By Sola Ogundipe
Excess weight in your midsection can be annoying—not only because it’s so hard to remove but because it also has an impact on your overall health. Extra belly fat increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. You can make lifestyle changes that can help you lose belly fat.
Avoid ultra-processed foods such as fried chips and candy. Instead, opt for healthy amounts of soluble fibre such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, avocado, and citrus fruits.
Reducing alcohol intake can also help. Alcohol is absorbed quickly, and when over-consumed, impairs metabolism of carbohydrates and fat, promoting fat storage rather than breakdown.
Limit your consumption of carbonated beverages as well. Instead, stick to water. It can act as an appetite suppressant, as well as help flush out your body to decrease the feeling of being bloated.
Working out boosts your brain health, and reducing stress levels—it can also help you rein in your gut. The key to losing belly fat with exercise, though, is making sure your sweat session is intense. The higher your heart rate, the greater the release of abdominal fat into your bloodstream to be used for energy.
Falling short on sleep is also a sure way to put your waistline in jeopardy. That’s because sleep deprivation activates hunger hormones. When you are not well-rested, you’re also more likely to eat junk food.
To help keep belly fat in check, aim to cuddle with your pillow for at least seven to eight hours each night. And if possible, go to bed at the same time each night.