Ah, the belly pooch… we all hate it and we all strive to get rid of it. Not only does it zap our self-confidence, it additionally ups our chances of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. So what is the best way to rid yourself of that annoying mommy belly? We’ve got the 4-1-1 on the most effective steps you can take to burn belly fat. Check out the tips below and the fat-blasting video above to burn belly fat!
1. Go for the cardio. According to experts at WebMD, if belly fat is your target of choice, cardio is the best option to shoot for. Although weight training is important to shape muscles and rev the metabolism, cardio helps to burn the layer of fat covering the abdominals and causing that mommy pooch. For best results, shoot for 30-60 minutes of moderate cardio 4-6 times a week.
>> Read more: 7 Days Of Cardio: Free Workout Guide
2. Eat responsibly. You might think you’re eating healthy by throwing down a muffin for breakfast or munching on pasta for lunch, but these foods can contain partially hydrogenated oils and enriched flours, two major contributors to belly pooch. What’s worse? Studies have shown that eating foods that contain trans fat, like crackers, pasta and baked goods, can actually redistribute fat from other areas of the body directly to the belly. (via Doctor Oz)
3. Load up on MUFAS. So you’re probably wondering, what the heck is a MUFA? MUFA is an acronym for monounsaturated fats. According to Dr. Oz, packing your daily diet full of foods high in monounsaturated fats like olive oil and nuts actually helps to burn off belly fat while keeping your ravenous appetite totally satisfied.
4. Go green. Green tea, that is. According to a study in the Journal of Functional Foods, people who drink green tea on a regular basis, (about 1½ cups a day), have been shown to lose almost 16 times more visceral fat than those who do not. The reason? Green tea contains a group of fat-burning antioxidants called catechins. For a great detox green tea recipe, click here.
>> Recipe: Green Tea Smoothie
5. Get your beauty sleep. Want to get rid of your mommy pooch while sleeping? While burning the midnight oil can be great for your career, it’s destroying your body. Jennifer Cohen, an expert at Forbes Magazine, said that getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night can actually disturb the biorhythms of your body. This disturbance can cause you to crave sugary and fattening foods. Losing sleep can additionally raise cortisol levels, causing insulin sensitivity. So try to get in at least 7-8 hours of rest a night for optimal body function.
6. Break your sugar habit. In addition to getting proper rest, Cohen suggests avoiding sugar whenever possible and replacing those calories with protein, veggies and whole grains. With diet being 80 percent of the solution to blasting belly pooch, eating the right combination of foods is imperative to success. Need a little help ditching your sugar habit? Click here for some helpful tips.
7. Increase your protein intake. Did you know that almost 30 percent of the calories in each gram of protein that you consume is burned in the digestion process? On the contrary, only about 8 percent of calories from carbs are burned during digestion! So what does this mean? Pumping up the protein and reducing carbs, especially the bad ones, can help your body burn fat simply by eating! (via Men's Fitness) For some amazing high-protein/low-carb meal options, click here!
>> Recipe: Strawberry Fluff Protein Smoothie
8. Dairy does a body good. According to WebMD, a study at the University of Tennessee linked the consumption of calcium to an astonishing decrease in belly fat. The study showed that consuming fat-free or low-fat dairy three times a day can actually slow down the body's ability to produce fat. While the study doesn't condone filling up on full-fat choices, it does suggest that tossing in a bit of Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or even cheese sticks in their lower-fat forms, can help you lose nearly 10 pounds of belly fat over a 12-week period.
Remember, while each of these tips will, in their own way, help rid you of your belly pooch, it's always best to combine all efforts for the best defense. Eating a healthy diet and getting in your workouts will not only get you on your way to a flat belly, it will help you feel grea from the inside out.