The fat loss game isn’t always as straightforward as “calories in vs. calories out.” Changing the type of calories you eat can also accelerate weight loss and reduction of belly fat. A ketogenic diet is a strict low-carb diet that is high in filling foods that supply mostly fats and some protein. Reducing carbs helps the body burn stored body fat for energy, usually very quickly.
Once you hit 30, your lean muscle mass decreases by about a pound a year. If you’re inactive, that lost muscle mass often is replaced by fat. So if you’re not already lifting weights two to three days a week, start now. Need proof that weight training will reduce your waistline? Two studies that analyzed the effects of strength training in older adults between ages 50 and 70 showed a 10 to 15 percent decrease in belly fat despite no weight loss. “Stick with basic moves that work the major muscle groups—shoulders, chest, back, abs, butt, legs, and arms,” says Sherri MacMillan, owner of Northwest Personal Training in Portland, Oregon, and author of Fit Over Forty: The Winning Way to Lifetime Fitness (Raincoast Books, 2003). “As you get stronger, continue to increase your weight load to counter gradual muscle loss.” But don’t rush it: progress no more than 5 to 10 percent every one to two weeks to minimize strain on your tendons, ligaments, and muscles. (Check out our total-body strength-training workouts using either free weights or fitness machines.)
If you're dehydrated, it can be hard to tell if you're hungry or just thirsty. If you're craving a mid-day snack, have a glass of water and wait a few minutes before reassessing how hungry you really are. Water also helps food move through your digestive system, lessening feelings of bloating. It's a good idea to keep a water bottle with you throughout the day. Add in cucumber slices or fresh fruit to infuse flavor.
Wanting a smaller waist and flatter belly isn't all about looking good in your jeans. People sporting large amounts of visceral fat (the type of internal fat that dangerously hugs organs) are more likely to have a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, especially true if a woman's waist circumference exceeds 35 inches. There is no true magic bullet when it comes to belly fat. But research shows filling your plate with foods that fight abdominal fat—as part of an overall healthy diet—can help. Here's what to dig into to help beat belly fat.
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory component extracted from the herb turmeric. With a few capsules a day, or by adding the pungent spice to your food, curcumin supports a healthy inflammatory response by mediating several inflammatory processes in your body. Research has shown curcumin supports a healthy metabolism and is a great ingredient to add to any recipe to cure your belly fat. To get the maximum benefit of curcumin, look for a turmeric extract that contains at least 95 percent curcumin.
Instead of satisfying your sweet tooth with some refined sugar, turn to berries and enjoy a slimmer waistline in no time. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, and research from the University of Michigan reveals that rats given a berry-rich diet shaved off a significant proportion of their belly fat when compared to a control group. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are also loaded with resveratrol, an antioxidant pigment that has been linked to reductions in belly fat and a reduced risk of dementia, to boot.
Chronic migraines were what first inspired Amanda Tagge to start exercising. “I was hoping to find some relief from my headaches and working out did help but I realized that if I really wanted to feel better I needed to revamp my health habits overall and lose weight,” she says. The more she changed, the better her headaches got and she lost 70 pounds in the process which helped her feel even better. Focusing on all the ways her health was improving kept her going even when the scale wasn’t moving.
Invest in single-serving containers. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that a serving size on a food label may be more or less than the amount of food you should eat, depending on your age, height, sex, and weight. Once you're done cooking, place the excess servings in the containers to eat for lunch or dinner tomorrow. That way, you won't polish off everything in one sitting.
Use it to lose belly fat: Get the expert-recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night. To ensure quality slumber, remove distracting electronics from the bedroom; keep your room cool (your body sleeps best at around 65 degrees); avoid caffeine after lunch; and try to maintain the same sleeping schedule, even if it means getting up at the same time on weekends. (Also try these Yoga Poses to Help You Fall Asleep Faster.)
Social conditions such as poverty, social isolation and inability to get or prepare preferred foods can cause unintentional weight loss, and this may be particularly common in older people. Nutrient intake can also be affected by culture, family and belief systems. Ill-fitting dentures and other dental or oral health problems can also affect adequacy of nutrition.
Be choosy about carbs. You can decide which ones you eat, and how much. Look for those that are low on the glycemic index (for instance, asparagus is lower on the glycemic index than a potato) or lower in carbs per serving than others. Whole grains are better choices than processed items, because processing removes key nutrients such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins. They may be added back, such as in “enriched” bread.