Belly fat – we all dread it. For many people, the waist is often the first place excess fat goes. Unfortunately, it is also one of the hardest areas on our bodies to lose weight. Having a “muffin top” is not only unappealing, but it is also unhealthy to have on our bodies. In fact, having excess belly, or abdominal, fat is worse than having excess fat on most other places on our body. Belly fat or visceral fat is a huge proponent of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes and can even bring on stroke. Here are 5 ways to a flatter stomach.
1. Planks are your best friend.
Planks are the secret to getting a flatter stomach. Many people don't perform them to the best of their ability. Making simple tweaks to a basic plank will create more tension throughout your entire core. Do a regular (straight-arm) plank but make sure the soles of your feet are perpendicular to the floor and then gently drive your heels away from each other.
2. No White Stuff Allowed
Whether you're a lover of white rice or bake with white flour, get rid of it. White foods products indicate they're heavily processed. There are many other tasty and healthy alternatives such as brown rice, quinoa, sprouted grains and other whole grains.
3. Say Goodbye to Sugar
We know, we know, everyone says it but refined sugars are just plain bad and a feeding ground for belly fat. Sweetened drinks, desserts and foods rich in oil are products that highly contribute to belly fat.
4. Spice it Up
Increase the amount of spices you use in your cooking. Adding spices is a great way to add flavor without caloric additives like oil. Many spices help burn belly fat. Give ginger, black pepper and cinnamon a try. They're also packed with different health benefits beyond burning fat, but across the board they lower blood sugar levels and promote insulin resistance.
5. Eat a snack between 3 p.m. an 4 p.m.
Eating a snack that contains protein between the hours of 3 and 4 p.m. like almonds, protein bar or an apple will boost your metabolism and balance blood sugar at a time when you'll probably feel tired and be tempted to eat something unhealthy. Eating every three to four hours will keep your blood sugar even, but many people tend to go five or six hours between lunch and dinner without eating.
6. Eat healthy fats
Bring on the avocado. Eating healthy fat helps you slim down. The Institute of Medicine recommends that fatty foods make up to 20-35% of total calories. It's important to include the right fats in your diet, primarily monounsaturated fats like nuts, avocados and healthy oils.