How to Reduce Belly Fat
You don’t have to look far to find countless myths and “secret weapons” in the war against belly fat. But before you fall into the trap of the latest fad diet, expensive wraps, crazy detox teas, or “hardcore” core exercises that do more harm than good, here are a few important things you need to know about proper training, nutrition, and hormone techniques to help you reduce belly fat once and for all.
5 Tips to Reduce Belly Fat
1. Restore your core
Before you attribute your belly bulge to belly fat, make sure your tummy isn’t poking out due to the common condition of diastasis recti (DR: also known as abdominal muscle separation). In 60% of pregnancies the abdominal separation will be wider than 2-2.5 finger widths apart and you will be considered to have DR. In many cases this abdominal separation will heal naturally post birth with no medical intervention, especially if you take the right steps and do the correct exercises! Diastasis recti doesn’t actually increase abdominal fat but many women note they feel like they “still look pregnant” months or years after delivery if they have not taken steps to correct this condition.
Sprints and other high intensity intervals are efficient ways to increase fat burning hormones and beat that belly! If you’re looking for a way to reduce belly fat and to develop strong and flat, toned abs, sprints are one of the most effective exercises you can do! And as a bonus, they literally teach your body how to be an effective fat burner through the hormonal changes they produce. You’ll get amazing belly fat busting results using this style of sprint training.
3. Crunches aren’t the answer
Doing sit-ups to burn belly fat is like trying to change your tire with a pencil. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. As far as core strengthening, provided you do not have diastasis recti or pelvic floor issues, instead of crunches, you’ll want to focus on a variety of core stability and core strengthening movements that engage more than just the rectus abdominus (6 pack muscles) that crunches target. And remember, core training is important, but if you’re serious about slimming your midsection, the key is to create a caloric deficit while balancing your metabolic hormone to ensure your body is burning fat.
4. Balance cortisol
Stress increases the production of cortisol. Cortisol, also known as “the stress hormone,” is linked to increases in belly fat and possible loss of muscle mass, both of which are two symptoms attributed to an imbalance of cortisol. When cortisol levels are high for long periods of time, your body can store food as fat and refuse to burn the fat that you do have. Essentially, your body is saving fuel. Studies show that cortisol may even be responsible for taking fat from other places in the body and moving it to your stomach (which naturally has more cortisol receptors) as a way to protect and surround your organs . . . causing MORE belly fat than before.
5. Engage in total body weight training
Engage in resistance training a minimum of 2-3 times per week. Adding weights to your workouts isn’t just for people who want to gain muscle. While traditional aerobic training may burn calories during your workout, this type of training does little to improve your metabolic potential. On the other hand, weight training creates the best hormonal environment for fat burning (belly fat included) as it stimulates the production of testosterone and human growth hormone – two incredibly powerful fat burning hormones that help you to burn belly fat both during your workout and long after your workout is over.