This article was written and provided by our partners at Prevention.
A toned, flat tummy is a goal many of us strive to achieve, but endless crunches and ditching all your favorite foods isn’t the right way to do it. Fortunately, a flat belly can be attained just by incorporating small changes into your day. Here are 21 simple ways to flatten your belly.
1. Exercise with Friends
Instead of catching up with friends over food and drinks, suggest a reunion on the move—you’re likely to work out 104 percent harder if you have an exercise buddy. Suggest a weekly walk-and-talk session, form a friendly fitness club, or take advantage of gym specials together. You’ll motivate everyone to get moving while you grow even closer.
2. Try the Roll-Up
Hold a resistance band taut between your hands and lie on the floor face up, with your legs extended and arms overhead. Pull your abs in, tuck your chin, lift arms toward the ceiling, and roll your head, shoulders, and torso up and over your legs as far as you can. Keep heels firmly on the floor and reach hands towards your feet. Pause, then slowly roll back down. Do five to eight reps with 30 minutes of cardio five to six times a week. (For more super-effective exercises, check out how to use resistance bands.)
3. Make Time for Cardio
If you want to burn the most belly fat, a Duke University study confirms that aerobic exercise is the most effective in burning that deep, visceral belly fat. In fact, aerobic training burns 67 percent more calories than resistance training or a combination of the two, according to the study. If you’re low on motivation, these 31 ways to never skip another workout can help.
4. Plank Harder
Try the Spiderman Climber: Get into plank position with your arms and legs extended, hands beneath shoulders, and feet flexed. Keeping your abs tight, bend your left leg out to the side and bring the knee toward the left elbow. Pause, then return to start. Switch sides. Do 20 reps, alternating sides, with 30 minutes of cardio five to six times a week.
5. Consume More Fiber
For every 10 grams of fiber you eat daily, your belly will carry almost four percent less fat. Thankfully, there are more enjoyable ways to increase your fiber than scarfing down a box of bran flakes: Two apples, half a cup of pinto beans, one artichoke, or two cups of broccoli will all give you 10 grams of belly-flattening fiber each. (For more tasty fiber ideas, see our 100 cleanest packaged food awards.)
6. Take Charge in Restaurants
Saying, “I’ll go last” when the waiter comes around could be adding bulk to your belly. A recent study showed that a normal-weight woman was more likely to mimic a thin woman’s eating habits than an obese woman’s. So when you’re out for girl’s night, order first. You’ll keep yourself—and maybe even a friend or two—on track to a flatter tummy. (Avoid other food traps with six ways restaurants try to make you fat.)
7. Do the Windshield Wiper
Lie face up with arms out to your sides, palms down, and legs bent at 90 degrees so your feet are off the floor. Keep your abs tight and slowly lower your legs to the left as far as possible, keeping your shoulders on the floor. Pause, then return to start. Repeat to the right. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.
MORE: Top Yoga Poses For Weight Loss
8. Perfect Your Posture
While you’re driving, sitting, or just waiting at the doctor’s office, imagine there’s gum or wet paint on the back of your chair so you have to hold yourself up instead of leaning back. Keep your shoulder blades down and back, abdominals lifted, and picture yourself knitting your rib cage together and in.
9. Cut Back on Salt
Too much salt will make you retain more fluid, which contributes to a puffy appearance and extra water weight. (Avoid these 10 other foods that cause belly bloat.)
10. Fry Fat with The Boat Move
Target your deepest abs muscles with The Boat. Lie face up on a mat with your arms straight up over chest. Lift your upper body off the ground by rolling through the spine. At the same time, raise your legs so that you’re balancing on your butt, knees bent and shins parallel to the ground. Slowly roll back down onto the mat, lowering legs. That’s one rep. Do five reps per set, resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
11. Eat More Avocado
Just half an avocado contains 10 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids, which halt blood sugar spikes that tell your body to store fat around your belly. Eat these in 1/4 cup servings to ward off belly fat without overdoing it.
12. Play Catch
Get into a crunch position: Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, shoulders and head off the floor with your abs contracted. Then have someone throw an exercise ball (or basketball) to you—first to your left side so you have to twist and reach to catch it, and then to your right. Do this as many times as is comfortable, and try to increase the number each week.
