A majority of the new clients I work with want to jump on a diet to lose belly fat. And usually they want to lose the weight fast - which is understandable. The motivating factors are things like a wedding, a vacation, a class reunion - or even a doctor's plea to shed a few pounds for health reasons. Regardless of the reasons, these 12 super simple healthy tips to lose belly fat will help you get rid of a few inches without dieting or counting calories.
Your body isn't trying to work against you. And you are absolutely capable of losing weight - regardless of your age or gender.
Your Apple Shape Body Type has more of the type of fat called visceral fat.
Believe it or not, losing belly fat, or visceral fat, is not hard to do! You just need to pay closer attention to what you're eating and fall into a few healthier habits that are right for your body type.
That said, belly fat is no joke. It gets packed around your major organs, increases blood pressure, inflammation and and the likelihood of developing diabetes.
You can start working through these tips right away. There is no need to wait. You don't need to take any special supplements or buy expensive food to get started.
Just make a few changes - and start now.
12 Healthy Tips to Lose Belly Fat - Safe & Easy
It's really important to understand that trendy, fad diets (like the keto diet) might work to help you lose weight fast, but you'll almost always gain it back twice as fast as you lost it. In the 15 years I've worked with clients, rarely have I seen body fat stay off for more than a year after stopping a fad diet.
A year may seem like a long time, but it's so deflating when the scale starts creeping back up again. Pound by pound, all the progress made vanishes.
I'm happy to tell you, though, you can still lose weight quick enough (but not overnight), by focussing in on a few of the tips I've highlighted below.
Give yourself 30 - 45 days to see real progress. The more you commit, the greater the progress.
Hormones and Weight Loss
Especially as we get older, hormones play a big role in weight gain and weight loss. If you want to lose weight fast, or are just want to feel your best, it's important that you think about the little chemical messengers in your body that are saying "store fat here," or "burn fat there."
I really hone on on two hormones in this post called insulin and human growth hormone. Insulin is directly involved with storing fat, and, as you probably know, a key player in the development of diabetes. Human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin work together, especially when we sleep. It's so important to get an adequate amount of rest, especially on days when you're more active, so this hormone can maximize its benefits for you!
The Inflammation + Body Fat Connection
Most of the tips below aim at reducing inflammatory foods, which is one of the biggest triggers for becoming overweight. Truth be told, if everyone ate mostly anti-inflammatory foods (and drinks) there would be very little need for a diet to lose belly fat.
Here we go! Follow as many of the tips as you can.
Remember, permanent weight loss is a lifestyle - not a diet.
I get pretty geeky in explaining WHY I think you would benefit from these tips. Some of them may seem counterintuitive, but I promise they've worked for hundreds of my clients, and thousands of readers of The Belly Burn Plan.
#1. Drink room temp water all day long
Room temperature water quite possibly the best and easiest choice you could make to digestions going - and to remove toxins from your body, or at least from your colon!
Cold water forces your colon to constrict. Not to be graphic, but it makes it harder for you to poop! Throughout the day, keep drinking room temperature water to keep things moving.
It's especially important to drink water first thing in the morning, then 15 minutes before every meal or snack. Drinking water before (and not during) a meal helps food digest easier.
Oh, and by the way, here are a few foods that help with constipation.
#2. Do a shot of apple cider vinegar before you eat in the morning
Of the many benefits of apple cider vinegar, one of my favorites is that it helps to slow the release of insulin into the blood. This has something to do with acetic acid that I talked about a while back on Dr. Oz.
In a nutshell, when you slow the release of insulin, you control cravings for sugar, help prevent diabetes and stall fat that would otherwise get stored in your belly!
Apple cider vinegar has one of those flavors you don't forget. The best way to get these benefits of ACV is to take is everyday. Start your day by taking two tablespoons on their own or in a cup of warm water. Once a day everyday is all it takes.
#3. Limit fruit to 1 serving a day
You may think I'm a bit crazy for this recommendation, but it's a good one. Fruit is high in a sugar called fructose. When we eat too much food in general, fructose gets stored as triglyceride. More importantly, too much fructose can increase belly fat.
If you're going to eat a serving of fruit, make sure it's on an empty stomach so that all that sugar you're eating gets used right away, not blocked by other foods that need to get digested.
The fruits I suggest you incorporate (only once a day) include:
- Green apples
#4. Get at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day
High fiber foods are a must for just about any diet, but especially for people who want get on a diet to lose belly fat.
Here's why fiber is so important:
High fiber foods - both soluble and insoluble - help to remove toxins from your body. Fiber also helps you reduce cholesterol, makes you feel fuller faster and increases the bowel movements.
For every gram of fiber you eat, you help to escort garbage, toxins and sludge out of your body that your fat cells would otherwise hold onto.
Read through this list of high fiber foods to get you started. Aim to get at between 5 to 10 grams with each meal, and a few with snacks as well.
