You want to look and feel great again, unfortunately there’s a roadblock. Your belly fat has you in the slow lane. Try The 6 Best Ways To Burn Belly Fat!

Why Do I Have Belly Fat In The First Place?

It can be embarrassing to say the least, but it’s also dangerous for your health. You want to feel comfortable in your own body, not be so self-conscious, that you can’t go to the beach without being stared at or judged; but underneath your appearance, lay the health conditions that can lead to an early death. That’s right, type 2 diabetes and heart disease are lurking around the corner of belly fat (1) The only person who can get your belly from flab to flat is you.

SEE ALSO: 9 Tips To Cut Back On Sugar

How Do You Know Belly Fat Is An Issue?

For starters, take a look in the mirror. It’s not hard to notice once things start getting bad. Next measure the circumference of your waist to determine if you are on the borderline, or way past what is healthy. For men, anything over 40 inches is considered obese. Women should worry at 35 inches and above. There are several different reasons you may have gained weight around your stomach area in recent years. Some common things include:

A. Poor Diet

It’s been documented that eating healthy is more difficult for those who cannot afford the higher prices of eating right (2). Less quality nutrition per calorie results in eating more to fulfill the body’s needs. It’s also well known that processed foods are being marketed to the general population by large food corporations at an increasing rate. Four different studies showed that ultra-processed foods were responsible for an increase of obesity, and higher blood glucose levels (3).

B. Lack Of Exercise

It is well known that obesity and a sedentary behavior go hand in hand (4). How often do you go to the gym or run around the neighborhood? Sedentary behavior is increasing in nations around the world, even though its well known it can cause chronic health conditions. Sitting, reclining, or lying down are all low energy behaviors. Only 21 percent of American adults are meeting the minimum requirement of physical activity guidelines set by the government (5) Long periods of being lazy can slow down your metabolism, and stop the body from breaking down fat.

C. Stressed Out

We all know stress is bad. It feels awful, and you want it to go away as soon as possible. It also has some pretty horrible side effects on your physical health. Stress increases the long-term levels of cortisol in our bodies. The cortisol released from stress is linked to abdominal obesity, and some mental disorders (6). Stress can also influence what we eat, and our food preferences. Many people who eat more food when triggered by stress report that they crave sugary, and fatty foods. Also known as “comfort food”, which activates the reward center of the brain (7).

What Are The Best Ways To Burn The Belly Fat Off?

1. Walk The Dog And Yourself

Start slowly, and work your way up to higher levels. For example, a quick 10-minute walk per day is a good start, then work your way up to 30 minutes per day as it becomes easier. And no, it doesn’t have to be 30 minutes in a single walk. Break it down into smaller chunks if you’re crunched for time. One before breakfast, lunch and dinner, or however you’d like. Eventually you can start jogging if you’d like to really take it up a notch.

2. Get Smart

We know its hard to let go of those tasty treats when they are in front of you. Especially if you don’t know what a balanced meal really looks like in the first place. Step 1 is to get rid of as much processed fats, carbs, and sugar products as you can. Step 2 is to do your research on what a balanced healthy meal should consist of, and work towards shifting your shopping list to the positive side. Where to start? Follow the dietary guidelines laid out by the USDA to get an idea.

3. Cut Back On The Booze

Go ahead and have a drink, maybe two. Just don’t let it get out of hand. Increased alcohol consumption has been linked to a high level of abdominal fat, also known as a “beer belly”(8).

4. Eat High Fiber Foods To Burn Belly Fat

Fiber helps us remove the bad stuff from our bodies. Its plant matter that can’t be digested. When the fiber is in your stomach, it expands and thickens to make you feel full longer, and slows down the digestion of other food. This makes it easier to eat less over the course of a day (9).

5. Cut Carbs To Burn Belly Fat

Simple carbs actually cause weight gain, and simultaneously increase your appetite. Bread, pasta, cereal, soda, candy, sports drinks, energy drinks are all loaded with carbs that break down into sugar, or already contain sugar. The calories in these carbs are of very low quality for energy. They also raise your blood sugar, causing an insulin spike in your blood. The insulin triggers your body to store the carbs as fat, and your midsection is an easy target (10).

6. Pack On More Protein

Diets with a higher level of protein intake showed that it helped with feelings of fullness when eating (11). There is also evidence that diets higher in protein result in weight loss and fat loss (12). You’ll want to have approximately 30% of your caloric intake comprised of protein. Vegans don’t have to eat meat in order to get their protein either. There are several plant-based sources of protein to choose from. Another option is to get a protein powder, to help boost your intake.

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