There’s good news and bad news when it comes to blasting belly fat. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
“You can’t spot reduce,” says fitness expert Irene McCormick, “so you can’t just lie on your back and do crunches and make yourself skinny right here.”
Abdominals routinely top the list of body parts people want to target. Unfortunately, most people are going about it the wrong way. “I’m not against crunches,” Irene explains, “I don’t think they’re wrong or bad – they just don’t do what people think they do.”
Old-fashioned “sit-ups” don’t really do much to help you get the lean look you want, and in fact - they can actually have the opposite effect. Irene says instead, we should think of taking a “whole body” approach. “I’d focus on my plank poses and make sure they’re AWESOME!”
And here’s where we get to the good news – there are four simple things you can do to achieve a stronger, flatter stomach. Exercise is number one and Irene says planks are her favorite. There are lots are variations – even pushups make for a fantastic core exercise. Also make sure you’re doing plenty of cardio to burn fat off your midsection, otherwise you’ll never be able to see the results of those planks!
Second - face the fact that diet just as important as exercise. “Abs are made in the kitchen,” Irene says as we groan, “abs are made in the kitchen. The food you eat is directly related to the way your abs look. It’s the food you eat and the stuff you drink.” Ditch soda and alcohol and add more fiber and Irene says you’ll see a difference in just a few weeks.
Something else that will make a huge difference is sleep! One study shows that people who get six-to-seven hours of shut-eye a night gain less fat over five years than those who sleep five hours or less.
The fourth factor is something that may be the hardest to control – stress. It causes us to make bad choices and research shows it also causes our bodies to bulk up around the middle. Working out is a great way to cope … and beat the bloat. “Exercise is the perfect stress reducer,” says Irene, “plus…if you do abdominal training, you don’t have to do it every day if you do it right!”
Irene is a personal trainer, an international presenter, author, and 25-year fitness veteran. If you’re interested in contacting her, visit her website: http://www.irenemccormick.com/