We’re currently in the midst of summer, which means we’re constantly being bombarded with images of incredibly toned, bikini-clad bodies that make us desperately feel like we need to hit the gym. But not everyone has the time (or money) to get in a full-body workout at their local athletic club. Luckily for us, a flat tummy isn’t only acquired at the gym. In addition to working out, there are various lifestyle changes you can make that will put you on the path to the summer body of your dreams.
Want to know how you can still burn belly fat when you don’t have time to work out? Here are five ways you can blast that belly even though you’re strapped for time.
Avoid sugar and sugary drinks
Eating excessive amounts of sugar isn’t healthy for the body. Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose, which can only be metabolized by the liver in small amounts. When you eat too much sugar, the liver is overloaded and with fructose and forced to convert it to fat, which typically accumulates in the belly and liver. This can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and a variety of other metabolic issues.
Eat more protein
When it comes to losing weight, protein is one of the most important macronutrients. Studies show that it boosts your metabolism and reduces cravings, keeping you full longer. The amino acids in protein are also great for repairing the tiny tears you get in your muscles when you work out, giving you bigger and stronger muscles. Protein-rich foods include eggs, fish, nuts, meat, and dairy.
Cut carbs from your diet
Diets that are low in carbohydrates have always been popular, and there’s a reason for that. They’re incredibly effective at helping you lose fat, especially if you’re the type who likes immediate results. Eating very few carbohydrates actually leads to reductions in water weight, allowing you to see your weight loss much faster.
Eat fiber-rich foods
Fiber is the one carbohydrate you don’t want to eliminate. This carb is one that your body can’t digest, as it can’t be broken down into sugar molecules. Fiber helps regulate your body’s use of sugars, keeping your appetite and blood sugar in check. Soluble fiber is particularly good for weight loss, as it attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, slowing down the movement of food in your system and making you feel full longer. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole oats are great sources of fiber. Supplements can also give you the fiber you need in your diet to shed those pounds.
Exercise at home
Yes, we know abs aren’t made in the gym, but it certainly does help to work out a little. Even if you find yourself short on time, try doing quick exercises that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Whether you’re doing calf raises while brushing your teeth, curling your groceries like dumbbells, or using your stairs to do lunges, it’s possible to fit in small workouts that can be done anywhere. Just make sure you’re getting in the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.