How to get rid of stubborn belly fat
Through the years of being in the fitness industry, I have found that one of the top questions I am asked is how to get a flatter stomach. This question is often posed to me by other mothers who are looking to get rid of the post-baby pooch.
As much as I would love to say that I got mine by doing X amount of sit-ups a day, that’s simply not true. Even as a long distance runner, I was finding that while my legs and overall body had toned up and slimmed down, I couldn’t quite get rid of that last little bit of flab on my stomach area, especially after my second child.
So why isn’t more exercise the solution for problem areas? Well, for starters, body fat isn’t lost from one specific area at a time. You can’t target one specific area of fat on your body, rather you need to focus on overall body fat loss. So doing sit ups every day (although good for your core) likely will not get you those washboard abs you’ve been dreaming of.
What actually turned it all around for me was focusing on what I eat. You read that right, the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen” is 100% true! I was already eating healthy, but I was focusing on overall calories and not getting a good ratio of protein to healthy fats to slow carbs, etc. Once I adjusted my eating habits, I noticed a significant change in my overall BMI, especially from that trouble area on my stomach.
If you feel like you are wanting to tone up your tummy, here are a few of my recommendations:
Drink plenty of water
This may seem like an odd suggestion for helping you lose weight, but drinking enough water actually ensures that your muscles and organs stay hydrated, which makes your body dump excess water weight that it’s been holding onto. It also flushes toxins out, clears up acne and can help with headaches. So how much should you drink? I always recommend taking your body weight, dividing it in half and drinking that amount in ounces per day at a minimum. This is a lot easier to do if you pack a water jug or a water bottle everywhere with you.
Track your food
When I began watching my eating habits, the first thing I did was log it all on a food tracker. The reason I did this is because people usually underestimate the amount of calories they are eating per day, or they do what I was doing where they count overall calories but don’t pay attention to the breakdown of macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins) or micronutrients (sugar, fiber, etc).
My favorite food tracker is MyFitnessPal, but feel free to use whatever is comfortable for you. You don’t have to track it for long – I recommend a week or two just so you can have a baseline of how many calories you are usually bringing in, and so you can start making adjustments and see the changes on the screen. However if you are the type that likes tracking meals, feel free to stick with it longer than the 1-2 weeks.
Watch your sugar intake
Sugar is hidden in so many packaged foods at the grocery store. You can really limit the amount of sugar you eat simply be focusing on eating whole foods and not pre-packaged foods. Try to limit your sugar intake, especially in things like sodas. You can shave off a lot of excess pounds by avoiding drinking your calories.
I do try to be a little mindful of the sugar in fruit, but I don’t limit it as much as I do other sugary foods.
Eat more lean protein
Protein is one of the main things I tell people to increase their consumption of when they are wanting to slim up. This is because it helps keep you feeling full for longer, and when eaten after a workout it actually helps build and repair your muscles. One of my favorite tricks for getting enough lean protein in each day is using a high quality protein powder. My favorite is MRM’s all natural whey protein (the strawberry flavor tastes like a strawberry milkshake to me!). You can use my code NATALIE at checkout to get a 40% discount off your entire order of MRM products.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are flat abs. Give yourself time to start seeing the changes. It took me at least four weeks to start noticing the difference in my appearance from changing up my eating habits – but I started feeling better long before that. It took about twice that time for others to start seeing the changes in casino online.
Natalie Hodson is an MRM ambassador and mom of two with a very popular blog and social media following where she shares how to balance family, fitness and a healthy lifestyle. You can learn more about Natalie at her website www.nataliehodson.com.