Believe it or not, you can get the body you want – at any age!
Ready to lose lower belly fat? Unfortunately, endless sit-ups aren’t the answer.
The reason? You can’t spot-reduce belly fat. If you want to lose fat, you have to lose it all over.
Getting rid of stubborn belly fat and sculpting the muscles underneath requires a healthy diet and ramping up your workouts.
Here are nine helpful lifestyle and exercise tips from experts to help get rid of that annoying lower belly fat.
1. Get Active!
To lose weight all over, you have to shed your “extra layer” of visceral fat to see the muscles underneath. That’s where cardio comes in!
The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, including anything from jogging, jumping rope, cycling, or a spin class.
Walking is also a great option! There are so many benefits from regular walking, including:
- It burns calories: A power walk can burn anywhere from 200 to 400 calories per hour or more, depending on the speed.
- It can ease knee pain from osteoarthritis.
- It can protect your heart: Research shows walking can lower your risk of cardiovascular events like a heart attack or stroke.
- It can help prevent varicose veins.
- It helps improve your immune system.
- It can lower your blood pressure.
The bottom line? Whether you enjoy running, walking, or dancing, there is no “right” way to raise your heart rate, so pick what you like to do!
2. Try HIIT Workouts
If you are willing to try High-Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT), it’s a top choice for anyone looking to get rid of belly fat. HIIT helps you burn more fat and calories in less time!
HIIT exercises require maximum effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. HIIT workouts include some of the best exercises to train and condition your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.
Consider HIIT your intense workouts, which you only need two to three times a week. Combine them with low-intensity exercise to maximize weight loss!
3. Incorporate Ab-Targeting Exercises
While you can’t spot-reduce fat in any area of your body, you can absolutely work to tone (or spot-sculpt) specific areas (especially your abs) by using strength training and toning exercises.
Core exercises and lower ab workouts will strengthen and tighten your abs and promote healthy aging. Strong core muscles are important for better balance and most daily activities.
If you’re not sure how to get started, check out some of our best lower-ab exercises that target unwanted belly fat!
4. Create a Calorie Deficit
It’s fairly straightforward: If you want to lose excess fat and get rid of that lower belly pooch fast, you need to burn more calories than you take in. This is what is referred to as a “calorie deficit.”
In addition to exercise, you also need to maintain a balanced diet, cut down on processed foods (such as frozen meals, deli meats, chips, cookies, etc.), and watch your liquid calorie intake (like alcohol, tea, and soda).
Journaling about your food intake will help you understand what you’re eating and the calories in each meal. If a journal isn’t your thing, try an app like MyFitnessPal.
5. Boose Your Protein and Fiber Intake
Fiber has a wide range of benefits, including helping you lose weight. Some types of fiber slow the absorption of nutrients, allowing you to feel full longer, which helps you consume fewer calories throughout the day.
Foods high in fiber include fruits (raspberries, bananas, avocados, and pears), veggies (peas, broccoli, and turnip greens), grains (whole wheat pasta and quinoa), and legumes (lentils and black beans).
Protein is made up of amino acids and helps feed and repair our muscles; however, it’s where you are getting your protein that matters most! Try good protein sources such as fish, poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy, leafy greens, broccoli, and asparagus.
6. Reduce Sugar and Refined Carbs
To maximize weight loss, especially in your lower belly, you should significantly limit or eliminate added sugars and refined carbohydrates (or “empty” calories).
Foods high in refined carbs include white flour and bread, pastries, cookies, cakes, donuts, muffins, breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes, white rice, and pizza dough.
Added sugars like those in sugary drinks (such as soda and juice), processed meals, fast food, and candy increase your hunger and desire for more sugar, neither of which makes weight loss easier! Try sticking to the natural sugar found in fruits, veggies, and dairy products.
7. Stay Hydrated
Water has plenty of benefits, including maintaining a healthy weight, aiding digestion (thus reducing belly bloat), improving energy, and reducing hunger.
Moreover, in a living, moving body, skeletal muscle is 75 to 80 percent water. In order to put healthy muscle on your body, drinking water is necessary!
On average, you should be drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. If you exercise regularly, add another glass or two to that.
8. Focus on Stress Management
Although it’s not necessarily the first step in reducing belly fat, chronic stress can certainly be counterproductive to weight loss. Research suggests a correlation between high cortisol levels (also known as the stress hormone) and increased abdominal fat.
Some ways to help manage stress include meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, self-care, therapy, and exercise.
9. Prioritize Sleep
You may not think sleep is connected to your weight loss journey, but research shows otherwise!
A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that when dieters got a full night’s sleep, more than half of their weight loss was fat, as opposed to sleep-deprived dieters whose fat loss only accounted for one-fourth of their total weight loss.
Adults should regularly get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep to stay healthy, alert, and energized.
The Beginner Strength Training Guide for Women
Starting a strength training routine can be intimidating and confusing. Walk onto any weight floor in the gym, and it seems everyone there has a plan and knows what they’re doing but you!
Of course, the truth is that everyone had to start as a beginner at one time. That’s why we created this beginner strength training guide for women.
Balance Exercises for Seniors: Tips (& Video!) To Improve Balance
According to the CDC, injuries from falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for Americans 65 and older. One of the main risk factors for falling is poor balance.
Luckily, we have pulled together exercises you can do to help reduce the risk of taking a fall. At the end of the day, balance is a big part of graceful aging and being independent.
HIIT For Beginners
HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training) can improve your cardiovascular fitness while helping you build lean muscle and burn fat.
As a personal trainer for decades, I have recommended this type of workout to so many people and currently include it in my own workout routine — because HIIT exercises work to burn fat, fast!
Here’s your guide for getting started.