Women tend to gain weight in a few special spots — our thighs, tush, face, breasts, and of course, our tummies. If you suffer from a mushy middle, here are some possible reasons why.
You've overstayed your welcome, belly fat. If you've been running consistently but still, you look down and can pinch an inch (or several) from your middle, it's time to kick that gut to the curb. Crunches aren't the answer, so change things up by adding high-intensity intervals to your routine. We recommend doing this 45-minute running workout outside; not only will it help diminish your waistline, doing speed intervals will also help increase speed and endurance.
After completing a five-minute walking warmup, repeat the below workout 35 times, and end with a five-minute walking cooldown.
|30 seconds||Walk briskly (about 4.6 mph)||2|
|20 seconds||Run moderately (about 6.7 mph)||3.3|
|10 seconds||Sprint as fast as you can (about 8.6 mph)||2.2|
Calories burned per minute: 7.5
Calories burned for warmup and cooldown: 40
Total calories burned: 302.5
*All calculations are based on a 130-pound woman.
You've been eating right and exercising for a while, but that stubborn belly fat just won't budge! Along with including these foods that fight fat in your diet, here are some ways to burn that pooch away while you are out on a run.
- Switch up your pace: Intervals are proven to reduce belly fat and rev up metabolism; instead of running at the same pace for the entire workout, try alternating between periods of pushing your body to the max and periods of recovery.
- Go a little longer: Unfortunately you can't spot treat when it comes to weight loss, which is one reason why solely doing crunches won't whittle your waistline. The key is to decrease overall body fat, and the one way to do that is to burn calories. Lengthening your workout will do just that. Every five minutes of running at a 10-minute-per-mile pace burns about 45 calories. Think about that on your next run, and it'll motivate you to keep going!
- High knees: You're working hard to diminish your overall body weight, which will slim down your belly, so you can reveal toned abs underneath. Here's one way to strengthen your core. Do one-minute intervals in which you run with high knees. Concentrate on using your abs rather than your leg muscles to kick your knees up as high as you can.
- Try this killer treadmill move: Here's another core killer if you're using a treadmill. Set the pace to 1.0 mph. Place your feet on a Plyo Box that's set up about two feet behind the back of the treadmill. Come into plank position with your hands straddling the treadmill belt. Step your hands on the belt and start walking, keeping your torso in one straight line. Do this for one minute, pulling your belly in toward your spine. Watch the above shredmill move in action here!
Crunches not getting you the six-pack you want? You need heart-pumping cardio to burn calories and diminish your overall body fat, but more specifically, you need to do interval training, which is proven to target the fat around your belly. Here's a simple workout that alternates between pushing yourself to the max with one-minute sprinting intervals and recovering with two-minute walking intervals. Aside from trimming down that tummy, sprinting will also increase your endurance and speed, as well as tone your booty and legs.
This workout is designed for running on a flat surface with no incline, so you can do it on a treadmill, track, or the open road. Keep reading to see this simple yet challenging workout.
You've been eating right and exercising for months, and although you've reached your goal weight and feel happy with you thinner frame, your belly is still a little pudgy. How can you get rid of the extra flab surrounding your abs?
Ab exercises, right? Unfortunately, all the crunches in the world won't slim down your middle. They will strengthen the muscles underneath the layer of fat, but until you eliminate that extra layer, your toned ab muscles will remain hidden. You can't spot-reduce fat from certain areas of your body; you have to reduce body fat as a whole. The best way to do that is with cardio. If the exercise plan you're following isn't doing the trick, then it's times time to kick it up a notch. Make sure you're doing high-intensity cardio workouts such as running, swimming, jumping rope, hiking, or high-impact cardio classes (try this 10-minute belly-busting workout). These burn mega calories and help to reduce your overall body fat. Also include speed intervals in your workouts since these are proven to target fat around the midsection.
