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The majority of people wanting to tone up will cite their stomach as one of the main problem areas – it’s generally one of the first places excess weight goes. So, if you’re trying to shift the bulge before the summer hits, you’ll no doubt want an easy way to do it. Beyond simply helping you to look better on the beach, losing the excess weight around your middle will also help you stay healthier – abdominal fat has been connected to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes. The fat in your stomach puts pressure on your pancreas, which can lead to health problems, so it’s important to keep it down if possible. Here are some ways you can minimise your stomach fat.
Limiting your intake of starch and sugars helps you to maintain a flat stomach. Processed foods such as white rice, bread and flour all fall into this category, alongside the regular offenders such as baked goods and sugary treats. You can replace these with wholemeal alternatives and brown rice, which will reduce the bloat. Cutting your portion sizes will also help you to maintain a healthy weight. We often overeat by serving up large portions and feeling the need to eat them all. If you want to lose around one pound a week, you need to cut back on 500 calories each day – serving smaller portions will help with this.
Exercise will obviously play a part in your new regime, so opt for exercise which burn the extra fat and increase muscle. Doing masses of crunches each day won’t lead you to a flat stomach, as it will simply create a toned muscle beneath a layer of fat. Cardiovascular and strength-training exercises are best, as these combine muscle building with fat burning effects. Stress has also been linked to overeating, as it increases the levels of cortisol in the body. Getting plenty of sleep and relaxation will help with this, as will exercise. Lastly, try to cut back on the alcohol as this causes excess fat and bloating – try to drink six to eight glasses of water each day, though, to stay hydrated.