If you want to rock that bikini, the goal isn’t as hard to achieve as you think.
A couple of tricks and a bit of discipline can get you a long way.
1. Hot water and lemon
Drinking hot water and lemon is great for speeding up your metabolism. It’s a big boost to your digestive system to drink it when you get up in the morning. Lemon juice is also a much better substitute for coffee – not only you’ll feel energized, but you also won’t experience caffeine crash later in the afternoon.
2. Whole grains
You will lose fat around your belly faster if you eat whole grains instead of refined ones. Also, having three servings of whole grains will also lead to faster loss of fat in comparison to eating whole grains a day.
3. The right hour
A snack containing proteins is perfect to eat between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., so choose between almonds, an apple, a small piece of low-fat cheese or just go for a protein bar. You shouldn’t miss that snack under any circumstances because it will speed up your metabolism and balance your blood sugar, and the lower your blood sugar and insulin are, the less chance there will be that fat will store around your belly. Actually, eating every three to four hours is good for keeping balanced blood sugar, but many people make longer breaks between meals, even up to six hours.
4. Avoid processed foods
Processed food like crackers, chips, but also white bread and refined sugar present in sweets and desserts can lead to inflammation in our bodies, which is linked to belly fat, making you less prone to losing fat. It’s better to opt for fruits, vegetables and whole grains – as they are rich in antioxidants; they also fight inflammations in your body.
5. A day without gluten or dairy
Many people are unaware of their intolerance to certain food. A good way to test yourself to certain foods is to remove them completely from your diet for a couple of weeks (ideally) and pay attention to your symptoms, but, as a start, try with cutting them out from your diet for a day – it could remove bloating or discomfort at the end of the day.
6. Eat slowly
This is a very easy thing to do, but highly effective. Eating food really fast will trap the air in your system, making you feel bloated, so take your time while eating – this will also make you eat far less, which is a big bonus.
Plank as often as you can – it’s a great exercise for the whole body, especially for your abdominal muscles. If you are able to hold for a minute or more, make things more challenging – open and close your legs like scissors while you raise and drop the hips simultaneously. Another version is to do the trunk twist together with a back row with the help of bands – flat abs simply have to appear!
8. The 10-percent rule
Focusing on just your abs won’t exactly get you where you want to be, even though abdominal exercises are the final touch. You also need to remove the excess fat by strength training and/or cardio but the secret is in the right amount of time spent of each type of exercises. It means that if you work out for an hour, only 10% of that time should be spent on your abdominal muscles, that is, 6 minutes. The rest of the time should be devoted to other body parts or cardio exercises.
9. Cardio exercises
Cardio exercise serves to help lose the belly fat to uncover the abs you have underneath it. The best cardiovascular exercises for that include jogging, swimming and cycling, while walking is a low-intensity cardio. You can try mixing walking and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or you can concentrate on jogging or cycling only. Try to find a pool nearby and dedicate yourself to going swimming for an hour at least twice a week. Or even better – get yourself on of those popular folding bikes and explore your town through cycling around. Try to make the route longer each time you go cycling, just make sure you take a high-quality bike pump for emergencies on the long routes.
10. Cover every angle
It’s important to cover all three types of motion when doing the abs circuit, meaning you need to include crunches, reverse crunches and double crunches to form your sagittal plane. Next, work on your frontal movement by doing standing or dumbbell side bends. Lastly, twists like seated trunk twists will add to rotational movements, thus challenging all of the abdominal muscles.
All in all
Losing belly fat is, in short, a result of a balanced diet and well-chosen physical activities. Of course, discipline is the key here, meaning you need to break through days of crisis and demotivation. After a while, it will become a pleasant routine.
By Audrey Taylor
who worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia and residing in Adelaide.