How to Lose Belly Fat Without a Tummy Tuck

Crunches every day help keep belly flab away.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Trying to squeeze into too-tight jeans again, only to reveal the dreaded muffin top? You're so not alone. According to the Mayo Clinic, increases in belly fat are totally common for women, especially as we get older. Scarfing down one too many fries and sugary treats doesn't help, either. The good news? When people lose weight, they tend to lose it from the midsection first. So, while you might be tempted to consider cosmetic surgery, a tummy tuck should be the last resort in your battle of the belly bulge. Creating and sticking to healthy habits can help you lose stubborn tummy fat the right way and keep it off.

1.

Eyeball what you eat to help melt away stubborn belly fat. Swap foods that cause belly bulge--such as red meat, refined foods and trans fats--for healthier fare such as fresh fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean protein from egg whites, lean meat and nuts. Try keeping an online food diary, to see how many calories you take in daily, and reduce that amount over time to help meet your goals.

2.

Get your sweat on! To lose weight and belly fat, you'll need to do some type of moderate exercise for around 60 minutes daily. Good activities to start out with include brisk walking, jogging, hiking or dancing. Find a cardio activity that you actually like doing, then get out there and do it, to help lose that belly.

3.

Challenge your body with more intense workouts after a couple weeks of daily moderate exercise. This way you can spend less time exercising. You can work out for approximately 30 to 45 minutes daily, instead of an hour per day, with harder activities like biking, running or hitting the elliptical machine at the gym.

4.

Strength train at least three times every week, focusing on your abs, to help get rid of a spare tire. Use your own weight for resistance, with exercises like crunches and sit-ups, or try using weight machines or free weights to work out your midsection. For more ideas on which exercises give your abs the best workout, check out workout DVDs, online videos or tutorials on Exercise TV.

5.

Cut down on the stress in your life, to whittle your waist. When you're stressed over school, work or relationship drama, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This and other stress-related hormones have been linked to a spike in appetite and fat build-up around the belly. Manage your stress with calming techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or taking a few moments to yourself to call a friend or go for a walk outside.

6.

Consult a health care provider, if you've been following a healthy diet and exercise regimen for a month or so and still can't shake the belly fat. Your doctor can help get to the root of the problem and come up with a weight loss plan that fits your situation.

Things You'll Need

 

1.Fruit

3.Whole grains

5.Lean protein

7.Gym machines (optional)

9.Health care provider

11.Caffeine-free diet soda

2.Vegetables

4.Low-fat dairy products

6.Food diary

8.Free weights

10.Water

12.Sports drinks

 

Tips & Tricks

 

To get a better grip on stress and weight gain, cut back on trips to the coffee house. Although that iced caramel latte gives you a temporary energy boost, its high levels of sugar and caffeine can increase anxious feelings and lower your overall energy levels. Stick to water, caffeine-free diet sodas and sports drink, for a more reliable boost that won't stress you out.

 

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