How to lose stomach fat

Stomach fat also known as belly fat can be quite an annoyance. Some people find their belly fat to be bad looking but that is not the only problem. Stomach fat can pose several health risks as well. Gaining stomach fat can be attributed to lifestyle and an unhealthy diet. 

Hence there is a perfect regime to be followed strictly in order to get rid of stomach fat and get back in shape. This article brings to you, various exercises and diet tips so that you can achieve your weight goals self-sufficiently.

EXERCISES TO LOSE STOMACH FAT

Walking

The simplest exercise would be to walk. This is because walking greatly helps to burn fat. It is not a very intense workout but it keeps the metabolism active and helps in reducing belly fat. The best part is that it can be done anywhere without any equipment. 

All you have to do is make some simple changes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk short distances instead of getting a ride. If you need more, then walk daily for at least 30 minutes. You can do this at any park where the environment is calm. 

Walking can be an excellent workout plan for beginners as well as aged people. It also strengthens the muscles and can help one achieve a toned figure.

Swimming

Swimming is another great exercise to reduce abdominal fat. It helps one burn much more calories and fat. It also strengthens the muscles and enhances the metabolism. If you are a beginner then go for simpler strokes. Once you begin to get better, swim at least 3 days in a week (1 hour each day) to see significant results.

Cycling

Cycling is one of those cardio exercises which work very well on the lower body. It works up the muscles of the legs and lower abdomen. Thus cycling can be very effective in reducing belly fat. There are cycling equipments present in gyms but the best way would be to actually practise cycling in an open environment. Monitor your heart rate while cycling to make sure that you are putting in enough effort. 

Cycling daily for at least 30-40 minutes will surely prove to be helpful.

Crunches

Crunches are the best but a more intense way of reducing stomach fat. To perform the crunches:

  1. Lie down flat on a on a mat and bend your knees. Keep your feet on the ground.
  2. Place your hands behind your head.
  3. Breathe in and lift your upper torso area, off the floor. 
  4. Once you have lifted your torso up, exhale.
  5. Now breathe in again as you get back on the floor.
  6. Doing this exercise 10-15 times in 2 sets is enough.
  7. You should repeat this exercise every alternate day.

Lunges

To do lunges:

  1. Stand straight with your shoulders relaxed.
  2. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  3. Lift both your hands in front such that they are parallel to each other and the ground.
  4. Take a step forward with the right leg, the foot to rest flat on the floor. 
  5. Now lower your hips to bend both the legs. The left leg to be balanced on the toes.
  6. Your right bent leg should make a 90 degree angle with the floor. The left knee must not touch the floor.
  7. Keep your back straight while doing this.
  8. Now raise the body to the starting position and repeat the same procedure with the left leg stepping forward.
  9. Repeat this 10 times.

HOME REMEDIES FOR LOSING STOMACH FAT

HOT WATER AND HONEY

You will need:

  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

How to:

  1. Heat the water so that it is warm enough to drink.
  2. Add honey and lemon juice to the water.
  3. Mix nicely.
  4. Drink this every morning on an empty stomach.
  5. Do not replace honey with any other artificial sweetener.

How this works: all the ingredients in the mixture help to activate the metabolism early in the morning. Lemon and honey help to detoxify the body and kick start your day.

GINGER TEA

You will need:

  • 4-5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 cups of water

How to:

  1. Simply let the water boil with the ginger slices.
  2. Let the water turn yellow.
  3. Turn off the flame.
  4. Let the tea cool down for a little while.
  5. Have this tea daily after dinner.

Apple cider vinegar

You will need:

  • 5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water.

How to:

  1. Simply mix the apple cider vinegar with the water.
  2. Have this mixture on an empty stomach daily.
  3. It is best consumed early in the morning.

Cinnamon tea

You will need:

  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

How to:

  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Now turn off the flame and add cinnamon powder to the water.
  3. Allow the tea to brew for at least 5-6 minutes.
  4. Now strain the tea and add honey to it.
  5. Mix well until honey is completely dissolved.
  6. Have this tea every alternate day after having dinner.

Coffee

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  • 250 ml of water
  • ½ cup of skimmed milk.

How to:

  1. Mix the coffee grounds with the water in a glass.
  2. Now cover the glass with a lid and keep in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
  3. This method of making coffee is called cold brewing. 
  4. After 6 hours, strain the coffee.
  5. Fill half a cup with the cold brew coffee, add ½ cup of milk and mix well.
  6. Do not add any sweeter.
  7. Consume this cold brew coffee every day in the morning. Do not take this before going to bed.
  8. Make sure you use coffee grounds and not instant coffee for this.

Bottle gourd juice

You will need:

  • 1 cup of diced and peeled bottle gourd
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 5-6 fresh mint leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of black salt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 cups of water.

How to:

  1. Add the diced bottle gourd to a blender.
  2. Add the mint leaves along with black salt and honey.
  3. Add a little water and blend the mixture into a smooth paste.
  4. Add the rest of the water and blend for 1 minute on high speed.
  5. Strain the mixture to obtain the juice.
  6. Add lemon juice to it and mix well.
  7. Have this juice daily on an empty stomach.

