While some women love the athletic, muscular look, others prefer a more feminine look. Maintaining a flat belly without getting abs is more difficult for some women than others, but even when that’s the case, it is still doable. For this purpose, you might need to give less time to intense exercises that target the stomach and abdomen area and dedicate more time to shedding a few pounds. Try some of the following tricks:
- Running / Jogging – this type of exercise can help you stay fit and allow you to lose weight evenly from your entire body. Running burns ten calories per minute! It also improves your metabolism rate. The better your metabolism, the faster you can burn the fat around your belly.
- Limit your sugar – This one is a bit more difficult than it sounds. Sugar is the most basic ingredient for weight gain. It is a source of “quick” energy, but if it is not used up quickly through physical activity it get stored in fat cells. The problem with cutting back on the sugar is that we are so used to consuming it with different foods.
Sometimes we consume sugar without even being aware of it. This is what makes checking the labels for processed foods with additives so important in flattening your belly.
- Fiber – Fiber is vital for a healthy metabolism and an easy digestion. By consuming foods that contain high amounts of fiber it becomes easier to give up “bad” carbs that promotes weight gain and bloat your belly.
Replace white bread, white rice, and pastas with alternatives such as brown rice and whole wheat bread and incorporate a bigger quantity of leafy, green vegetables into your meals to increase your fiber intake. A great weight loss system that I have found is the following one: http://putnamhospital.org/the-venus-factor-review-scam-and-science-behind-it-unveiled/
- Drink water – 8 glasses of water daily will aid in your digestion, prevent bloating, flush out toxins, help break down the sheets of fat around your belly, and make you feel slightly full, leading you to consume less calories in your meals.
- Eat often – Try eating more often, in smaller amounts. The feeling of being full is associated with the secretion of Leptin – a hormone that the brain interprets as a signal of how full the stomach is. If you let yourself become too hungry, you will be eating at a faster pace when you have your next meal. Therefore, your body will not have enough time to react with a feeling of fullness, and you might end up overeating. When you have smaller portions, your stomach will find the food easier to digest, which will prevent bloating.
How To Lose Love Handles
Remember the “ideal” body image that came up once before in this guide? It does not condone love handles! For this reason, most women who do have them are constantly looking for ways to erase them. This, however, is not just a matter of body image. The presence of love handles indicates and poses some health complications, and in order for you to properly remove them, you must first know exactly what they are where they are located on your body.
The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of abdominal fat in your body. Visceral fat lies deep in your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs and providing them with protection and shock absorption. The relatively superficial layer of fat, which, in simple terms, constitutes love handles, is called subcutaneous fat in medical terms.
This fat is much easier to remove because of its location just under the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles. While visceral fat is extremely important for the proper functioning of our organs, subcutaneous fat’s only function is to keep us warm (but our clothes can do a better job at that). Love handles are soft in nature and that is why they spill on the sides of one’s abdomen and lower back. Medical studies suggest that the risks posed by the presence of love handles include:
- Heart failure
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Losing love handles is not that different than losing the rest of the fat around your belly. If you keep following a diet and a workout plan that will help you maintain a healthy wait, it will help you immensely in reducing the fat on the sides of your abdomen.
For more targeted exercises you can try biking – either at home or indoors. If you do not own a bike or a similar exercise machine, you can still simulate the motions of biking by lying down flat on your back, extending your arms parallel to your core and placing the palms of your hands on the ground for support, then lifting your legs up and moving them the way you would if you were pedaling.
You can also try a workout where you stand up straight, legs a bit further apart than shoulder width, place your hands on your hips for support, and bend down as far as you can without bending your knees. The difficult part is trying to get back up as slowly as possible and stand straight again. During this part, your love handles will be supporting the whole weight of your body above the waist. Repeat this exercise 20-30 times daily.
Some of my students ask me how they can shed their extra pounds in a naturally way and I always advice them to do the same that I do. Ten years ago I learnt from one of my yoga mentor the benefits and advantages of adding fruits in our diet. So, today I want to explain to you something that can help you in your quest to stay healthy.
Fruit: Fiber, Vitamins, and Antioxidants
- 4 portions per day
- Eat fresh or frozen
- Seek out a wide variety
- 1 portion = palm size
- Avoid fruit juices
- No added syrup, sugar, or sweeteners
- Use fruit strategically
An apple a day may not truly keep the doctor away, but it’s a good start. Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals. The Health First program requires four fruit portions a day – every day.
Why only four a day? Many people make the mistake of thinking that, because fruits are wholesome, an unlimited amount of them is a good thing. This is not correct. Several of my patients have developed pre-diabetes with no apparent cause other than excessive fruit consumption. Fruit contains a lot of natural sugars, which, if consumed in significant excess, can cause your blood sugar to rise, eventually leading to pre-diabetes. When these patients reduced their fruit consumption to four portions per day, their blood sugar returned to normal.
In addition to limiting how many fruits you can eat in one day, you must control the portion size of your fruit selections. Your palm is your measuring cup. If it fits in your palm, you’ve got a portion. A large banana that sticks out over both sides of your palm will likely be two portions. A grapefruit will typically be two portions. This is a rough guide, but it works well. Be careful with portion creep for other fruits as well; for example, think about how big some apples have recently become.
Eat a variety of different fruits and try to have them raw to maximize nutrients and fiber. Frozen or canned fruit is fine so long as it’s not in sugary syrups. At the grocery store, explore fresh fruits that are new to you, including those from both tropical and temperate climates. Try to keep it interesting with seasonal fruit from all over the world. Support local growers, if you can, by going to your local farmers’ market for your weekly fruit supply. Enjoy berries, melons, exotic fruits from the tropics or Asia, juicy peaches, ripe plums, nectarines, kiwi, passion fruit, and pears.
Enjoy fruit in its natural form, but avoid juices. Juice concentrates your fruit servings and will undermine your diet. Think of it: an 8 ounce glass of orange juice contains at least four to six squeezed oranges. Just one glass of juice will give you more than your daily fruit allotment. Not only that, but juice deprives you of much of the beneficial fiber of whole fruit as well as the chance to use fruit as a snack throughout the day.
Use Fruit Strategically
Fruit will help you manage your appetite and keep up your energy throughout the day. I suggest having a fruit mid-morning, another mid-afternoon, and one about a half hour before dinner. This will prevent you from feeling “starved,” a feeling that invariably leads to overeating at mealtime and potentially to poor food choices. (Don’t forget to drink lots of water, too.)
To make this strategy work, it helps to have fruit readily available at home, at work, in your car, purse, briefcase, or backpack. (This is also true of the other snacks this program encourages you to eat throughout the day.) If it isn’t easy to grab, fruit is unlikely to be the food of choice. Be sure to have four pieces of fruit every day.
You might consider putting fruit in your yogurt or on your cereal at breakfast, or one piece cut up into small pieces in the evening as a snack, to total no more than four portions a day.
The best and most pleasant way to manage your appetite is to use fruit to dampen your hunger before a meal. Other snacks throughout the day are useful and should be enjoyed as well. It is so important not to allow yourself to become hungry.
About Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is better than no fruit, but fresh or frozen fruit is best. It’s too easy to exceed your daily fruit portion when you tear open a fresh bag of dried apricots or moist prunes. Keep in mind that one dried fruit portion counts as a fruit portion. Reading the nutrition facts on the back of the package will be very informative and will allow you to avoid packaged dried fruit that has added sugars. Always remember that 1 portion of dried fruit = palm size.