With our agendas compiling more and more plans that involve swimwear, many of us are trying to tighten up our waistline for an added confidence boost when we hit the beach or the pool. And then again, some of us just want a flatter belly, regardless of season! It's a reasonable and totally attainable goal to have, so let's break down a few ways to get there, feel confident, and love our bodies even more when we strip down to a swimsuit.
- Strength Train: It's scientifically proven that lifting weights can help eliminate fat overall, which in turn can result in a slimmer tummy and more trim waistline. Nicole Aurigemma, M.S. physiology at the Women's Health and Exercise Lab at Penn State, told POPSUGAR that fat oxidation and fat loss happen quickly, "even after just one gym session."
- HIIT It: Studies have shown that interval training can lead to more fat loss, specifically in the belly region. This comes down to the afterburn effect — HIIT workouts trigger your body to burn calories even when the workout is over. Whether you're running, doing a circuit workout, or on the Spin bike, make sure you're playing with high intensity and low intensity intervals.
- De-stress: Stress increases cortisol, and higher cortisol levels can cause your body to retain belly fat.
- Don't Skip Your Cooldown: in addition to stress, exercise can increase your cortisol levels. By properly cooling down after your workout, trainer Caroline Jordan told POPSUGAR excess cortisol will decrease; so leave the gym a few minutes later, knowing that you're not fighting against your weight-loss goals.
- Eat Right: You can't work off a bad diet — and you've heard it sooo many times: abs are made in the kitchen. One suggestion is to create a caloric deficit to lower your body fat percentage overall — but make sure you're eating healthy, nutritious calories! Not all calories are created equal — avoid processed foods and try to opt for whole, natural foods.
- Go For Belly-Fat-Fighting Foods: Speaking of which, you can strategically add belly-fat fighting foods like blueberries, pineapple, and papaya — even oatmeal and salmon! — to your diet.
- Just Own It: You don't need to change anything about your body. While these tips are great for living healthier, there's absolutely nothing wrong with carrying a little extra weight around your midsection. Own your "Belly Jelly" and live your best life.