15 Steps to Banish Belly Fat (no crunches required!)

There aren’t many things that will do more to improve your health, or your sex appeal, than getting rid of the spare tire around your midsection.

Excess belly fat, especially the kind that accumulates in and around the abdominal organs such as the liver and intestines, churns out stress hormones and inflammatory chemicals. So shedding those extra inches around your waistline is not just a vanity issue: your future health and vitality are at stake. Here are 15 steps that will help to melt the excess belly fat off your waistline so that you can show off your sexy abs again.

  1. Do interval training. Go hard for 30 to 45 seconds and then ease off for a minute or two while you recover at a slower pace. Try to do at least eight intervals total per training session.
  2. Build more muscle through strength training; ideally you will need to do three or four weight lifting sessions per week.
  3. Every day you need to accumulate at least 30, and up to 90 minutes of moderate or hard exercise. What fits into your busy schedule better? An hour of exercise every day or being disabled or dead 24 hours a day?
  4. Eat protein with each of your meals. Also, try to eat a high quality protein like whey protein or egg whites within two hours before or after exercise.
  5. Pick two colors with each meal–two servings or more of brightly colored veggies or fruits three times per day.
  6. Get in the habit of having a glass of low-sodium V-8 juice at breakfast. This is a staple around the O’Keefe household. Just eight ounces of low-sodium V-8 is a quick and easy way to get credit for two servings of vegetables. A recent study showed that drinking at least one glass of low-sodium vegetable juice daily can help overweight people with pre-diabetes lose excess weight.
  7. Never eat until you are overfull. Eat only until you aren’t hungry anymore.
  8. Drink at least three cups of green tea per day, or take a green tea supplement. The antioxidants in tea seem to help burn off excess belly fat.
  9. If you are going to cheat and eat a decadent dessert, French fries, chips, cake etc: follow Joan’s three-bite rule. Pick a treat but you get only three bites. By the way, you only get to use the three-bite rule one time per day, max.
  10. Markedly cut back on starches and sugars. And eliminate essentially all white foods like white flour, white rice, potatoes, bagels and doughnuts.
  11. Drink only water (six to eight glasses per day), coffee, tea, and skim milk. No soda pop (even diet pop), no artificial sweeteners, no fruit juices. No caffeine after noon.
  12. Sleep 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night. This is a critical component of a belly-burning program. Sleep deprivation cranks up your stress hormones that make you crave junk food and then immediately deposits all those calories as fat around your waist.
  13. Try to eat more healthy fats like fish oil and monounsaturated fats. Take three fish oil capsules per day, and try to eat a handful of nuts per day. Use extra virgin olive oil for your salad dressing and cooking oil uses.
  14. Take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day. (Talk to your doctor to see if you need more). Decreased belly fat is just one of a host of important health benefits you will notice when you bring your deficient Vitamin D levels back into the normal range.
  15. Keep your alcohol intake modest, and drink mostly red wine. Why do you think it’s called a “beer-belly?” One drink per day will reduce abdominal fat, but anything more than two drinks daily accumulates in and around your belly.
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The Charles & Barbara Duboc Cardio Health & Wellness Center provides risk management for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and stroke