Stubborn belly fat can be very hard to lose. Due to our often sedentary lifestyles and stressful jobs, medicated with alcohol, cookies and chips, fat around the belly can easily build up.
And, it’s not just our ability to win the swimsuit competition that’s affected by the belly build up: fat deposits around the belly are linked to serious health issues, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
But fret not. Here are ten easy-to-follow steps that can help melt that flabby belly away — for good.
1. Cut down on alcohol
Yes, it can be very tempting to reach for the merlot at the end of a particularly taxing day at the office, but studies show that alcohol is one of the main offenders when it comes to storing belly fat.
Consider this: if you consume just two glasses of wine an evening, that’s an extra 72,000 calories a year, which equates to 20 pounds of fat.
Alcohol contains a very high amount of ’empty’ calories, which don’t have any nutritional value.
Women are more likely to store the fat created by surplus calories on their hips, thighs and arms.
If you’re keen on reducing your belly fat quickly, it’s advised that you cut out alcohol from your diet completely.
If that sounds too severe (life is for living, right?), then aim to cut down your intake by capping the volume you drink in one sitting to one glass.
2. Eat protein at every meal
There’s a good amount of evidence to suggestion that protein is key to losing tummy fat. Firstly, it releases the hormone PYY, which helps to send a message to your brain that you’re full. A dollop of protein in a meal should help you avoid overeating.
Many observational studies prove that people with a higher protein intake have lower levels of belly fat. It also raises your metabolic rate, making you more likely to build muscle during and after exercise.
3. Reduce stress
Stress causes your body to gain fat because it triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn increases your appetite.
How do you relieve stress? To an extent, the answer is personal – we’re all different – but studies consistently show that getting out in nature and regular bouts of meditation work to reduce our anxiety.
4. Cut down (or all) your sugar intake
Calorie for calorie, sugar is different to other food groups such as protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat, because it confuses your normal appetite controls and causes your body to produce fat.
Refined sugars are often hidden in a plethora of different products that you wouldn’t expect such as fruit juices.
Make sure to check the labels before eating the products.
5. Lift some (heavy) weights
Everyone knows that regular exercise is necessary in order to lose weight; however not everyone knows that resistance training is one of the best way to do so.
Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for improving and maintaining muscle mass. It also helps to spike our metabolisms, which means your body burns fat even after you’ve left the gym.
However, it’s worth saying that the best possible training plan probably combines a variety of exercises. In one study of women over 40, it was proved that a combination of weight training and aerobic exercise was the most beneficial – which means that barbell curls alone aren’t the answer.
6. Get plenty of quality sleep
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of your overall health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to managing your weight.
In one 16-year study, it was shown that women who slept for less than five hours a night were significantly more likely to gain weight around their bellies than those who slept seven hours or more.
Easy ways to improve the quality of your sleep are by making sure you don’t look at screens (big and small) late at night, and by practicing some gentle yoga before bed.
7. Have a fatty fish for dinner at least once a week
Omega 3 fatty acids are popularly praised with such attractive qualities as delaying ageing and fighting degenerative diseases.
However, it’s less well known that eating fatty fish is also excellent for weight loss (when accompanied by a balanced diet and regular exercise, of course).
Foods such as mackerel and herring are high in protein and ‘good fats’ that help to break down some of the more dangerous fats in your body.
Try to eat fish twice or thrice a week.
8. Cook with coconut oil
Put aside the butter and olive oil: coconut oil should be your new go-to medium for frying and basting. The reason is that it can withstand much higher heats, so it’s less carcinogenic than other oils.
Studies show that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil boost metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high calorie intake.
9. Fill your plate with soluble fiber
Soluble fibre is ideal for aiding weight loss because it forms a gel with the food in your digestive tract, slowing it down as it passes through.
Studies show that this type of fibre helps you lose weight because you feel fuller for longer, meaning you naturally eat less.
Excellent foods to eat to increase your soluble fibre intake include avocados, legumes and blackberries.
10. Try this 5-second “water hack” that burns up to 1 Lb of belly fat a day
If you’re upset about your weight and want to lose a little more, get this…
Grace, a 43-year old overweight mother with pre-diabetes has just SHOCKED the medical
community by losing an unheard of 19 pounds in just 13 days.
She went on to burn off 62 pounds in the next 8 weeks without starving herself or exercising.
Best of all, she eliminated all signs of diabetes and other life-ending diseases that was constantly threatening her.
The amazing thing is, all she did was this 5-second “water hack” that reconditions the ONE important female weight-loss hormone to drastically accelerate fat-burning while still eating the foods you love.
If you’re a woman over the age of 25 who wants to reclaim her life inside the body she DESERVES, you should check it out for yourself.