Here are 9 ways to reduce the stubborn belly fat that is hiding your awesome abs.
1. Reduce Sugar! Sugar turns into fat. Sugar is metabolized by the liver. When you eat sugary foods your liver gets flooded and the excess sugar is converted into fatty acids and returned to the bloodstream. It is then taken throughout your body and stored at fat wherever you tend to store fat cells, typically the stomach, hips, butt, and breasts.
2. Consume Healthy Fats – It might seem counter-intuitive, but consuming healthy fats can help reduce your belly fat. How? What are “healthy” fats? Unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats come from olives, olive and canola oil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds, and avocados. Unsaturated fats help to increase your basal metabolic rate allowing your body to burn fat quicker.
3. No processed carbs – Carbs have gotten a bad rap recently but not all carbs are bad. Refined and processed carbs like cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels, breads, etc. are bad. Natural carbs, like whole foods such as bananas, fruit, legumes, vegetables, are good because they haven’t been stripped of their fiber.
4. Drink water – Water boosts metabolism by helping the liver metabolize fat. If you are dehydrated the liver has to step in to help the kidneys remove toxins. Water also helps in suppressing your appetite. It is recommended to drink 8 glasses per day.
5. Eat leafy greens. Spinach, kale, broccoli…Leafy greens are among the most nutrient dense foods, full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They help burn fat by keeping you feeling fuller and energized.
6. Eat protein – Eating protein increases metabolism and helps maintain and build muscle mass. It also keeps you satiated longer than any other foods.
7. Exercise – The most effective exercises for fat loss and losing belly fat are interval cardiovascular exercises. Pick an exercise you enjoy…running, cycling, swimming, skating, etc. Warm up for 5 minutes then go hard for a minute then recover for a minute. Repeat until your reach 20-30 minutes to get rid of excess fat in your body.
8. Manage Stress – When we are stressed our body produces hormones. One of those hormones is cortisol, which encourages the body to store fat, especially in the abdominal area. One way to manage stress is to take some time each day to meditate.
9. Sleep – Too little sleep increases a hormone that stimulates your appetite. It is recommended to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This will tame your cravings.
Start incorporating these suggestions into your daily life and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a flatter stomach and find yourself healthier too!