Top 5 Ways to Shed Belly Fat

Flat abs are in demand. Watch any late night infomercial and you'll be bombarded with all sorts of gadgets, diet programs or detox programs that promise six-pack abs in record time. I can't tell you how many people ask me the best ways to shed belly fat. One person told me, "I do 500 crunches every night." I thought to myself, "Why would anyone do 500 crunches ever?" Remember, when it comes to flat abs, you have to focus on quality not quantity. In other words, less is more. Even more important is your overall strategy which leads me to my top 5 ways to shed that belly fat: 1. Strength train regularly. According to the American Council on Exercise, for each decade after 25, 3 to 5% of muscle mass is loss. So, if you're not strength training regularly, 2-3 times per week, you'll lose the ability to burn fat at rest. That's when the belly fat starts to show up. Strength training is mandatory to getting and maintaining a sculpted mid-section.

2. Avoid skipping meals. I talk to so many women who skip meals, especially breakfast. Research confirms that eating breakfast is the most important part of the day. It "revs" up your engine and prevents you from overeating or stress eating later in the day. Remember, skipping meals will more harm than good to your belly fat so, don't do it!

3. Sleep at least 6-9 hours every night. Studies show that sleeping less than 5 hours every night can wreak havoc on your metabolic rate. At night your body releases fat fighting hormones but only after you've slept for 6 hours. So, stop working, and make yourself get the needed body needs to shed fat.

4. Reduce stress levels which contribute to abdominal fat. Cortisol is the known culprit that promotes body fat especially around the belly. According to Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Fat Fight After Forty, stress is greatest during the hours of 3PM-6PM. For many moms, it is crucial to keep those stress levels at a minimum in order to get rid of our belly fat for good.

5. Perform high intensity training on a regular basis. This is a best keep secret. Those hour long treadmill days are a thing of the past. Unless you're enjoying a long walk with your loved one or just want to take the time to "smell the roses," save your walks for high intensity training (HIT). Working short bouts at a high intensity paired with short recovery periods will shake things up and help you utilize more body fat after your cardio session. It's called EPOC (excess post-oxygen consumption). Elite athletes do it all the time and so should you.  an example of a walking HIT is:

10 minute warm-up

1 minute incline 5.0 (high intensity)

2 minute recovery (low intensity)

1 minute incline 6.0 (high intensity)

2 minute receover (low intensity)

1 minute incline 7.0 (high intensity)

2 minute recovery (low intensity)

1 minute incline 8.0 (high intensity)

2 minute recovery (low intensity)

1 minute incline 9.0 (high intensity)

2 minute recovery (low intensity)

5 minute cool down (include light stretching)

There will be variations in the above program, however the point is this; when you want to shed that belly fat, you've got to do things differently and you must work hard at it ( What worked in your 20s may not get it done in your 40s.  You have to do the right exercises for your body and more importantly, rev up your fat burning engines by incorporating high intensity training and strength training on a regular basis. So what are you waiting for? Get to shedding!