Thin people as well as overweight people can have too much belly fat.

How to Lose Belly Fat & Tighten Abs Easily

by Mary Marcia Brown

Belly fat is often unattractive, uncomfortable and unwanted. It also poses more of a health risk than other types of fat. Scientists have linked excess belly fat to an increased likelihood of developing any number of serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. You can lose your belly fat and begin to tone your abs immediately by doing a few simple practices.

Exercise, Eat Well, Get Sufficient Sleep and Reduce Stress

Incorporate both calorie-burning and strength-building exercises into your daily routine. Intense cardiovascular exercises like running or jumping rope burn calories and fat. If you are not yet physically fit enough to run or jump rope, start by walking briskly or jogging three to five days each week for 30 minutes to an hour. Spend an additional five to ten minutes toning your abdominal muscles with strength-building exercises like crunches.

While spot-reduction is a myth and exercise alone will not allow you to lose weight in just one area, doing exercises that target the abdominal muscles will strengthen them. To perform a crunch, lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, place your fingertips behind your head and lift your head and shoulder blades off of the floor by engaging your abdominal muscles.

Make smart food choices throughout the day. Eat more fruits and vegetables, because they are high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Choose foods that are not salty, because salt makes you retain water, making you look and feel bloated. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day to help flush out your system. .

Burn calories. A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. To lose a pound per week, burn an extra 500 calories every day by doing cardiovascular exercise

Go to bed early enough to sleep seven to eight hours each night. When you consistently get eight hours of sleep, you are better able to focus and you have more energy. When you get adequate sleep, your fat cells properly respond to insulin, so there is a healthy balance between fat storage and use.

Limit stress in your life. When you stress, your body creates a hormone called cortisol, which is produced to help you respond physically to stress. However, a direct link also exists between cortisol production and belly fat.

About the Author

Mary Marcia Brown has worked in the health and fitness industry for more than 15 years. A writer and runner with road race directorship experience, Brown has been published in "Running Journal," "Florida Running & Triathlon" and "Outreach NC."

Photo Credits

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