The stem, fruit and root bark of the barberry shrub contains berberine–a powerful, naturally occurring, fat-frying chemical. A study conducted by Chinese researchers revealed that berberine can prevent weight gain and the development of insulin resistance in rats consuming a high-fat diet. Previous studies have also found that consuming the plant can boost energy expenditure and help decrease the number of receptors on the surface of fat cells, making them less apt to absorb incoming sources of flubber. Pair it with this definitive plan of 14 ways to turn on your get-lean genes to slim down fast.

C. W. Randolph argues in “From Belly Fat to Belly Flat” that when women develop the dreaded spread, it’s all down to ‘estrogen dominance,’ and that with an “anti-estrogenic” diet, pounds can be shed and stomachs can shrink (though you’re going to have to work on improving your sleep, upping your amount of exercise and lowering your stress levels, too).


A delicious and refreshing beverage, peppermint tea has soothing and calming effects on your system, which help reduce stress and keep the body on track. Remember, stress can hamper your metabolism and disrupt your weight loss efforts. The strong aroma of peppermint tea can also help suppress appetite, which is vital for promoting fat loss. Since peppermint contains volatile compounds, such as menthol, menthone, hesperidin, luteolin, and eriocitrin, drinking this tea can help improve health in a number of ways.
If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you're tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.

A mere 1,200 calories might be enough for your basal metabolic rate—the calories your body would need if you did absolutely nothing all day—but it won’t necessarily keep you energized for basic activities like walking around. “If you cut too many calories too quickly, you’re going to be overly hungry and struggle to maintain that lower calorie intake in order to lose the weight,” says Nolan Cohn.

Stop treating your kitchen like an all-night diner and you’ll stop seeing those unwanted pounds piling onto your frame, too. The results of a study published in Cell Metabolism found that mice who only had access to food during an eight-hour period stayed slim over the course of the study, while those who ate the same number of calories over a 16-hour period gained significantly more weight, particularly around their middle. When you’re finished with dinner at night, shut the fridge and don’t look back until morning — your belly will thank you. When you do head back to the kitchen in the A.M., make sure the 40 Things Healthy Cooks Always Have in Their Kitchen are there waiting for you.
Bottom line: Cutting 100 calories a day doesn’t mean you’ll automatically lose ten pounds this year, so quit treating your meal plans like a perfect equation. Find an eating plan that will keep you healthy and satisfied in the long term, and be prepared to tweak it to match your body’s new needs, starting with these 12 secrets of people who have maintained their weight loss.

Oolong, a Chinese name for “black dragon,” is a light, floral tea that, like green tea, is also packed with catechins, which help to promote weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to metabolize lipids (fat). A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of the six-week time period. That’s a pound a week!
"Walking as a workout can help one lose belly fat; however, a lot of workouts focus on intensity," Jim White, RDN, ACSM-certified personal trainer and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, told POPSUGAR. So in that case, running would typically have a greater effect on belly fat than walking, but any cardio is a good form of exercise for people looking to lose weight. Cardio helps you burn calories and lose weight overall — Jim recommends 300 minutes of cardio a week — which, in turn, will result in the loss of belly fat.
Many are happy to have bulky arms, or a bit of extra weight in the rear, but a big belly? No, thank you. In recent years the diet book trade has focused on stomachs, and not just because we all want to bounce a quarter off of our abs: Many recent studies have shown that there’s a link between excess abdominal fat and health risks, especially heart attacks. But there are a lot of books out there to digest, and we’ve got the skinny on them.
The upshot of all these chemicals floating around is big trouble for big-bellied guys. In a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers took 137 men of all ages and sizes and used seven different measurements to determine their risks of cardiovascular disease. The single best sign of multiple heart-disease risks? No, it wasn't the guys' family histories or their cholesterol profiles. It was the amount of abdominal fat they carried.
The fat-burning setting on a workout machine is designed to be less intense than other cardio programs. Carbohydrates are low-hanging fruit when your body is looking for energy, while fat is a bit tougher for your body to use. When you go slow and steady with your workouts, your body isn’t so desperate for quick energy, so you do burn a higher ratio of fat than you would going all-out on the cardio machine.
With a caffeine count higher than coffee, these teas kick your metabolism into gear. In a study published in the journal *Physiology & Behavior*, a 3-4 percent increase in metabolic rate was measured in both lean and obese subjects after a single 100 mg dose of caffeine. Look for teas made from this caffeine-containing fruit; if you want to skip comparative shopping, just grab a box of Celestial Seasonings' Fast Lane, which clocks in 20 mg above your daily cup of coffee at 110 mg caffeine.
In a way, moderate-intensity physical activity is that "magic pill" a lot of people are looking for, because the health benefits go beyond keeping your waistline trim: Not only can it reduce your risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart attacks, but studies have shown that physical activity can significantly improve the moods of patients with major depressive disorders.
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