13. Skip the Soda
Where do you think all those bubbles from carbonated drinks end up? They gang up in your belly! (Check out all seven nasty side effects of drinking diet soda.) Swap soda, diet soda, and seltzer for Sassy Water, our slimming staple beverage.
14. Ditch Alcohol
That glass of wine with every meal may be part of the reason your jeans are too tight. Too much alcohol can raise cortisol levels, sending fat straight to your belly.
MORE: 10 Reasons Your Abs Exercises Aren’t Working
15. Sprinkle Seeds into Meals
Sunflower seeds are packed with tons of monounsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins, which play an important role in protecting against inflammation. Add 2 tablespoons on top of your salad and stir-fries.
MORE: 14 Walking Workouts That Blast Fat And Boost Energy
16. Consume More Seafood
Salmon and other fatty fish are rich in the same omega-3 fatty acids as many belly-fat-busting foods. Try poaching your fish for a low-calorie way to enjoy this lean protein, like in these five fresh seafood recipes.)
17. Hydrate with H20
Forget water weight: Drinking lots of water helps flush bloat that your body might be holding onto.
18. Stand Tall While Weight Lifting
Stand as much as possible when doing strength-training exercises. That way your abs will naturally help to balance and stabilize your body. Concentrate on keeping your abs tight and maintaining good posture while you lift but without holding your breath.
19. Get More Sleep
Research from the University of Chicago shows that those who sleep seven hours or more a night lose twice as much fat and are less hungry than those who get less than seven hours of shut-eye. If sleeping’s a struggle for you, these 20 ways to sleep better every night can help.
20. Keep Peanut Butter Available
One serving of peanut butter has 2 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein, on top of belly-busting monounsaturated fatty acids. Try this easy recipe to add a flat belly punch to dinner: Toss a 1/2 cup of whole grain noodles with 3 ounces cooked shrimp, minced scallions, and 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper. Dress with a mixture of 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons warm water, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
MORE: 25 Things You Can Do With Peanut Butter
Aerobic kickboxing is more than just a great belly fat-burning, cardio workout. All those arm thrusts and high kicks firm abs, too. (Try these six other “scary” exercises for women.)
MORE: Confused About Fat? Here’s Everything You Need To Know.
When you think about the toughest fat to get rid of on your body, most people’s minds would probably begrudgingly go right to their midsection. Belly fat is easy to gain and often extremely difficult to trim away, making it one of the most common parts of the body that people are self-conscious about.
If that’s you to a T, don’t lose hope! On top of a healthy diet with specific foods to target your tummy, there are exercises you can do to tighten your midsection — and they don’t have to be time-consuming, either.
Here are nine exercises that are easy to do, actually tighten your core, and only take ten minutes of your day to do!
- 1. The Roll
- 2. Windmills
- 3. Starfish Crunch
- 4. Mountain Climbers
- 5. Russian Twists
- 6. Spiderman Planks
- 7. Single Leg Drops
- 8. Twofold Leg Circles
- 9. Flutter Kicks
- Flat Stomach – Mission Impossible? These 4 Tips Can Make a Difference
- 1. Focus on intense, total-body workouts
- 2. Get that core strong
- 3. Stay away from alcohol
- 4. Take control of your eating habits
- The bottomline
- How to do the “core compression” exercise
- 7 Simple Tricks to Flatten Your Stomach
1. The Roll
Targets: Lower abs
Start on your back. Lift your legs off the floor and extend them straight, with your hands spread to the sides. Bring your legs down toward the floor but try not to touch down. Then, bring your knees again into your trunk and go up once again.
Repeat for 30 seconds.
Targets: Obliques and lower abs
Begin in a similar position from the previous exercise with your legs up. This time you are running with your legs to the side. Bring your legs to the other side as close to the floor as possible, but try not to touch it.
Repeat this for 30 seconds, switching sides the whole time.
3. Starfish Crunch
Targets: Center and lower abs
You should lie on the floor with your arms and legs separated with your arms over your head. Then, touch the opposite foot to the opposite hand.
Repeat this for 30 seconds.
4. Mountain Climbers
Targets: Your entire core
Put your hands on the floor and bring your body to your toes; a.k.a. a plank position, with your spine nice and straight. You should bring your knees in rapidly, aiming for your elbows. Make sure to tighten your core, pulling your belly button into your spine.
Exchange your legs for 30 seconds.
