Myth – Sit-ups and isolated stomach exercise will lose belly fat or spot reduce fat in the abdominal area.
Fact – The best way to reduce belly fat is through clever nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle factors, and training.
Sounds simple enough, but it’s easier said than done! In this article, Sally Matterson breaks down what she believes to be the 5 top flat stomach solutions we should implement into our lifestyle if we want to beat the belly bulge!
1. Perform compound or multi-joint exercises
The best exercises we can do to reduce fat in this area are what we call compound exercises. These are defined as exercises that require the use of many joints or multi-joint exercises, for example, a squat is the perfect belly fat reducing exercise as you are using the entire body to lift and therefore your fat-burning potential becomes greater.
Another example would be a chin-up or assisted chin-up. It uses the entire upper body and because we are using our abdominals so much during compound exercises we are essentially contributing to strengthening the mid-section at the same time. So once the fat is gone from the belly your nicely developed tummy will be revealed from all your compound exercises.
These compound exercises will also contribute to a leaner more toned body. When we have more lean muscle we burn more fat at rest and whilst training. If belly fat is your area of concern then having a better muscle to fat ratio will help you keep that pesky midsection away for good!
2. Control the hormone insulin
Nutrition is without a doubt responsible for either keeping fat on the belly or stripping it away. Research shows that fat production occurs, particularly around the mid-section, when we over-consume sugar. When we over-consume sugar the hormone insulin secretes from the pancreas and as a result rather than insulin doing its job (which is to transport energy to our muscles) it stores as fat around the mid-section, especially around the love handle area. Reduce nasty sugars from the diet like bread and pasta and you will see an improvement in this area within a few days.
3. Add fish oil to further improve insulin resistance
To help improve our insulin response to sugar or more simply put; to help the body produce less insulin and metabolise sugar and carbs better, the introduction of good Omega-3 fats are essential.
Up to 10gms per day of Omega 3’s are recommended to help reduce belly fat. What it does is increase the amount of insulin receptor sites in the body. In other words, when you eat and drink sugar, and this includes alcohol, it is less likely to hang over your skinny jeans and that look isn’t too cute right?
Make sure your Omega 3’s are EPA in dominance and pharmaceutical grade which means they will be of the highest quality, mercury tested and the best for helping combat belly fat.
4. Control the hormone cortisol
Did you know stress can contribute to belly fat! True story.
Another nasty hormone when secreted in high doses can cause fat to store around the umbilical area. This hormone is called cortisol. It secretes when we stress, get anxious, and have broken sleep and when we have emotional issues like a break up or moving house.
The best way to reduce stress and combat cortisol production is to relax! Easier said than done right?
5. Add magnesium to help combat cortisol
If you find it hard to wind down after a long day’s work the mineral magnesium can help reduce anxiety and promote better sleep. It blocks cortisol production and therefore can help reduce belly fat, in particular, the lower belly or the umbilical. Up to 4gms of magnesium a day is recommended to promote belly fat loss.
Make sure you purchase pharmaceutical-grade chelated magnesium as it absorbs faster and more effectively into the bloodstream.
With this new information, you can STOP counting calories and STOP pounding the pavement! Train smarter not harder for the best results and that flat belly will be yours come Summertime!
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