Top Tips to Reduce Belly Fat and Boost Health this Summer
"Obesity is killing us. It’s making us sick and ruining our quality of life... Luckily, we can do something about it and we can start right now."
As we approach summer, many people start to get more serious about trimming down for the warmer weather to come. More specifically, we all want to lose belly fat! But what are the best ways to lose belly fat? In today’s live with Dr. Nancy, PhD holistic nutritionist, she will illuminate why losing belly fat is so critical to, not just your appearance, but to your overall health as well. She will take you through her secrets and top tips for losing belly fat, and keeping it off for good.
- 0:50: Number one health goal
- 8:43: Important Information about Belly Fat
- 10:40: Unexpected benefits when you lose weight
- 11:52: Belly Fat
- 13:34: Helpful Tips for Belly Fat Loss
- 13:48: Eat more soluble fiber
- 15:20: Reduce stress levels
- 18:50: Diet changes
- 25:52: Reduce Inflammation
- 29:36: Exercise
- 30:40: Importance of Exercise
- 34:00: Wrap Up
The Number One Health Goal
This may (or may not) surprise you, but for many Americans, living longer, improving mood, and reducing heart disease and diabetes, all take a back seat to the number one health goal, which is the desire which is to lose weight.
In their quest to lose weight, a lot of people have resorted to all kinds of methods for decreasing excess belly fat, some of which are healthy, and others extremely unhealthy or even dangerous. People try things like:
- Drinking coffee
- Juice cleanses
- Slimming creams and/or lotions
- Wrapping the body in sailfin and Saran wrap
- Working out for hours on an empty stomach
- Buying tools like the ab-hancer
- Taking pills or diet supplements that kill your appetite
- Stitching tongue patches onto the tongue to create this painful sensation so as not to eat
- Going on a low-carb, fat-free or gluten-free diet
Important Information about Belly Fat
You cannot burn calories and reduce stored fats from just specific parts of your body, in hopes of losing weight in that one little area. In general, whole-body health is a process and you cannot target fat loss. However, there are some really great tips to help you speed up the belly fat burning process.
Did you know that more people are now overweight and obese than ever before in the history of the world? Nearly 75% of men and 65% of women in the US are now considered overweight or obese. 70% of our total population, translating to seven out of 10 people, are obese. This is a pandemic. Obesity is killing us. It’s making us sick and ruining our quality of life. Not just adults but also children under the age of 13 are often now obese and overweight. Luckily, we can do something about it and we can start right now.
Unexpected benefits when you lose weight
There are several benefits that will occur in your body when you start to lose weight, including:
- Your energy levels will start to increase
- Your levels of chronic inflammation will decrease
- You will start to feel better, happier, and more functional. It starts with baby steps though. If you have not done any kind of change in your lifestyle, start with little ones. One step at a time. We’re going to focus on losing the fat over time. There is no quick fix but you’re going to love the results.
Belly fat is more than the spare tire around your waist. It’s actually a really dangerous type of fat that is referred to as visceral fat. This type of fat is a major risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and chronic inflammation, as well as other serious health conditions. Besides looking better as a byproduct of health, losing belly fats has other nice, massive benefits for your health and can really help you live longer. Remember the goal of a healthy body is to live longer and to lose weight.
Belly fat can be estimated by measuring the circumference of your waist. You can easily take this measurement at home with a simple tape measure. Anything above 40 inches in men and above 35 inches in women is considered to be a sign of excess abdominal obesity.
Helpful Tips for Belly Fat Loss
How can we start to lose the belly fat and start to improve our health overall? Well you can start by following the following tips.
East more soluble fiber
It turns out that this is really good for weight loss. Soluble fiber absorbs water, which then forms a gel that helps slow down the food as it passes your digestive system. Chia seeds are a good illustration of this. When you add water to dry chia seeds, they will get plump and will take up more space as they become saturated.
Studies show that soluble fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel satiated, or full, so you naturally eat less. This gel formed by that soluble fiber may also decrease the number of calories your body absorbs from food. Make sure that you eat from quality sources of food that include chia seeds, flax seeds, avocados, chickpeas or beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and blackberries. Try to get your soluble fiber from these sources.
