Fitness Q&A: How to reduce belly fat

Fitness expert, Namita Jain answers readers’ questions on fitness. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Thursday.
This week’s answers:

1. Hi Namita, can you please explain what other exercise or diet I have to follow to reduce the fat in my belly? I am diabetic and also exercise regularly. Generally I eat a lot of salads and take pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Occasionally I do take sweets as well in moderation though.
The three important aspects for reducing belly flab are:

1. Train your abdominal muscles, hard and smart.
Constantly challenge your abdominal by varying your workouts.

2. Evaluate your eating habits.
Incorporate a diet that is healthy, well balanced and low in fat. There is no getting away from the fact that food you eat plays a vital role in defining your mid-section.

3. Incorporate cardiovascular exercises to burn calories.
Include exercises such as walking, swimming or cycling for 1 hour daily to burn calories. Unless you burn fat, your toned abdominal will remain hidden underneath a layer of fat. That is why burning calories is an integral aspect of reducing belly flab.

2. Hello my name is mamtha my weight is 59 kgs and height is 5’3” i want to know is it correct weight for this height and also i am increaseing weight at the back and upper stomach how to reduce it and how to maintain fitness to my body. i am also taking oats once in a day but i feel very hungry all time but then also I am not loosing weight, tell me some tips to reduce my weight it will very helpful if you sugesst me the bmi value and also give the diet plan to be fit fully.
Your weight should be between 53 to 56 kgs ideally.
Here are some tips to stay fit:
1. Schedule “workout” in your daily planner
Make exercise an important commitment and write it down in your planner so that you are more likely to keep the “appointment”. It is also a good idea to keep tabs on your workout progress so that you are motivated to continue exercising.

2. Plan ahead
Do you tend to eat when you are bored or feeling low? Plan ahead. Think of a new stimulation, a new goal or a new sense of achievement.

3. Hydrate yourself
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also eat high water content foods that will help you lose weight. Examples are watermelon, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, and cucumber.

4. Fuel right
If you want a sense of well-being and energy, fuel your body right so it performs well. The body has an internal clock and the metabolism is regulated by regular cycles. If you learn to respect these cycles slimming will be easier.

5. Separate food from television
You tend to eat mindlessly when you watch television. Whether it is junk or health food that you eat, you should always be fully aware of what and how much goes into your system.

6. Make lighter food choices when possible
Eat egg white instead of the whole egg. Whole-grain, instead of refined products. Low-fat instead of full fat. Did you know? Skim milk gets 5 percent of its calories from fat, while whole milk gets 51 percent from fat.

3. Dear namita maam, I am 15 yrs old and 68kgs. Height is 182cm. I feel I’m putting on fat on my waist. Please tell me if I need to go to the gym? Can I do weight lifting?

I suggest you start walking for 1 hour daily. Walking is the simplest and the most natural form of exercise. It is the nearest activity to perfect exercise because it is a low impact cardiovascular exercise that works the whole body. Every mile you walk approximately burns 100 calories. If you walk 5 miles a day, everyday, you will burn about 3500 calories, or 1 pound in a week. Also watch your diet – In order to lose weight you need to burn calories and consume less fat. So watch what you eat! Cut back on fats and sugar. You don’t need to starve yourself, but eat a well-balanced diet that includes a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and sprouts.

4. What is the best way for teenagers to stay fit?
Choice of exercise is an individual; teenagers should enjoy what they do. For some it may be exhilarating to take up a sport or learn a new game. Some may enjoy cycling, running or yoga. Like the saying goes “different strokes for different folks,” exercise too offers different options for different kinds of people – check your teenagers exercise personality and figure out where he or she fits in best.

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