Beat the Belly Fat

| Food

What should you do to get rid of all that pesky belly fat? It's right there, staring up at you every day! You don't have to make big life changes to say goodbye to your belly pouch, you just need to make a few good food choices every day. Nutrition is where it counts! Dr. Ellen Albertson has a few pointers on how to keep your belly fat off. She is a psychologist, registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed wellness coach and a former Master personal fitness trainer! You can even find Dr. Albertson online at her website, Smash Your Scale. Check out her tips to help you reduce your belly fat and keep it off!

>> Read more: 11 Unexpected Habits Keeping You Overweight

slim waist measure

Eat foods with more fiber. You can reduce your belly size just by eating food! Research has proven that people who eat more soluble fiber — about 10 more grams than they usually do — can reduce their belly fat by about 3.7 percent over five years.

Also more good fats! Amazingly, there is such a thing as "good fat." You should look for foods like salmon that have omega-3s in them, beans that have a low glycemic index, as well as nuts and seeds.

>> Read more: 6 Simple Rules of Good Nutrition

Watch out for refined carbs! Be sure that you're careful about what carbs you're eating. You want to eat less of the refined carbs. These would be foods like sugar, white flour, soda, pasta and white rice.

Get your protein in. Try adding a serving of lean protein to every meal that you eat that day. If this is a big change for you then start off with a serving of protein for one meal a day. After that try bumping up how often you eat lean protein per day. You can try adding eggs to a salad, having some edamame for a snack, choose turkey or chicken breast for a lunchtime sandwich, or even just have chicken tenderloins for dinner!

You don't have to diet! You want to lose your belly fat; it's understandable. The obvious solution may be to diet and skip meals. Do not to do this! When you diet, your stress hormone, cortisol, starts to increase. This turns on your appetite and makes your body start accumulating body fat. Plus, when you get hungry on a diet, your body will start to crave refined carbs.

>> Read more: 50 Healthy Cookbooks to Make the Most of Your Meals

weight loss measurement around waist

Eat mindfully. What does this mean? It means to be aware when you eat! It's okay to eat when you're hungry. When you eat, eat foods full of nutritional value. It's important to eat slowly and stop when you feel full. Trust your body to tell you when to stop eating; it will tell you when you've eaten the right amount to keep a healthy body weight. It can also help you to reduce eating an excess of calories that can be turned into belly fat!

A few extra pointers to follow:

Exercise: Belly fat thrives when you're inactive! You should be careful what you eat, but also stay active. At least 30 minutes of brisk walking a day for five days a week should do it.

Get a good night's sleep: Try to get eight hours a night. Research has proved that people who get six to seven hours a night tend to gain less belly fat. So, eight hours a night should ensure that you don't gain any belly fat.

Reduce your stress: Remember how it was mentioned before that dieting can lead to stress, which in turn can lead to weight gain? Keep your stress levels low to ensure that you don't get the munchies and gain your belly fat back.