Join Betsy’s this summer on a weight loss journey with our six-part series, The Best Summer Weight Loss Guide. In Part Five, we look at the importance of core strength in taking control of dreaded belly fat. Don’t miss these belly-busting tips.
Whether it’s fat found just beneath the skin (subcutaneous) or between inner organs (visceral), extra weight around the middle has serious health implications. According to the Mayo Clinic, boasting an “apple shaped” body is a potential indicator of metabolic syndrome, and increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Here are expert tips on how to shed inches off your waistline for long-term health.
Burn belly fat.
Interval training—spending between 10 percent and 20 percent of cardio time on high-intensity bursts—burns visceral fat, says Kathy Smith, instructor, Ageless with Kathy Smith (Acacia, 2011).
Strengthen the Core.
Muscles between your ribs and pelvis support the abdomen, keep you upright and maintain a flat stomach. Planks and crunches can keep these muscles strong.
Stay regular with soluble fiber.
Constipation can prevent abdominal muscles from properly receiving electrical impulses and decreases exercise’s effectiveness. Although there is no dietary reference intake for fiber, many experts recommend having 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber per day, with about one-fourth coming from soluble fiber (which would be 6 to 8 grams). Adequate water intake is also important to regularity.
Balance metabolism with diet.
Eat five or six small, whole-food meals a day to avoid “starvation mode” – when metabolism slows and fat-cell production increases.
Focus on portions.
A healthy plate is comprised of half non-starchy veggies, one-fourth lean protein and one-fourth complex carbohydrates. Consider also the size of the plate. You’d be surprised how full you can feel after mindfully consuming a full plate of food, even if the plate is salad-size instead of a dinner plate.
Choose helpful supplements.
Boost metabolism with nettle tea, digestive enzymes or chlorella, says Keren Gilbert, RD, founder and president of Decision Nutrition.
Keep weighty hormones balanced by avoiding artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils; eating protein, fiber and healthy fats; and avoiding excessive weightlifting, which can increase production of cortisol – and belly fat –says naturopath Natasha Turner, ND, author of The Hormone Diet (Rodale, 2009).
Listen to your liver.
Excess estrogen can cause belly fat in men and women. Optimize liver function and keep estrogen levels in check with turmeric, calcium D-glucarate, magnesium, fiber and B vitamins, says Turner.
Let Betsy’s help you find the right supplements to help you with your belly-fat battle. Utilize these tips, and remember that maintaining your best weight is often a lifestyle shift for lasting change.
Read Part Six: Proven Ingredients to Boost Metabolism
Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider about any health concerns and before beginning a diet or exercise plan, especially if you take medications or have a known medical condition. For example, the supplements mentioned in this article also thin blood.
Article copyright 2017 by Delicious Living and Sabinsa Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.