Been wondering how to burn belly fat? Well, you’re not alone. According to Health.com, approximately 65% of all American adults are overweight. The scary part is that excessive visceral fat can surround your organs and put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. Not only does a toned stomach make you look better in a bathing suit, it also helps you live longer.
But the big question remains – how to burn belly fat? There are two ways to get rid of belly fat naturally: diet and exercise. You can do all the crunches you want, but if you don’t change your diet at the same time, you won’t see the results you want. This article will give you 24 different ways to get a toned stomach, including exercises for a flatter belly, tips on the best fat burning foods, and some possible reasons why your best attempts to lose stomach fat are falling short.
Exercises For a Flatter Belly or Just Bigger Pants?
Before we get into the exercises for a flatter belly, let’s talk a little about weight. Studies have shown that people who weigh themselves every day tend to keep pounds off and actually lose a bit of fat. If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of belly fat in a week, this won’t help. But, if you’re in it for the long haul, this is a definite must.
Also, measure your belly. If you’re not sure if you need to start doing exercises for a flatter belly, measure your waist just above the hip bone. Don’t suck in, and don’t squeeze tight, just snug. Mayo Clinic recommends women with measurements over 35” and men with waists over 40” have too much belly fat. If this is the case for you, our tips on how to burn belly fat might be just what you need!
Finally, if you haven’t had a checkup in a while, go see the doctor to see if you have any problems with blood pressure or cholesterol. Though you might not feel like you need to do any exercises for a flatter belly, elevated numbers for either of these markers could indicate that you could benefit from routine exercises to lose belly fat.
If, after reading that, you decide that you need to figure out how to lose stomach fat stat, here are some tips how to burn belly fat in just 10 minutes a day (or less).
Exercises for a Flatter Belly
Tip #1: How to Burn Belly Fat? Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!
According to Mike Villa, a Certified Personal Trainer with over 20 years of experience helping men and women get the body they want, cardio is the best exercise to lose belly fat. When asked how to burn belly fat, his recommendation is to find cardio exercises to lose belly fat that you like, such as sprints, interval training, or low impact, and sticking to a regular routine.
Tip #2: Strength Before Cardio
Health Magazine reports that you can amp this up even more by doing your exercises for a flatter belly before you do your cardio. Exercising in this order gets your heart rate up by about 10 to 12 beats per minute more than doing cardio alone, and the harder you work, the easier it is to burn belly fat!
So, here are five of the best exercises for a flatter belly that you can do in 10 minutes.
Tip #3: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are the best way to lose belly fat because they hit all three abdominal muscles: upper, middle and lower.
To do this flat stomach exercise, lie on your back with your hips tilted toward the ceiling so the small of your back is touching the floor. Put your hands behind your head. Bend your legs so that your calves are parallel to the floor, and raise your shoulders off the floor. Extend your right leg straight out – don’t let your feet touch the ground – and touch your left knee with your right elbow, then repeat on the other side. This counts as one. Start with three sets of 20 of these primo exercises to lose belly fat, and increase by 5 reps per set each week.
Tip #4: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Advanced Bicycle Crunches
For a more advanced flat stomach exercise, add weight by holding a medicine ball or weight with both hands and twisting instead of touching your knees with your elbows. You can also strap on some ankle weights to give more calorie burning power to these flat stomach exercises.
Tip #5: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Plank
The plank is one of the best exercises to lose belly fat because it works all of your abs as well as your hips and back.
To complete a plank, lie on your stomach with your forearms flat on the floor and your elbows aligned with your chest. Lift your body off the ground, keeping it in a straight line (don’t raise your hips higher than your chest) and tighten your ab muscles. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise to reduce belly fat three times, and increase by 15 seconds each week.
Tip #6: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Advanced Plank
To take this flat stomach exercise to the next level, place your palms on the floor instead of your forearms and fully extend your arms. This will really help you with how to burn belly fat fast. You can also lift one leg off the ground for additional intensity if you want to get even more out of this exercise to reduce belly fat.
Tip #7: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Side Plank
The side plank is one of the best ways to lose weight from your stomach. It not only works your obliques, the muscles that create your waistline, but your back, hips and inner thighs. To do the side plank, lie on your side with your feet stacked on top of each other. Support your upper body with your elbow and forearm and raise your hips so that your body is in a straight line. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Start with 3 reps on each side and increase by 15 seconds each week to get rid of belly fat quickly.
