I have a heavy stomach and sides. How can I reduce them and get them in shape?

A heavy stomach and waist can look quite unsightly. But you needn't worry. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can soon take care of the problem, and give you a leaner and more muscular look.

Pilates, aerobics, swimming or even regular walking are helpful for dissolving stomach fat and helping you rid yourself of your 'love handles'. While you may sign up at your local gym, here are a few exercises which you can do at home since they require no equipment, except for a floor mat.

Basic Crunch for a Flat Stomach:
  • Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees, keeping the feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your fingertips just behind your ears, at the sides of your head.
  • Push the lower back on to the floor and at the same time, curl both your shoulders and lift them a few inches off the floor.
  • Count 3 and return to starting position. Repeat 4 or 5 times and gradually increase the repetitions.
Vertical Leg Crunch:
  • Like the Basic Crunch, lie flat on the back, knees bent, feet on floor, fingertips at side of head.
  • Now straighten your legs, cross them at the ankles and extend them a few inches off the floor. It is okay if your knees are slightly bent.
  • Contract the muscles of the stomach and lift your body upwards.
  • Count 3 and come back to starting position. Repeat a few times.
Oblique Crunch:
  • Lie down in the position as the previous two exercises.
  • Swing your legs to the right, until both knees are touching the floor.
  • Curl and lift both your shoulders a few inches off the floor, while your lower back presses back on the floor.
  • Hold for 3 counts return to starting position. Repeat with the other side.
Diet: Along with the exercise, you also need to regulate your diet.
  • Include plenty of fiber in your food. Fiber prevents Constipation, and makes you feel full so that you consume less food, which helps in lowering weight. Fiber also helps to mop up and eliminate harmful toxins from the body. All green leafy vegetables, whole grains, cereals and fruits are good sources of fiber.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps to decrease your appetite and make you eat less. It also helps to burn more fat.
  • Decrease your intake of salt. Salt causes fluid retention which sometimes causes weight gain.
  • Eat a light meal at night and eat it early. If you eat a heavy meal and go to sleep immediately, the body tends to store most of it as fat.

answered by G M

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