If you look at losing weight as a series of simple lifestyle changes, you’ll end up feeling and looking better. It’s important to remember that you can’t spot reduce, so you’ll end up losing weight all over and not just on your belly. Unfortunately, fat storage on the body is genetic, so it’s hard to control where you will lose weight first or more easily in general. Stick with it and remember that the healthy changes will not only make you look better, but will benefit your body in the long run. Visceral fat around the stomach region leads to many health problems, so use these tips to take care of yourself.

1. Incorporate HIIT Workouts Into Your Routine

Steady state cardio is great for your cardiovascular health, but it isn’t as effective as high intensity interval (HIIT) workouts when it comes to blasting away belly fat for good. HIIT workouts include intervals of quick sprints followed by short periods of rest. A simple sequence is to do 8 rounds of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. This kickstarts your metabolism for the rest of the day and utilizes powerhouse leg muscles that need lots of calories. In comparison, steady state cardio can cause too much stress on the body if performed for too long, which can translate to your body packing on pounds around your middle. HIIT is best because it doesn’t cause this chronic stress that repeated long distance bouts spark. It only causes acute stress, which your body can handle and move on.

2. Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods include additives that inflame the body. As mentioned above, inflammation and stress cause the body to pack on more pounds as it sees the situation as threatening. In addition, processed foods are usually higher in sugar and trans fats, which aren’t digested well by the body and pack on extra pounds.

3. Lift Weights

Lifting weights increases muscle tone, and more muscle tone means more calorie burned at rest. Your muscles need more calories to function throughout the day, so lifting weights helps facilitate their growth. The result for you? Less fat and belly flab!

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4. Cut Sugar

Sugars, especially those that aren’t natural, end up as fat after they are processed in the body and not used in some physical exertion. When you eat sugar, you are consuming empty calories that don’t provide you nutrition. It’s much better to fill up that calorie allotment with foods that you’ll derive nutrition from and that won’t add extra fat to your waistline.

5. Walk Daily

Daily walks add some slow movement to your day so that you can burn off extra calories without putting stress on the body. In addition, walks are good for clearing your head and decreasing stress, which affects weight gain.

6. Drink More Water

Replace sugary beverages with water. It’s a given that it will decrease calories, but water will also fill you up and you’ll end up eating less overall.

7. Sleep More

Your body uses sleep as a time to rest and relax and prepare for the next day mentally and physically. Without it, you’re grehlin (hunger hormone) will be higher and your leptin (which tells you you’re full) will be lower. As you can see, this combination makes you more hungry and less able to be satisfied. Get about 8 hours of shuteye each night to prevent this scenario from occurring!

8. Decrease Stress

Stress causes your body to hold onto extra weight as it perceives it’s in a threatening situatuion. Establish proper relaxation techniques to keep your mind and body calm.

9. Watch Portion Sizes

Our bodies aren’t as simple as calories in and calories out, but cutting out extra calories, especially from unhealthy foods, will decrease weight and overall belly flab.

10. Eat Out Less

Restaurants are fast and convenient, but most dining-out dishes are loaded with extra salt, butter, and extra calories. By preparing your meals at home, you’ll know exactly what goes into your meals and will have more control over the calorie content.

This article was republished with permission from fitnessrepublic.com.

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