Your phone, tablet, and television may be affecting your waist size in more ways that one. Obviously if you’re sitting on electronics then you’re not moving around and burning calories. But the effects go beyond just energy. Blue light from electronic screens can disrupt your circadian rhythms; so our addiction to electronics is reducing our sleep as people favor Netflix-bingeing to bed. Both of these effects have been linked to higher levels of belly fat. These 21 other terrible habits will make your belly fat worse.
A study that appeared in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences showed that drinking green tea consistently leads to weight loss. Researchers examined 63 individuals who were divided into three groups—a control group and two experimental groups. The study spanned a period of 2 months. One experimental group consumed 2 cups of green tea per day while the other group consumed 4 cups of green tea per day. Results showed that the group with the highest level of green tea consumption lost the most weight.
This red, naturally sweet tea made from the leaves of the Rooibos bush are powerful fat-melters. According to South African researchers, polyphenols and flavonoids found in the plant inhibits adipogenesis—the formation of new fat cells—by as much as 22 percent. The chemicals also aid fat metabolism. Sip this brew to help burn that stubborn bit of chub clinging to your middle, no diet necessary.
Sure, ketchup is tasty, but it’s also a serious saboteur when it comes your weight loss efforts. Ketchup is loaded with sugar — up to four grams per tablespoon — and bears little nutritional resemblance to the fruit from which it’s derived. Luckily, swapping out your ketchup for salsa can help you shave off that belly fat fast. Fresh tomatoes, like those used in salsa, are loaded with lycopene, which a study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan links to reductions in both overall fat and waist circumference. If you like your salsa spicy, all the better; the capsaicin in hot peppers, like jalapeños and chipotles, can boost your metabolism, too.
On an intermittent fasting eating plan, you cut calories on some days while eating “normal” on the others. It can take a number of different forms, from squeezing meals into an eight- to twelve-hour window five days a week to eating nothing one day a week. Studies show that intermittent fasting does indeed help people lose weight (though it’s no more effective than a typical calorie-cutting diet). By giving your digestive system a break, you can start burning the fat your body has been storing.
The book itself doesn't get tediously microbiome-focused, though. The first section of The Lose Your Belly Diet sets the stage, then part two goes into which foods can give you that healthy mix of gut bacteria. Part three focuses on other ways to boost your stomach's microbiome health (avoiding antibiotics when you don't need them, exercise, and what probiotic supplements to take, namely), while part four gets actionable, providing a diet quiz, recipes, and a meal plan.
On the surface, exercising for weight loss makes total sense: Burn more calories, and you’ll shed more fat. If only it were that simple. A group of 439 overweight and obese women started dieting, exercising, or both dieting and exercising, or they made no lifestyle changes. By the end of the study, just 3 percent of the exercise-only group reached their target weight-loss goals. In comparison, 42 percent of the dieters and 60 percent of those who’d dieted and exercised hit their goals. The results weren’t surprising. It’s all too easy to gobble up 800 calories in a single sitting, but working off that many calories off at the gym is another story.
"Your body needs a healthy balance of exercise and rest. Doing too much prevents the body from shifting excess fat. Exercising without rest can impact our levels of the steroid hormone cortisol and cause an increase of stubborn fat stored in the belly. Not allowing your body to recover can increase the risk of injury too, so make sure you factor in rest days to your plan."