Load up on carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, squash, cauliflower, broccoli, prunes, apples and berries to start getting more fiber in your diet today.
#5. Allow starchy carbs in one meal a day only
Starchy carbohydrates are an easy go-to in most diets, but not the best if you want to lose belly fat.
For example, it's easy to eat toast, bagels, pastries or oatmeal for breakfast; sandwiches, wraps, pasta or pizza for lunch; and rice, potatoes, pasta or bread for dinner.
Every one of those is a starchy carbohydrate and can sometimes make up to 50% or more of the calories we take in. Oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes, rice, bread, sweet potatoes...they're all healthy, but on the starchy side. Limit them to 1 meal a day.
Just because you're not eating starchy carbohydrates doesn't mean your avoiding carbs altogether! You can still eat endless amounts of vegetables. Get creative. I love Minimalist Baker. Check out that site for ideas of healthy veggie-based meals.Most people like to eat starchy carbohydrates at night, and that's just fine, but take a look at my next tip.
#6. Try not to eat after dinner
If you have to eat after dinner, try to keep it within 3 hours of going to bed. Eating too close to bedtime interferes with your body's human growth hormone (HGH), which allows you to do the following:
- develop muscle
- burn fat
- manage blood sugar levels
- control cravings
Yep, all this can be made better if you give your body a chance to use its HGH. It simply doesn't work as well if you have a lot of food in your gut.
Waiting a full 3 hours before bedtime, gives your stomach enough time to empty. Some people have a really hard time not eating before bed. I get that. But unless you have a metabolic concern, such as diabetes, curbing the pre-bedtime snack is a great non-diet way to lose belly fat!
#7. Eat fat with every meal
Different body types need different amounts, but everyone needs some. Fat helps your body absorb nutrients, and increases metabolic function.
More important than just getting a little bit of fat is getting the right kind of fat. Avoid refined fats, like corn, canola and soybean oil. Eat more unrefined fats, like avocados, avocado oil, olive oil, butter and coconut oil.
You don't necessarily need a lot of fat in each meal. Some people do just great adding a teaspoon of almond butter to a smoothie, where others definitely need a half of an avocado or handful of nuts to feel great. But if you're reading this, you're an apple shape, and should eat what an apple shape meal plan - which is inclusive of more healthy fat.
#8. Do interval training
Cardio workouts are really good for you! Everyone should get this type of activity as it's great for our hearts, joints and stress levels. BUT low intensity cardio exercises do very little to help burn belly fat.
Keep up the cardio, but shift gears to interval training instead! An interval is simply a short period of time where you push your heart rate up high, then let it come down. This can be done doing anything. I recommend intervals between 1 - 10 minutes in length. Recover down 1 to 2 minutes, then push your heart rate up high again.Need workouts? Pick up The Belly Burn Plan or try this great interval workout.
#9. Strength train
Strength training helps build muscle which improves your metabolism, but it also releases human growth hormone, which helps keep you looking like your young-feeling and gorgeous self! We talked about the benefits of interval training, which is short, sweet and to the point.
Strength training works to tone muscle, shape your body - and of course, increase strength.
Squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, etc., are all good. You'll see this as a theme in this list, but strength training also helps to boost HGH, which is so important to maintaining not just muscle mass, but a metabolism that burns more fat! Here is a good post for body weight leg exercises, and here is a good post for full body exercises.
Plank a day, friends. Plank a day. Each and every day, do one plank for as long as you can. It can be done on your knees, or in full plank form. You will naturally engage your abs after you've activated them doing this exercise. After one week, your "core" will feel stronger and you will probably start seeing a difference, too! Planks are an exercise you can do everyday. Start planking for 30 seconds a day, then gradually progress up to 2 minutes.
If you have the attitude, "I'm fine on 5 hours of sleep," your body disagrees. You NEED to get through 5 full sleep cycles to optimize your body's ability to reduce body fat and build muscle. A compelling University of Chicago study showed that people who slept 5.5 hours lost 55% less fat in contrast to those who slept 8.5 hours. This was over a two week period. If you want to lose weight fast, start sleeping more. Think of sleep as food.
Similar to not eating a lot before going to bed, sleep is also necessary to the release of HGH. HGH releases at the beginning of every sleep cycle. So if you're getting a full 5 sleep cycles a night, then you're getting all the HGH your body needs.
#12. Watch your liquids
We've covered water, but other than that, curb your alcohol to about 3 drinks a week. If you want to see a difference in your body, you may need to make some short term changes for long term solutions.
Additionally, cut out sugary coffee drinks, juices and sodas. They will only add inches to your waistline. Pay attention to how your body feels after you have caffeine. If you're more nervous, agitated or can't sleep, ease off of it. No one should consume caffeine later in the day, which includes the afternoon, as this can disturb sleep patterns.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.
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