(NaturalNews) Many people impatiently await the arrival of summer, eager to lounge by the pool or relax on the beach. For other people, however, the first signs of warm weather are nothing more than a disheartening reminder that they will no longer be able to hide their excess belly fat underneath oversized sweaters and coats.
If you think a bikini is simply not on the cards for you this summer, you might be surprised to learn that a few simple steps can really make a difference to your midsection. While it’s true that losing a lot of stomach fat requires overall weight loss, which is best achieved by eating less and moving more, there are a few ways you can stack the odds in your favor. Here is a look at 10 top tips for getting your tummy bikini-ready.
1. Eat more fiber:
It is estimated that for every 10 grams of fiber that you eat each day, you’ll carry almost 4 percent less abdominal fat. You can get fiber from foods such as vegetables, beans and fruit. As an added benefit, you’ll also feel fuller and be less likely to overeat.
2. Watch out for salt:
When you eat a lot of salt, your body will retain fluid, and the resultant water weight can make you appear bloated. Some salt is good, but be careful not to overdo it. Avoid processed foods and lightly salt your food after tasting it to avoid over-salting.
3. Step away from the soda can:
If the thought of all that sugar destroying your body hasn’t already turned you off soda, the realization that the empty calories from these unhealthy drinks go right to your belly should be enough to have you running for the hills. Don’t think that switching to diet sodas will solve the problem, either; the artificial sugars they contain are even worse for your health, and are known to trigger food cravings and overeating.
4. Fit in more cardio:
While strength training is a vital component of any overall weight loss strategy, aerobic exercise is ideal for burning belly fat, so be sure not to overlook this type of exercise. Start taking brisk walks, go for a hike, sign up for an aerobics class, or take up swimming. Anything that stimulates your heart and breathing rates in a sustainable way over a period of time is fair game, so find the activity you’re most likely to stick with.
5. Up your avocado intake:
Avocados get a bad rap for their high fat content, but what many people fail to realize is that they contain “good fats” known as monounsaturated fatty acids. These can halt the spikes in blood sugar that eventually cause fat to accumulate in your belly area. Organic avocados can be added to salad, mashed up on toast, eaten plain, or made into guacamole.
6. Watch the alcohol:
A glass of red wine every now and then can be beneficial to your health, but drinking too much alcohol can raise your cortisol levels, and this stress hormone is known for packing on pounds in the stomach area. Limit your intake as much as possible.
7. Drink plenty of water:
There is a good reason that the concept of drinking more water always seems to come up in discussions about losing weight: it’s effective. In fact, a study showed that dieters who drank water prior to meals three times each day over a period of three months lost an average of 5 pounds more than those who did not drink extra water. Being hydrated helps improve your body’s overall functioning. In addition, you need to drink more water when the weather is hotter or you are exercising more, both of which will probably be the case if you’re truly concerned about wearing a bikini!
8. Use a smaller plate:
As bikini weather approaches, switch out your normal plate for a smaller one. Most people tend to fill their plates up regardless of their size, and filling a smaller plate automatically means you’ll be consuming fewer calories. This is a particularly good idea if you happen to find yourself at a waistline-unfriendly buffet.
9. Eat sunflower seeds:
Like avocados, sunflower seeds provide plenty of monounsaturated fats, so eat them for a snack or add some to a salad to help keep hunger pangs at bay. They’re also a great source of protein, fiber and vitamin E.
10. Tuck in your tummy:
This simple, yet effective, move can help you tone your stomach muscles without hitting the gym, and it can fit into even the busiest of schedules. All you have to do is tuck your tummy in while you’re walking or doing chores around the house.
By following these tips, you could find yourself feeling confident enough to hit the beach a lot sooner. That’s not the only benefit of losing belly fat – countless studies show that extra weight in your midsection places you at a higher risk for a host of ailments, including dementia. Why not devise a plan right now, while this information is fresh in your mind, and make today the first step on your path to a better body?