One of the biggest areas of concern for people when it comes to losing weight is how to burn belly fat and lose that extra baggage.
It can be surprisingly difficult to shift the extra unwanted pounds from this area, so here are 15 tips that you can incorporate to help you shred the belly fat fast and tone your mid-line.
Don’t Skip Meals
People who skip meals and go for long periods without eating put their body into a catabolic state. This means that it starts to break down muscle to use for energy and conserves fat. The body does this out of a primitive survival mechanism, prioritising the storage of fat over muscle.
Protein at 3-4pm
Eating a protein snack in the afternoon between 3-4pm helps to increase the metabolism and balance your blood sugar. This will help to balance your insulin levels and reduce the body from storing fat around the waist line.
Improper chewing can lead to bloating so be sure to chew your food really well to assist the overall digestion process.
Drink Green Tea
some lose green teaDoes green tea help you lose weight? Absolutely it does! People who regularly drink green tea each day have been found to burn more fat than non green tea drinkers. This is due to the presence of caffeine and catechins, the antioxidants helpful in burning fat.
A recent study (1) showed that people who drank green tea on a daily basis over an 12 week period burned considerably more visceral fat than people who did not drink green tea.
Furthermore, the same study showed an even greater increase of weight lost with an improvement in lean muscle mass and improved strength from combining green tea with exercise.
Cut The Salt
Salt can be another contributor to abdominal bloating. Avoid traditional table salt and go for a natural sea salt or Himalayan rock salt as these are lower in sodium. Also be mindful of the salt content in other processed foods you may be consuming.
These aren’t necessarily just for building muscle. A study from the Journal of Nutrition (2) comparing whey and soy protein shows that people who added whey protein in their diet over a period of 23 weeks showed a reduction in body fat and a slimmer waist line than those who used soy protein.
Furthermore, they found that people who used whey protein in their diet burnt fat twice as fast compared to those who consumed a like number of calories but had no whey protein shakes. Just make sure you go for whey protein and not soy!
Eat High-Fibre Foods
some beansEating high fibre foods help to take up space in your stomach, causing you to feel more full quickly. Foods like beans, raspberries, lentils, split peas, artichokes and green peas are a great way to do this as they contain a high amount of fibre.
See also: The health benefits of coconuts
Avoid Drinks High In Calories
Avoiding fizzy and other drinks that are high in calories will help to keep off the extra pounds. Instead have no or low-calorie drinks such as coffee (no milk and sugar), tea (no milk and sugar), diet sodas, water and of course our favourite, green tea!
Eat Proportionate Meals
According to the Chinese dietary view a person should eat until their stomach is half full with food, one quarter with liquid and one quarter empty. This helps to reduce the risk of putting excess strain on the digestive system.
Of course, the drink recommended is a warm cup of green tea!
Doing simple exercises like the plank 3-4 times per day will help to strengthen your core, burn belly fat and tone your abdominal area.
To perform this exercise hold your body in a press up position supporting your upper body on your forearms.
Ensure to keep your body straight and hold the position for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Repeat 4 times in each routine. Repeat each routine 3-4 times per day.
Get Good Sleep
Sleeping is a very important aspect of our overall health and it can also impact our weight. When we are tired our bodies produce more ghrelin, which stimulates sugar cravings.
Not getting enough good quality sleep can also adjust our hormone production and affect the cortisol levels.
When our cortisol levels are effected in this way it can lead to insulin sensitivity that contributes to abdominal fat accumulation. Therefore, it is important to get around 7 hours a night of good quality sleep.
Also bear in mind, each hour of sleep before midnight counts for two hours after!
See also: The benefits of oil pulling
an avocadoWe don’t mean this as an excuse to eat bacon sandwiches, burgers and French fries! No, it is still good to avoid these saturated fats and incorporate more unsaturated, or healthy fats into your diet.
Good sources of unsaturated fats are found in nuts and seeds, oily fish, olive oil and avocados. Eating these kind of fats has shown to actually help the body burn excess fat in the body.
Eat Between Meals
Humans have large brains (requiring a lot of energy) and small stomach, which means we were naturally designed to eat little and often rather than going for long periods of time between meals.
So having a snack between meals keeps your metabolism running and helps to burn the excess fat stores.
However, when it comes to these snacks make sure it is something that is actually going to assist you in you tummy reducing goal such as unsalted nuts (especially almonds), oat cakes or perhaps even a banana.
some peanut butterHaving peanut butter on a daily basis can actually help to keep your stomach flat! This is because it is full of niacin, which helps to keep the digestive system regulated and prevent bloating. However, be mindful of your portion size as it does also contain a lot of fat.
Ideally no more than one and half table spoons per day. Also, be sure to pick a natural, organic peanut butter that doesn’t have all the added sugar that many brands have.
Don’t Eat Before Bed
Ideally, do not eat around 3 hours before going to bed. This is an important one for people looking to lose 50 pounds or more. When we sleep at night our metabolic rate naturally slows down.
So if you have eaten something before retiring then the body will take the excess nutrients and store them as fat. This is an especially important rule to pay attention to if you are wanting to burn belly fat.