Belly fat, in addition to making us feel unattractive and cause our clothes to feel tight, can, more importantly, be seriously harmful. Whether your motivation to lose your own belly fat is purely for aesthetic reasons, it is important to understand and consider that reducing belly fat can improve your health dramatically and lessen your risk for many conditions as well such as diabetes and heart disease.
Although difficult for many, there are several ways to reduce belly fat. Here are just a few:
1. Physical activity is important for overall health and improved metabolism. However, when it comes to exercise, aerobic or cardio exercise seems to have more of an effect on reducing belly fat than other types of exercise. The frequency and duration of your exercise program are more important than its intensity and consistency is always key when it comes to any exercise program.
2. Eat more lean protein throughout your day. Protein is an extremely important macronutrient for weight control. Protein will promote fullness, helps you to retain muscle mass during weight loss and increases your metabolic rate. Be sure to include a good lean protein source at every meal such as fish, eggs, chicken, whey protein, lean meat, etc.
3. Eat less refined carbohydrates and sugary foods. A high intake of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods (even less refined sugars such as honey, pure maple syrup, etc) is associated with excessive belly fat. Consider replacing refined carbohydrates in your diet with healthier choices such as whole grains, legumes and/or vegetables. This will naturally provide more soluble fiber to your diet as well which can also promote weight loss and fight belly fat. Be cautious and do your best to minimize your overall intake of sugars. Replace added sugars with alternative sweeteners such as stevia, xylitol or monk fruit. Also, keep in mind that fruit juice is just as high in sugar as soda and other sweetened beverages so do your best to avoid fruit juice and other sweetened soft drinks. Replace with water, unsweetened iced tea or sparkling water.
4. Eat the right fats; avoid the wrong ones. Avoid foods that contain unhealthy fats such as trans fats which tend to be prevalent in many packaged, processed foods. Margarine and other partially hydrogenated fats should be eliminated. Incorporate healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, and fish oil either through supplementation and/or by consumption of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.
5. Limit alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol intake has been associated with increased belly fat. Consider drinking alcohol in moderation or completely abstaining if you are wanting to reduce belly fat.
6. Reduce your stress levels. An imbalance in our stress hormone, called cortisol, can lead to increased fat storage and weight gain, specifically around your mid section. Practicing yoga, meditation or any other activity that allows you to feel more at peace will help to offset this imbalance.
7. Get adequate sleep. Restful sleep is not only about quantity but the quality as well. Sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. Getting enough high-quality sleep should be a top priority for not only reducing belly fat and losing weight but of course overall health. Explore natural remedies such as essential oils, herbal teas before bed such as chamomile or passiflora, a hot bath and/or other evening rituals to relax your body and mind before going to bed.
8. Drink apple cider vinegar daily. Along with many other health benefits, taking 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (diluted) per day is safe for most people and can assist with fat loss.
9. Gut health is critical. An imbalance in our gut flora can lead to many health issues and play a role in weakening our immune system. Eating high-quality probiotic foods such as organic plain Greek yogurt, kefir and raw sauerkraut and/or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement on a daily basis can promote a healthy digestive system and can be beneficial in promoting weight loss.
10. Try Nutritionally Supported Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting. When nutritionally supported with the right minerals and other micronutrients as provided with nutritional cleansing, this is the best and most effective way to lose weight and belly fat.
Although losing belly fat can be challenging, many of the suggestions here will assist you in achieving your weight loss and particularly your fat loss goals. Effort, commitment, consistency, and persistence with these strategies can make a huge difference in your ability to lose belly fat and improve your overall health.