How to Lose a Belly

When it comes to belly fat, it’s not just about appearances–it’s what you don’t see that matters.   What lies underneath a bulging belly can threaten your health more than fat deposits in other areas of your body such as the hips, buttocks and thighs.  Unlike subcutaneous fat found behind the skin, belly fat contains visceral fat cells deep in the abdominal that surround internal organs.  That’s why it’s important to learn how to lose a belly.

Visceral fat cells aren’t fat blobs just hanging around, waiting to be burned up into energy.  Research shows that they are biologically active.  In excess, these cells produce hormones and other substances that may nearly double a person’s risk of death from a variety of illnesses including stroke, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.  And you don’t have to be considerably overweight to be affected.

Carrying abdominal fat can be dangerous. So discover how to lose a belly through targeted tips aimed at trimming your tummy.

Swap Refined Grains for Whole Grains

Although there isn’t a secret food that zaps visceral fat cells, several studies show that substituting whole grains for refined grains, will help fight excess fat in the midsection. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that the consumption of whole grain reduces belly fat, while refined grain intake actually increases it.

Make the healthier choice by filling your diet with natural whole grains, which include brown rice, oatmeal, dark bread or bran, and whole grain pasta and breakfast cereal.  Another important tip on how to lose a belly–Many products on the market can be misleading, so be sure to read the package labels carefully to guarantee you’re getting 100% whole grain.

Manage Stress Levels

According to research, when stress levels are heightened and prolonged it can cause the adrenal glands to release excess cortisol, a “stress” hormone.  To meet the body’s demands under stressful conditions it mobilizes energy such as carbohydrates, proteins and fat from sources within the body.  When the energy is no longer needed, cortisol will then relocate it in the form of fat cell deposits deep in the abdomen.

Cortisol also aids in the growth of adipocytes or baby fat cells into mature fat cells. And when levels of cortisol are elevated, appetite and weight gain increases.  How to lose a belly includes coping with the stress in your life. To reduce stress, help decrease cortisol levels and prevent belly fat, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and visualization.

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Eat Smart Fats
Fats contain double the calories found in carbohydrates and proteins, so they shouldn’t be consumed in excess.  However, our bodies still need small amounts to function properly.  All fats have the same 9 calories per gram, but some are healthier than others.  And interestingly, research suggests some help to rid visceral fat.   For a tip on how to lose a belly–switch to smart fats.

Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) such as olive and canola oils appear to assist people in weight loss without a change in their calorie intake and help reduce both visceral and subcutaneous fat.  You can also get MUFAs from avocados, nuts, seeds, olives and soybeans.  So swap healthy plant fats in place of saturated and trans fats.

Exercise for a Trim Tummy

Regular moderate exercise for 30 to 60 minutes per day works wonders to combat belly fat. When you increase your activity levels through aerobic and anaerobic exercise routines the first place that drops inches and pounds is in the abdominal area.  To see results quickly, one of the best tips on how to lose a belly is to start exercising.  And as you slim down, tighten the muscles under your tummy with specific workouts that target the abs.