Updated: Jan 29
Hi Friends of Oompf, it's Alvan here. Today we will be talking about belly fat and how to reduce it. We will also touch on diet, and exercises to help improve appearance of the abs.
Belly fat is one of the most common and stubborn problem areas that people, especially older females find a struggle to get rid of. If you have been doing personal training for awhile now you should be aware by now that it is not possible to reduce fat in just a certain area aka spot reduce. There may be a few various reasons why your fat is accumulated in your belly as compared to the rest of your body: 1. Genetics Sadly, the tendency to gain or carry weight around the waist — and have an "apple" rather than a "pear" shape — might have a genetic component. This is something that you have no control over. However with exercise and diet, you may be able to improve the appearance of this. 2. Diet & lifestyle Excess weight, even if seemingly only in the belly, may be a result of overeating or habits developed from your lifestyle. In order to lose fat in the belly, you would need to lose overall fat throughout the body. Keeping factors like diet, sleep, stress levels and exercise frequency in check would definitely help in reducing belly fat. 3. Age Your muscle mass diminishes slightly with age, while fat increases. Loss of muscle mass also decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it a challenge to maintain a healthy weight.
Many women also notice an increase in belly fat as they get older — even if they aren't gaining weight. This is likely due to a decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to influence where fat is distributed in the body.
Now the question is, what exactly can I do to reduce belly fat? Just like the process of building muscles, losing belly fat is not an easy process that can happen overnight. You can first start by implementing small changes to your diet such as cutting out sugared drinks. The danger with sweet drinks is that they are full of empty calories and it is easy to consume large doses of sugar in a very short period of time. Liquid calories also do not keep you as full as solid foods does, so you eventually ending up eating more. Try sticking to plain water or coffee/tea without sugar or milk and avoid liquids such as bubble tea and alcohol. Improving sleep and stress levels may also help you shed excess weight. The time you sleep is when your body gets to heal, recover and repair. If you are only getting 4-5 hours of sleep per night, your body well not be able to function optimally in the day. This will mess up your meal hours, causing you to feel hungry late at night. Stress may also result in some people binge eating or eating more unfavourable foods than they should. Last but not least... EXERCISE! A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest causes for chronic pains and weight gain because you are simply not moving. Start by clocking 10000 steps a day, from there, try to increase that to a jog three times a week. Making exercise a habit in your lifestyle will benefit you greatly in so many ways!
Here are 3 simple core exercises you can try at home.
Ensure your elbows on the ground directly underneath your shoulders with your feet hip-width apart. Make sure your back is flat and your head and neck are in a neutral position. Drive your elbows into the floor, and squeeze your quads, glutes, and core.
2. Hollow Hold
Start lying on back with with your arms extended overhead on floor and legs straight resting on mat. At the same time, and with control, lift arms, head, shoulder blades, and legs off the floor. Hold for 20 seconds then return to starting position. Rest for 10 seconds.
Lie faceup on floor with your arms and legs in the air, knees bent 90 degrees. Maintaining contact between low back and floor, brace your core, then slowly and simultaneously lower your right leg until your heel nearly touches floor and your left arm until your hand nearly touches floor overhead. Pause, then return to start and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.