While a healthy diet and regular exercise are the gold standard in effective and sustainable weight loss and management, there are other lifestyle practices to make your weight loss efforts more effective.
There aren’t any known or proven methods to reduce fat on problem areas in your body, let alone belly fat. But fortunately, there are a variety of fat reduction lifestyle tips which specifically target your belly, an area where excess fat is most typically stored.
Not only will losing weight through losing belly fat give you a healthier scale on the number, less superficial benefits such as lowered cholesterol, reduction in chances of lifestyle diseases and metabolic complications as well as healthier vital organs are a major plus.
Try these lifestyle tips and practices to promote reduction in belly fat
1. Reduce stress
Stress, especially when experienced constantly, is attributed to an increase in belly fat due to the excess amounts of cortisol that your body releases. Stress causes abdominal fat, regardless if you’re overweight or not.
The key idea to reduce abdominal fat through stress management is to keep your cortisol levels down. That means no caffeine close to bedtime, exercising regularly to release cortisol-balancing endorphins, and allowing yourself time to relax and unwind from stress on a daily basis with whatever suits you such as meditation, yoga, journaling, etc.
It may seem like slowing down and letting your body recharge from stress doesn’t seem like the most obvious way to lose fat, but in managing our cortisol levels, you are in fact giving your body the proper cues to not store and hold on to excess fat.
2. Rule out food intolerances
A large belly caused by gas and bloating can be misconceived as fat. Consider if you have any food intolerances or allergies that are giving you indigestion and bloat. Cutting out allergens and promoting good gut health not only will make your stomach flatter, but improve your overall health.
Common food allergens include:
– Dairy products
– Gluten, commonly found in wheat, grain and soy products
Lesser known allergens that could cause bloat irritation of the gut are:
– Artificial preservatives
– Food coloring
– Artificial fillers
– Trans fats
If you suspect that you have any allergies to these foods (you’ll know you have an allergy if you experience gas, bloating, brain fog, etc.), simply cut them out of your diet, your stomach should flatten out now that there are no allergens in it to cause inflammation.
3. Balance Your Hormones
Did you know that hormone balance is vital for a flat stomach? While hormones are typically associated with reproductive health, hormones greatly determine how you metabolize and accumulate fat as well.
Hormones such as cortisol, insulin, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen all play a role in how much fat your belly accumulates. Work on keeping your hormones balanced and watch your belly fat accumulation decrease.
Here are some basic ways to care for your overall hormonal health:
- Meditate and prioritize quality sleep to manage stress and lower cortisol levels.
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates to avoid spikes in insulin and to lower inflammation. In fact, too much insulin actually stores excess calories specifically in your abdomen.
- Incorporate adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, which promote equilibrium in your body by nourishing it according to what your body needs. If you have a hormonal imbalance, Ashwagandha has the ability to bring things back in balance.
4. Do HIIT
Daily exercise is one of the healthiest ways to burn calories and keep your body from storing excess calories, which turn into fat.
High Intensity Interval Training exercises, otherwise known as HIIT, have been shown time and again to burn more fat than prolonged exercise done at a lower intensity, and actually continue to burn fat even after your workout.
While finding an exercise that you personally enjoy and are willing to commit to on a regular basis is the most ideal way to exercise to reap all the physical and health benefits, if you’re looking to lose fat as efficiently as possible incorporate HIIT workouts into your exercise routine.
5. Incorporate cinnamon
If there’s a belly-reducing ingredient out there, we’d have to say that cinnamon would take the mantle as it’s the ideal ingredient to reduce the weight gaining effects that excess sugars and refined carbs give us.
Studies have shown that cinnamon lowers and stabilizes blood sugar. If you eat a carby or sugary meal, consuming cinnamon beforehand can offset the spike in insulin by naturally lowering your blood sugar levels and increase our sensitivity to insulin, resulting in less calories being stored as fat around the abdomen.
Keep your belly fat in control with regular intake of cinnamon and notice the reduction of fat around your abdomen.