Battling lower belly fat? You’re not alone. This is one of the most common trouble spots for both men and women. It’s naturally the first place many people accumulate fat and often the last place it comes off of when you’re leaning up. Lower belly fat is particularly tricky because there isn’t a lot of muscle mass in the lower abdomen to help make the area look firm and it’s also one of the places most affected by the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to adding fat directly to your lower abdomen. To get rid of the extra flub that has decided to camp beneath your belly button, you don’t just need to try to out-work it; you need to out-smart it. Here are three things that you can do to outsmart the bulge and get rid of it for good.
1. Add direct lower abdominal exercises to your workout routine.
One of the best ways to make an area look and feel more firm is to strengthen the lean muscle in the area. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be spot reducing the fat; that’s unfortunately not possible. But you will be adding firm lean muscle mass to the area, which will help the area appear tighter. Add these three movements to your workout plan today. I suggest performing all three, three times per week for four weeks, to have noticeable results.
- Weighted Leg Lifts – three sets of 12
- Flutter Kicks – three rounds of 30-60 seconds
- Reverse Crunch – three rounds of 10-30 reps
2. Sleep Seven to Eight Hours per night
Doesn’t get much easier than that! Yes, you need to sleep at night; your trainer said so. Cortisol is one of the biggest factors for stubborn lower belly fat. Getting enough sleep at night is one of the best things you can do to get your cortisol levels under control. Other ways you can get your cortisol levels down are by taking walks outside, laughing more, reducing stress in your lifestyle or workplace, and consuming healthy cortisol fighting fats like olive oil, raw almonds, avocado, and coconut oil.
Nothing burns more fat in less time than High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This can be done on your favorite piece of cardio equipment, though I personally recommend the spin bike because it’s the safest for sprinting. Warm up for five minutes, then repeat the following pattern four to eight times: 15 second all-out sprint, followed by a 45 second cruise. That will take a whopping four to eight minutes and will have your metabolism boosted for the next 48 hours. If you don’t like interval cardio then steady state cardio or endurance cardio is also effective at burning fat and lowering cortisol levels, but just more time-consuming. Bottom line: sometimes you just need to move more!