Eight Ways (That Aren’t Exercise) to Burn Belly Fat
Are you among the many who find yourself doing hours of cardio a week, a gazillion crunches a day and still unable to lose the belly fat? It is frustrating, discouraging and quite frankly, annoying. So what can we do? While cardio, high intensity workouts and abdominal exercises are great to keep you slimmer and healthier, sometimes we have to think outside the gym to find results.
Yes, belly fat may be a bummer in your favorite swim suit, but it is also one of the most dangerous types of body fat. A common type of fat around the midsection is visceral fat, which can cause inflammation in the body contributing to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have a healthy BMI (body mass index) but a lot of belly fat, you are still at risk for health issues.
Belly fat is one of the most dangerous types of body fat.
As always, a healthy lifestyle is needed for maximum results, and we often need to make big lifestyle changes to achieve our health and fitness goals. Luckily, in addition to exercise, there are ways we can reduce belly fat.
Here are 8 ways to trim belly fat beyond the gym:
1. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important for trimming belly fat because it helps remove toxins from the body, promotes healthy digestion, and reduces bloating. If you do not drink enough water and your body is often dehydrated, your body will then retain water which can make you feel bloated and puffy.
Sweating a lot during your workout is great, but make sure to increase your daily water intake to avoid dehydration. As they say, drink at least eight glasses of water a day . . . or more.
For great tips on getting the most from your water, check out Stay Hydrated the Ayurvedic Way.
2. Take a daily probiotic
A healthy gut and digestive system will keep the body nourished by breaking down the nutrients from our food. Our gut has good bacteria that helps keep our digestive system healthy and working correctly. Our gut also has bad bacteria which can cause an unhealthy digestive tract, bloating and weight gain around the midsection.
Adding a daily probiotic will help increase the good bacteria in your gut, keep your digestive tract healthy, and reduce bloating. There are many opportunities to get probiotics into your diet. Take a supplement or other live sources like Greek yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha.
For great tips on healthy digestion, check out 4 Facts You Didn’t Know About Maintaining Healthy Digestion.
3. Drink more green tea
Catechins are antioxidants that are found in green tea, and these antioxidants are what gives green tea the ability to speed up your metabolism and shed fat. Green tea also helps improve the liver’s function to remove toxins and burn fat.
Drinking about 3 or 4 cups of green tea a day will greatly help increase fat burning. Be sure to choose organic green tea and avoid supplements that synthesize catechins – these can be more harmful to your body than beneficial.
For more amazing benefits of green tea, check out 15 Reasons to Drink Green Tea Everyday.
4. Cut out the sugar
Foods laden with sugar are highly caloric, promote weight gain, and can cause an inflammatory effect on the body. Heavy sugar consumption can cause allergies, ailments, candida overgrowth and inflammatory bowel disease – which all cause bloating and increase abdominal fat.
Candida is a type of yeast that grows naturally in your body and it feeds on sugar. If you have an excessive amount of sugar in your body, the candida can get out of control. When this happens the bad bacteria in your intestines will fight off the good bacteria – leaving the digestive system unhealthy and unable to properly rid the body of toxins.
For helpful tips on cutting out sugar, check out Get Healthy and Ditch the Sugar!
5. Get enough sleep
In order to heal and function properly, your body needs at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Organs like your colon, heart, liver, blood vessels and digestive tract need to rest and heal in order to work properly and effectively help you lose belly fat. A good night’s rest will also keep you from skipping your yoga practice or workout, and you will be more likely to make better food choices.
For a great yoga sequence to get better sleep, check out This Restorative Bedtime Yoga Sequence.
6. Balance hormones
Your hormones control all aspects of weight loss – including cravings, appetite, metabolism, and body fat distribution. If your body has an imbalance of hormones like testosterone, belly fat can be a side effect. Testosterone enhances fat burning, so an imbalance or low levels of testosterone can lead to an increase in body fat. Keeping your hormones balanced can be a big step toward losing the extra inches.
If you want to learn more about balancing your hormones, check out How to Understand Your Hormones and Regain Control of Your Body.
7. Reduce stress
Stress can affect people differently. But for most of us, it affects sleep habits, food choices, and exercise routines. Stress can lead to insomnia and/or restless sleep, which greatly affects your digestive tract.
When we are stressed, our body acts in a “fight or flight” response and releases certain hormones. If you are constantly stressed and releasing these hormones, your body will actually fight weight loss because it is in a survival mode. Keeping the body relaxed and the hormones balanced will help your body lose the excess belly fat.
To help keep your stress levels low, check out 10 Yoga Poses Proven to Reduce Stress.
8. Have healthy eating habits
An important step toward losing weight and having a healthy body is limiting your intake of processed food – which is full of sodium and preservatives. Instead, choose a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein.
Lean protein will keep you full longer and less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks. Lean protein is also good for building muscle to help you stay active and shed the pounds. Be sure to choose healthy fats and don’t forget the importance of fiber in your diet to help with a healthy digestion.
Need tips on how to eat healthier? Check out 15 Simple Food Swaps for a Healthier You.
Your belly is very important to your overall health and there are many ways you can keep it healthy. Don’t be frustrated on the treadmill six days a week with no results! Instead, review this list and see if there are daily changes that can be made to slim your midsection and keep yourself healthy.
Have you been frustrated with your belly fat? Do you these tips bring you a new awareness of other ways to stay healthy and happy? If you have any advice or tips, we would love to hear from you!