One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to stay in control of your lower belly fat. That’s because research has shown that reducing abdominal fat can cut your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and even dementia.
So what can you do to fight belly fat and be your healthiest self? Some smart tips to try:
1. Have a strong and supportive squad. It’s important to exercise and eat a nutritious and balanced diet to maintain a healthy waistline, but research shows that your social network can have an important impact, too. A study from the University of North Carolina found that supportive relationships with friends and family can protect against stress, while tension and conflict in these relationships can lead to an increased risk of inflammation and increased belly fat.
2. Educate yourself about a healthy lifestyle and diet. Just reading articles like this one and collecting healthy recipes can boost your health. Reading about healthy foods and recipes can increase your fruit and vegetable intake by as much as 60 percent or more, according to research from South Dakota State University, in Brookings.
3. Count your steps. Keeping track of how much you walk during the day with a pedometer has been shown to shed belly fat 55 percent faster, according to a study in the journal Trials. Knowing how much you’re moving—or not moving—can apparently be a great motivator!
4. Eat whole grains to keep your blood sugar steady. Adding just ½ cup of whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and popcorn to your daily diet can help trim as much as 3 inches off your waistline in 6 months, according to research from Yale University. Healthy grains help regulate the levels of insulin, a hormone that, in high amounts, can lead to the growth of belly fat.
5. Fill up on colorful foods. Stock up your fridge and your plate with colorful fruits and veggies; they contain phytonutrients, which reduce the production of cortisol, a key stress hormone that is linked to belly fat. These phytonutrients also switch on enzymes that burn 25 percent more belly fat for fuel, according to research from the University of Bridgeport.
6. Add a little magnesium to your diet. Research shows that taking 400 mg. of magnesium each day may help you shed belly fat 25 percent faster and triple your odds of keeping that weight off. Magnesium triggers the release of fatty acids stored in your belly and allows your muscles to burn them off for energy, according to scientists from the University of Hawaii. Magnesium has also been shown to calm your brain and nervous system and reduce the likelihood of stress eating by as much as 50 percent. (Important note: Be sure to always check with your doctor before taking any new supplement.)
And while you’re following these tips, remember to always be mindful about your posture. It sounds simple, but standing up straight with our tummies tucked in is something we all forget to do from time to time. It’s an easy and effective way to slim your belly—in no time flat!
##NEXT: See easy ways to detox away your belly fat!
detox fat goji berries
Go With Goji
Look for Goji berries at the health food store. Usually eaten in dried form, they're rich in beta-carotene, which improves liver function, detoxing your body naturally.
detox belly fat apple cider vinegar
detox belly fat epsom salt bath
Soak Your Way Slim
Add Epsom salt to a hot bath to draw out excess fluids and help you look--and feel--slimmer. A few drops of grapefruit essential oil can also help rev circulation.
detox belly fat add oats to smoothies
Add Oats to Your Smoothie
Fruit smoothies can be a detox dieter's best pal. Add a quarter cup of oats to the blender; a daily serving helps cut between-meal snacking by 81 percent.
detox belly fat ginger bath
Rejuvenate With Ginger
Fresh ginger, a common ingredient in traditional Chinese cooking, raises your body heat and flushes toxins from your pores. Add it a steamy, detoxifying bath.
detox belly fat jasmine tea
Boost your burn with a jasmine elixir tea. The floral brew usually has a green tea base, which rids your body of free radicals while revving your metabolism.
detox belly fat oranges
Get Your C
Loaded with vitamin C, oranges help rid your body of unwanted toxins, and give you an extra energy boost to keep you moving!
detox belly fat smoothie
Add Beets to a Smoothie
Not only are they loaded with antioxidant-rich betalains, which support detox, but beets also increase the body’s levels of nitric oxide to help you stay energized.
detox belly fat white beans
Eat White Beans
White beans are rich in fiber and protein to help steady blood sugar and curb hunger-triggering mood swings. Add them to soup, pastas, salads, or smoothies.
detox belly fat kale broccoli
Jumpstart With Enzymes
Foods rich in enzymes, like broccoli and kale, boost the liver’s natural detox abilities and allow the organ to focus more energy on fat-burning processes.
detox belly fat turmeric
Heat Up With Turmeric
Turmeric's active ingredient, curcurin, improves the liver's ability to burn fat by 47 percent. Add it to a hot [tea](, plus honey and a squeeze of fresh orange juice.
detox belly fat brazil nuts
Nibble on Nuts
Energy-boosting brazil nuts are packed with magnesium, potassium, and iron to rid your body of toxins, plus selenium, which helps you fight off infections.