DIET PLAN 

The following diet plan is for 7 days and is only to be followed by adults.

DAY BREAKFAST LUNCH MID-AFTERNOON SNACK DINNER
1 1 bowl of Oatmeal made with skimmed milk and topped with berries of your choice. Grilled chicken breast with minimum oil and a green salad. Include leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. 5-6 almonds and freshly made orange juice. 1 cup of chicken gravy with 1 small bowl of steamed brown rice.
2 1 bowl of sweet potato salad. 1 small bowl of brown rice with 1 cup of high protein lentils. Sprouted mung beans with chopped onions and tomatoes. 1 bowl of cooked vegetables with 2 chapattis.
3 3 Gram flour pancakes made with added vegetables and 1 glass of lemon juice. 2-3 chapattis with 2 cups of high protein dal of your choice. Make sure you make the lentils with minimum oil. Any fruit of your choice. 2 chapattis with any cooked vegetable dish of your choice.
4 Omelette of 2 egg whites and 1 glass of lemon juice 1 cup of steamed sweet corn 3-4 ragi or oatmeal biscuits with 1 cup of tea. 1 small bowl of fish curry with 1 bowl of steamed rice. 
5 2 slices of brown bread with omelette of 1 egg. 

1 glass of freshly prepared fruit juice.

1 bowl of brown rice with 1 cup of cooked lentils. 

1 cup of low fat yoghurt.

1 cup of diced watermelon 1 bowl of steamed vegetables.

1 glass of coconut water.

1 small bowl of stir fried rice.

6 1 bowl of Stir fried Broccoli salad with garlic and ginger slices.

1 glass of buttermilk.

2 chapattis with 2 scrambled eggs and 1 glass of buttermilk. A handful of nuts of your choice. A bowl of fruit salad topped with chia seeds.

1 bowl of cooked lentils.

7 2 chapattis with 2 scrambled eggs. 2 tofu sandwiches and 1 glass of buttermilk.  Any fruit of your choice. 1 cup of chicken gravy.

1 small bowl of steamed rice.

1 cup of low fat yoghurt.

 

PRECAUTIONS

  • Do not add any artificial sweetener to your drinks.
  • Never skip on exercising. It is important to exercise regularly in order to burn the stomach fat.
  • Do not over exert yourself when doing the workout.
  • Get plenty of rest to renew your energy.
  • Stay away from fat loss supplements. These quick fixes tend to have many objectionable and unhealthy ingredients which provide fast but temporary results. They may lead you to developing dependence.
  • Stay away from natural butters like peanut butter or almond butter.
  • If you experience sore muscles then use heating pads to get some relief. Do not take painkillers.
  • Do not skip meals. 
  • Avoid taking caffeine if you are already on some kind of medication.
  • When having fruits, pick the ones with lower levels of sugar. Such fruits are berries, bananas, pears, and melons.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fibre in your diet otherwise you may experience bloating.

MYTHS AND FACTS 

MYTHS FACTS
Beer can greatly increase belly fat. Although beer contains high amount of sugar, it alone cannot result in belly fat. Beer belly happens due to a combination of unhealthy eating and having empty calories.
Fats have to be avoided at all costs to lose stomach fat. Fats are crucial for the body. While losing stomach fat, you do need to consume less calories but a decent intake of healthy fats will provide energy to your body so that you can go ahead with the physical workout. 
Stomach fat can be genetic. Our bodies tend to store fat in different areas. Some people store fat in their thighs, some people may store it in the abdominal area. The body part where the fat will be stored is determined by genetics. However, it is not necessary that you have to be overweight in those areas. The fat accumulation can be maintained.
Large doses of Caffeine will boost weight loss. While caffeine is present in most weight loss supplements, it is important to remember that it is a drug. It acts on the cortisol levels in the body and if consumed in very large quantities, it may actually trigger fat accumulation. It will even disrupt your sleeping pattern making it harder for you to follow a healthy weight loss routine.
An 8 hour sleep is essential for losing weight. Sleeping and getting enough rest is very important. However, some people do not need an 8 hour sleep. Moreover, the quality of sleep is more important. It is better to have a 6 hour undisturbed and restful sleep than having an 8 hour sleep which is not refreshing.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are some good sources of healthy fats?

You can have avocadoes and chia seeds. They contain healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids.

Fish oil is also a great source of healthy fats. 

Should we only focus on cardio exercises to burn belly fat?

Exercise of any kind is a great way to burn excess fat. The truth is that whenever you exercise, the fat begins to burn first from the areas in which it is concentrated. If you are a beginner then focus on slow and short term exercises that won’t put too much stress on the body.

Can alcohol consumption lead to stomach fat?

Yes. Excessive and regular consumption of alcohol, be it beer or any other kind will eventually raise the cortisol levels in the blood. This will slow down the process of burning fat. Alcohol also contains empty calories.

Can fasting help?

Fasting can be quite tricky. If you already have a lot of belly fat, then immediate fasting is not recommended. This is because fasting may trigger hunger cravings which will lead to overeating. However, if you can tolerate the food cravings then fasting will definitely help. 

Do not fast for more than one day a week.

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