You can also tackle a softer belly with your diet. Avoid foods containing trans fat such as certain packaged cookies, crackers, margarines, granola bars, and breads. If the list of ingredients says partially hydrogenated oil, then put it back on the shelf. Include foods that contain MUFAS (monounsaturated fats) instead such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Other foods that fight belly fat or bloat include blueberries, pineapple, protein such as low-fat dairy products, and high-fiber foods such as pears and leafy greens. Try this flat-belly smoothie recipe that includes belly-busting foods all in one delicious drink.
Stress can be another reason for belly fat, since it triggers the production of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to an increased appetite and more belly fat. Taking measures to reduce the stress in your life through yoga, meditation, massage, sipping tea in a bubble bath, or these other completely free stress-relievers could be the difference between a flat belly and a flabby one.
There are exercises that target your abs to help you get the rock-hard stomach you've always dreamed of. But if you really want to double-team belly bulge, then you'll need to eliminate sugar and processed carbs while also incorporating fat-burning foods into your diet. Keep reading to see which foods can help trim inches from your waistline.
We are excited to share one of our fave stories from Shape here on FitSugar.
We all want a toned, flat stomach. No surprise there. But since many women are still relying on crunches to get it, we want to make one thing clear: crunching is not the most effective abs workout. "Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it's important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs — including lower back, hips, and upper thighs," says Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs.
To lose belly fat and uncover amazing abs, Schuler recommends a series of core stabilization exercises based on a training program devised by co-author and personal trainer Alwyn Cosgrove. "Core exercises like the plank help train muscles to stabilize the spine and pelvis so you can avoid back pain and improve posture, Schuler says. "They also burn more calories than crunches because they work more muscles." Trade crunches for these three super-effective abs exercises from The New Rules of Lifting for Abs and you’ll be on your way to a perfectly toned, flatter tummy.
Belly bulge. Muffin top. Love handles. There are a lot of names for that extra jiggle in the middle. Instead of nicknaming belly fat, let's get rid of it! And while having a flat, toned stomach may seem like a quest for the Holy Grail, it's not. First you need to understand why you have belly fat. After that, follow these three basic tips to banish it for good.
- Eat the right foods. Having a healthy diet is an easy first step to banishing the bulge. Practice portion control, eat whole foods, and make sure your diet is a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and (good) fat. There are also foods, like whole grains, which help people lose belly fat.
- Cardio, baby! If you want to slim down your midsection, it's time to step up your cardio in a major way. High-intensity activities like spinning, interval training, and running are all good ways to get a handle on your love handles.
- Tone up. Listen closely: limiting yourself to ab exercises does not make a flat belly. It's a healthy diet and a solid routine of cardio that is going to help you drop the pounds. But toning your midsection and back area will sculpt your body, which helps you look slimmer. And by the time you drop all your belly fat, you'll be left with a drool-worthy six-pack. Zing!
"off to the gym. lord knows when this 600 lb baby comes out that I've been growing for 8 years, i better be strong and physically prepared!!!"
I must admit this happened to me in my heavier college days. In line at a drug store wearing a fitted tank top, some woman came right up to me and asked, "Oh, when are you due?" I was shocked and quickly responded, "I'm not!" Did the misplaced question hurt my feelings? Yes. And it also motivated me to lose weight. I'm wondering . . .
After years of being treated with disdain, dietary fat has slowly been making its way off the nutritional black list. Now that omega-3 fatty acid is almost a household word, it is time to embrace the MUFAs — monounsaturated fatty acids. A diet rich in this type of fat has been found to reduce abdominal fat better than a diet high in carbs — even without exercise. In fact, this is the cornerstone of Prevention's Flat Belly Diet.
If you're dieting, don't fear the MUFAs; while they might not be the magic bullet for belly fat (even if you incorporate them into your diet, you still need to keep a watch on your caloric intake and exercise), they do make dieting easier. Full of fat-soluble vitamins, MUFAs are satisfying to eat and help you feel full and satiated, nipping in the bud two common complaints of dieters: boredom and hunger.
To learn where you can find the almost-mythic fatty acid, keep on reading.