What has more sticking power than industrial glue? Belly fat! No matter what you do, belly fat seems to hang around for years despite efforts to shed it. Why? According to Cosmo, the stomach area has a higher amount of fat cells than other parts of the body. What’s worse, belly fat cells don’t like to break down and get lost. Figures, huh? But don’t lose hope. You can shed belly fat; it just takes a bit more effort.
Consume More Fiber
Fiber, those carbs your gut can’t digest, can be beneficial when it comes to losing belly fat. However, only one type of fiber will do: soluble fiber. Fiber that dissolves in water creates a gel-like substance within the stomach that slows down the release of food into the gut. An increase of 10 grams of soluble fiber a day can lower your risk of gaining belly fat by 3.7%. Get more soluble fiber from beans, oats, rice bran, citrus fruits, peas and potatoes.
Sugar is very harmful to your metabolic health. When you eat a lot of it, your overloaded liver has no choice but to turn it directly into fat, and that fat accumulates around the liver and belly. If you want to lose weight around the middle, you must eliminate added sugar from your diet (or reduce it drastically). If you don’t, all your other hard work will be for naught.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods contain loads of sodium, which can cause bloating, especially around the middle. This can make your belly appear larger than it really is. What’s more, processed foods are usually high in fat and calories, both of which can cause you to gain weight. And we all know where that extra weight likes to settle!
Work Your Core
Shape recommends doing a series of core exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles and burn belly fat. The exercises they recommend are not your standard crunches. Instead, they prefer plank exercises, which do more to stabilize your back and tighten your stomach. Plus, planks burn more calories than crunches.
Strength training helps you build lean muscle, which boosts your metabolism. The better your metabolism, the more fat you can burn. Added muscle strength will also help you do more during your cardio workouts, which will only further increase your fat burn.
Losing belly fat takes time. You won’t see much right away, but if you’re consistent, you should see some results in about 3 months. Sure, that seems like a long time, but once the changes you make become second nature, the time will fly by. You just have to get started.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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