Contrary to what many people believe, doing thousands of sit-ups or crunches all day, every day, will not get you closer to achieving those washboard abs. Yep, you read that right. Both belly bulge and love handles are about excess body fat, NOT lack of muscle. That's why ab exercises alone are not the solution. Scoring a flat stomach is all about workouts that impact different muscle groups at the same time - so you're strengthening your entire body AND burning more calories.
Get ready to start planking - and I don't mean the form of 'planking' that has gone viral. The plank I'm referring to is a powerful move that targets your core abdominal muscles, practices balance, and strengthens your chest and back muscles. This pose is not as easy as it looks or sounds, but trust me, the effects are well worth the extra effort it takes to master this move.
There is nothing to love about love handles, and there's no quick fix solution to getting rid of them. Sorry buddy, but it's true. Targeting "problem areas" is tough because fat is burned systematically across the body according to your own unique genetics. Focusing on one region of the body won't make fat disappear altogether, but there are some exercises that will bring blood, and thus oxygen, to these problem areas and I believe that this oxidization will help break down the fat. For love handles, a major trouble zone for both men and women, try this side-bend stretch. Remember, it's not a magic fix, but it may help to break down the fat that builds up in that area of the body.
(Do this stretch at least three times a day throughout the day.)
First, let's get something straight; all processed foods need to go. Get rid of the potato chips, microwave dinners, and definitely put an end to those fast food fixes. The sodium, preservatives and sugars alone will help keep your belly looking bloated and defeat your efforts. Replace the junk food with whole, quality, organic foods that are packed with healthy nutrients, not preservatives. Then, work these three foods into your diet for maximum belly-fat burn.
Berries are another great fat-fighting food. They have been proven to stop individual fat cells from getting larger and encourage fat cells to release adiponectin, a hormone that helps reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar, and reverse leptin resistance.
I'm not going to tell you to abstain from alcohol completely, I'm pretty open about how much I enjoy a little tequila and organic red wine from time to time. But when you're trying to lose weight and tone up, alcohol is the ultimate enemy. Alcohol releases estrogen into the bloodstream and when you have excess estrogen, you're more prone to hold onto weight. Ever seen a guy with a beer belly? It's the excess estrogen causing that fat and inhibiting muscle growth.
Bloating isn't all in your head. It IS possible to carry extra water weight in your tummy. To beat the bloat, decrease your sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day and increase your water consumption. It's easy to start monitoring your sodium intake by reading food labels. Limiting the amount of sodium you consume will help you reduce your water retention and look leaner in your clothes.