6 ways to burn belly fat

6 ways to burn belly fat

Want abs of steel? While planks, twists and crunches will sculpt your abdominal muscles, there are other factors at work. Chiefly, body fat, which can mask your hard work. Think of this simple year-round plan as the rope for the stage curtains.

1. Strength training
Don’t forget to lift! Hit the gym for cardio, but make sure you pick up those weights, too. Strength training for 30 minutes three to four times a week will increase your metabolism and pave the way for your tight, shapely fitness body. This is an essential component for a well-rounded fitness regimen.

2. Maintain balanced nutrition and consistency with your diet
Replace processed, packaged foods with lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and heart healthy fats. Stay consistent and enjoy eating a healthy, balanced diet of whole foods with dedicated training and you will keep those abs year-round.

3. Eat more protein
Include lean protein in your meals. Adding lean protein will help keep you full for longer between meals as well as refuel your muscles post-workout. My favourite choices include whey protein, grilled chicken breast, egg whites, white fish and Greek yoghurt.
Bonus tip: Never skip breakfast, as those who skip breakfast are far more likely to overeat later in the day. I start every morning off with a quick and simple batch of protein pancakes topped with fresh fruit.

4. Pile on the greens!
Adding vegetables that are low in calories and high in fibre at most meals (start by aiming to add vegies to about half of your meals each day) will also help keep you full for longer when coupled with a lean source of protein. Not only will your appetite be satisfied, but you will also have a diet rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.

5. Do HIIT cardio workouts 3 days a week
High intensity interval training (HIIT) allows your body to burn more calories by elevating your metabolism so you lose fat faster (other benefits include increasing your power, speed and endurance). Plus you’ll spend less time on cardio. A typical HIIT workout lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, during which you alternate short, very high intensity intervals with longer, slower intervals to recover. Aim to include HIIT cardio workouts three to four days a week on non-consecutive days.
Bonus tip: Are you new to HIIT? A simple way to tackle intervals is to slowly ease them into your next cardio workout. Jump on the treadmill, elliptical or take a walk outside. Follow this format: for every three minutes of moderate intensity, push yourself to crank up the power and intensity for 30 seconds. Repeat this ‘every three, go for 30’ format until you hit 20 to 30 minutes. You will be burning calories and increasing endurance in no time.
Not quite ready for HIIT workouts? Not to worry – simply include 30 to 45 minutes, three to five days a week, of cardiovascular exercise for results. This can include hitting the elliptical or stair stepper at your gym, going for a walk or run in the park, a hike – you name it; as long as you’re getting your heart rate elevated and breaking a sweat, you will be torching calories and blasting body fat.

6. Have FUN!
If you’re not having fun with your fitness, it’s easy to get off track and lose interest in your workouts. So the idea of walking on the treadmill at the gym bores you to tears? Then don’t do it! Find the activity that you love – hike, hit the gym, join a running club, take up yoga, heck, even try trapeze lessons. As long as you’re having fun with your fitness, you’re much more likely to stay physically active in the longer term.

This article was originally published on Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine

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