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Fitness

How To Fight The Battle of the Belly Bulge

For most of us, as we age, we begin to notice bulges and pockets of fat in places we hadn’t before. For years you may have been able to achieve or maintain a flat stomach, even after having kids. Then, as we near or enter menopause, the things that worked in the past seem to no longer be working. Perhaps it is more lumpy, bumpy hips and thighs or that dreaded belly bulge that just won’t seem to budge.

Bloating vs. Belly Fat

To begin, we’ll define the belly bulge in simple terms. What is the difference between bloating and belly fat? The first step to fighting the belly bulge is to understand the difference between the two.

Bloating

One easy way to tell the difference between bloating and belly fat is that, with bloating, only the stomach expands due to the build-up of gas. While your belly appears to grow and can be uncomfortable, this is a temporary condition and will resolve itself once the accumulation of gas and possibly water retention go away.

Belly Fat

If your body is storing excess belly fat, you will likely notice other bulges beyond the belly and into the abdomen, thighs, hips, and back. While our bodies may be genetically prone to carrying pockets of fat in certain places compared to others, if you have an accumulation of belly fat, you will notice changes in other parts of your body as well. Perhaps your pants are snugger in the hips and thighs, or you see a bra bulge, a bit more volume under your chin, or the dreaded armpit pooch. Actual belly fat will come in conjunction with higher fat storage in other parts of your body. You may not have noticed the other areas if your belly is what’s bothering you most, but it is a part of the deal.

3 Simple Steps to Fight the Belly Bulge

There is more than one way to fight the belly bulge! This not only includes diet and exercise but also changing your mindset so that you have the best chance at success.

STEP 1: You Must Accept Your Belly Bulge To Get Rid Of It

Healthy mindset

Why do you need to accept your belly bulge if all you want to do is get rid of it? It’s human nature that when there’s a problem, we resist taking ownership. If we tell ourselves that the belly bulge is gas and bloating, we can reconcile with ourselves that it’s something that we either can’t control or we can easily fix by taking a probiotic. The first step in fighting the belly bulge is to recognize that there’s excess fat that needs to be dealt with in specific and different ways than bloating. Accepting this reality is the first step in creating a plan that is perfect for you to eliminate your very own belly bulge. It is also necessary to consider that diet and exercise strategies you have had in the past are no longer working, and it’s time to adjust to see results.

How to change your mindset to lose your belly bulge:

STEP 2: Skip The Diet. Fix Your Nutrition.

Healthy nutrition

When it comes to diets, you have countless options. A specific and specialized diet may be a great way to kick-start weight loss, but if you don’t adopt fundamental, long-term, and sustainable changes to your daily nutrition, you’ll never be able to maintain those results.

Ideas for Fixing Your Nutrition:

If you’re noticing a belly bulge and it is the result of excess body fat, the most essential tool you have is to change eating habits to support a fat loss and maintenance lifestyle. A sustainable, long-term plan is one that will allow you to enjoy foods that you love but are always in balance and moderation.

STEP 3: Build Muscle

Woman working out

Most people associate restrictive diets and endless hours of cardio as the primary way of getting rid of belly fat. However, adding muscle turns your body into a fat-burning machine. The result is increased metabolism, which means your body increases the number of calories required to complete daily functions. The result is that you gain muscle while losing fat. No matter the specific exercise, if you’re gaining muscle, it will help to support fat loss. This includes excess belly fat!

Muscle Building Workouts:

The Takeaway: Sustainability

Any extreme approach like a diet you hate or long-duration cardio does not provide balance or sustainability. If you’re unable to develop a plan that you can love for a lifetime, your results will only ever be temporary, and you’ll often end up worse off than you started. Eat every day to support a lean, healthy physique. Focus on targeted muscle groups to build and maintain muscle. Surround yourself with people who encourage and motivate you to be the healthiest version of yourself.

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