What’s worse than realizing you’ve put on weight and your favorite dress doesn’t fit the night before an important outing? We’ve all been there! Nothing creeps up on you faster than an increased waistline.
Excess belly fat (also called visceral fat) isn’t just a killjoy but can also be dangerous as it has been linked to a risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Lucky for you, it is possible to lose inches off your waist in just a few weeks so you don’t have to throw that dress away! A strict workout routine coupled with a healthier diet and a few lifestyle changes is all you need to get your desired waistline. We’ve put together a few essential tips that anyone looking to lose weight should follow.
1. Cut The Calories
The first step to any weight loss plan is to count your calories. Being mindful of what you put in your body can lead to not just a slimmer but also a healthier body. Burning calories is one of the quickest ways to lose weight.
A diet change and a good exercise plan is the best way to burn calories quickly. If you burn more calories than you consume you’ll soon start seeing a change in your waistline.
It’s important to calculate the number of calories you consume on a daily basis and come up with a reduction plan. According to WebMD consuming 1,050 to 1,200 calories a day, can help you lose 3-5 pounds in a week.
2. Change Your Diet
A much-overlooked part of the process is changing your diet. That’s right, calories can be trimmed by eating the right kinds of food as well. You are what you eat, after all!
a) More Protein and Fiber:
Adding foods that are high in fiber content to your diet can help you lose stomach fat in a short amount of time. According to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, every 10-gram daily increase in soluble fiber leads to a 3.7 percent decrease in unhealthy visceral fat in the span of five years. Some foods which are rich in fiber are squash, broccoli, seeds and nuts, lentils, beans, berries, and whole grains. Fiber also helps you keep your energy up so it’s a great thing to pair with your workout routine. FDA says Americans should consume 28 grams of fiber per day for a 2000 calorie diet.
And I don’t think I need to emphasize the importance of protein for your body. They are the building blocks of the body, so eat foods that are high in protein.
b) Avoid Starch and Sugar:
Put down that extra cube of sugar for your drink! Beverages with added sweeteners have been shown to link to a 60% increase in obesity for children. Sugar is high in fructose content and leads to a lot of fat build-up. Avoid and try to completely remove sodas, fruit juices (switch to whole fruits) and even sports drinks with high sugar content from your diet. It’s always a safe bet to check the labels of any drink you buy for the sugar content.
In addition to this, you should also avoid starchy foods as starch ultimately breaks down to sugar! Food items like white bread, rice, pasta, corn, potato, etc are high in starch content. Brown rice and brown bread and some alternatives that you can try instead.
c) Cut Back on Salt:
Salty foods lead to water retention, which causes bloating. Drink a lot of water not only keeps you hydrated but also helps flush out extra salt from your body. You can also try alternative seasonings like cayenne pepper.
d) Eat More Veggies:
“Eat your veggies” is not just some casual thing we say to kids. we all know it’s important to have veggies in your diet throughout life to stay healthy. But did you know veggie st help you stay fit as well? Yes, eating veggies can help you lose some of that dangerous belly fat.
While going for veggies prefer opting for green leafy ones and avoid ones that contain high amounts of starch. Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumber are some low carb veggies you should definitely have. Drink a lot of water and have fiber-rich fruits to help keep you feeling full for a long period of time.
a) Bicycle Crunch:
Bicycle crunches help work out your obliques and rectus abdominis.
Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground, hands behind your head and knees bent. Slowly lift your shoulders from the ground and simultaneously straighten your right leg and turn your upper torso to the left. Hold the position for a few seconds then do the same with your left leg turning your body to the right. Do this 10-15 times at a stretch.
b) Side Bend:
Stand straight on your mat with your knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and support your hip with the other. Bend to the right until your dumbbell touches the floor. You should feel some pressure on your obliques. Switch sides and repeat the process. Do this 10-15 times at a time. You can also do this exercise seated on a bench with a barbell.
- Waist crunch: Get in the same starting position as the one for regular crunches with your hands behind your head and bent knees. However, you don’t have to lift your shoulders in this. Turn from the waist and move your legs to the right side, resting them on the floor. Your left leg should lie on top of your right one. Now keeping your upper body straight, do about 10 crunches. Then switch to the other side and repeat.
- Waist twist: Lie on your mat with your knees bent and your hands flat on your sides. Now, twisting your waist lower your legs to one side. Make sure you keep your back straight. Hold the position for a few seconds and then repeat the exercise by switching sides. Do this for at least 10-15 times.
c) Side Plank:
Side planks engage the lateral muscles of the core, especially the internal and external obliques.
Lie on your side with your elbow beneath your shoulder and your arm bent. Draw your navel towards your spine. Slowly lift your hips and knees from the mat making sure your body is straight. Hold for a few seconds and go back to the starting position. Do the same after switching sides. Do this for 10-15 times at a stretch.
4. Change Your Lifestyle
To make sure you stay healthy and fit for longer you might have to make a few lifestyle changes.
It’s important to remember to breathe and destress from time to time. Remember, stress brings with itself other unwelcome guests like over or under sleeping and over or under eating. Try different activities like meditation, yoga or engage in a favorite hobby regularly. A happy life is a healthy life!
Devote a few minutes from your daily routine to engage in some cardio. Even just 10-20 minutes can make a difference. You can pick any activity that interests you like walking, jogging, boxing, boxing, swimming, cycling, etc. You can even join an aerobics or yoga class. Try to go for a run at least 3-4 times a week. The fresh air can help refresh and destress your body as well.
Lack of sleep can make your body retain more fat than it needs. Think about what you do when you spend hours awake at night. Reach for the snack jar, right? Not only is that extra food but its likely to be junk food as well. Moreover, our body needs at least seven hours of sleep. Research has found that people who slept for less than five hours at night were at the greatest risk of becoming obese as sleeping helps boost our metabolic rate. So go get your beauty sleep, literally!
d) Wake Up Early:
Waking up early is just as beneficial as getting enough hours of sleep. People who wake up late tend to skip breakfast and end up consuming more calories throughout the day as their tummy never feels full! Waking up early also gives our body a metabolic boost. Moreover, the early morning daylight is rich in vitamin D which has been found to help shed extra body weight.