Are you finding it difficult to fit into your little black number? Is belly fat giving you sleepless nights? If your answer is yes, you need to make some lifestyle changes to get the figure of your dreams. No doubt, belly fat looks aesthetically displeasing. It can assume serious proportions and affect long term health, if not curbed at the right time.
Dieting and exercise go hand in hand. If you thought that only dieting will burn your belly fat, you are wrong. If you really want to lose weight, you need to include an hour of exercise in your daily routine for targeting and reducing belly fat. Here, we have compiled a list of 6 exercises and eating tips that can help you reduce belly fat faster than you thought it would take:
6 exercises to target on belly and hips
Lie on the floor and keep your hands either by your sides or behind your head as you do in crunches.
Lift both your legs off the ground and bend them at the knees.
Bring your right knee close to your chest, keeping your left leg away.
Now take your right leg away and bring your left leg close to your chest.
Keep doing this as if you are paddling a bicycle.
Stand with your legs hip width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent.
Lift both your hands in front of you, aligning them with your shoulders and keeping them parallel to the ground.
Lunge forward as shown in the picture. Take a big step forward with your right leg, and sit down as if on a chair so that your knees make a 90-degree angle with the floor. The left leg should be positioned backwards, supported by the toes.
The spine should be kept straight. Don’t bend your spine forward.
Twist your torso (just the torso, and not the legs) to the right and then to the left.
Repeat 15 times.
Rolling Plank Exercise
- Position yourself on the floor with your knees and elbows resting on the ground.
- Keep your neck aligned with your spine. Look forward.
- Lift the knees up and support your legs on the toes.
- Contract your knees and keep breathing normally.
- This is the plank pose. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds.
Now, start moving to and fro for the next 30 seconds. This is the rolling plank exercise.
- Lie down on the floor sideways.
- Support yourself on your right elbow and right leg. Your elbow should be perpendicular to the shoulder, and the left leg should be above the right leg, keeping them together.
- Keep your knees straight. Your hips should not be touching the ground.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds. Once you get comfortable, you may hold this for one to two minutes.
- Repeat on the other side too.
While you are in this position, you may also lift the leg on the top and bring it down again. This makes the exercise more effective – it works not only your abs, but also your thighs and hips.
The Stomach Vacuum
How To Do
a. This is similar to what we call the cat stretch pose. This is also known as the four-point, transverse-abdominal stomach vacuum. Follow the steps mentioned below to do this exercise for reducing belly fat:
- Go down to the ground on all fours, supporting your body on your hands and knees.
- Inhale deeply and loosen your abdomen.
- As you exhale, tighten the abdomen muscles.
- Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
- Repeat the process.
b. Another type of stomach vacuum exercise is elevators. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit on a chair. Imagine your belly to be an elevator that’s moving up.
- Now inhale deeply using only your nose and think that it’s the first floor.
- Breathe out using your mouth and simultaneously push your belly towards your spine, imagining that you are going up to the fifth floor.
- Breathe out fast five more times, squeezing your abs every time you exhale.
- Repeat the same five more times.
c. You can try standing pelvic tilts. This is another form of stomach vacuum exercise.
- Stand with your legs hip width apart and bend your knees slightly.
- Inhale deeply through your nose and push your belly inwards towards your spine, and at the same time, roll your hips out in the front.
- Do five to six sets.
Sit on the chair with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
Keep both hands beside you with your palms by the side of your hips, facing downward.
As you exhale, bring both your legs upwards such that your knees are close to your chest. Hold for five seconds. Don’t bend forward and arch your back.
Bring down your legs slowly and repeat.
Bending Side To Side
- Stand erect with your feet together and keep your hands to the sides.
- Keeping your legs grounded, bend your body to the right as much as possible till you feel a strain on your left waist. As you do so, ensure your right hand is on the right hip, and the left hand is raised upwards. Stay in the position for 15 seconds.
- Return to the original position.
- Now bend to the left, and retain the position for another 15 seconds.
Slowly, you may increase the holding time to 30 seconds.
One of the very first cardio exercises to reduce belly fat is walking. Surprised? Do you think it’s too simple to be effective? Well, then you should know that walking is a great and effective way to burn away that ugly belly fat. In fact, it is an excellent fat burner for your entire body. If you follow a healthy diet along with walking at a steady pace for 30-45 minutes for at least four to five days every week, you will witness a gradual decrease in your weight.
This low-impact exercise increases your metabolism as well as your heart rate. A heightened metabolic rate will burn away calories at a faster pace, thus helping to eliminate the fat accumulated around your belly. In fact, walking decreases the risk of injuries and is considered to be a good workout for beginners.
Healthy Diet Secrets For Losing Belly And Hips Fat
1. Garbage In, Garbage Out
“There is no way around it,” says Noah Neiman, co-founder of Rumble-Boxing in New York City. “What you put in your body is 99.9 percent responsible for the composition of your body. It’s not about eating less or even eating more, it’s about eating smart,” says Neiman.
2. Eat Lean Meats
“Unless it’s for ethical reasons, eat up,” says Murdock. “Organic and grass fed lean cuts of meat are an amino acid powerhouse. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, protein is the building blocks of muscle, and muscle keeps you lean.”
3. Be Mindful Of Powders
Watch out for powdered foods—including protein powder, peanut butter powder and Crystal Light—which Murdock often finds are the culprit for gas and bloating with her clients. “In many cases, these can not only make you feel bloated, but can also cause visible bulging.”
4. Avoid Diet-Based Foods
Stay away from items labeled low-fat or sugar-free. Becker cautions that most of these diet-based foods are highly processed or use substitutes that have very little nutritional value. Instead, she recommends snacking on nutrient dense, fiber-rich foods like raw almonds, carrots and hummus, or apple slices dipped in raw honey, all of which help provide energy and keep you satiated between meals. She also recommends steaming or boiling your vegetables whenever you can to get the most nutrients from them.
5. Monitor Your Fiber Intake
Pay attention to how much fiber you’re consuming; it’s amazing for satiety and important for gut health and optimal digestion. Murdock does issue a note of caution: “If you’re eating a high fiber diet without drinking a lot of water, you’ll become gassy and you’ll notice bloating, which looks a lot like fat but isn’t. I speak from fiber experience. It doesn’t stop me from eating it, but it does stop me from freaking out when I bloat.”
6. Eat More Fat
Studies show diets higher in healthy fats are better for your waistline. “So, don’t feel as bad for crushing that whole jar of almond butter at midnight last night….well maybe not the whole jar,” says Neiman. Nuts, dark chocolate, fatty fish, chia seeds, avocados and extra virgin olive oil are also good sources of healthy fats.