5. Russian Twists
Start seated on the floor, leaning back at 45-degree angle. You can bring your legs up for more of a challenge or keep them on the floor. Bend your abdominal area by conveying your hands to the sides.
Repeat for 30 seconds.
6. Spiderman Planks
Targets: Center core and obliques
Start in a push-up position. Lift one leg so your knee will be twisted to 90 degrees. Keep your back straight and hold that position for 15 seconds. Switch legs and hold once again for 15 seconds.
7. Single Leg Drops
Targets: Lower abs
Lie on your back and spread your arms to the sides. Lift your legs straight up then start lowering them one after the other. When you bring them down make sure not to touch the floor. Keep your legs straight and your core active constantly.
Repeat this for 30 seconds.
8. Twofold Leg Circles
Targets: Your entire core
Start on your back and point your legs to the ceiling, keeping them pressed together. Start circling your legs going one way for 30 seconds, then go the other way going 30 seconds.
9. Flutter Kicks
Targets: Lower abs
On your back and lift your legs straight up. Start kicking the air with your legs. Keep your back firmly to the floor and exhale and inhale deeply during the exercise.
Repeat this until you feel burn in your lower muscles.
For a full visual tutorial on each move, make sure to watch the video below!
Flat Stomach – Mission Impossible? These 4 Tips Can Make a Difference
If you consider your belly a problem zone when it comes to fat loss, you are not alone. This is especially true if you already lost some weight, but still feel far away from a “flat tummy”.
Is it really so hard to get a flat stomach or are you doing it wrong?
Here’s what you should know:
- Focusing solely on problem areas can backfire: The more you obsess about your belly, the further away you get from feeling confident in your body, no matter the size. Start with a reassessment of your goals. Focus on making healthier choices long term and getting your core powerful and able to support you in all activities of daily life.
- Bloat vs. fat: It is unrealistic to expect that you can have a flat stomach 24/7. Even if you lose a lot of fat from your abdominal area, you will still notice daily fluctuations from bloating. A completely flat stomach is not a “natural state” for your body.
Can you get your stomach flat fast?
It takes a lot of dedication to get a flat stomach, and, as always, it starts with a healthy lifestyle. Your belly won’t disappear from one day to the next, no matter what miracle cure you try. One thing you can do is reduce bloating by avoiding certain foods, such as legumes, cruciferous vegetables, and dairy products.
The following 4 tips are key to achieving a flat stomach…
1. Focus on intense, total-body workouts
It’s nearly impossible to get abs with targeted exercises when there is a layer of fat on top. It’s better to focus on total-body workouts, like those in the Results app, that recruit many muscle groups at the same time. This will result in more calories burned and more overall body fat lost. When you are working out at an intensity level that is challenging for you, you don’t need to spend hours working out. Find out how to crank up the intensity and burn more calories during your next workout.
Having a hard time pushing yourself to train hard? Try recruiting a friend to join you for your workouts.
2. Get that core strong
The best exercise to strengthen your core is the Plank! And when your core is strong, you will get stronger overall. You will have better form and be more fit for all types of activities. So get to know and love this exercise, as well as many other exercises that challenge your core. Not only does the Plank hit the core muscles hard, it also helps you improve your balance and strengthens your back and chest. Even your legs have to do some work.
Make it your mission to try a plank variation during every single workout. Once you start getting a feeling for your abdominal muscles, you will feel much more confident about your midsection.
3. Stay away from alcohol
This might get a “BOOO!” from the crowd, but it’s really important. Not only is alcohol full of empty calories, it also releases estrogen into the bloodstream which, in excess, can cause you to put on weight. If you’re really serious about getting a flat belly for summer, keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.
4. Take control of your eating habits
I say this all the time, but you can’t outtrain a bad diet. In fact, your eating habits are the key here. Check out the steps you can take:
- Get rid of all the processed foods, microwave dinners, fast food, chips, soda, etc. All the extra sugar and sodium will surely prevent you from getting rid of the belly pooch. Don’t forget – sugar is hidden in many foods where you wouldn’t expect it.
- Think whole foods: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and heart-healthy fats! This fruity quinoa salad is perfect for summer and, when that sweet tooth starts calling, sink your teeth into these deliciously moist brownies made with kidney beans!
- Drink plenty of water. This will prevent that extra bloat and help boost your metabolism. Some other drinks can help you reduce your belly bloat, too.
