With a few tweaks to your lifestyle, you will be on your way to banishing belly fat, which means a healthier new you!
What to Eat
1. Fiber: Fiber flushes the digestive tract, which helps regulate the digestive system and leads to a flatter stomach.
2. Non-fat Dairy: Dairy helps the body retain lean muscle, versus storing visceral fat tissue: “Increasing calcium suppresses calcitriol, a hormone that promotes fat storage.” Michael Zemel, PhD.
3. Fruits and Vegetables: By starting each meal with a fruit or vegetable, you fill up on pure foods and consume less calories, as well as aid in digestion and jump-starting your metabolism.
4. Healthy Fats:It is a big misconception that fat makes you fat. So not true! Healthy fats, found in most nuts and oils, have been proven to keep you lean. The omega-6 fatty acid found in “sunflower, soybean, and corn oils, helps increase the fat-burning hormone adiponectin.” Martha Belury, PhD.
What Not to Eat (and Drink!)
1. Alcohol: One or two drinks occasionally is fine, but if you’re frequently consuming three or more drinks, you will soon see it on your waistline! Choose light beer, wine, or diet mixers.
2. Trans Fats: Found mainly in baked goods and processed snack foods, trans fats have no notable nutritional value, so whenever possible completely avoid these foods!
3. Stress: This is huge contributor to belly fat! Maintaining a very low (and if possible, negligible) stress level is key to warding off unhealthy body fat. Stress boosts our production of cortisol, the hormone known to increase visceral fat, otherwise known as belly fat.
Do the Right Moves
1. Cardio: Abdominal exercises are great–and should be done regularly–but cardio is needed to burn the fat covering your beautiful, strong muscles. Aim to get up and move at least 30 minutes a day, three days a week.
2. Strength & Toning: Building muscle not only looks and feels great, but muscle is your constant companion when leading a Belly Fat-Busting Lifestyle. Muscle burns fat constantly throughout the entire day! Simply work your major muscle groups 2-3 times a week.
You can lead a Belly Fat-Busting Lifestyle starting today by making these small changes gradually over a three week period (that’s how long it takes to create a new habit). In less than a month, you’ll have a new lifestyle and a flatter belly!
Contributing Blogger:: Rachael Chronister is a Fitness Programming Manager at Liberty University majoring in Health Promotions & Nutrition, 2013. She helps facilitate the LaHaye Loser contest (you’re right, it’s just like The Biggest Loser!) and teaches popular turbo-like, Belly Fat-Busting fitness classes.