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Exercise can help slim down your torso.
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Your torso includes your chest and abdomen and losing weight from these areas requires a full-body weight-loss approach because spot-reduction isn't possible. Excess fat, particularly belly fat, endangers your health, increasing your risk for serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Integrating healthy lifestyle changes can promote weight loss and improve your health.
Set a Realistic Goal
Rather than aiming for fast weight loss, lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week. The American Council on Exercise states that this is realistic and more likely to result in lasting weight loss. To achieve this weight-loss rate, create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories each day through diet and exercise.
Eat Healthy Fats
Eating healthy fats instead of bad fats, like trans fats, lets you do good for your body without storing extra fat. A study by American Diabetic Association proved that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, or MUFAS, can prevent central body fat. Only eat small portions of foods that contain MUFAS because they contain a lot of calories, but they will help you feel satiated so you don't need to fill up on empty calories. Monounsaturated fats are present in foods, such as canola oil, avocado, cashews, pecans, sesame seeds and peanut butter.
Reduce Portion Sizes
Oversize portions can wreak havoc on your weight. Eating smaller portions can reduce your calorie consumption and help you achieve your daily calorie deficit. Whether you eat at home or at a restaurant, reduce the size of your usual portions by 10 to 15 percent. Consider eating and drinking from smaller plates, bowls and cups.
Cut Down On Sugar
Calories from sugar are likely to expand your midsection. Cutting down on sugar and sugar-laden products -- such as soda, doughnuts, candy and cookies -- can help you reach the daily deficit. If you have a sweet tooth, consider satisfying it with fruit, such as strawberries.
Make Time for Breakfast
Skipping breakfast can trigger unhealthy snacking and overeating later on. To prevent this, eat a healthy breakfast to get your metabolism going. Include protein and complex carbohydrates in your breakfast to promote slow digestion and longer satiation. One example of a healthy breakfast is high-fiber cereal with reduced-fat milk and fresh fruit; another is egg whites with wheat crackers.
Perform High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can help you achieve your daily caloric deficit because it burns a lot of calories. Study results in the "Journal of Obesity" proved that HIIT is more effective than other types of exercise in reducing belly and body fat. To do this type of training, go back and forth between a vigorous and less-intense exercise pace. For instance, alternate between a three-minute moderate jog or bike ride and a one-minute vigorous sprint. Always begin and end HIIT with a warm-up of five minutes of light cardio. Perform three 25-minute sessions a week.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Strength training on two days of the week can promote weight loss because muscle tissue makes you burn calories more efficiently and boosts your resting metabolism. Plus, after you lose body fat, you will have plenty of muscle definition to show off. For your torso area, exercises can include chest presses, pushups, crunch varieties and front and side planks.
Manage Stress Levels
Experts at the University of New Mexico state that excess stress increases production of cortisol in your body, resulting in belly fat. Cortisol triggers cravings for fatty, sugary foods and can also relocate fat from other areas of your body to your midsection. To better manage stress, practice meditation, deep breathing or yoga.
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can trigger weight gain because it leaves you with more time to eat and less energy to exercise. It also negatively affects hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin, which control your appetite. Harvard School of Public Health recommends getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night to keep appetite-controlling hormones in check.
Drink More Water
When you think you're hungry, try drinking a glass of water because sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger. Water keeps you hydrated throughout the day and doesn't have calories that can trigger weight gain. It can also replace sugary soda and spare you excess calories.