Getting a flat stomach is not an overnight project, but it’s also not impossible.
Before deciding that you really want to go for it, be aware that it will likely require bigger changes in your nutrition and current lifestyle. If you start working out, take control of your eating habits, reduce alcohol intake, and strengthen your core – you will already be much more confident on the beach.
Start today with a 12-week workout plan you can do at home without equipment!
Many women who have given birth have a post-baby belly bulge and sometimes it can be due to an issue called diastasis recti. This can occur during pregnancy as the growing baby pushes the mother’s abdominal muscles apart, creating a space in the connective tissue running down the middle of the stomach. For some women, this gap in the core muscles goes back on its own, but in others, it often stays open after birth. (Learn how to work the deep core muscles, or transverse abdominis, with this one move.)
Simply realigning those abdominal muscles may help the stomach flatten again. But one simple, five- to ten-minute exercise may help—and you won’t even need to leave your home to do it. However, make sure you consult your doctor before starting any post-pregnancy exercise program. It may also be a good idea to consult a trainer or physical therapist who is knowledgeable about diastasis recti, as some types of exercise, including crunches, may make it worse.
How to do the “core compression” exercise
This simple exercise for diastasis recti is all about working your transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, and diaphragm in one, says Leah Keller, a certified personal trainer in San Francisco, California, and creator of the EMbody program. She’s dubbed the move a “core compression.”
Here’s how to do it: First, sit cross-legged on the floor with your hands on your belly and take a deep breath, letting your stomach fully expand. Then, as you exhale, suck your belly muscles back toward your spine. With your stomach flattened against your spine, start taking deep breaths and pulling your stomach in with each exhale. Start with 5 minutes a day and work your way up to 10.
“Ensure your abdominal wall is drawing the muscles up and in on exertion, never bulging, bracing or flexing forward,” says Keller. “Coordinate your breath and pelvic floor so that you are both exhaling and performing a Kegel with each core compression.”
So far, the exercise has shown promising results in science. A small pilot study conducted by Keller and Geeta Sharma, an OB-GYN at Carnegie Hill OB/GYN in New York, tracked the progress of 63 women who did the exercises either before or after giving birth. After 12 weeks of doing the exercise for 10 minutes per day, the women saw improvements in their diastasis recti, regardless of whether they started during or after pregnancy.
A few keys to the move you need to keep in mind, according to Keller: Avoid holding your breath, and never flex the abdominal muscles forward, making them bulge. Instead, think about lifting both the abs and the pelvic floor toward the head and exhale as you engage the core. Don’t bear down. “Control is more important than intensity,” Keller says.
Although this exercise hasn’t been tested on men or women who haven’t been pregnant, it might be worth a shot.
No gym membership? No problem. These 23 tricks will flatten your belly without a lick of exercise.
Photo via VisualHunt
Core exercises will build up your abs, but they do nothing for the layer of fat on top of them. Likewise, no leg exercise can give you slimmer thighs. And yet headlines and tweets about shrinking specific body parts abound—even when the articles themselves contradict the headline.
For example, this health.com article is headlined as a “10-Minute Love Handle Workout.” It begins by saying that a traditional ab workout won’t get rid of your love handles (true) so you need to target your oblique muscles specifically (uh, that’s no better). Then there is a brief moment of clarity:
That being said, it’s a myth that you can spot reduce fat loss. Yes, you can target your obliques to maximize toning, but fat is lost through cardio and diet. We’ve all heard that abs are made in the kitchen, and (unfortunately) it’s true. You can do crunches until the cows come home, but unless you get rid of your excess fat through healthy eating, your toned abs will never be seen. So here’s the best strategy for kicking your love handles to the curb:
The strategy has three steps. One is to diet, described in four words: “Eat lean. Eat clean.” Uh, thanks. The second is a mention that you should do some cardio. The third is the promised “love handle workout.” Of these three, only the first two can shrink your love handles. And yet the headline and bulk of the article are about the third item, which can’t.
Or take this shape.com article on the “Best Inner Thigh Exercises for Women.” They asked 16 trainers to “share their go-to move for slim, sculpted hips and thighs,” even though there is no move that can make your hips and thighs slimmer. (You can exercise a muscle to make it larger.) The first seven trainers dutifully offer exercises that strengthen the inner thighs. The eighth objects: “If you want to reduce the size of your thighs and look more toned, then your goal is really fat loss since you can’t spot reduce.”