Reduce your stress levels
There are so many negative effects caused by stress. It can cause problems with your sleep and your stomach, it affects your skin so that you start breaking out, and it can cause serious health issues including increased risk of high blood pressure and even heart attacks.
In addition, stress can cause you to gain belly fat by triggering your adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which is also known as a stress hormone. Research shows that high cortisol levels increase appetite, which results in increases abdominal fat. What’s more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds to fat gain around the middle so it becomes this dangerous cycle that you really need to consciously break in order to get healthy.
For this reason, it is really important to manage and cope with stress. Get control of the stress in your life. You can do this through exercising, and deep breathing exercises, like sighing. When you sigh, you actually take a big full belly breath in through the mouth. It is such a great feeling of letting go and taking that deep, quenching breath. There are also many other intentional stress reduction techniques you can practice, like yoga, hiking, reading, dancing, spending time with loved ones or even seeing a professional therapist. Sometimes all you need is to take a minute or two alone in a quiet place to help you re-center and give you that intentional pause so that you can refocus.
- Replace some of your cooking fats with coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats that you can eat. It is really rich in medium chain fats (MCT oil), which can give you a boost in your metabolism. Coconut oil has been shown to increase the release of two hormones in the body; Peptide YY and Leptin. Both of these hormones increase your sensation of feeling full, resulting in you eating less hence the reduction of weight. To boost belly fat loss, use about two tbsp of coconut oil per day, which is the amount that was used in most of the studies that reported positive results of increasing fullness, improving fat loss, increased energy, improved ketone production and improved gut health. You can also add coconut oil to your smoothies or teas and your coffee, sauté your greens and bake with it or you can just eat it by the spoonful.
- Eat less or zero trans fat and processed food. Trans fats are really dangerous because they’re linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and fat gain. Read your food labels carefully. These are usually listed as partially hydrogenated fats. Avoid them at all costs and increase your body’s ability to burn fat when you do.
- Make fresh and organic vegetables the basis of your diet. You want to increase the intake of vegetables; eat raw or steamed vegetables as much as you can. Get into the routine of making these staples in your diet. Steam them, eat them raw, roast them, sauté them… it’s easy to do, and delicious. Make sure that vegetables are taking up the most room in your plate with every single meal, including breakfast. It’s not a crazy idea. Sautéed or steamed greens for breakfast is one of the best things that you can do for your belly in the morning because it’s just resetting your entire system much better than drinking coffee, which is very acidic and often loaded with sugar and other gunk. Steamed broccoli, steamed kale, and mustard greens are probably the best thing you can do first thing in the morning. If you don’t want to do that then try a green juice for breakfast. You can also eat salad for breakfast, or you can have sautéed spinach with some quinoa, and some egg whites as well.
- Try to give up or drink less of sugar and sugary drinks. Refined sugar is dangerous. It really serves no nutritional purpose. Our taste buds regenerate quickly, and we can retrain them every seven to 10 days. So if you really want to give up sugar, it just takes a little bit of time—under two weeks! Your taste buds are not going to need or crave that anymore. It is important to look at how much sugar you’re taking every single day and try to switch it up and get rid of it. Sugar increases inflammation and weight gain, and causes serious health issues, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and weight gain. Swap out sugars for natural sweeteners like raw local honey, and use it sparingly. It still has high sugar content, and high sugar concentration, so use it in moderation. Consuming sugary drinks, soda, sports drinks, sweetened teas, sugar beads, and everything sweet will tell your brain that you need more. So if you take that out, your body will stop craving carbs and sugars. Even if you think it’s coming from a healthy source, try to minimize it as much as you can, or just take it out altogether. Instead, drink filtered water, matcha green tea, or Kombucha.
Make reducing inflammation a focus in your life, and you’ll reduce belly fat. In order to be healthier, in order to be optimal, you need to get the inflammation levels under control in your body. Less Inflammation In + More Inflammation Out = A Healthier and Happier You.
