Best Exercises for Abdominal Fat or Love Handles
After belly, thighs and arms and butt the other common weight gain area is your waist. Over a period of time, weight starts to collect on the side of your stomach which is also known as “love handles” or “tyres”. All these terms are nothing but common slang for abdominal obesity.
Eating unhealthy food and no exercise is the most common cause of love handles. These tyres were mostly seen on women in the past but now more and more men seem to develop it in their late twenties & early thirties. Indians are genetically inclined to accumulate fat around their waist which is also linked to Type 2 diabetes and heart health.
The simplest way to check for abdominal fat is to measure your waist. Run a tape measure around your waist at about the level of your navel. Breathe minimally, and make sure not to pull the tape measure so tight that it depresses the skin. The average BMI (Body mass Index) of an Indian woman ranges from 18-24.9 , a waist circumference greater than 34-35 inches is considered high risk to lifestyle diseases.
Another way to measure abdominal fat is by calculating the waist to hip ratio. This is done through simple calculation of taking the ratio of the waist and hip. The healthy range in women is less than .7 and men is less than 1.
The best way to lose weight is through exercise and watch what you eat. Ensure that your body is getting adequate nutrition to improve the metabolism. Do not resort to fad diets as they might show weight loss in the short term but in the long term you put the weight back on besides depriving your body of important nutrition resulting in multiple deficiencies in future. For healthy weight loss, consult a good professional weight loss expert to help you lose weight and get fit.
Here are a list of exercises that are very effective to lose abdominal fat or love handles:
Running: Love handles are fat accumulated on your sides. So it is more about burning the fat in the body. You can lose maximum fat by running or doing any cardio exercise. Running allows you to burn maximum fat in a workout other than boosting metabolism. So do start running in variations and push yourself more for quicker results. Include sprinting, bounding,
German drills, etc in your plan. Burning maximum calories starts burning fat gradually from the body. Manage your diet and eat adequately according to your daily requirement to allow fat to burn faster.
Crunches: Love Handles are part of your core and require core to be worked to exercise the area and build some muscles underneath. Crunches are highly beneficical is strengthening your core for better balance in the body and provides strength for intense workouts. Do crunches on medicine ball and see the muscle gain.
Side Crunch: Working the obliques help in reducing the love handles on the side and side crunch is very effective for oblique muscles. Lie down on right side of your body with right arm over your chest. Crunch your left armpit towards the left hip and raise your legs while crunching. Repeat and do both sides.
Elbow to Knee Crunch: You could do elbow to knee crunch either standing or while lying down. Lie down on the floor with knees bent and arms over your chest. You have to touch your right elbow with the left knee and alternatively. While doing the exercise, move your torso for the exercise. This works the rectus abdominis and obliques while the standing one works the entire mid section and hip flexors.
Side Bends: Stand straight with dumbbells in your hands by your side. Alternatively bend your side and stretch the other side, holding for a few seconds and then do the other side. This execise stretches the love handles and improves blood flow in the area.
Burpees: It is a aerobic exercise which is a combination of a few exercises mixed together for greater fitness. To perform the exercise, stand straight in the first step. Then get down to squat position. Third put your hands on the floor and throw both your legs back stretching your back and looking up in the air. In the fourth step bring back your legs to the squat position and lastly jump up to starting position. Repeat. This exercise not only stretches the core and works the entire body but the faster version of it burns many calories too.
Russian Twist: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and hold your arms straight in front of you and lean your back a little while your torso is at 45-degree. Brace your core and rotate to the side and as far as you want. Repeat for both sides and mind the posture. This exercise also helps build the muscles on the side and works the core. To make this exercise more intense hold a weight between your hands or lift your feet in the air and perform the exercise.
Wood chop: It is again one of the finest twist exercise which can be done with an object, cable, dumbbell, bat, base ball bat etc. As you pull the weight across your body, you rotate your hips and bend forward slightly so the weight ends up slightly below your hip. Keep your torso, chest and head in line with your hips. Do it for both sides.
Vitamin D – Essential Vitamin for Weight Loss
Do you also blame some food you ate for those extra pounds on your waist? But now new research have shown that the reason may be the food you are not eating. New study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that Vitamin D might be a key nutrient to help you lose weight.
Widespread survey data is also indicating higher weight among groups of people with lower Vitamin D levels, that helps to regulate hormones that are effective for managing weight, thyroid, the body’s natural fat burning ability and more. Vitamin D is an important nutrient required in the body for proper functioning of every cell. Special receptors for vitamin D signal whether you should burn fat or simply store it; when vitamin D plugs into these receptors, it’s like a key that revs your body’s flab-melting mechanism.
Daily recommended requirement for Vitamin-D is 600 IU-700 IU till the age of 70 years. This can be obtained from exposure to sunlight for 10-15 minutes daily.
Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be a factor in the accumulation of excess body fat. In the absence of sufficient vitamin D the body increases the number and size of newly formed fat cells that promote and accelerate abdominal obesity. Also, Vitamin D in conjunction with calcium helps to properly assimilate food and regulate normal blood sugar levels. When there is a lack of calcium, often times due to a vitamin D deficiency, the body increases production of synthase, a fatty acid enzyme that coverts calories into fat. Calcium deficiency can cause increase in synthase production explaining the correlation between low levels of vitamin D and obesity.
Vitamin D is also a pro-hormone that becomes activated in the kidneys to become a potent hormone that controls the growth of cells. In the absence of sufficient circulating levels of the active form, both adipocytes and cancer cells are allowed to multiply relatively unchecked.
Sufficient levels of vitamin D signal fat cells to shrink. This makes weight loss much easier when calories are restricted and also might keep cancer cell growth in check. Regulating vitamin D intake can help your body burn abdominal fat and lose weight. Ensure you have enough of this critical nutrient circulating in your blood to promote good health and natural weight loss diet.
Vitamin D Sources
The main Vitamin D source is sunlight. Human skin has special precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol which converts UV sun rays to Vitamin D and supply approximately 90% of dietary requirement. But nowadays because of less exposure to sunlight and use of sunscreen inhibit the production of vitamin D in body. Sunscreen can inhibit the production of vitamin D by 90-99% depending upon SPF of the cream. Another reason for Vitamin D deficiency is air pollution which can trap some of the UVB rays, so less of them are able to reach your skin at any time of day.
Apart from sunlight the main Vitamin D food sources are milk & dairy products, eggs (yolk), cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, mackerel. For those on dairy free, vegetarian diets might need to supplement with fish oil supplements. To increase your vitamin D intake include vitamin D rich food in your snack time. For example, you can include plain buttermilk with any fruit or small handful of nuts in between your meal.— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo