Crunch, crunch, crunch. And yet that damn lower belly bulge stares back at you. Much as it did a million crunches earlier.

The lower abs are sneaky. They cleverly maneouver their way out of most of the traditional ab exercises we subject our bodies to. So while our upper abs are getting harder and tighter, the lower rung stays put.

Here’s the good news. Lower belly fat, or subcutaneous fat, isn’t so bad for you, if you’re within a normal body weight range for your height. In fact, in some cultures it’s considered quite sexy. But then, we’re our own worst mirrors. And this little imperfection is unacceptable.

The bad news is that its one of the hardest things to get rid of.

Hard, but not impossible.

Here are some things I’ve learned about deflating the lower belly:

  • A trainer or website may give you a million exercises for a flat belly. But understand that no amount of physical exertion or exercise is going to shred fat unless it works towards lowering your overall body fat. This can only be achieved through a combination of healthy eating and exercise.
  • Eat for your body. Diet has become a bad word. I use the word in the context of eating to suit YOU. If you’re really active, don’t eat too little. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, don’t eat too much. If you work out a lot, give your body carbs for energy. Carbs are not all bad. And too much of protein is not good. Not feeding your body correctly, starving yourself, going on fad diets will ensure that belly fat becomes a permanent fixture. Be kind to yourself when it comes to food. Otherwise your body will end up storing even more fat.
  • MOVE. Belly fat loves inactivity.
  • Try Yoga. Surya Namaskars and asanas such as the Paschimottasana (Seated Forward Fold), Naukasana (Boat Pose), Uttanpadasana (Raised Foot Pose), Dhanurasana(Bow Pose) are excellent for tummy toning.
  • Don’t forget the lower ab workout. Crunches only hit the upper abs. While these won’t kill the fat themselves, these exercises are great to create a calorie deficit for fat loss, while working the lower ab muscles: Leg Raises, Hip Lifts, Reverse Crunches and Scissors
  • Water!Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water… this is not counting your workout time hydration. Without hydration, the body isn’t able to effectively digest, metabolize and flush out the fats we consume.
  • Accept that there are no shortcuts J

(For anyone considering liposuction, statistics show that without an active lifestyle and decent eating habits, all that lard is just going to come back.)

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