My belly fat is as ever-present as the Kardashians. No matter how many core classes I endure, my stomach jiggle just won't transform into Gigi Hadid abs. I'll admit, I want to loose my pooch primarily for vain reasons.
But, my goal is also important because fat stored in the abdominal cavity is detrimental to overall health. Visceral fat, surrounding the liver, pancreas and intestines, is linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. While you might not need to schedule a check-up just yet, rigorous exercise can help reverse longterm effects.
Sounds ideal for a person who likes to work out, but not everyone enjoys that. Since I only hit the gym three days a week, I've found several ways to trim down my tummy without moving a muscle -- feel free to cop them all.
De-stressing helps me cut down on fat production.
Tone down work-related anxiety before shelling out $34 for a spin class. Stress plays a major part in belly rolls, because unnecessary worrying causes cortisol levels to skyrocket and increases fat production in the middle region.
I'm overly worried about my growing to-do list, just like you are. But, de-stressing to melt belly fat can be as easy as opening a window or meditating for 10 minutes a day. Listening to a calming Spotify playlist at work keeps me from freaking out on co-workers, ruining my fat-reducing goals.
Eating more keeps my metabolism burning.
Skipping hearty meals for Starbucks coffee means the body doesn't rev up metabolism, using the fat padded around the belly.
Chipotle guac can even speed up tummy-flattening goals, as well. Because avocados are rich in monounsaturated (healthy fat!) fatty acids, they prevent body fat distribution around the belly. Just watch it, because they're high in calories.
I pair tummy-flattening foods with calorie-torching proteins like almonds and salmon, which make me feel full.
Increase water intake.
Water is pretty badass when it comes to losing belly bulge. Drinking water before meals suppresses hunger, keeping me from reaching for a third slice of pizza.
Sugary drinks produce insulin and promote more fat storage, so don't reach for a Kool-Aid over Smartwater to stay hydrated. All-natural juices and teas rich with fat-burning antioxidants, like cranberry juice and green tea, can act as backups and cater to flavor cravings.
Get more sleep.
Skipping sleep to binge-watch "House of Cards" will elevate cortisol levels,, and overproduction of the "fight or flight" hormone partially results in muffin top.
Instead of bugging out over whether I can wear a crop-top for my birthday, I beat belly fat by catching a good night's sleep.
You don't have to be the most focused girl at Planet Fitness to combat belly fat. Before signing up for two-a-day workouts, focus on nailing these belly-slimming habits and you can begin beating belly bulge, no sweat.