You hear a lot of things on the Internet about how to lose weight, drop fat, reduce the size of your belly etc…Many of these things you may have actually tried yourself with only moderate or no success. This is because many of these so-called “secret” fat loss techniques are nothing more than a fad. Some kind of ploy to get you to buy a special food, program, book or tool. There is more of this going on than you might realize. Buying into one of these weight loss scams and being unsuccessful can leave you feeling hopeless and frustrated.
The Danger of Belly Fat
Belly fat is more than just a nuisance that makes your pants tight and tears at your self-confidence. The bigger problem with belly fat is not aesthetic but physiological. The fat that accumulates in the midsection is known as visceral fat and is a serious threat to your health. Having this type of fat puts you at an increased risk of serious diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
There is, however, good news. While the scams will continue, it is hopeful to know that there are scientifically-backed ways to reduce the size of your belly. There are ways to reduce your risk of serious diseases and keep you from having to buy new pants. Here are some real and research-backed ways to look and feel your best.
Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats on the earth. It is comprised of medium-chain fats that can boost your metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store. Studies suggest that a diet rich in coconut oil helps to accelerate abdominal fat loss. In a study, obese men who took coconut oil daily for 3 months lost an average of 1.1 inches from their waists without making any changes to diet or exercise. Imagine how great the results would be if you combined diet and exercise with using coconut oil. Try taking 2 tablespoons of unrefined, raw coconut oil per day for best results and replace your other vegetable oil with coconut oil in cooking.
Eat More Fiber
Eating more soluble fiber helps slow food down as it passes through the digestive system while decreasing the number of calories you absorb from food. A scientific study on over 1000 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat decreased by 3.7% over a five year period. That is good news. Great sources of fiber daily include flaxseeds, avocados, blackberries, and legumes.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is essential for weight control. Eating protein increases a feeling of fullness and helps decrease appetite. Both are good things if you are watching your waist. In addition, protein helps raise your metabolic rate and also helps you retain muscle mass while you are losing weight. Studies show that people who consume a higher protein diet have less abdominal fat than those who consume a lower protein diet. Good sources of protein include raw nuts, wild-caught fish, free range eggs, hemp seeds and chia seeds.
Manage Stress Better
There it is again, that dreaded “S” word we all struggle with. Stress can really destroy your health if you let it get out of control. Even subtle, everyday stresses with our jobs, family, and relationships can start to chip away at our health and well-being, adding inches to our waistline. When we are stressed, the body releases stress hormones including cortisol, AKA, the fat storage hormone. Not dealing with stress daily can actually make your waist expand. Here are a few tips to help you reduce the degree to which stress in your life impacts your waistline:
- Exercise daily – not within a few hours of bed though
- Get outside daily – take a walk in nature – enjoy a flower garden or just stand in the fresh air and breather
- Take a warm bath before bed with Epsom salts and lavender oil
- Take up yoga
- Learn how to deep breathe – do this several times a day
- Spend time each day alone, collecting your thoughts, journaling, sketching or just being quiet
Stop Eating Sugar
Sugar contains fructose, and too much fructose can lead to dangerous health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and fatty liver disease. Studies were done on the relationship between a high sugar diet and increased abdominal fat and the results demonstrated that eating a lot of sugary food and drinks does lead to increased abdominal fat. To save your belly it is important to switch to a diet low in refined sugar and consume natural sugar, such as honey, in moderation. Be very careful of places where sugar hides such as in salad dressing, crackers, and cereal. Eating a diet rich in whole foods as much as possible is always the best option to avoid processed sugar.
If you put these six things into action today, you should notice a decrease in your belly size in no time!