It's not that slice of cheesecake that goes straight to your belly bulge. It's the couch lounging.
In a recent study, one group of overweight people lost significant amounts of belly fat over 8 months, while another group gained more belly bulge. Yet both groups ate about 2,000 calories a day. The difference? Exercise. The losers exercised about 3 hours a week.
A Little or a Lot...But not just any form of exercise will do. It was high-intensity cardio that helped the overweight exercisers carve out their middles. If you can't commit to 3 hours, know this: Working out less frequently -- and at a more moderate pace -- is also an option. A third group that took this approach didn't lose any belly fat; they didn't gain any, either. A decent accomplishment, considering they also downed about 2,000 calories daily. (Keep your portions under control with this easy-to-use formula.)
Get the Most from Both...So the take-home message is that even a little exercise helps keep your middle mini. And just imagine what you could do if you cut back on calories, too? Truth be told, not only would your jeans fit better, but also you'd reduce your risk of health problems like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. So start whittling your middle with these surgery-free tummy-tucking tools:
- Don't just wing it. Make a plan. Here's a step-by-step belly buster designed by the YOU Docs.
- Take the easy road. Walking is a great way to burn fat. And this video helps you do it in the comfort of your own home.
- Reward yourself. Give yourself a gold star when you stick to the plan. Use this tracking tool to set your waist loss goal and reward yourself for each accomplishment.
- Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine. Here's why it's important.
ReferencesInactivity, exercise, and visceral fat. STRRIDE: a randomized, controlled study of exercise intensity and amount. Slentz, C. A. et al., Journal of Applied Physiology 2005 Oct;99(4):1613-1618.