How to lose belly: 14 tips to show off a slim figure
One of the most common reasons why people decide to join the gym is the goal of looking body and lose those "extra pounds". Sport is healthy, improves our well-being, produces many physical and psychological benefits and it is also ideal to get a slender figure .
Unfortunately, misinformation and false myths can lead people to not benefit from physical training aimed at reducing fat tissue, causing them to be discouraged at the first change. When after a few weeks it is verified that the layer of fat that covers the body has not decreased, the demotivation can make us give up to continue betting on healthy habits.
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Tips to lose belly
Losing belly can be a slow process depending on the percentage of body fat that an individual possesses , and in this dynamic are involved physical, psychological and nutritional variables that are not always taken into account.
Below you can find different strategies that can help you achieve a slender body.
1. Be realistic
Irrational beliefs and unrealistic expectations lead to frustration and demotivation . It is possible to find many articles on the internet and some magazines dedicated to fitness that ensure that it is possible to achieve a body 10 in four, six or eight weeks ... This is totally false!
The process of fat loss is going to be a more or less long process depending on the percentage of body fat that we possess and, therefore, the supposed "miracle" workouts can only work with people who have been practicing physical exercise and fat percentage for some time body is low.Maybe you're interested: "The importance of setting goals in Sports Psychology"
2. Beware of diets
It is also frequent that some individuals want to make special diets to lose weight and end up frustrated by not achieving the desired results in the time they had estimated. Diets to lose weight should be oriented towards a constant and lasting evolution , not abrupt, because, otherwise, a rebound effect could occur.
It is more appropriate to adopt healthy eating habits in which protein, low-fat dairy products, fruit, vegetables, whole products and foods containing monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats (such as nuts or fish) are consumed.
3. The importance of calories
What we eat is important, but If our goal is to lose fat to have a flat stomach, then it is necessary to burn more calories than we consume .
In other words, the control of feeding is a fundamental variable for the reduction of fatty tissue. This is what is known as energy imbalance, a term made popular by Donnelly and Smith. According to them, and for a person to lose weight, it is essential that the caloric expenditure be higher than the food intake.
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4. Make cardio
And how can we increase the caloric expenditure? Regular physical exercise is an effective strategy. Now, it is very good that you step on the gym and do some weight training, but if you want to reduce the perimeter of your waist you will have to perform cardio. So if you want a flat belly, go for a run on the beach or take the bike and get a few kilometers. Surely your body will notice it.
5. Grab the dumbbells and do weights
Cardiovascular exercise is ideal for burning calories during sports practice . However, strength training can also be a good help to lose those extra pounds and thus achieve a flat stomach, as stated by Frimel, Sinacore and Villarreal in a study published in 2008.
Strength training may not produce so much energy during the session, but increases the caloric expenditure after it, since it increases the activity of the sympathetic system, and as muscle mass increases, there is an increase in resting basal metabolism, as well as a reduction of liver lipogenesis, conclude Strasser, Arvandi and Siebert in another research conducted in 2012. The weight circuits are ideal for burning fat and increase muscle mass.
6. Mixed exercise, the best alternative
Both forms of physical exercise (cardio and strength) provide many benefits and are ideal for achieving a slender figure. However, Combined training is more beneficial than if only one of these forms of exercise is used .
Regarding the impact of physical training on body mass and fat, an investigation of L.H.Willis that was performed 2012 proved the effects of mixed training brings greater benefits than strength training and aerobic resistance separately.
7. Increase your NEAT
If we want to burn calories, physical exercise is ideal to achieve it; however, it is important to note that physical activity only represents 15-30% of the total caloric expenditure, because thermogenesis (the energy that is spent when consuming food) and the basal metabolism, that is, the energy necessary to keep the vital organs functioning, represent between 10-15% and 50-70% of the total caloric expenditure respectively.
One of the best ways to increase basal metabolism is in NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This is a scientific term to describe the daily activities associated with burned calories, in other words, it is physical activity performed with any movement made without the purpose of sports. For example, climbing stairs, domestic activities, walking to work, etc. This should make you reflect on the need to have an active lifestyle. The next time you go to your house, do not take the elevator; and if you go to work, do not get in the car and use the bicycle.
