The one of the most often asked questions by my clients. It may surprise you but nearly every woman has a little roll on their tummy when they are seated, even models and athletes. This is mostly due to the special role of the woman’s body that is capable of the miracle of giving birth.
Women needs higher body fat in general than men to support their hormones. Problems arise when the excess fat around the waist becomes a burden, especially if you otherwise fall under healthy weight category. Having some excess fat covering your abs may trouble you for vanity reasons. When your body is storing fat under the muscles, within your abdominal cavity, that is a health risk.
Luckily, whichever category you fall under there is solution. I believe in small steps for a more balanced lifestyle that includes better nutrition habits, regular physical activity and stress management. Here are 5 steps to follow consistently for a belly fat-free future!
Step #1. Cut back on added sugar
Studies show a link between sugar consumption, obesity and heart diseases. Whilst further research is still needed to clarify its real impact on our health, decreasing your added sugar intake will have many benefits.
Start with soft drinks, sweet snacks. Then move onto watching how you drink your tea or coffee and checking the labels of your food. Many products that are marketed ‘healthy’, ‘organic’ or even ‘low-fat’ may contain sugar. Watch your bread ingredients carefully too!
Step #2. Increase protein
I have discussed the role of protein for women in a previous post. Here I am telling you that by consuming more of it will help you lose weight on the long-term and aid longevity. Benefits include reducing cravings, boosting your metabolism and keeping you satisfied longer.
Include more eggs, seafood, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, dairy if your body tolerates it, quinoa, chia seeds, nut butters and vegetables in your diet.
Step #3. Understand your carbs
Going low-carb has shown great success in weight loss for both women and men and it’s still a trend many diets promote. Your body needs carbohydrates for fuel, but it definitely doesn’t specifically need pizza, pasta, cakes and the like. Learning about the type of carbohydrates you can eat and listening to your body to figure out what makes you bloated, what keeps you full and satisfied longer is key to lose the belly fat.
Decrease refined carbs like white bread, pasta and cakes and focus more on whole grains and starchy vegetables. Quinoa, rice, wholemeal pasta, buckwheat, sweet potato are all great choices to meet your fiber intake. Get the nutrients your body needs and still keep your calories in check. Ultimately you must be in a caloric deficit to lose fat.
Step #4. Fiber for the gut
How much nutrients your body can absorb from te food you consume depends on a few things. The slower the food goes through your system, the more time your body has to digest and take what’s important.
Dietary fiber is mostly undigestible plant matter that aids slower digestion and makes you feel full longer. The more water a fibrous grain or vegetable can bind, the better its effect will be. The longer you feel satisfied the less you will eat, which again leads us to better chances of staying in a calorie deficit for a flat belly.
Step #5. Keep active and break a sweat
Exercise has many health and fitness benefits. Combined with a balanced diet it will be an efficient tool to get rid of the excess fat around your waist. Important to note that spot reducing is not possible, so forget about countless repetitions of abs exercises and focus on fat loss in general.
Long walks, cycling, running or rowing can all contribute to burning more calories. Including a few full body strength workouts per week to move and challenge all your muscles is essential for both fat loss and for improving your overall fitness and health. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has also been shown to increase the fat burning effect of your muscles and some studies found it may boost the weight loss from the belly area.
In summary if you'd like to lose your belly weight, you need to focus your life on methods to increase fat burning and that can be achieved by finding the right balance of nutrition, exercise and stress management.
Would you like to know more? Feel free to message me!
Owner and creator of One Small Step, Joe has been in the health and fitness industry for 8 years and takes an all-round approach to his coaching.