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7 Effective Ways To Kick Your Belly Fat Away

7 Effective Ways To Kick Your Belly Fat Away

Look, I know that the title almost sounds too good to be true, as you’ll find a huge number of similar tips online. However, I’m not here to give you unrealistic expectations and sell you my special brand of fat-destroying snake oil, nor am I here to hold your hand and tell you that you should ease into it slowly. I’m a guy that’s been very skinny, bulky, fairly fat and eventually nice and proportional for my height and skeletal structure, so I tend to be a realist.

I’ve also had a number of friends who struggled with weight, and some of them managed to shed anywhere between 45 and 65 pounds, and none of us did it using a dramatically different method than the rest. In fact, all our lifestyle changes were fairly similar, and there was one constant – we all ate healthier foods, consumed less calories overall and trained our butts off.

You have to commit to a radically different lifestyle and have some patience, as belly fat is the last to go for a vast majority of people, and you can’t “target” it. All you can do is follow a few effective guidelines and wait for your body fat percentage to drop low enough for your body to finally start to let go of those last reserves of belly fat.

1. Switch to diet soda and eat fruit when you crave something sweet

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    Cutting calories can be a tricky task, because it’s difficult for most people to gauge portion size and realize just how many calories they are actually consuming. However, one aspect that contributes to at least 1/4 or 1/3 of most people’s daily calories are sugary drinks and candy. By giving these up you can easily drop some 800-1600 calories or even more, depending on how much of it you consume on a daily basis.

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    A 2 litre bottle of Coke or similar drink is about 800 calories, while a 100g bar of chocolate has about 500 calories. As a comparison, diet sodas have zero or close to zero calories, a medium-sized banana has 100 calories, 100g of strawberries have about 33 calories and a medium-sized apple has just under 100 calories. When you feel a need for something sweet, go with some fruit and a handful of nuts, or a bowl of muesli and some milk.

    2. Opt for healthier foods and do your own cooking

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      Here are a couple of facts that you need to keep in mind when losing weight:

      • You will mostly eat foods that are readily available in your home
      • Most of the time, you’ll just eat what’s quick and convenient to prepare

      When we understand these important points we can come up with easy solutions:

      • Fill up your freezer, fridge and pantries with healthy foods
      • Cook for the next few days or the entire week and have your meals ready to go

      Not only will cooking your own food help you stick to a healthier diet, but it will also save you a lot of money. Restaurants and fast food joints are a problem, so instead of eating out you can have a nice dinner at your house from time to time, or go for a walk and have a picnic. You can bring your food to work in plastic containers. This way you won’t be tempted to go with high calorie foods.

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      3. Take the time to stretch and meditate when stressed or fatigued

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        Static stretches should be done after each workout, be it weightlifting or running, but they can also be used whenever you feel a bit agitated. Not only will some 10-15 minutes of stretching help alleviate joint pain and muscle soreness, but it will also help relax your mind. You essentially occupy your mind with the task at hand and forget about your worries for a while.

        End these short stretching bouts with another 10 minutes of slow breathing in a comfortable position, and try to clear your mind and focus on counting every breath – once you get to ten, start over from one, and visualize the numbers appearing on a big white screen as you count. Effective stress management is very important for keeping your body and mind in good health, and will prevent things like emotional eating.

        4. Walk at least 1-2 hours total each day

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          This is the easiest good habit to get into, and it is actually great for both your heart and weight loss. It doesn’t burn much calories compared to running, hitting the heavy bag or circuit training, but since it is much easier you’ll be less likely to skip a session, and won’t mind doing it for a couple of hours at a time.

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          A simple way to get more walking done is to park a little further away, use the stairs more often, take your dog out to the park, go shopping with some friends or just put on an audiobook or some music and make a few circles around the block. A good substitute can be household chores – some 30-60 minutes of vacuuming, dusting and washing dishes will burn enough calories to make a difference.

          5. Do cardio while watching TV

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            Walking is good for your cardiovascular system and shedding a few extra calories, but nothing beats an intense cardio workout where you keep your heart rate elevated for some 10-20 minutes. Running is great and can be fun, but it tends to be a little hard on the joints, and it’s easy to find an excuse not to do it. This is why I would recommend getting an exercise machine and placing it in your living room, so you can get in a quick session while you watch some TV or listen to an audio book.

            As far as home devices go, a rowing machine is an excellent choice, as it takes up little space, doesn’t waste electricity and gets your entire body involved in the movement, particularly the pulling muscles of the back and the abdominals, which most people neglect when training. Just be sure to make certain you’re using it properly, as you can hurt yourself with bad form!

            6. Build a solid strength base

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              Pumping up those muscles a little bit serves several important purposes:

              • It gives you something to show off when the fat comes off
              • The training helps you burn some extra calories
              • The added muscle tone increases the amount of calories you burn when resting

              Building strength will build a good amount of muscle as well, and the more muscle you have the more calories your body will need just to maintain the same weight, so you don’t have to cut your calories too low or go insane with the cardio exercises. It also makes you feel more agile and energetic, which will cause you to move around more throughout the day, burning yet more calories in the process.

              7. Go to bed earlier and get a solid 8 hours of sleep

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                Getting enough sleep will help you reduce stress, improve concentration and allow your body to regulate its complex biochemistry and keep your metabolism high. If you fail to get adequate rest, you will have trouble pushing hard at the gym or staying consistent with your rowing or treadmill sessions. As an additional benefit, the less you stay awake at night, the less cravings you’ll experience – you can’t eat if you’re asleep.

                These are proven methods that can help you cut your calories, improve digestion, burn a good amount of energy and increase your metabolism, all of which are needed to shed that persistent belly fat. It takes commitment and patience to get the results you want, but as long as you don’t make too many mistakes and stay consistent with these new habits, expect to see a sexy flat belly in a few months.

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                Nemanja Manojlovic

                Editor at MyCity Web

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                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                Video Summary

                Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                One Exercise, multiple benefits

                There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                  1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                  Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                  2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                    Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                    Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                    3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                      Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                      4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                        Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                        A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                        A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                        On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                        5. You’ll improve overall balance

                          Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                          6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                            Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                            7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                              Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                              How to hold a plank position

                              1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                              2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                              3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                              4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                              5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                              6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                              7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                              Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                              Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                How to improve your plank time gradually

                                1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                • Prolapse
                                • After prolapse surgery
                                • Pelvic pain conditions
                                • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                • Previous childbirth
                                • Overweight

                                Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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