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Away with the Belly Fat

8/17 10:45:22
The number one area of concern for men and women with their body is the abdominal area. All the sit-ups in the world won't help. I hear women talk all the time about the 100 plus crunches they do every day yet they still have that abdominal paunch.

For women, this paunch is blamed on childbearing but you'll see it on women who never had children. It is true, the older you get (starting in your early 40's) the harder it gets to keep that belly flat. Menopause can have a dramatic effect on the shape of a woman's body. Men call it their beer belly, but you will also see it on men who don't drink beer. As we age, our body changes and the changes seem to occur every decade.

The good news is there is a solution. Here are a couple suggestions that you can put into practice to start to get results in your journey to flatten your tummy. Exercising your abdominal muscles will make the muscles tighter. Be sure to hold your stomach in while you are performing an abdominal exercise for a greater affect. All the ab exercises in the world won't help you reduce your tummy if you don't burn the fat over the muscles. There is also fat around your internal organs behind your abdominal muscles.

To reduce the fat, combine your abdominal exercise with fat-burning cardiovascular exercise and a calorie burning, total body strength training program. Your cardio exercises should always begin with a 5 minute warm-up. Consist of at least 20 minutes of moderate to intense cardio per session and end with a 5 minute cool-down. Feel free to vary your cardio from walking, jogging, sprinting, and use various different cardio machines including a bike, elliptical trainer, stair stepper, and treadmill.

Exercise all three areas of your abdominal muscles: the upper rectus abdominis, the lower abdominals, and the obliques. Any abdominal exercise chart will define the three different muscle groups. Different exercises will work these three areas. Form, technique and focus are critical to prevent boredom, so mix up the exercises. The ab exercises I do the most is the crunch and reverse crunch. Crunches can also be done on a physioball. I don't believe there is magic to which abdominal exercise is best, variety is always good.

In order to get that flat belly, you also have to pay attention to what you are eating. Here are some healthy eating tips: eat whole foods; avoid sugar, white flours, processed foods, and alcohol.

Your fat consumption should not be greater than 15-20 percent of your total caloric intake per day. I keep my total fat consumption around 15-20 grams per day. Stay away from trans and saturated fats.

Make sure you eat 20 percent of raw vegetables in your daily diet. Every meal should include vegetables. I also recommend avoiding carbohydrates within 2 hours before you go to bed at night.

Drink at least 64 ounces of pure, clean water every day. Avoid carbonated beverages and sodas. I agree with the clique that you are what you eat. I would also add, "You are what you eat and how much you move." This might all sound like a lot of things to change in your diet, but if you make just one of these changes every week, you will soon begin to incorporate healthy eating habits and will be closer to the flat belly and leaner, stronger body.

One caution: if you have back problems or back pain while doing any abdominal exercise, stop immediately and consult your doctor. I highly recommend back strengthening exercise in any exercise program. Your back and abdominal area is the core of your body and needs to be strong for a healthy foundation for all other exercises.
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