Looking for easy, fast, and safe ways to lose your belly fat? You’ve come to the right place.
But let’s set a few things straight… a little bit of fat on your body isn’t a bad thing. In fact, fat plays an essential role in proper nerve and brain functioning and for organ cushioning. But we all know the dangers of too much fat. It definitely won’t make you any smarter nor any healthier.
Having too much fat, especially around the midsection, is an indication of poor health. It means you’re at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension and type-2 diabetes. So, you’re in the right place if you’re looking to shed off some of that flab—not only to slip into your favorite pair of jeans but also for your long term health.
Here are 13 diet and lifestyle tweaks that target that stubborn belly fat:
Say ‘no’ to leisure eating.
Be intentional about your eating. This means the food choices you make are not a recreational activity you mindlessly use to fill the time. If you’re bored, do some leisure walking or activity your enjoy instead.
Swear to live by the half-plate rule.
The half-plate rule states that half your lunch or dinner plate should be allotted for veggies, and that you should eat them first. Because they are packed with nutrients, rich in filling fibers, and low in calories, they are perfect for weight loss. You’ll end up eating less calories if you have pre-filled you stomach with them too.
Don’t skip meals.
It seems only logical to think that if you starve yourself a little now and then, you’ll end up slimmer. But practically speaking, this will only heighten your chances of overeating later in the day or later in the week. And, in truth, starving puts your body into a catabolic state, which can result in muscle loss and fat retention.
Cut back on salt and sugar.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to shrink your tummy is cutting back on salty foods and drinking more water. Salty foods cause water retention and bloating. Not good if you’re trying to lose weight. Not good either if you’re trying to be healthy either. Flush out the salt by drinking more water. Likewise, an excess of sugar, especially from sugary drinks and packaged snacks, is not good. It’s one of the main things to leads to an increased accumulation of fat in your mid-section.
Stress is not only bad for your psyche but for your body too. First, when you are tense, your body starts to store fat in response to the increased stress hormones like cortisol. Second, stress tends to trigger poor eating habits in a lot of people. Thus, if you are under a high level of stress and trying to deal with your growing tummy fat, we suggest getting to the root of the problem. It’s time to chill out and relax! Take a break, sleep, and meditate.
Have a structured walking program.
Yeah, we’ve all heard that you don’t have the time to spend in the gym. But you can’t stay healthy if you don’t move. Good news! An International Journal of Obesity study showed that three hour-long walks in a week had a considerable effect on 113 subjects who were at high risk of type 2-diabetes. It significantly decreased their cholesterol levels and belly fat. So, yes, you still need to exercise. But you can do it leisurely while walking and you don’t have to go to the gym.
Do weights first, then cardio.
If you love to hit the gym or you’re simply serious about making a lifestyle change, make sure you do weight lifting exercises before your cardio. The rationale behind it is that when you run, bike, or row after hitting the weights, it will cause a larger amount of fat to be burned. And, of course, it’s harder and riskier to lift weights when you’re quite fatigued from all the running, biking, or rowing.
Swap carbs for proteins.
Proteins are a lot better than carbohydrates. First, they help you feel full longer. Second, the body burns more calories in breaking them down than it does with carbohydrates (and fats, too). Third, they don’t cause insulin spikes the way refined carbs do. High levels of insulin have been linked to more tummy flab. Protein, on the other hand, will keep your metabolism fired up all day long. So crack some eggs or grab a protein shake.
Go unrefined – carbs, that is.
This may seem like a contradiction to the previous tip, but not really. In fact, women who boast of slim, toned waistlines have carbohydrates as a dietary staple. What we’re saying is ditch the refined, high-glycemic carbs — the white and sugary types — in favor of whole grain types. Between white bread and wheat bread, white rice and brown rice, always choose the latter. These complex carbohydrates help to regulate your insulin levels and provide your body a sustained release of energy, no sugar crashes!
Divvy up your snacks.
If you’re ready to throw in the towel because you can’t imagine giving up your favorite chips and cookies, don’t. You can play smart by splitting one serving into small portions. This way, you can make your tummy-trimming plans more sustainable.
Snack on veggies.
If you’re ready to go full throttle in ditching unhealthy snacks, replace them with non-starchy vegetables. Aside from helping you trim off the tummy fat, you reduce liver fat and develop better insulin sensitivity. A Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study showed that eating more non-starchy veggies caused a 17% decrease in visceral fat in overweight kids. Kid or not, reach out for broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes for snacks.
Crack open some seeds.
A quarter-cup serving of sunflower seeds offers a mere 200 calories and provide 3 grams of fiber. Weight loss experts also love them because they supply a fair share of magnesium which helps boost lipolysis, a process wherein the body releases fat from its stores, great for getting rid of that unwanted tummy bulge.
Eat some raspberries and blueberries.
Raspberries are nature’s magical weight loss pill. They are filling and a rich source of ketones — antioxidants that burn stored fat cells. They are also crammed with polyphenols that target the formation of fat cells and that zap abdominal fat, see ya pooch! Blueberries, on the other hand, switch on your get-lean genes. As an added bonus, they ward off and reverse age-related health problems such as memory loss and declined motor coordination.