When the weather getting warmer, it's a good time to put in place a program to trim your waistline.
We're not talking about spot reducing (which doesn't work!) by doing 100 nightly sit-ups or buying an expensive belly fat fighting exercise machine.
Instead, here are some sound tips to help guide your program:
1. Take out your tape. Take out a measuring tape and measure the circumference of your belly by holding that tape at the level of your belly button and circling your tummy till the ends of the tape meet each other. Write down the size of your belly in inches. If your waist is greater than 40 inches in men or 35 inches in women, slimming your waist is particularly important as you are at an increased risk of developing health problems. Commit to repeating your waist measurements as you follow the tips below so you can see your waist size shrink and your body get healthier.
2. Be calorie savvy. Now's the time to find easy ways to eat better and cut more calories – but to try and do so without feeling deprived. Paying attention to cutting some liquid calories (like soda and alcohol) can be quite helpful. Feel free to treat yourself to a light beer or some wine on the weekends but try and drop the alcohol habit on week nights. One study had another surprising finding – that people who skip breakfast have more belly fat than people who eat that morning meal on a regular basis. Start your day on the right foot by committing to eating regular meals and planned snacks – ones that are also portion- and calorie-controlled. This will go a long way toward whittling away at your waist.
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3. Go for the burn. Instead of trying to spot reduce your tummy, the best thing you can do is aerobics-type exercise, which helps you burn fat. You can achieve this goal by doing a brisk walking program, biking or working out on exercise machines like the elliptical or Stairmaster or even jogging. Track the time you spend doing aerobics week to week as this will help you set new goals and encourage you to challenge yourself in new ways.
4. Strengthen that core. Have fun trying out some new fitness tools like a big exercise fit ball or a domed Bosu ball, which are great for doing a core-strengthening program in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Both usually come with pictures or even a DVD describing how to use the product to get the most benefits. These tools can really give your stomach trimming program a big motivation boost. And you'll learn new ways to do a new kind of sit-up – the ones that really work to strengthen your ab muscles.