Tip #8: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Advanced Side Plank
For an even faster way how to burn belly fat and get a toned stomach, raise your top leg, and you will feel the burn in this flat stomach exercise even more.
Tip #9: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks zero in on your abs, especially your lower abs, and help you to lose stomach fat fast. Lie flat on your back and place your palms underneath your hips to support your back. Raise your feet just off the ground and alternate them in an up and down motion. Start with 25 on each leg and do three sets. Increase by 5 reps per set each week to lose belly fat.
Tip # 10: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Advanced Flutter Kicks
For a bigger challenge, raise your shoulders off the ground while you do the kicks. This is a sure-fire method as to how to burn belly fat.
Tip #11: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Leg Lifts
Leg lifts are one of the best exercises to lose belly fat because they work your lower abs as well as the obliques. Lie on your back with your hands under your hips for support. Raise your legs so that your toes are pointing to the ceiling. Lower your legs to the starting point, but do not let them touch the ground. Repeat this exercise to reduce belly fat 10 times and do 3 sets. Increase by 5 reps per set each week as a great way how to burn belly fat.
Tip #12: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Advanced Leg Lifts
To burn belly fat faster, hold a weight between your feet or strap on some ankle weights.
Once you’ve done your exercises to lose belly fat, follow it up with 10 minutes of cardio. This can include running, swimming, or fast walking – anything that gets your heart rate up will be a great exercise to lose belly fat.
If repetitive exercises like these drive you out of your mind, then try a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) like Tabata to lose stomach fat.
Tip #13: Exercises for a Flatter Belly: Tabata
Tabata is known as one of the best answers to how to lose stomach fat. It’s easy to do, and you can do it practically anywhere. Simply pick your exercises and set a timer for a 20-second interval and then a 10-second interval. Go as hard as you can for 20-seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat each flat stomach exercise 10 to 20 times and then move on to the next one. Here are three exercises to reduce belly fat that you can start with:
- Tabata exercises for a flatter belly #1: Mountain climber – Start in a push-up position with your arms fully extended. Keeping your body in a straight line and keeping your arms straight, run in place by bringing your knees up to your chest.
- Tabata exercises for a flatter belly #2: V Ups – lie on your back with your arms extended over your head. While balancing on your bum, raise your legs and upper body until your body makes a V.
- Tabata exercises for a flatter belly #3: Bridge – lie on your back with your hands by your side, palms down. Bend your knees until your feet are close to your bottom. Raise your hips up as high as you can.
If you still need more exercise ideas, check out our article 11 Best Workout Techniques and Routines for Weight Loss.
Fat Burning Foods
Once you’ve found the exercises to lose belly fat that work for you, there are a few changes you can make to your diet to get rid of belly fat quickly by eating fat burning foods. If you’re wondering how to lose belly fat in a week, these foods will help you along your way. By speeding up your metabolism, they help your body use up more calories. But, the best way to lose weight from your stomach is a combination of these foods and the exercises for a flatter belly that we already outlined. That said, here are a few of the best fat burning foods to help you lose stomach fat.
Tip #14: Eat Thermogenic Food
In other words, eat foods that create heat. Foods like chilies and cayenne pepper can help you to burn belly fat by slightly speeding up your metabolism. However, it’s important to note that just eating loads and loads of spicy foods won’t give you the toned stomach you’re dreaming of; you have to do this in combination with other dietary changes to see real effects.
Tip #15: Say “Good Bye” to Sugar
The list of magical fat burning foods does not, unfortunately, include sugar. The biggest change you can make to your diet to get rid of belly fat naturally is cutting out sugar. “If you want to say goodbye to that belly,” says Villa, “Say goodbye to those sweet desserts.” This is a key change to make if you want to lose stomach fat fast.
Tip #16: Say “Hello” to Pineapple!
This tasty fruit contains a huge amount of bromelain, an enzyme in fat burning foods that helps break down protein. It also facilitates digestion, so you can nip that belly bloat in the bud. If you don’t like pineapple, try papaya instead to get rid of belly fat fast without exercise.
