Although belly fat is often associated with men, women can also be plagued with excess fat around their midsection. Although genetics can be to blame, aging can also be the culprit. After menopause, hormonal changes can make you more prone to store fat around your middle. As you age, you also lose muscle tissue, which affects the calorie-burning process. Rather than settling for too much jiggle around your middle, and increasing your risk of serious health problems, incorporate steps to reduce belly fat.
Exercise burns calories and is essential to burn calories and lose weight. This doesn’t mean spending every minute in the gym. The American Heart Association states that you can reduce belly fat by exercising at least 150 minutes each week. The exercise of your choice should raise your heart rate and make you work up a sweat. Examples include jogging, rowing, bicycling, swimming, playing tennis, walking briskly, taking an aerobics class, jumping rope or using an elliptical machine. Find activities you enjoy, so you’re less likely to give up on your workout.
Incorporate Strength Training
Incorporating strength-training sessions into your workout routine can help combat belly fat, according to Harvard Medical School. Women who perform strength-training activities at least twice a week can maintain and increase their muscle tissue, which makes your body burn calories more effectively. You’ll end up losing body fat including belly fat. Whether you use free weights, resistance bands, your body weight, cable stations or weightlifting machines, target the large muscles in your legs, back, abdomen, chest, arms, shoulders and hips, for optimal results.
Perform Targeted Exercises
Abdominal exercises alone aren’t going to make your tummy any smaller, because spot reduction isn’t possible. You must lose total body fat to also see your tummy slim down. If anything, training the muscles under the fat will make them bigger, and can result in a tummy that protrudes even more. To prevent his, make abdominal exercise part of your full-body workout. After warming up or after finishing your cardio, perform exercises, such as reverse crunches, V-ups, the bicycle maneuver and hanging leg raises to target that lower belly area that many women struggle with. To stabilize your core, also include front and side planks.
Adjust Your Diet
In addition to eating smaller portions, limiting much sugar and salt, drinking a lot of water and swapping high-calorie foods for healthier foods with fewer calories, eating healthy fats can help reduce belly fat. Monounsaturated fatty acids, also known as MUFAS, are healthy plant fats that are believed to help reduce belly fat. MUFAS are found in seeds, olives, nuts, avocado and dark chocolate. Because these foods can be high in calories, eat them in moderation.
High stress levels negatively affect hormones in your body that control your appetite. For instance, if you’re under a lot of stress, your body’s cortisol production increases. This stress hormone gives you cravings for unhealthy, fattening foods, and the weight you gain tends to get stored around your middle. Lack of sleep also affects hunger-controlling hormones, making you eat and crave food more during the day. To avoid hormones from ruining your weight-loss progress, practice yoga or meditation to combat stress and get 7 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
American Heart Association
Harvard Medical School
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