When you lose weight, your body decides where it comes from, which means you have to lose weight overall to see any results from your belly. You can do this by eating in a healthy calorie deficit, choosing nutritious foods, and burning calories (and strengthening muscle) through exercise. We've already covered the fact that walking is a good form of exercise that can help you lose weight, but what about belly fat?
A diet that’s low in fat and carbohydrates can improve artery function, according to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins researchers. After six months, those on the low-carb diet had lost more weight, and at a faster pace. But in both groups, when weight was lost—and especially when belly fat shrank—the arteries were able to expand better, allowing blood to travel more freely. The study shows that you don’t have to cut out all dietary fat to shrink belly fat. For heart health, simply losing weight and exercising seems to be key.
When it comes to sugar, white flour, white bread, and many other simple sugars, you’re better off without them. But you absolutely should be including in your meals vegetables, fruits, legumes, and even whole grains, which some fad diets wouldn’t recommend in a million years. Cutting out a whole tribe of foods just because a few members of the family are troublemakers makes no sense whatsoever.
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Spanx are maybe no one’s idea of a good time, but sometimes you just need a little extra (firm) help to flatten your tummy to wear your favorite dress or for a special evening out. And there’s nothing wrong with turning to technology to help you get there. Body shaping undergarments have come a long way in the past few years with more breathable fabrics and styles for both men and women.
Think of white tea as Spanx in a cup. It actually works with your body in four different ways to promote fat-burning: It blocks the formation of new fat cells while simultaneously boosting lipolysis, the body’s process of breaking down stored fat, according to a study published in the journalNutrition and Metabolism. Another group of researchers found that the tea is also a rich source of catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from the cells and—bonus!—helps speed the liver’s ability to turn fat into energy. Brew this and burn fat.
The pressure, the puffy stomach, the self-consciousness—this tea can help you ditch all of it. According to numerous studies, flavonoids and other compounds found in the hibiscus plant help to counteract bloating by influencing how aldosterone, the hormone that regulates water and electrolytes balance, affects the body. Enjoy a cup of hibiscus tea and watch your pooch slowly–but surely–deflate.
Blue tea is prepared using the beautiful butterfly pea flower that is said to help you lose weight effectively. Studies have shown that regular consumption of blue tea increases metabolism which in turn burns excess fat. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, blue tea prevents and helps fight obesity and fatty liver diseases.
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.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios — at GH, we're nuts about nuts! People who snack on nuts may have lower abdominal fat than those who munch on carb-based treats, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, a heart-healthy (and more satisfying) pick than their grain-based counterparts.
Removing saturated fat (the kind found most often in animal products like meat) and replacing it with monounsaturated fat in moderation is undoubtedly a good thing. It helps lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and the chance of heart attack and stroke. So it’s a good approach for anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease.
It’s the best fruit for weight loss. That means Pink Lady over Granny Smith, watermelon over honeydew, red grapes over green ones. The higher levels of nutrients called flavonoids—particularly anthocyanins, compounds that give red fruits their color—calm the action of fat-storage genes. In fact, red-bellied stone fruits like plums boast phenolic compounds that have been shown to modulate the expression of fat genes.
Burning body and belly fat with cardio exercises is half the battle. Next is strengthening abdominal muscles so you have something to show once the fat is shed. In a recent study, ab exercises were ranked from best to worst. The bicycle exercise ranked as #1 because it requires abdominal stabilization, body rotation, and more abdominal muscle activity.
Here's something else most people probably don't know: Fidgeting is good for you. It's considered a nonexercise physical activity, and it's an important way to burn energy. You get more health benefits if, in addition to exercising, you are a more fidgety, more active person the rest of the day. This means gesturing while you're talking, tapping your foot, just moving around.