How to Shrink Your Lower Belly Pooch (...The Right Way)
The lower belly pooch is the arch nemesis to many people, usually women, who slap their stomach and say "I just want this to go away!"
The good news is that you can get that flabby skin to shrink down with some consistent effort and some patience. Today, we're giving you four steps to take to get to a flatter stomach right now.
Step 1: A Caloric Deficit
The key to losing any spot that's bothering you is a caloric deficit. In order to lose fat (...weight), we must be in a deficit of calories created from eating less food, doing more exercise or a combination of the two. This is THE ONLY way to lose fat. There is no way around it. In order to create a caloric deficit, you must first determine where you maintain your weight either by using a calculator or tracking your food intake for a week or two to determine how much you're eating. Then, you must create a deficit of calories by subtracting about 10% from that number to get your new daily intake. If using a calculator, your exercise will be factored into your maintenance number so you don't need to eat back calories or change anything based on how much you move.
Step 2: Get More NEAT
NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is the activity you are doing when you are not purposefully working out. This includes everything from moving around your house cleaning to walking the garbage out to fidgeting. Getting in some extra steps and movement add up--get up and get moving more throughout the day to burn more calories when you're "resting." The more calories you burn at rest, the better off you'll be when it comes to navigating that deficit that we talked about earlier.
Step 3: Lift Heavy Weights
You are not going to get "bulky" or "too big" lifting heavy weights. In fact, you're going to get leaner, have more muscle mass, burn fat and likely get closer to the image you're looking to achieve. Heavy lifting is relative to your strength--lift weights that are challenging for you--not what someone else does. Compound movements such as squats, deadlifts and overhead presses will challenge your core alongside other muscles which will help build up core strength and the abs underneath that little pooch.
Step 4: Watch Your Posture
A lot of times we're sticking out our stomachs without even noticing, creating a bigger belly pooch than we think we have. Check out the curve in your spine and make sure that you're not unintentionally pushing your stomach out while you're standing.
This curved spine can give you the appearance of an exaggerated pooch. Think about pulling your abs in, sucking your belly button to your spine and tucking your ribs. You will need some dedicated proper core work as well. This may take some time to fix if you've been standing this way forever but it definitely can be remedied!
Step 5: Watch Your Food
While we're firm believers in a moderative approach to nutrition, a lot of us deal with bloated stomachs all the time for no real reason. Your stomach should not be drastically bloated after every meal. If it is, consider reducing things that cause bloating such as artificial sweeteners, too much fiber, dairy and other gut irritants. You may also consider an elimination diet to see if anything in particular is bothering you or think about adding a digestive enzyme or probiotic to your day.
Make sure to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein in each day.
and there you have it folks! five ways to help reduce that pooch and get to a flatter stomach (...if that's what you want of course)!