Stubborn belly fat is a problem that most of us face at one point or another on a weight loss journey. While exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to manage your weight, that’s not the end of the story when it comes to trimming your waistline. There are various factors that can specifically contribute to excess belly fat, or make it hard to lose belly fat it once it’s there. From stress to soda addiction, it’s time to examine your daily habits to see what could be hurting your health and your waistline. Use the tips below to get rid of stubborn belly fat and then get to work toning the muscles underneath with the ab workouts on Get Healthy U TV!
Did you know that stress and belly fat are connected? The more cortisol your body produces (the stress hormone), the more your body tends to store fat around your middle. Kind of surprising, right? Manage your stress with exercise and daily meditation or reflection. Taking a few minutes to unplug from technology and obligations each day and tune into your breath can help you de-stress—which is not only good for your mindset, but your belly fat.
During menopause and the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), hormonal fluctuations can cause a whole host of problems, from night sweats and insomnia to mood swings and weight gain. Many women find they gain weight specifically around their middles during this time as decreasing estrogen levels can cause fat to settle around the belly. You can learn how to balance your hormones to help lose belly fat by reading this article or talking to your doctor about what you can do to balance your hormones naturally. Some women find that taking Wild Yam, cutting back on red meat, or eliminating excess sugar helps bring their hormones back in balance.
Sometimes losing stubborn belly fat is primarily about getting honest with ourselves about what we eat. Maybe you exercise daily, but if you’re not also eating a healthy diet, you won’t see any results. While calories are not the only thing that matters, it is part of the equation. If you want to lose weight you have to consume fewer calories than you burn—that is just a fact. But you also have to eat quality food—lots of veggies and fruits, some lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and occasional dairy. Keep a food journal for a few days to really get honest about what you’re consuming every day.
4. Lack of Sleep
When your body is sleep-deprived, two hormones in your body—leptin and ghrelin—get thrown out of whack. These hormones affect how satiated you feel; when you’re sleep-deprived your body physically starts to feel hungrier and it takes more to fill you up. You’re also more likely to crave sugary or fatty foods to give you energy. Aim to get a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night to feel your best and keep belly fat from accumulating.
5. Calorie-Laden Beverages
Being healthy isn’t about just what you eat—what are you drinking? If you’re having wine every night or love your daily soda, those are empty calories that are likely contributing to weight gain around your middle. Try swapping soda for sparkling water or add some slices of cucumber, lemon, or a bit of mint to plain water if you want a bit of flavor. Cutting back on alcohol will also help you trim your middle, too! Examining these daily habits can help you identify what’s making it harder to lose stubborn belly fat. Replacing them with healthier options will not only give you a leaner stomach but also boost your overall health.