5 Tips to Lose Body Fat, Get a Flatter Stomach and 6 Pack Abs
It’s that time again. Summer is just around the corner and many of us are starting to turn our attention to physical fitness and how our body is going to look come swim suit season.
You may have noticed that TV advertisements and infomercials for fitness products such as ab belts, workout systems and even diet programs have increased. It’s not a coincidence, spring is the best time of year for sales of fitness, exercise and weight loss related products, and while many of us are grabbing the phone and pulling out our credit cards to order the latest and greatest fitness gadget or diet program there are others who are still a bit more skeptical.
The secret to losing weight, getting a fatter stomach and developing six pack abs isn’t really a secret as some of these companies want us to beleive. It’s more a system of healthy lifestyle choices you need to make and stick with to work off your belly fat, get a flatter stomach and develop toned abdominals and obliques.
In this post I’ll outline the 5 essential lifestyle changes that will help reduce body fat, tone your mid section and get stronger abs. Let’s get started.
No More Salty or Fatty Snack Foods:
Without a question the number one contributing thing to our obesity issues over the past years is the huge quantity of fatty and salty snack foods that exist. From snack crackers to potato chips these are empty calories that aren’t adding any real nutritional value to your body. Worse is that many of these calories end up as fat stores in the body, not being burned off.
Cut these empty calories out and instead replace them with fruits and vegetables. I’m not saying you can’t ever again have a potato chip, but everything in moderation. So when you feel the urge for a snack reach for an apple or some carrot sticks. You’ll feel better afterwards and they won’t add to your waist line.
The importance of drinking enough water each day is either over looked or unknown by thousands. When we don’t get enough water our bodies hold onto the water we have. This creates what’s known as “water weight”. This can add 3-5 pounds to your overall body weight and cause you to look bloated.
Start carrying a 750 ml to 1 L water bottle with you everywhere and keep it full. Try your best to drink three of these a day or more. At first you’ll be running to the bathroom frequently, but you’ll feel better. It’s possible you’ve been living life mildly dehydrated and didn’t even know it.
Portions, Portions, Portions:
Beside snack foods the next biggest issue is portion control. Whether it’s around your own kitchen table or at a restaurant portion sizes are out of control. We’re getting two or sometimes three times the calories we need at some meals and it’s not good for us, especially since the majority of these calories are eaten at dinner time which is followed by the time of day we are least active, the evening.
Start using smaller plates, paying attention to suggested portion amounts on the side of product packaging and not going back for seconds. All of these things will help you cut down on your over all portion size and reduce your caloric intake.
The above 3 tips focus on cutting down your calorie intake each day. This can on its own help you lose weight, but it’s not just weight loss we’re after right? We want a flatter stomach and toned abs. To get this we’re going to need to take things to the next level which is burning more calories each day then we usually do just sitting still and going about our daily business.
By burning more calories we can begin to burn more body fat. This is a must if we want our abs to show through on our stomach. Because our belly is one of the most difficult places to get rid of body fat we’ll need to be consistent with our actions for these next two tips.
Get Out and Do Something:
I don’t think anyone is surprised when they hear doctors and fitness experts tell us we should be elevating our heart rate for at least 20 minutes at a time 4 days a week minimum. I’m going to take it one step further and say get out there and do something that gets your heart beating for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.
What sort of activity could you do? Well here’s just a few ideas: jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, playing basket ball etc. There are numerous activities and one thing I can say from experience is that if you’re doing something you enjoy you’re far more likely to stick with it. Look into recreational sport leagues in your home city. These can be a great way to get out and get active and meet new people.
Work Those Abs:
Alright, so some of you might be surprised that working on your core muscles and abs is the last tip on this list. Well it’s because getting stronger abs isn’t hard. You can use an abdominal belt, do crunches or purchase an ab machine. Each of these methods will lead you to stronger and more toned abdominals. Unfortunately if you’re carrying around a bunch of belly fat then you’re abs just aren’t going to shine through, and that’s why I listed the other lifestyle changes before this one.
If you follow the first 4 tips above and then spend time each day or even every second day doing ab focussed exercises such as leg raises, sit-ups, crunches etc. Then you’ll see results in 3-4 weeks in terms of developing stronger abdominals.
As is the case with anything worth doing it takes work to get six pack abs and a fatter stomach, but it isn’t a secret or mystery it’s just about doing the right things consistently.
You’ve still got time to get your body in shape for summer, so what are you waiting for? Start making some changes today!
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