Did you know that doing hundreds (or even thousands) of crunches each day will not get you closer to having a flat stomach or getting rid of your muffin top? That’s because belly bulge and muffin tops are caused by excess body fat, not lack of muscle. You could have the hardest abs in the world, but if there is a layer of fat on top of them, no one will ever see them. If you’re looking to lose your belly fat, follow these tips from fitness guru Jillian Michaels.
1. Focus on losing weight all over, not just from your stomach. More often than not we tend to spot train and this is not how you get results. “Scoring a flat stomach is all about workouts that impact different muscle groups at the same time – so you’re strengthening your entire body AND burning more calories.” Jillian suggest circuit training to blast flat and strengthen muscles. You can also take classes guaranteed to make you burn calories like chickboxing, tabata and triple fat burning.
2. Strengthen your core muscles. The greatest exercise you can do for your body is the plank (the standard plank and the side plank are the most popular.) The plank is difficult but it targets your core abdominal muscles, practices balance, and strengthens your chest and back muscles. The results are definitely worth it!
3. You are what you eat, so eat lean! Get in the habit of reading labels. If you cannot pronounce all of the ingredients, that item doesn’t belong in your body. The sodium, preservatives and sugars in processed foods will leave your belly bloated and will cause you to pack on the pounds. You want food that is packed with nutrients, not preservatives. If you’re not sure what to eat, start with beans/legumes, berries and nuts. These foods will help you feel fuller and store less fat.
4. When you’re trying to lose weight and tone, alcohol is not your friend. “Alcohol releases estrogen into the bloodstream and when you have excess estrogen, you’re more prone to hold onto weight. Ever seen a guy with a beer belly? It’s the excess estrogen causing that fat and inhibiting muscle growth.”
5. Drink more water, eat less salt. Excess sodium causes you to carry water weight in your belly. Drop your sodium intake down to 1,500 mg a day and drink more water. They say people should be drinking 8 glasses each day, but if you’re exercising 5 days per week, you need much more than that!