But then he offers an exercise anyway, and so do all the rest.
I am sure the trainers, many of them impeccably qualified, understand the difference between losing fat (which happens all over) and strengthening a muscle (which you can target). Several of the others mentioned that they chose exercises that burn lots of calories, which seems like a nod to the truth. But then the article gets written anyway, and packaged with a headline that directly contradicts the facts on exercise physiology.
7 Simple Tricks to Flatten Your Stomach
What’s the one part of our body that we all wish was a little trimmer or more defined?
Who doesn’t want a flatter tummy or a more well-defined midsection?
If you’re looking for tips and tricks to flatten out your stomach, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at 7 simple tricks that will help you get a flat tummy.
- Drink Up
You hear it all the time but how often are you drinking the appropriate amount of water?
Water is an extremely important way to maintain great overall health and this is especially true when you’re trying to flatten your stomach. Water helps proper digestion and it also ensures that your body is able to get rid of all the toxins that may cause a bloating effect. Remember to try to drink 8 glasses per day.
- Cut This Out
Most of the population is lactose intolerant and yet so many people indulge in dairy-based foods. When your body can’t handle dairy, it responds through inflammation (among other uncomfortable symptoms). That belly bump after you drink a milkshake or eat cheese is your body telling you that it’s no good. Try cutting out all dairy for 2 weeks and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
Reading a book?
Watching a video on your phone?
That’s the perfect time to plank.
The plank exercise targets your entire abdominals, helping to strengthen them and pull them in. Learn how to do the plank here.
- Say “No” to Processed
Processed foods (the stuff that comes in a box) is going to be filled with artificial ingredients and preservatives. Some of these fillers such as wheat gluten may cause a reaction in the body that causes inflammation and bloating (just like dairy). Keep your diet as natural as you can and avoid the boxes and frozen stuff.
Another must do stomach exercise is the vacuum. On paper, it’s really simple to perform but the benefits and results you’ll get from making it a consistent part of your workout routine are incredible. It involves using deep stomach muscles that you never knew you had. It will help to REALLY strengthen your stomach. What’s more, the natural motion of the exercise will help pull in and flatten your stomach. Learn how to do it here.
- Get Up, Get Moving
It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk around the block with your dog or a few rounds of Dance Dance Revolution with the kids; the idea is to move more. Being physically active is an excellent way to burn more calories that could be contributing to a belly bump.
- Focus on This, Not That
It’s important that you have a well-balanced diet with the right macronutrients. It’s important to focus on quality lean protein along with healthy fats. When you eat carbohydrates, you should eat only complex carbohydrates. Here are some examples of each:
- Lean chicken breasts
- Egg whites
- Whey protein supplement
- Sweet potato (yams)
- Whole grain bread
Tell Us What You Think!
Have you achieved your ideal waistline and stomach?
What did you do to make it happen?
Let us know in the comments below!
How can you make it a habit? Try Pilates. According to a 6-month pilot study of 18 chronic back pain sufferers, Pilates is one of the best ways to improve posture and strengthen your ab and back muscles.
Jessica Cassity, Prevention’s senior fitness editor and a certified Pilates instructor, suggests two moves you can actually do while you’re still in bed that will set you straight for the day:
1. Belly Ins: Draw belly to spine. Slowly, flattening lower back to bed by using your core (not your butt or legs), press belly down on an exhale, release on an inhale. Do 10 times.
2. Roll and Reach: Sit upright with legs bent and pressed together, feet flat on the bed. Reach forward over knees, palms down. Slowly, roll halfway down, then twist right. Reach right fingertips to the low back diagonal (if you’re facing the foot of your bed, you’ll reach toward to top right corner), while stretching left fingertips forward. Twist back to center, bringing right arm front and rolling up to sit. Repeat to left for one rep. Do 8 reps.
Try This Bed-Based Yoga Routine To Sleep Better Tonight
2. Dress in belly-flattening fashions
The right outfit can pull off a multitude of belly-flattening miracles. Meg Goldman, a New York City stylist who dresses women of all shapes and sizes—including curvy Weight Watchers success stories—shares her best belly-flattening tips.
•Choose fabrics wisely. Avoid lightweight knits, Lycra, and other stretch fabrics that highlight and emphasize extra pounds. Opt for woven fabrics (like woven cotton, silk or rayon blends, and lightweight wool blends) that skim the body rather than cling to it.
