Ten Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat
Tired of those extra pounds hanging out around your waistline? Try out these ten simple tips.
Belly fat is the worst. It sits there dead center mocking you, and it’s one of the least healthy areas to carry fat.
There isn’t an easy way to get rid of your belly fat, but these ten points are proven to help you slim down in the best way possible.
1. Get your ZZZ’s
Turns out there is a lot more to fat than just what you eat, and getting enough sleep plays a role. It’s something we’d all gladly do, but somehow don’t manage to fit enough of it in. The average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
When you don’t sleep enough, fat builds up around your organs, according to a 2010 study by Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Participants who slept five hours or fewer every night built up visceral fat around their organs.
2. Get your “Om” on
When you’re stressed, you can gain weight thanks to heightened levels of a hormone called cortisol. This hormone eventually increases your appetite. You especially crave all those fatty, sugary comfort foods. To fight stress, try out yoga and meditation. Although they can be tricky at first, in the long run they act as stress relievers (plus, they have a bunch of other benefits, too!).
3. Start your meal with the healthiest foods first
This little hack helps you fill up with nutrient-rich foods so that you’ll be less likely to binge on the less healthy parts of your meal.
4. Eat the right fat
Don’t obsess about cutting it out of your diet. One study examined 38 people for 49 days. Each person ate an additional 750 calories of muffins that the scientists made themselves. One group ate muffins made with palm oil (saturated fat). The other group ate muffins made with sunflower oil (polyunsaturated fat). Every participant obviously gained weight (that's what happens when you eat an extra 750 calories every day), but those with the unsaturated fat muffins built three times more muscle mass than those who ate the saturated fat muffins.
Learn to replace your unhealthy fats with healthier fats. For example, sub avocado for mayo, pumpkin seeds for cheese, and hummus for ranch.
5. Do fiber the right way
Fiber pills aren’t going to work here. You need two different kinds of fibers: Soluble and insoluble. The best type of fiber for weight loss is found in beans, flax seeds, edamame, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and oats. They help you lose fat because they keep you full longer.
6. Wake up at the same time every morning
A study by Brigham Young University discovered that women who woke up at the same time every morning had lower body fat than those whose wake-up times varied by more than 90 minutes. So pick a wake-up time and stick to it.
7. Choose the right type of exercise
We’re not disregarding sit-ups as a beneficial exercise. But if you’re obsessively doing them to get rid of that extra belly flub, it’s not going to work according to Cami Flygare, personal trainer at SelectHealth.
Mix up your exercise routine with a balance of cardio workouts (like running) strength training (like planks) for 30 minutes a day. Strength training increases your muscle mass, which helps your body burn fat.
8. Realize that sugar is the enemy and declare war
We know—it’s horrible news, but it’s necessary. Most Americans are consuming a lot more sugar than they should. The problem with refined sugar is that it floods the liver with fructose. Your liver then turns that into fat. Start checking nutrition labels, and you may be shocked at how much sugar you're eating.
Related: Ways to Cut Back On Added Sugar
9. Break up with your soda addiction
And speaking of sugar, if you drink soda, it’s got to go! To put this into perspective, one can of soda contains about 39 grams of sugar. This is way over the daily recommended amount for an adult, and it’s only one can of soda.
10. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water
Try drinking a glass of water before you grab a snack. Sometimes when your we’re dehydrated, we mistake hunger for thirst. Water can curb what seems like hunger until it’s time for your next meal.
Belly fat is stubborn, and the fact is you need to be disciplined in your attack. Test out these suggestions for a bit to see if a little discipline can go a long way in getting the results you want.
What are your small tips to keeping your weight in check? Tell us in the comments. And while you’re here, check out our other healthy living articles.
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