"Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on our bodies. It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly."
That doesn't mean you can't slim down your stomach, though. Follow a balanced and calorie-controlled diet to lose fat all over your body consistently, and you'll burn fat in your midsection, too. Include strength training to hold onto metabolism-boosting muscle, and use exercises like planks and side planks to cinch your abdominal muscles and give the appearance of a leaner stomach.
To start off, aim to do ab work 3 or 4 times a week on non-consecutive days with at least 24 hours of rest in between sessions, says Gagliardi. During those sessions, you can start with simpler moves like crunches, bicycle crunches, and planks. Even though you may only be directly targeting your abs 3 or 4 times a week, you should still be activating your core (aka, tightening your ab muscles) in every workout you do, says Gagliardi.

A 2014 Taiwanese study analyzed the effect of hibiscus tea extract in increasing weight loss. Researchers examined 26 individuals over a 12-week period. The results showed that participants who took hibiscus tea extract lost more weight than control groups. The hibiscus ingredients also reduced serum free fatty acid (FFA), demonstrating the tea's ability to reduce fat storage.
This fermented Chinese tea might do to your fat cells what the New England Patriots allegedly do to their footballs—deflate them! To discover the brew’s fat-crusading powers, Chinese researchers fed groups of rats varying diets over a two-month period. Those who had a high-fat diet while also receiving pu-erh tea extract had lower levels of fat in their blood and lower levels of belly fat than those who did not. While the effects aren’t proven in humans, this tea has true fat-blasting potential. Sip a cup in the morning, and get even skinnier with the 8 ways to lose weight before noon.
Bottom line: “The key is being above the basal metabolic rate but slightly below the total number of calories you burn in a day,” says Nolan Cohn. Women who are first starting a diet shouldn’t aim for any less than 1,500 to 1,700 calories a day, she says. Instead of sticking to a rigid number, give yourself a range to allow for wiggle room. Don’t miss these other 19 tips a weight-loss coach won’t tell you for free.
This easy a.m. ritual works on two levels. First, a recent study found that exposure to sunlight in between the hours of 8 am and noon reduced your risk of weight gain regardless of activity level, caloric intake, or age. Researchers speculate that the morning light synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes. And burning calories before you eat means you’re exercising in a fasted state—the energy you burn comes right from your fat stores, instead of the food you ate. But what really stunned Martha was the improvement in her heart health. Before starting Zero Belly Diet, Martha’s heart rate would typically soar to 112 beats per minute (bpm) within moments of starting her exercise bike workout. “After the first week and a half I could not raise my heart rate over 96 bpm with the same workout. It was great to see change in the mirror, and even better to know good things were happening that I couldn’t even see.”
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.
Guggul tea, also known as Indian Bedellium, is used in Ayurveda medicine. It has fat regulating properties that work by increasing your body's metabolic rate. This tea, used for weight management, also has purifying and rejuvenating properties. Mixing the herb kaiphore with guggul, boosts the fat burning properties. Of course, you should check with your doctor before trying new herbs for any purpose.
Green peppers and other members of the domesticated plant species Capsicum annuum are versatile vegetables that can be included in your daily diet as part of a healthy eating plan. They are low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also a decent source of fibre. Add peppers to your diet to boost your metabolism, which can lead to belly fat loss.
Don’t let extra hours lounging in bed stand between you and a flatter belly. While getting enough sleep can help boost your metabolic rate, sleeping in may undo any benefit you’d enjoy from catching a few extra winks. One study reveals that late sleepers who snoozed past 10:45 in the morning ate nearly 250 more calories over the course of the day, despite eating half as many fruits and vegetables as their early bird counterparts. Even worse, they chowed down on more salty, sugary, and trans fat-laden fast food than those who woke up earlier. If you happen to head out of the house early, you’re in for an additional metabolic boost; researchers at Northwestern University have found that people exposed to just a short period of early morning sunlight had lower BMIs than their late-waking counterparts.
"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."
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