•Shop for a shift dress or wrap dress. The shift is a great way to show off your arms and legs, if they’re your best assets, drawing less attention to the midsection. The wrap creates a waistline and shows off a beautiful neck and bust.
•Pick tops made of woven fabrics as well. Shirts with detailing around the neckline and accessorized by a great piece of jewelry draw the eyes up to the face—and away from the stomach and hips. Blouses and tops with a small ruffle down the center are good for diverting attention away from the midsection as well. Wrap tops also slim quite nicely if they aren’t made from thin, stretchy fabric.
•Cinch your waist with a wide belt in a dark color. This separates the hips and bust, drawing the eyes to the center of the body. Look for one in soft leather that will mold with the body’s natural curves.
•Experiment with small patterns, like florals and geometrics, which tend to disguise trouble spots. Wear floral tops with a solid dark bottom to slim your lower half.
18 Style Tricks To Help You Look Younger—and Thinner
3. Turn in an hour earlier
You’ll be less likely to overeat the next day. Eating right and exercising regularly help ward off both stress and belly fat, but only if you’re getting enough sleep. Skimping on sleep causes levels of the stress hormone cortisol to rise, along with levels of deep abdominal fat.
“There’s a definite association between lack of sleep, increased stress hormones, and weight gain,” says Auburn University exercise researcher Michele Olson. In a six-year study, Canadian researchers found that adults who averaged just five or six hours of shut-eye a night were 35 percent more likely to gain 10-plus pounds and were nearly 60 percent heavier around the middle than those who slept 7 to 8 hours. Now that’s a reason to skip Leno.
4. Swap soda for Sassy Water
A nice carbonated beverage can hit the spot when you’re thirsty. But you’ll have to skip the bubbles while you’re on a middle-shrinking mission—nutritionist Palinski says the gas will make your belly poof up right away. Drink plain old tap water to stay hydrated—and make sure you get at least eight glasses a day. One delicious alternative: Flat Belly Diet Sassy Water (the eating plan’s signature drink). The special ingredients aren’t just there for flavor, either: The ginger helps calm and soothe your GI tract. Get the Flat Belly Sassy Water recipe here.
5. Munch more whole grains and protein
Trading refined carbs for whole grains is not only healthy, it can actually help you shed belly fat, too, according to research from a Pennsylvania State University study. Dieters in the study who ate whole grains shed more than twice as much abdominal fat as those who ate none. Whole grains reduce the production of insulin, a hormone that encourages fat storage, making it easier to lose belly fat.
Add another belly fat-fighting component to your meal by packing in protein-rich foods. In a Danish study of 60 men and women, those following a diet that included 25 percent of calories from protein lost nearly twice as much fat after 6 months than those eating a diet with 12 percent protein. Include a serving of lean protein with each meal and snack—eggs for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch, low-fat or fat-free yogurt or milk for a snack, and grilled fish and vegetables for dinner.
6. Have watermelon for dessert
The amino acid arginine, abundant in watermelon, might promote weight loss, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers supplemented the diets of obese mice with arginine over three months and found that doing so decreased body fat gains by a whopping 64%. Adding this amino acid to the diet enhanced the oxidation of fat and glucose and increased lean muscle, which burns more calories than fat does. Snack on watermelon in the summer, and eat other arginine sources, such as seafood, nuts, and seeds, year-round.
7. Add this cupboard staple to your diet
The primary substance that gives ordinary vinegar its sour taste and strong odor may fight fat, suggests new research presented at a recent meeting of the Japanese Society of Nutrition and Food Science. In a study of 175 overweight Japanese men and women, those who consumed a drink containing either 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks had significantly lower body weight, BMI, visceral fat, and waist circumference than the control group that didn’t consume any vinegar. Researchers credit vinegar’s acetic acid, which may switch on genes that pump out proteins that break down fat.
8. Go slowly at meals
Under stress, we tend to scarf down even healthy food. In fact, research has linked this behavior to bigger portions and more belly fat. But Elissa Epel, a researcher on stress eating at the University of California, San Francisco, hypothesizes that slowing down, savoring each bite, and paying attention to feelings of fullness may lower cortisol levels along with decreasing the amount of food you eat, thereby shifting the distribution of fat away from the belly.
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