Tip #17: Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
Just eliminating desserts helps you to get rid of belly fat; but you also have to moderate your intake of processed foods like white grains, potato chips, sodas, etc. They contain high amounts of sugar and can also cause inflammation, which has been linked to belly fat. Go with natural foods found in the produce, meat, and dairy sections – essentially the outside aisles of the grocery store – and you will see much more progress in your quest to lose belly fat.
Tip #18: Drink More Water and Stay Hydrated
It may sound cliche, but drinking more water and staying hydrated can really help burn unwanted belly fat. Not only is water better for you than sugary drinks, but being hydrated means you’ll feel better during and after workouts. You’ll also feel less hungry with a good amount of liquid in your system, so it’s a win-win!
Tip #19: Have Oatmeal for Breakfast
Oatmeal is a great way to get rid of belly fat naturally. Replace sugary cereals or those Starbucks muffins with some steel cut oatmeal. It is high in fiber and protein and so is a great fat burning food. If the taste of plain oatmeal makes your stomach turn, add cinnamon for some sweetness or even some honey.
Tip #20: Eat Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is your best friend when it comes to fat burning foods. It contains certain flavanols that help lower blood sugar and decrease fat. Keep it to less than 50 grams per day and look for chocolate with a cocoa content that is 75% or higher. Eating less than 75% cacao or more than 50 grams will counteract all those flat stomach exercises you did – remember, moderation is a key aspect of how to burn belly fat!
Tip #21: No More Chinese Food
Chinese food is one of the highest sodium content foods around. This can lead to water retention and bloating, both things you want to avoid if you’re trying to get rid of belly fat in a week. Mexican also has a pretty high salt content, so best to steer clear of that until you reach your goals, especially if you’re trying to get rid of belly fat quickly.
Tip #22: Eat More Fatty Fish
Fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids that some studies have shown help you to burn belly fat. They are high in protein, which causes your metabolic rate to increase when the fish is digested, meaning you burn more calories when you eat these fat burning foods. They also help you feel fuller, which means you WANT to eat less, making it a great way to lose stomach fat fast.
Tip #23: Replace your Yogurt with Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has almost double the protein content of other yogurts, so like the salmon, it makes you feel fuller, and it takes more calories to digest it, helping you to get rid of belly fat fast without exercise. What’s more, making a simple substitution takes virtually no time at all – a great tip how to burn belly fat fast!
Tip #24: Trade your Ranch for Oil and Vinegar
If you’ve been opting for salads and then drenching your greens in ranch or other creamy dressings, you might be shooting yourself in the foot in your quest for a toned stomach. Instead, top your salad with oil and vinegar; it’s quick and has far fewer calories than its processed counterparts.
What If Diet and Exercises to Lose Belly Fat Don’t Work?
As you age, you might find yourself asking how to lose belly fat more often because your metabolism slows down and hormones change. This means that you need fewer calories to maintain the same weight, which, unfortunately, means you have to downsize your portions or you end up trying to figure out how to burn belly fat when you’re eating the same things you have all your life.
Stress also plays a huge part in thwarting your efforts to lose stomach fat. While you might reach for a sugary treat to calm your nerves – and this doesn’t help to lose belly fat – your body also produces cortisol when you are stressed. Cortisol increases the amount of fat that sticks around and many times results in visceral fat, which causes disease. That means one way how to lose belly fat can simply be relaxing and stressing less.
Finally, lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain. So, if dietary changes and those flat stomach exercises aren’t working, try changing your sleeping habits or finding a way to relax more if you still find yourself asking how to lose stomach fat. You might also consider seeing a doctor to have your hormones checked.
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Exercises for a flatter belly will get you halfway to your fat loss and toned stomach goals; fat burning foods and lifestyle changes should get you across the finish line in your race to get rid of belly fat fast. If those approaches to burn belly fat don’t get you where you want to go, talk to a healthcare professional about possible hormonal changes that could be holding you back. It may not be easy, but with our guide to how to burn belly fat in just 10 minutes a day, it doesn’t need to be time-consuming, either. Good luck!
For Further Reading…
If you are still struggling with how to grid rid of belly fat fast without exercise, try reading How to Lose Belly Fat Fast for Men and Women by Jenny Allan for a few pointers.
You can also try The Doctor’s Diet Cookbook by Dr. Travis Stork for simple and balanced recipes that will help you to lose stomach fat.
And if you need more helpful tips, check out our article 41 Weight Loss Tips: How to Lose 10 Pounds Fast.
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