8. Reduce consumption of salt and sugar (and refined products)
Reducing the consumption of salt and sugar does not mean that you should eat bland foods, but to lose belly (and to enjoy a better state of health in general) it is advisable to reduce this consumption. What is the reason for the reduction of salt and sugar? The excessive consumption of salt is responsible for the retention of liquids with the consequent increase in weight ; while the consumption of sugar increases insulin levels.
What does it mean that insulin increases?
In recent years the consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugary products (with a high glycemic index) has increased. Carbohydrates are a fundamental energy source, especially when carbohydrates are slow absorption (for example, from whole grains). Carbohydrates are processed by our body to generate glucose, which is energy that our body uses to function.
However, in high doses, glucose is not beneficial for our body , so that our pancreas, by detecting the excess of this substance in the blood (what is known as hyperglycemia) releases insulin, the hormone responsible for bringing said glucose from the blood to the muscle and liver (if its energy sources have been depleted). ) and adipose tissue.
Foods with a high glycemic index, such as carbohydrates from refined grains (for example, industrial pastries) and sugar, cause the level of glucose in the blood to increase rapidly, which causes the release of insulin to ensure that glucose is stored, mainly in the form of fat. Therefore, it will not be of great help to lose belly. In short, pay attention to this type of food because they are not beneficial for your body.
9. Avoid light foods
Some light products may catch your attention because of the marketing campaigns behind them, but these products, supposedly low in calories, are not recommended for weight loss .
According to experts from National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration (UK institutions), the abuse of these low-calorie foods can generate as much or more sugar and fat as they in principle claim to eliminate. And we have already seen in the previous point what happens with the excess of sugar in the body.
10. Eat 5 times a day
Nutrition experts have recommended, for decades, the intake of five meals a day . Our body is constantly consuming energy and, therefore, needs to be well nourished so that it works in the best possible way. This does not mean that we have to eat 5 heavy meals every day, but that, in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, we must add 2 snacks, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon.
Thus we distribute the daily calories in 5 meals and it is possible to control the levels of hunger, to maintain the energy of the body and the activity of the metabolism and, in addition, it allows us to lose weight and control our weight, since we will not have an excuse to snack between meals.
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11. Do high intensity exercises
For decades, there was the idea that prolonged aerobic training was the most effective for fat loss. But, in recent years, science has shown that high intensity interval exercise or HIIT (hight intensity interval training) also produces great benefits when reducing adipose tissue.
This form of training consists of mix short periods of time of a very intense cardiovascular training (around 80-90% of our maximum heart rate) , with other periods also short of a moderate or low intensity (50-60%).Due to the oxygen demand that is created with the HIIT, the metabolism increases even after the training is finished, which allows you to burn calories for several hours after practicing physical exercise.
12. Work the core
To have a flat stomach, nothing works only to work the abdominals . Now, if you combine cardiovascular work and also work other muscles of the body, you can focus on the core. Add abdominal exercises to your routine, but do not do crunches every day because they are one more muscle and the rest need rest. The important thing is not that you do hundreds of sit-ups, but that you do them well.
13. Try Yoga or Pilates
Both Yoga and the Pilates Method have many postures that help tone the abdomen. Obviously, if you do not follow the advice given in the previous lines, you will not achieve your goal of getting a flat stomach. But these practices will allow you to stylize abdominal area and get a slender figure, as long as you combine them with the previous tips.
14. Adapt to the change
Do you already exercise and have you got a flat stomach? Well adapt to the change, because it is possible that you have stagnated and you should be increasing the intensity or duration of exercise sessions since, over time, our body will become more efficient and will not spend the same calories when it adapts to a type of exercise.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day of the week in the initial phases of training. In other words, perform a minimum of 150 minutes of physical exercise a week (5 days x 30 minutes). However, to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss, it is necessary to increase training time after several months of physical exercise.
According to the ASCM, you must reach a volume greater than 200 minutes per week or accumulate a caloric expenditure with the exercise of more than 2000 kcal / sem. The ideal is to reach at least one hour of daily training.
(Bonus) Hire a personal trainer
Achieving the goal of losing belly is not always easy, because physical, psychological and nutritional factors come into play. Therefore, a good alternative is to hire a personal trainer who values and designs a physical exercise program specially adapted to your possibilities and your goals so that you achieve your goals safely and effectively, and, in addition, motivate and advise you so that you feed yourself in a healthy way
With a personal trainer you will achieve results quickly and minimize the risk of injury.