Belly fat is the hardest variety of fat to lose and it seems to get worse the older you get. But getting soft around the middle, or your core can lead to other health problems making it a dangerous situation. A soft belly can lead to structural problems like bad lower back and hip pain. It can also result in internal organs that don’t function properly.
What is Belly Fat?
Belly fats are excessive fats that develop around your stomach area over a period of time (1). Belly fat can even be deadly. Also referred to as visceral fat, belly fat not only looks unattractive as it spills over your pant waist, it can enter your bloodstream and put you at serious risk for both heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. This is why proper exercise along with low fat, high-protein diet is essential.
What Causes Belly Fat?
There could be multiple reasons that could lead to belly fat. This includes stress, lack of exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, menopause, genetics, and a low protein diet. While striking a balance between what to eat and what you skip, you can take control of your belly fat. Regular exercise on top of it can also help you shed away those unsightly fats.
Is it possible to reduce belly fat?
According to fitness experts, losing the fat around the belly can seem a next to impossible task for most people, especially those who have reached middle age (2). Body fat that accumulates in your middle will surround the internal organs and make it hard for them to perform the way they were designed, leading to other serious health problems and chronic pain.
If you’ve been homebound and overeating due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, plus having trouble losing the fat that’s building up around your core, you need to focus on two things: exercise and diet.
According to StartwithReal.com, a weight loss clinic, “35 percent of all Americans are borderline obese and unmotivated to do anything about it on their own, especially during the pandemic when overeating can be a real problem. Weight loss professionals will push you towards a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and a low-fat diet. In the end, you will lose belly fat and improve your health dramatically.”
If you don’t have access to a gym and/or don’t want to risk going out of the house for anything other than essential grocery shopping, you can work on losing your stubborn belly fat by performing a series of low impact exercises that don’t require gym equipment or machinery.
12 Ways to Lose Belly Fat
Here are the 12 most effective ways for blasting away belly fat during the Covid-19 Pandemic:
1. Ab Crunches
Abs or abdominal crunches are about as old school as you can get. This is one of the first exercises you learn at gym class in grade school. It is however a tried-and-true way of eliminating body fat while, at the same time, burning excess calories.
Here’s how you will properly execute abs crunches:
1. Lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
2. After placing your hands behind your head, inhale deeply and lift your torso while squeezing your abdominal muscles.
3. You should perform up to 20 repetitions or reps.
2. Bicycle Abs Crunches
Bicycle abs crunches are also an excellent way to burn calories while eliminating body fat.
1. You perform these by getting down on your back with your hands locked at the knuckles behind your head.
2. Bringing your knees into your chest, you straighten one leg while shifting your upper body towards the bent knee.
3. Alternate extending right and left legs, just like you’re riding a bike. Perform 20 reps on each side.
Planks are a favorite of trainers around the world for their fat and calory burning capabilities. They also test your endurance. According to the experts, planks don’t just exercise your core, but every muscle in the body.
1. You correctly perform a plank by turning onto your belly, then placing your elbows beneath your shoulders.
2. Now flex your feet and lift your body, keeping it parallel to the floor like a stiff wood plank.
3. Hold this position for 60 seconds initially, but work your way up to 2 minutes, and eventually 5 minutes.
4. Speed Walk and/or Jog
Considering one of the best calory burning, endurance building exercises out there, speed walking or jogging will not only reduce belly fat, but it is a hedge against chronic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and even most types of cancer. It will also tone your legs and your abdomen. Even a slow jog will result in about 100 calories burned per mile, but the true number depends on your height and weight. You should begin at a slow pace, jogging up to ten minutes per day. But soon you can work your way up to thirty minutes or more. If you’re concerned with being outside during the Pandemic, remember to wear your mask.
5. Leg Lifts
This ab strengthening exercise is a perfect companion to your run or speed walk since it also strengthens the legs. How do you do it?
1. Lie flat on your back and place your palms under your hips.
2. Using your abdominal muscles, lift your hips and legs, keeping them perfectly straight.
3. Perform 10-12 perfect reps, and each day, try for one more.
Belly fat is not only ugly, but it is also extremely unhealthy. During the time of Covid-19, you will find yourself housebound for longer periods than you are used to. You will naturally be getting less exercise. You will find yourself eating more simply because the refrigerator is close by. But if you engage in routine belly fat burning exercises that require no equipment, you can achieve healthy washboard abs right inside your living room.
6. Avoid Sleep Deprivation
According to a study conducted by King College London, sleep deprivation may cause people to eat more calories. It was found that people who didn’t get enough sleep consumed 385 Kcal more per day compared to people who did get proper sleep (3).
8. Say goodbye to Alcohol
Regular consumption of alcoholic drinks like beer can pump in your body with additional calories – making your waistline bigger and bloated. Avoid alcoholic drinks completely or restrict to one serving per day.
9. Fight Sugar Cravings
The sugary treats not only add extra calories but also lead to insulin resistance. Excessive sugar intake tells the body to store fats around the belly and can cause bloating as well. Keep your sugary intake to a minimal level if you are seriously thinking to cut belly fat.
10. Stay Hydrated
Make sure to consume plenty of fluids – this will not only keep your body hydrated but also reduce your cravings.
11. Say No to Smoking
People who smoke regularly have large deposits of fats around their bellies. A 2012 study found that smokers tend to accumulate more belly fats compared to their non-smoking counterparts (5).
12. Switch to Protein-Rich Diet
More on more research findings have confirmed the correlation between consumption of a protein-rich diet and reduced belly fat (6). Increased consumption of a carb-based diet can lead to fat accumulation in and around the waistline.
Belly fats unsightly and may cause underlying health problems. It’s difficult to get rid of belly fats, however with regular exercise and a balanced diet, one can take control of belly fat. Simple exercises like Ab Crunches, Planks, Leg Lifts, or Speed walk can shed away the bulge from your waistline. Additionally, a proper diet plan consisting of protein-based food and a healthy lifestyle can perhaps rescue you from belly fat.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ’s)
What causes a big stomach in females?
There could be multiple reasons. However poor diet, lack of exercise, and stress can lead to fat accumulation in the waistline.
How do I reduce my belly fat quickly?
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to reduce belly fats. A healthy lifestyle coupled with proper exercise focussing specifically on the abs area plus adhering to a diet plan with high protein, low carbs can help you reduce belly fats.
What can I drink to burn belly fat?
Hydrate as much as you can – that’s the mantra to check your belly fat. Drink at least 8 glasses of water, include gree tea, chamomile tea, and curd in your daily routine.
How can I get a flat stomach without exercise?
Get enough sleep, avoid taking stress, eat mindfully, cut out the sugar and rely on proteins – These small yet effective steps can help you get a flat stomach over a period of time.
- “Taking aim at belly fat” – health.harvard.edu
- “8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life” – hopkinsmedicine.org
- “Sleep deprivation may cause people to eat more calories” – kcl.ac.uk
- “How to lose water weight naturally” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Cigarette Smoking Increases Abdominal and Visceral Obesity but Not Overall Fatness: An Observational Study” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “High-Protein Diet for Weight Loss” – webmd.com