Fitting into those skinny jeans aren’t the only reason to lose belly fat, there is the matter of your health. Here are 5 tips to keep you healthy, strong, and toned.
Whether it’s bikini season or the holidays, there could be a number of reasons why you would want to lose belly fat. One has a lot to do with looking good in a bikini or a trendy outfit; the other is taking care of your health which means your longevity. Of course, if you manage to lose belly fat you will feel and look better, and both are good spirit boosters.
Eat to Lose Belly Fat
1- Distinguish Between Good and Bad Fats
Good Fats aka monounsaturated fatty acids (or MUFAs) are your healthy fats. They can be found in olive oil, avocados and nuts. Polyunsaturated fats include foods like pine nuts and help signal your brain that you are full, which prevents you from overeating. Bad fats include saturated fats which are not only bad for your waistline but for your heart as well. They are found in meat (especially red), milk, dairies from whole milk and most oils and so… all fried foods (sorry french fries!). If you’re looking for a good source of calcium – milk is not your most ideal choice. There are tons of low fat, vegetarian sources of calcium (1000 mg recommended daily intake).
2 – Keep an Eye on the Glycemic Index (GI)
Choose food with a low glycemic indexto help regulate your blood sugar:
Bad carbs (typically refined products) have a high glycemic index, white pasta, rice and potatoes: they spike your blood sugar which is temporary, after which you will experience a crash in your blood sugar and the release of cortisol. This is a process that leads right to type 2 diabetes if not kept in check in your diet.
Good carbs have a lower glycemic index and will give you the energy necessary and the fuel to burn especially if you exercise: legumes, fruits, potatoes (of all colors). They retained their nutrients and will make you feel fuller longer.
3 – Eat More Fiber
Whole grains, cereals, apples, pinto beans, artichokes, broccoli, pretty much all fruits and vegetables will provide you with the necessary dietary fiber. Fiber helps to regulate your bowel health (ever heard of colon cancer?), stabilize your blood sugar, and make you feel full. The fuller you feel, the less you eat, the more you lose belly fat.
Drink and Move to Lose Belly Fat
4 – Drink A Lot (we don’t mean margaritas!)
The recommended daily amount of water varies depending on your circumstances and lifestyle choices, but our bodies are all made up of at least 70% water. Staying hydrated will help you flush toxins, keep your vitals organs functioning properly and carry nutrients through your cells. Aim for at least 8 cups a day, but in reality it should be more like 13 cups for men and 9 for women (1 cup = about 8 oz.). Green tea is packed with tons antioxidants and the catechins help burn fat.
Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks for the obvious reasons that too much sugar is detrimental to your healthy lifestyle and won’t help you lose belly fat.
5 – Exercise!
There are two easy exercises that target your core muscles that do not require any equipment and can be done at home; you can do either or both – we recommend both.
- Side planks are very effective and efficient. They will not only work on your abs but also your butt, thighs and hips as well as your upper body. A well executed side plank will strengthen your entire body.
- Push ups not only strengthen your upper body but they are known to work your midsection and core to tone ab muscles.
- Crunches are the sure fire way to target your middle section and tone your belly. You have to do them right: stabilize your back and pelvis in order to avoid injuries.
In order to lose belly fat and tone your abs efficiently you have to watch what you eat and exercise. No matter what type of workout you choose, always check your form and posture, they are imperative to the success of your training and help avoid injuries. There are some controversies when it comes to saturated fats, some new studies allegedly show that some saturated fats in your diet taken in small quantities can increase the levels of LDL (aka bad cholesterol) and HDL cholesterol (aka good cholesterol). If in doubt ask your doctor what is best for you but always follow your body, it will guide you.
Beauty Fit Boot Camp is designed by women, for women.
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