Most adults struggle with belly weight gain. From new moms to those who just like to eat, there are millions of people wishing they could tone their tummies and hide their stretch marks. Tightening up your stomach can be difficult and time consuming—especially after pregnancy and childbirth--but it can be done. Not everyone can achieve six-pack abs, but most people can firm up the fat around their middles over time with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet and Cut Empty Calories
Eating a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, beans and essential fats will help you shape up. If you need to lose weight, avoid refined sugars and processed carbohydrates in sweets, potato chips, French fries, white bread, soft drinks, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. They all contain empty calories that could end up stored as fat around your middle.
Eat Smaller Portions
Decrease your daily food intake if you are overweight or obese. Eating smaller portions of healthy foods is an effective way to shrink your stomach.
Avoid Late Night Snacks
Another effective diet tip for losing belly weight is to eat dinner early. Don’t eat too much before you go to bed because late-night snacks do not get burned off before you go to sleep. Instead of being used as energy, the extra calories just add more unwanted fat to your stomach.
If you do feel like you need something to eat or drink to help you sleep, try herbal tea with a small amount of low-fat or nonfat milk.
Exercise Regularly To Burn Calories
Aerobic exercises and cardio workouts effectively burn calories that increase your belly size. The more calories you burn and the fewer calories you consume, the smaller your stomach will be. 40-minute cardio workouts three times a week will help you lose weight and shape up. Pilates exercises are especially beneficial for sculpting and toning up your entire body, including your mid-section. If you are interested in a specific form of Pilates, designed to help you lose weight and belly fat while you gain lean muscle, Winsor Pilates are recommended. You can take Pilates classes at most health clubs and Pilates studios.
Work Out Your Abs
After your cardio workouts, as well as every morning or evening, spend a few extra minutes doing abdominal exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, pelvic thrusts and leg lifts. 25 sit ups twice a day will strengthen your abdominal muscles and result in a flatter, firmer stomach.
Flatter Abs Take Time
Don’t expect to achieve muscular abdominals overnight. Flattening, strengthening and toning abdominal muscles can take several weeks or months. Your diet and workout routine will need to be consistent in order to be effective, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice immediate results.
Stick with your diet and exercise program, and you will be successful over time. Once you lose your belly fat, continue with your regular exercise and balanced diet to keep your stomach firm.