These 10 habits can help blast belly fat into next week!
As a woman and mom, one of the areas I tend to struggle with is my stomach. I want to have a flat tummy and ab definition. I mean, don’t we all? But belly fat is some of the hardest to get rid of. Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle leads to extra fat accumulation around the mid section and puts us at risk for diabetes and heart conditions. Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, wraps around the organs and can put women, and men, at risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Even though stubborn belly fat wants to cling to our bodies like a baby to the boob, there are things we can do that will help reduce those stubborn fat deposits.
Limit sugar intake
I feel like we all know this, but it’s worth repeating. Refined sugar is like a drug. It’s addicting and once you have a taste for it, you crave it. It can be hard to cut at first; your body will actually go through withdrawals. But once it’s gone it’s so much easier to manage your weight. If you ever do get a craving for sweets, try a square or two of dark chocolate.
Drink green tea
Green tea contains antioxidants that help detox your system. It is also contains compounds called Catechins, which help boost your metabolism, increasing the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s fat burning capacity.
Easier said than done right? We are a busy culture and it’s easy to let stress creep in and throw our bodies into a state of panic. Our Cortisol levels increase and our bodies store excess fat in response. Add stress eating to that (which a lot of us do) and it’s a recipe for mid-section disaster. Try journaling (check out this post for ideas), removing something from your schedule or meditation. Exercise is an amazing stress reducer as well!
Cut out the diet soda
Hell cut out all the soda! Soda is loaded with sugar and diet soda is full of artificial sweeteners that trick your body into thinking sugar is coming, thereby raising insulin levels, and shifting your body from fat burning to fat storing mode. Plus it gives you headaches. Just get rid of it.
Some people snack, some don’t. I, for one, am a lover of snacks. I eat often. But calories from snacks can quickly add up quickly. Make sure you’re choosing smart snacks, like nuts, berries, hummus and veggies. If you are looking for some smart snack ideas check out my post on healthy post workout snacks.
Drink more water
I’ve said it before, but water is the best way to flush toxins from your system. It helps speed up the metabolism and keeps you feeling full for longer. It also helps reduce cravings! A lot of women still think that if they drink too much water it will make them look bloated. Just the opposite is true! Water actually helps flush excess water weight from your body. A hydrated body is a trimmer body! I aim for a gallon of water a day.
Use coconut oil
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, which, unlike long-chain fatty acids, don’t raise your cholesterol levels and are more likely to be burned as energy than stored as fat in your system. It also has a relatively high smoke point so it’s great to cook with!
Don’t skip meals
I think we’ve all been there. We think skipping a meal will help us drop those last few pounds we’re trying to lose. Which is probably true, in the short term. What we fail to realize is that we’re doing more harm than good. When you skip just one meal your blood sugar levels take a nose dive and you start to feel more tired. Your metabolism slows down to store what energy (fat) you have in your body, so when you do finally eat your body won’t burn the calories as efficiently, and will even store more fat because it doesn’t know when it’s next meal will be. There are times when intermittent fasting can be good, but for most people, skipping a meal is of no benefit.
Get some sleep!
Easy right? Just stop what you’re doing at exactly 10:00 every night and immediately go to sleep. If only it were that easy. Unfortunately for us, not getting enough sleep is seriously detrimental to our health. When we don’t get enough shut eye, our bodies release a hormone called Ghrelin, which stimulates our appetite and triggers sugar cravings. The less sleep you get the more likely you are to snack late at night. Your Cortisol levels can also increase, which triggers your body to store belly fat.
Just do it. Get your body moving and you’ll slowly start to see changes. Cardio is an easy way to burn calories and increase your metabolism. Walking, biking, swimming and running are all great exercises. Add in some resistance training and you’ll get even more bang for your buck. Short on time? Check out these simple ways to get moving every day.
*I am not a medical professional. These are things that have worked for me and people I know and love.
And that’s what I have time for today. Remember abs are made in the kitchen so what you put in your body is #1. Cut out the crap, increase your water consumption, go for a walk and you’ll see changes. I know it’s not always easy, but start with one thing and before you know it you’ll see your belly start to shrink.