Once your inflammation is under control, you’ll feel better and find it easier to lose weight and reduce belly fat. There are lots of ways to reduce inflammation naturally through healthy food choices and smart supplementation. This includes eating the rainbow, meaning you eat all the different colors of fresh, organic, wholesome, locally grown fruits and vegetables as much as you can.
- Increase your omega-3s and healthy fat intake. In addition to coconut oil, there are other fantastic sources of healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, salmon, walnut, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
- Drink Green Tea. Green tea is considered a natural anti-inflammatory antioxidant and the compounds in green tea increase metabolism naturally and effectively burn fat. Heads up though, green tea does contain caffeine, so if you are sensitive to caffeine you might want to switch over to a naturally decaffeinated organic green tea.
- Smarter Curcumin. Make sure that you are getting enough inflammation-fighting support with supplementation by taking Smarter Curcumin from Smarter Nutrition. You can use this every single day and it comes with improved absorption support ingredients like black seed oil. It is very effective and so good for your entire body and your belly. Black seed oil is another natural inflammation fighter. It’s also made with other synergistic herbs and it’s a must have every single day.
Nutrition is very important to losing belly fat. “You are what you eat” is a cliché but it is so true. However, another really important way you can use to lose weight is to exercise. The right type of exercise is also very important. There is no magic bullet, or magic pill, or magic exercise or single herb enhancer to get rid of that belly fat. In order to lose fat, you need to burn more calories that you eat. It’s simple math. You need to burn more than you are eating. You need to create a calorie deficit that forces your body to burn body fat for energy. Exercise is going to speed that process up. Exercise is a slow, non-lethal, not dangerous, effective magic bullet. It is very effective at reducing overall body fat, and it’s is super important for many other reasons:
- It’s great for our physical and mental health and wellbeing
- It reduces stress, lowers risk of heart disease, improved cardiovascular health
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Improves flexibility
- Reduces chronic inflammation
- Exercise is also an effective way to lose weight and reduce belly and body fat
However, when we talk of exercise as a way of losing belly fat, many people think we’re talking about ab crunches and abdominal exercises like sit-ups and leg raisers. You can’t spot reduce or lose fat in just one part of your body by doing endless amounts of ab exercises. It’s not going to burn excess fat from your belly. Having a strong core, with strong abdominals, well, that provides many other health benefits, but trying to just burn abdominal fat alone will not do the trick.
Your workout should include more of a balanced combination of cardio exercises. These are exercises that increase your heart rate like fast walking, moving your whole body and your arms, running, jogging, jump roping, swimming, biking, and strength training exercises, using resistance bands, or doing pilates. These are all fantastic. Both cardio, also called aerobic exercises, and strength training. called anaerobic, have been shown to increase metabolism, burn more calories, build muscles and result in major reduction in body fat, especially the belly fat.
Of course you should always consult your healthcare practitioner or doctor before you begin any exercise program.
We all do want to take care of excess belly fat, especially as we get closer to summer. But the body doesn’t burn fat in just one specific area. Losing your belly fat needs to be part of a complete whole-body fat burning process. Weight loss and fat burning occurs when we burn more calories than we take in. It also becomes a more efficient process when we support our own efforts by staying hydrated. Drink filtered water, reduce your stress levels, eat the right foods, exercise, and reduce chronic inflammation throughout the body.
We shared our top belly fat burning tips, including eating more soluble fiber such as chia seeds, reducing your stress level by deep breathing, exercising, or doing something that you love that sparks joy and brings you happiness. Replace your cooking oils with coconut oil, avoid trans fats, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils. Eliminate sugars and sugary drinks from your diet, and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and drink organic green tea.
You can also supplement with Smarter Nutrition’s Smarter Curcumin and to make sure that you’re taking in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds needed to reduce inflammation in your body. Ensure that you’re engaging in regular physical exercise and body movements. These include a combination of exercises for your heart like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming as well as exercises designed to improve strength and flexibility such as pilates, resistance band training, and weight training.
Burning your belly fat does not happen overnight but begin the process and you will start to see a difference. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles start with a single step. Let’s put the belly fat tips into action. Let’s make today your first single step towards your journey to reduce your belly.