Dr. Travis Stork: Food plays the most important role for most of us in the battle against belly fat and contrary to popular belief; one cannot single out belly fat with a particular exercise. But the good news is that any activity when combined with an improved diet will target belly fat as a whole. And let’s not forget that exercise is great for our overall health – it can help prevent heart disease, some kinds of cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, and anxiety to name a few.
Other Exercises – Ab exercises will also help reduce belly fat and help you keep that tummy tone as you lose the weight. We are a huge fan of core and ab exercises here at Lose Weight by Eating, and consider them the best exercise to lose belly fat. Not only to they help you tone up fast, they also strengthen your back, fix your posture (which makes you look thinner!) and help you lose belly fat!
Ultimately, you need to pick a healthy eating plan you can stick to, Stewart says. The benefit of a low-carb approach is that it simply involves learning better food choices—no calorie-counting is necessary. In general, a low-carb way of eating shifts your intake away from problem foods—those high in carbs and sugar and without much fiber, like bread, bagels and sodas—and toward high-fiber or high-protein choices, like vegetables, beans and healthy meats.
The researchers explain that people who cook their own meals may simply have other good-for-you habits, like exercising more. However, they also concluded that home cooks ate more fruits and vegetables (along with a wider variety of foods), have healthier methods of prepping their food, and splurge less on foods high in calories and sugar. No clue where to start? Check out these 25 high-protein chicken recipes for weight loss.
It makes scientific sense, also: A recent study found that antioxidants in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and actually lowered their blood sugar levels. And another study at Louisiana State University found that gut microbes in our stomach ferment chocolate into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds that shut down genes linked to insulin resistance and inflammation. Why the berries? The fruit speeds up the fermentation process, leading to an even greater reduction in inflammation and weight.
That doesn't mean you can't slim down your stomach, though. Follow a balanced and calorie-controlled diet to lose fat all over your body consistently, and you'll burn fat in your midsection, too. Include strength training to hold onto metabolism-boosting muscle, and use exercises like planks and side planks to cinch your abdominal muscles and give the appearance of a leaner stomach.
Mate tea is known for its powerful thermogenic effects—meaning it turns up your body’s calorie burning mechanism—and can also promote weight loss by improving insulin sensitivity. In a recent study, participants were divided into two groups. One group took a placebo 60 minutes prior to exercising, while the other group ingested 1000 mg capsule of yerba maté. Researchers found that those who consumed the herb increased the beneficial effects their workout had on their metabolism without the workout. Plus, this brew is like green tea on steroids, with up to 90 percent more powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, a cache of B vitamins, and plenty of chromium, which helps stabilize blood-sugar levels.
Essentially, that meal plan involves eating plenty of leafy greens and fiber-rich vegetables, as well as high-fiber, low-sugar fruits, like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and pears. He also recommends two to three servings of whole grains per day, as well as six to seven servings of protein — with a preference for nuts, legumes, fish, and dairy over beef, pork, and chicken.
‘Do it for a couple of minutes in bed and you’ll actually be able to wind down and fall asleep more easily. But it’s a skill, so it requires a commitment to practice it, as with anything. Think of it a bit like dating – the first time you do it it’s terrible, it’s uncomfortable, nobody knows what they’re doing, but the more dates you go on the better it gets.
Add resistance training. A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that combining cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise with resistance training is more effective than cardiovascular training alone in getting rid of abdominal fat. You can do resistance training with free weights, exercise machines or resistance bands and it may also be useful to train from unstable positions due to increased muscle activity.
"Crash diets (dramatically cutting down how much you eat) might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but they’re hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off. It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets."