Subtle changes to your daily routine can help you lose extra fat around your belly and whittle your love handles away. In addition to switching to healthier foods, such as whole grains and unsaturated fats and exercising daily, examine your sleep schedule. Adults who get fewer than seven hours of sleep nightly are more likely to be obese, according to the “Washington Post.”
The fat that sits around the belly is known as visceral fat. Unlike the fat you’ll find on thighs and arms, which is subcutaneous fat, visceral fat wraps around your organs and can produce hormones that lead to insulin resistance as well as an increased amount of estrogen, which increases your risk of disease, according to the MayoClinic.com. Fortunately, losing belly fat is not difficult to do, according to WebMD, and once you lose the fat, you cut your risk.
If you do not already, start exercising daily. You will want to do a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training, as well as exercises that work your abdominal muscles. Try a workout, such as Pilates or exercises with a medicine or kettlebell to strengthen your core muscles. WebMD recommends exercising for an hour daily, but you may want to talk with your doctor to see what level of exercise fits into your lifestyle and physical ability.
Eat Better Fat
In “The Flat Belly Diet,” author Liz Vaccariello recommends you eat foods full of monounsaturated fats to lose fat off your belly. Foods with monounsaturated fats include avocados, olive oil and nuts. As you increase the amount of monounsaturated fats in your diet, you will want to cut back on saturated fats and cut out trans fat completely. To do so, cut down on the amount of red meat, full-fat dairy and fried foods you eat. Read the labels of processed foods. Don’t by anything that contains trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils.
Watch the Sugar
Eating a lot of sweets or refined grains, such as white rice or white bread, can make your belly fatter. When you eat sugar, your body produces insulin to remove the sugar from the blood. According to WebMD, insulin response can lead to more fat around your belly. Replace white rice with brown and white bread with rye or whole wheat. You’ll reduce your body’s insulin response, and cut down on the fat stores in your belly.
You may be tempted to do sit-ups and crunches all day to make your stomach flatter. Crunches make your abdominal muscles stronger, but they do not melt fat away, according to WebMD. Taking laxatives or diuretics will also not help you to melt fat away and can actually do more harm than good. Also keep in mind that simply because you are eating better foods does not mean you can eat more and still lose weight. Maintain or reduce the number of calories you eat daily to lose your belly fat.
- jeans, belly and hand image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com