[By Cynthia Lenore]
A jelly belly along with a pair of thunder thighs rank high up as one of the commonest beauty banes affecting plenty of women wanting to look good in a bathing suit at the height of summer. It is basically a gathering of abdominal flab that makes the belly look soft, jiggly and unfit. A jelly belly can be embarrassing, but more important it can also affect your health. A large belly indicates a dangerous amount of visceral fat, which can amass between the internal organs and lead to hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance, causing Type 2 Diabetes. It can also cause high cholesterol and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases significantly. For you to quickly lose this self-esteem lowering and medically undesirable feature, you need to be very focused and willing to make dramatic changes to both your diet and exercise habits. If you can put your heart to it and engage in these 5 suggested tips, the journey may be tough, but the results are ultimately rewarding.
Limit your calories
Your diet is the cornerstone to your fat busting success. As a rough guide, you should work within 500 calories a day, keeping your diet clean and high in nutrients obtained from vegetables, fruits, lean meat, fish and whole grains. Especially late night eating, this is one of the commonest dietary pitfalls contributing to a wobbly belly. If you are overeating at night, your body will not have time to burn off the calories consumed and naturally turn them to storage fats. If you are experiencing hunger pangs past 8pm, reach out for some veggies or a handful of nuts and skip the chips and cookies. Snacks that are high in fat, sodium and refined sugar might satisfy your late night cravings but will make you wake up the next day feeling bloated, uncomfortable and anything but lean and sexy.
Watch your liquids
Liquid calories are common saboteurs of a healthy diet and add up quickly without you realizing. If you are quick to reach for a sports drink after your workout and have 2 to 3 servings of fruit juices throughout the day, the rollercoaster ride of energy is not going to benefit your waistline in the right direction. The occasional glass of wine is fine but a regular routine of drinking could easily backfire any belly losing tricks. Switch to water with lemon or have a cuppa of Sloane Inc. Detox Tea. This sugar-free, low-calorie all-natural drink amps up your metabolism to burn fat faster while helping to flush out toxins at the same time. Composed of antioxidant-rich green tea, white tea, guarana and ginseng, and infused with two proprietary vitamin, herb and mineral blends to help detox your system, this beverage helps alleviate bloating and get you back to your derriere hugging skinny jeans in double quick time!
Engage in circuit training
You have been huffing and puffing, clocking endless hours of cardio between the treadmill, elliptical machine and stationary bike and yet your belly is still not as flat as you want it to be. While performing 60 to 90 minutes of cardio at least 4 days a week at moderate to high intensity loses calories, the burning stops once the workout is over. In contrast, lifting weights burn calories during your workout session and continue to do so up to 48 hours post lifting. This is because weights training results in micro-tears in your muscle fibres and calories are used up in their natural healing.
Circuit training which combines weights with cardio is the perfect solution for your trouble bubble. Consisting of back to back exercises performed with short rest breaks in between and repeated several times, this type of training fires your metabolism and convert your body into a mean fat burning machine. Engage in exercises like push-ups, lateral raises, dips, biceps curls, lunges and squats, either in the gym or modified within the comforts of a home setting.
Clock in quality sleep
Watching movie re-runs and back to back episodes of sitcom marathon deep into the night can cause you to wake up sleep deprived, hungry and cranky.
Sleep deprivation causes the release of ghrelin, a hormone which is an appetite stimulator, and explains the ravenous hunger the following day when you fail to clock in a good 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Get round this by recording your favourite shows and watching them another day so as not to compromise your beauty sleep. Start your day refresh and you will be more likely to stick to your exercise regime and healthy meal plan, in your quest for a strong core and lean abs!
Strength-training exercises can improve muscle definition for a leaner look so pay attention to your sit-ups and crunches to tone up those abdominal muscles for a tight tummy. Unfortunately, this workout tip does not work magic for everyone, especially ladies who had gone through a pregnancy or two.
“As a result of pregnancy, part of the jelly belly is contributed by fats while part of it is due to excess skin which remains loose and hanging despite the best of fat loss measures.” Explains Dr. Tan Ying Chien, consultant plastic surgeon with The Sloane Clinic. “While surgical Abdominoplasty or Tummy tuck remains the gold standard of treatment for moderate to severely affected tummies, non-surgical skin tightening procedures such as the FDA approved Thermage Abdomen has been gaining weightage as a viable option for milder cases or those not keen or unsuitable for surgical intervention.”
Unlike other more superficial treatments, Thermage uses a patented monopolar radiofrequency technology to cause deep volumetric heating of the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, while the surface skin is simultaneously cooled for protection and comfort. Deep tissue heating tightens existing collagen and stimulates skin’s natural renewal of new collagen, leading to tightening of stretched skin and even improvement to the appearance of any accompanying cellulite! Now who’s afraid of cropped tops and low slung jeans?