digested as sugar which turns into fat. For most women 1-2 servings of alcohol is considered moderate. Limit drinking alcohol to once a week, and enjoy water and teas instead.