Is belly fat in your upper abdominal area stressing you out?
Getting rid of upper belly fat can be pretty frustrating, mainly when you have done lots of exercises, but there is nothing to show for it.
Planks and crunches are some of the best exercises to burn upper belly fat. However, doing them alone will not give you your desired toned upper abdominal section.
These exercises usually build and strengthen the muscles around that area, but you need other tactics to get rid of the fats surrounding those muscles.
To get rid of the upper belly fat, you need to understand its causes. Some of the reasons include a poor diet, poor execution of exercises, stress, hormonal imbalance.
A healthy diet, exercising, and embracing healthy lifestyle habits will help you burn fats in your upper belly. Read on to discover how.
Getting rid of upper belly fat is a combination of several factors which have to do with your diet, exercising, and lifestyle.
Diet to get rid of upper belly fat
1) Create a caloric deficit
You need to understand that accumulation of fats in the body is a result of consuming more calories than the body burns daily.
When calories are in excess, they are usually converted into fats stored in the belly area.
If you want to burn fats in the upper belly area, you must reduce the calories you are consuming; this is known as a caloric deficit.
It is recommended to reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 calories. For best results, you need to exercises to increase the metabolism of your body and burn fats.
2) Drink more water
Often, the impact of water on cutting fats is underrated. However, water is essential if you want to have a slimmer upper belly section.
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. It can therefore help you greatly to avoid eating lots of food than you should. It also allows you to card unnecessary snacking.
Another benefit of water is burning fat is that it increases the burning of calories. Drinking cold water makes the body use up more energy, heating it.
Water also helps to refresh the body by aiding in waste removal.
Too much waste accumulation in the body can cause bloating and make you seem like you have added extra pounds in your belly area.
3) Eat more proteins and fiber
Besides building muscle tissues in the body, proteins also play a vital role in helping burn the upper belly fat.
First, proteins give a satiating effect whereby after consuming them, you will feel satisfied and full for more extended periods.
As a result, you will not keep on snacking unnecessarily or eating more foods than you should.
Proteins also increase your body's metabolism, enabling you to burn more calories even when you are resting. It is recommended to consume 25g of proteins in every meal.
The best protein sources to include in your diet are legumes, fish, lean meats, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
4) Increase vegetable intakes
Vegetables contain high amounts of fiber that is necessary for cutting upper belly fat.
Consuming foods containing a lot of fiber gives you a more filling effect than consuming those with low fiber content.
You will therefore be able to consume fewer amounts of foods, reducing your caloric intake.
Fiber also aids in eliminating constipation, preventing bloating.
Cauliflower, broccoli, kale, green peas, spinach, mushrooms, chilies, carrots, and asparagus are excellent fiber sources.
5) Avoid overeating carbohydrates and sugar
Carbohydrates like white bread, cakes and pasta, and sugar contribute significantly towards the accumulation of fats in your upper belly.
They contain a lot of empty calories and have very few nutrients that are needed in your body.
When consumed in large amounts, they make your blood sugar spike, and you will feel hungry within a short time, meaning that you will eat more and increase calories in your body.
Too much sugar consumption also causes insulin resistance, which leads to the accumulation of fats in your upper belly.
Eat fewer processed, sweetened foods and carbohydrates; eat more healthy foods like whole grains, proteins, and vegetables.
6) Reduce consumption of salt
Too much salt in your body can make it hard for you to burn upper belly fat.
Salt leads to water retention and bloating, which could hinder the loss of fats in your upper belly.
Exercises to help get rid of upper belly fat
Here are some exercises that can help you tone your upper belly and have a slimmer waist.
1) Russian twists
Russian twists help to burn fat and tone the upper belly section.
Here is how to do Russian twists;
- Sit on a mat, bend your knees and lift your feet off the ground
- Position yourself 45 degrees from the floor, pressing your butt on the floor
- Keeping your hands together, move your torso from one side to the other
- While at it, ensure to keep your abs tight and squeezed in
If you are a beginner, you can do ten repetitions of one minute each.
To learn more about Russian twists, watch this tutorial.
2) Side planks
Side planks also help to get rid of upper belly fat.
Here is how to do side planks;
- Lay flat on one side with your arm resting on the ground
- Position your legs at 45 degrees from the floor and keep your legs together
- Move your body up and down to the floor while lifting the other arm upwards
When doing side planks, you can hold the position for 1 minute and repeat that ten times. You can also move your body up and down severally.
Here is an excellent tutorial that will help you do side planks well.
3) Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are also excellent for burning upper belly fat.
Here is how to do mountain climbers;
- Get on your mat and hold the floor with your hands perpendicular to your shoulders
- Assume a plank position
- Move your legs towards your chest
- Keep alternating the movements from one leg to another.
You can do four sets of mountain climbers for one minute each.
Here is a tutorial on how to execute this exercise.
4) Yoga boat pose
Boat pose is an outstanding yoga exercise that helps in getting rid of the upper belly fat.
Follow these steps to execute a proper boat pose;
- Sit on a mat and extend your legs forward
- Lift your feet off the ground and bend your knees
- Extend your arms forward and stretch your legs in front of you as much as you can
- Hold that position for 3o seconds and return to your original position.
You should avoid this pose if you have back pain, are pregnant or have a neck injury.
Watch this video to learn more about the boat pose.
Lifestyle changes to get rid of upper belly fat
1) Get more sleep
Sleep is essential when you want to cut fats in your upper belly.
When you are sleep deprived, a hunger hormone known as ghrelin is released, and it informs that brain that you are hungry.
You might therefore end up eating more food than you should.
Sleep deprivation also affects your resting metabolic rate by making it slow. Your body might not burn the required number of calories when you are at rest.
Adequate sleep also enhances your physical activities enabling you to burn more fats and have a slimmer upper belly.
2) Avoid too much stress
You cannot altogether avoid stress. However, if you want to lose weight and burn more fats in your belly, you need to learn how to cope with stress.
Stress can increase the accumulation of fats in your belly. When you are overly stressed, the adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol increases your appetite such that you might end up eating a lot of food than you should; frequently unhealthy foods.
This hormone worsens the situation because it causes the fat to remain and be stored in the belly.
To cope with stress, exercise, meditate or seek medical help.
3) Become more active
If you want to lose upper belly fat, you need to embrace an active lifestyle. Being dynamic increases the metabolism of your body; thus, more calories are burned.
Avoid sitting down for long periods. Instead of taking a bus or a lift, walk to your destination and use the stairs respectively.
Simple things like walking and jogging will help you have a flatter tummy.
Getting rid of the upper belly fat can be quite a challenge.
However, embracing a proper diet, a healthy lifestyle, and exercising can help you get a flatter upper belly fast.
Remember, you do not need to be hard on yourself. Getting a completely flat belly takes some time and a lot of hard work.
If you feel overwhelmed during your weight loss journey, you can seek the help of a personal trainer.