Everyone has a certain amount of belly fat but it can be reduced for aesthetic reasons and also for your health. Carrying a lot of weight around your midsection can point towards diseases like heart disease so it’s important to pay attention to it. Visceral fat is the kind that you can’t see which forms deeper in the body, and that is the kind that you do not want to develop in abdomen.
Even if you are thin you can still store excess fat in the midsection. This is more likely to occur if you don’t exercise, so no matter how skinny you look it is important for your health to keep up with a fitness routine. Healthy eating plays a huge part too. That being said, if you are trying to tone your midsection you will probably need to lose some subcutaneous fat as well. (Which is the kind that you can see.)
The good news about dieting to tone the stomach area is that the fat in that area usually reasons pretty quickly to change and can begin to burn off faster than other areas of the body. Some research has shown that people who increase their intake of fiber have lower levels of fat on the body.
Keeping your stress levels down and getting enough sleep are some more important things you can do to try and control the levels of fat in your midsection. Both stress and fatigue can cause the body to release cortisol, which is the stress hormone. It causes aggravation in the body, which keeps the stress levels up even higher and can cause anxiety and even food cravings. When the cortisol levels in the body are raised it can lead to an increase of fat formation specifically in the abdomen.
Keep healthy fats playing a role in your diet. Monounsaturated fats keep you feeling full longer and they also might help you lose a bit of weight simply by eating them as opposed to eating something like carbohydrates.
To see definition in the abdominal area you will have to add some ab specific exercises. Cardio is important to burn the fat that you have covering your ab muscles, and then specifically working the muscles will help them become more pronounced. You don’t have to stick with just sit-ups and crunches either. Holding planks are a really great way to work the abs and get a different perspective, and using things like medicine balls to work the abs add in a powerful resistance element that you don’t have just doing a crunch on your back.
If you don’t see a change in your muscles when you regularly start incorporating strength training exercises, you might need to increase your protein consumption. Don’t worry if you seem to gain a couple pounds as you middle thins out, because muscle is denser that fat and burns more calories at rest. You might have more muscle mass than you had fat mass, but the overall effect is a leaner one.