I am going through menopause and have developed 'menopausal tummy'. Can you give me any advice on how to reduce this? I can exercise but only lightly as I have rheumatoid arthritis and an underactive thyroid.

(Last Updated: Jun 4, 2007)

What are the best ways to reduce tummy fat?

Losing fat on the abdominal area can be a major challenge for many men and women. However, it is probably more important for you get rid of excess fat around your stomach, as compared to the thighs, hips, chest and other problem areas. Studies indicate that a person is at a much higher risk of strokes, heart attacks and other similar health problem, in case the ratio of fat in the abdominal area is higher as compared to other parts of the body. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that so many overweight and obese people are trying to get into better shape and improve their overall well-being, by getting rid of excess abdominal fat.

There is no single best way to reduce tummy fat; your attempts at weight loss are likely to be a lot more successful, if you take a multi-pronged approach towards abdominal fat reduction. This means that you can see the best results, not by incorporating a specific diet, workout routine and lifestyle changes, but by following a combination of all three.

When it comes to weight loss, most people tend to look for quick fixes, or options that can help them reach their goals faster. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that so many fad diets and weight reduction supplements have become very popular in today’s world. However, in most cases, rapid weight loss is dangerous and could have an adverse effect on the body. Instead, you will probably be better off incorporating a few long term dietary and lifestyle changes, which can help get rid of your excess weight at a slow and steady pace. Such techniques are also usually more effective in maintaining weight loss.

What are the best tummy reduction exercises?

It is a well-known fact that exercising is excellent for the body, as one of the many health benefits associated with it is weight loss. There are many different aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, running, cycling and swimming, which can help you reduce the accumulation of fat all over the body, including the stomach. Weight training too, can be very helpful in getting rid of the excess fat from the abdominal area, as well as other parts of the body. Therefore, every tummy-fat weight loss routine should have at least some cardiovascular and weight exercises, on a regular basis.

Most fitness experts will tell you to add abs crunches to your workout routine, in case you are looking for ways to reduce tummy at home. However, many individuals find it difficult to engage in abs crunches for a long period of time; they prefer practicing a variety of tummy reduction exercises, some of which include:

  • Stomach flattener
  • Hip thrusts
  • Russian twist
  • Side Crunches
  • Stomach vacuum
  • V ups
  • Sit ups
  • Trunk rotators
  • Endurance running
  • Toe touches

Apart from conventional exercises, it is believed that some of the asanas or poses that are a part of the ancient practice of Yoga can also help enhance a stomach-fat workout routine. Therefore, many weight loss centers have now started introducing certain yoga exercises in their tummy-fat reduction routine. Given below are some of the common yoga poses that can help you lose weight:

  • The Sun Salutation
  • The Boat Pose
  • The Bow Pose
  • The Bow Pose
  • The Bridge Pose
  • The Cobra Pose
  • The Downward Dog Facing Pose
  • The Shoulder Standing Pose
  • The Wind Relieving Pose

It is absolutely essential to practice all the tummy reduction exercises in the right way, or else they could lead to injuries or other adverse effects. Therefore, it is best to ensure that all the tummy reduction exercises mentioned above are practiced under the guidance and supervision of a well-trained and qualified instructor.

What is the best diet for reducing tummy?

When it comes to following a diet for reducing tummy fat, you need to identify all the foods that are fattening and are high in calories. These foods should preferably be eliminated from your diet, or at least cut down considerably, so that they are consumed on a rare occasion. At the same time, it is important for you to identify what the different foods to reduce belly fat are and increase the intake of such items. Given below are some of the good foods to reduce belly fat:

  • Eggs, as they are high in protein and B12
  • Low fat dairy products like skim milk, yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Beans like kidney beans, navy beans, lima beans and white beans
  • Oatmeal, especially the plain and unflavored kind
  • Olive oil, which is usually regarded as “good fats”
  • Whole grains, since they are high in protein and mineral
  • Leans cuts of meat, fish and poultry

Foods that you should strictly avoid in case you are trying to lose weight include those that are very high in saturated fat and calories, like sweets, alcohol, whole dairy products, junk food, fried food, oily food as well as refined and processed food.

Cooking methods and eating habits play a very important role in a weight loss diet. Make sure that you avoid foods that are fried or have been cooked in a lot of oil. It is better to opt for boiled, roasted, baked or grilled food. Instead of eating 3 square meals a day, it is important to consume 5 or small meals a day. Many people think that skipping a meal can help them lose weight, but nothing could be further from the truth. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be missed.

How to reduce belly fat naturally?

Surgical procedures like liposuction and a tummy tuck have become quite common amongst people who are otherwise healthy, but want to lose weight on their stomach. However, these techniques are quite expensive and could also lead to side effects, like scarring, pain, bruising and so on. Therefore, many people look for ways and means to lose weight that have fewer side effects, but are known to bring about the desired results. These natural tummy tuck techniques could include the use of herbs and other weight loss therapies.

Given below are some of the herbs that are usually very good for weight loss, all over the body, including the stomach area. These methods to reduce belly fat naturally are known to be very useful and safe. They are:

  • Cayenne
  • Green tea
  • Seaweed or kelp
  • Nettle
  • Ginseng

Hence, many men and women are advised to drink herbal tea at regular intervals during the day, for weight loss purposes.

Another natural way for reducing tummy fat is the consumption of warm water, to which a few drops of honey or fresh lemon juice have been added. For best results this concoction should be consumed first thing in the morning and thereafter, after every meal.

There are many health spas and salons that off a massage for burning belly fat at a faster rate, which they refer to as a “natural tummy tuck massage”. With a certain kneading technique and some cream, this massage therapy is believed to remove fat, improve skin temperature and promote gastrointestinal motility. However, it is important to make sure that the massage is administered by a well-qualified and experienced masseuse.

Women who are looking for ways to reduce tummy after delivery are usually advised to refrain from home and herbal remedies, especially if they are breastfeeding. While a healthy diet is excellent for all women, it is important for nursing mothers to make sure that they do not start the weight loss procedure too early, or they could deprive their babies of essential nutrients. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to consult a doctor, before following any ways to lose weight after a baby.

answered by G M

Your menopausal tummy, RA and hypothyroidism all can simultaneously get corrected if you adopt breathing techniques of Yoga. Ayurvedic suggestions for these problems are to take aloe vera pulp or gel in the morning empty stomach, which restores liver, spleen and helps in menopause problems.

answered by S B


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