If you’ve resolved to get in shape and lose some extra weight this year, then you already know that belly fat can stand in the way of your ideal figure. Excess fat around your midsection isn’t just embarrassing. It’s called “visceral” fat, and it can create long-term health problems, from heart disease to type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat forms for a lot of reasons, so there are several things you can do to slim down and eliminate belly fat. Here are eight simple ways to trim your figure.
#1 – Put Good In
Your body needs a wide range of nutrients, such as healthy fat and fiber, to function effectively. Getting more fiber will not only help you stay full between meals, but it will also keep everything running smoothly so that you don’t feel bloated. Healthy fats, like avocados and nuts, generate more subcutaneous fat, which is essential for pushing the bad fat out of your body.
#2 – Ditch the Sweets
Processed, refined sugar is one of the greatest contributors to weight gain and excess belly fat. If you’re a soda drinker, try switching to carbonated water without added sweeteners. Diet soda can be an even bigger problem since it triggers your brain to expect sugar without following through on delivery. You then crave more sweets, leading to weight gain. Cut down on refined and processed sugars to see progress on your waistline.
#3 – Get Moving
People who exercise regularly burn more fat and calories over time. Find an activity that you enjoy, or sign up for a new class at your local gym. Cardio combined with strength training will help you tone down and lose weight more quickly, and establishing a set routine can help you keep the weight off long term. Shoot for 30 minutes to an hour of exercise every day of the week.
#4 – Calm Down
If you’re stressed, find ways to relax. Stress can increase body fat because it jumpstarts the creation of cortisol, which tells your body to start storing abdominal fat. It also makes you hungrier. Practice yoga, go for calming walks in the park or take up a new hobby that helps you relax. Anything that you can do to bring more balance into your life will make you happier and help you shed extra weight.
#5 – Make Substitutions
Swap out bad fats, like saturated oils and trans fatty foods, for good ones, such as coconut oil, olive oil and fresh fish. Ditch fruit drinks and sodas altogether in favor of more water. Instead of eating refined carbs, like white bread, swap out some of your carbs for the whole grain variety. Small changes over time will encourage you to eat better.
#6 – Rest Up
Getting the right amount of sleep is essential to helping you maintain your weight. When you sleep well, you’re more likely to make better food and lifestyle choices, such as taking a walk instead of binge-watching the latest show on Netflix. Practice good sleep habits to enhance your weight loss goals.
#7 – Track Your Progress
One of the best ways to stay on target when you’re losing weight is tracking your progress. Studies have shown that keeping track of your goals helps people stay accountable, which in turn helps them lose more weight. You can download several free apps to your smartphone to track your progress and see your belly fat disappear.
#8 – Try a New Routine
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to trimming belly fat. Try a combination of methods and eating plans to see which one suits your lifestyle and goals. Mixing things up every so often can also keep you interested, which will keep you on track. Shedding excess belly fat isn’t easy, but it’s doable with hard work and diligence.