Summer is almost here. Summertime is the season for all things outdoors. For many of us, the warmer months mean donning sleeveless shirts, shorts, and bathing suits. It’s also the time of year when people worry the most about their appearance, or more importantly, losing that stubborn fat that clings to your waistline and reminds you of all of the culinary indulgences you enjoyed over the winter. While there are countless miracle pills and quick fixes available out there, most of them either don’t work or carry incredible health risks.
Here are some quick tips to lose unwanted belly fat that actually work and won’t damage your health in the process.
1. Get Enough Sleep
This isn’t just great advice for shedding unwanted pounds around the midsection. The health benefits of getting adequate rest are well-documented and can help you lose weight from several different angles. Sure, it’s easy to make excuses as to why you don’t have time for the prescribed eight hours of sleep or why you don’t really need it, but please read on!
Remember that one complete sleep cycle for adult humans can range from 90 – 110 minutes and ideally you want to get in 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep – about five complete cycles. This will help your brain and body to function at peak performance and to burn away stubborn belly fat much more efficiently.
2. Sneak in Some Exercise
While not everyone has time to spend two hours at the gym every day, it is still possible to get enough daily activity to help your body burn off unwanted belly fat. Try to fit in three five minute sets of vigorous exercise per day, five days out of the week. Some great examples of workouts that will get your heart pumping and help you lose belly fat include:
- Run in place for five minutes.
- Jog around your office / parking lot.
- Jump rope or do jumping jacks.
- Do a few sets of chair squats.
- Get up and dance to a favorite song.
3. Eat the Right Foods
Depending on who you ask, the lineup of foods that can magically burn away unwanted weight is a long one. However, many of the items included on that list are questionable at best. Here is a guide to some foods that really will help you to shed belly fat when included as part of a balanced, healthy diet:
- Chia Seeds
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Lean Meat
- Cayenne Pepper
4. Fat-burning Beverages
As with the roster of fat-burning foods, there are countless cocktails (and some of them are downright nasty!) which are purported to burn belly fat. Here is a short list of the best ones for the job:
- Matcha Green Tea
- Ginger Tea
- Fruit Juices
5. Eat Healthy Fats
Our bodies need essential fatty-acids (EFAs) to properly synthesize the hormones responsible for metabolizing fat stores. Try some of these sources of EFAs to help you burn belly fat faster:
- Coconut Oil
- Cold-water Fish
- Nuts and Seeds
Stress causes our bodies to pump out a hormone called cortisol which causes us to build and retain belly fat. If you’ve tried every health food, trick, cheat, and exercise under the sun but you just can’t seem to lose the weight around your waist, relax. It may be the stress itself that is to blame. Instead of worrying about your weight, set aside some time each day to do something you love. Think about what makes you happy and find a way to include that in your daily routine.
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