3 Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat—and Not One of Them is 'Doing More Sit-Ups
January 30, 2020
1.Try adding more strength training to your workouts.
A daily run or Spin class is great for your heart, but cardio workouts alone won't do much for your waist. "You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training," says Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Strength training increases muscle mass, which sets your body up to burn more fat.
"Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle," says Kate Patton, RD, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. Patton recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week.
Dr. Cheskin also agrees strength training is the way to go, as it builds muscle. "When you build muscle, you tend to replace fat with that muscle," he says.
2.Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
If you're among the 30% of Americans who sleep less than six hours a night, here's one simple way to whittle your waistline: catch more Zs. A 16-year study of almost 70,000 women found that those who slept five hours or less a night were 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds than those who slept 7 hours. The National Institutes of Health suggest adults sleep seven to eight hours a night.
A smaller, but more recent study also found that those who slept 4.5 hours a night had higher levels of the brain chemicals that affect appetite and our reward systems, compared to those who slept 8.5 hours. That means they ate more food between meals and were drawn to junk options.
3.Get your hormone levels checked.
If your testosterone levels are high—something that can occur with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)—you might have difficulty losing weight. "If you're an apple shape and overweight, too, it's a good idea to see your doctor," Dr. Kashyap says, since there may also be a chance that you are prediabetic or diabetic. .Dr. Cheskin also men tend to carry more fat in their bellies than women, who typically find more weight around their lower half.