The fact of the matter is battling the bulge takes different strategies and approaches depending upon your genetics, your metabolism, your willpower, etc. What works for your buddy won’t necessarily be your be-all and end-all solution. To simplify things, we compiled plenty of tips to help rev your metabolism, lose your love handles, and unsheathe your abs. You’ll have to do some trial and error to deduce which ones work best for you (hey, losing weight is hard work). But if you put in the work (aka incorporate a few of these tips each week), you’ll be well on your way to a smaller waistline. Who said your glory days were in the past?
That place where fat is stored — the adipose tissue — is our body fat. It’s brought there via the bloodstream (i). Adipose tissue is made of adipocytes, cells specialized in the storage of fat. These cells look like bubbles packed close to each other. When our body uses the fat contained in the bubbles, they decrease in size. But, when we store excess fat (coming from any foods), the bubbles increase in size (hypertrophy) and number (hyperplasia).
Water is the medium in which most cellular activities take place, including the transporting and burning of fat. In addition, drinking plenty of calorie-free water makes you feel full and eat less. Drink at least 1oz of water per 2lbs of bodyweight a day (that's 100oz for a 200-lb person). Keep a 20-oz water bottle at your desk, fill it five times a day, and you're set.
This is especially important if you’re reducing your carb intake, as fat is your body’s alternative energy source. However, the benefits of fats extend far beyond that. Fat adds texture and flavour to your diet apart from supporting critical biological functions like storing vitamins and manufacturing hormones. We advise our clients at to avoid trans fats which are ‘man made’ and associated with a number of health complications. Instead, you should base your diet around getting a balance of the different types of fats:
Therefore, if they decide to consume any carbohydrates at this point, without the energy output needed to use those that remain in storage, then fat will be produced and stored in fat cells. Often all it takes for one to lose a significant proportion of their body fat is to limit carbohydrates in the evening. However, human nature is such that once a routine has been established this pattern is hard to overcome. It is almost as if we have conditioned ourselves in believing that since we train hard during the day we can at night pound down the carbohydrates with impunity.
We also love yoga, hula-hooping (yep, great for the abs) and the good standby “Abs of Steel” videos, and trust me the outfits in the 1990’s video will increase the cardio aspect just from laughter alone! There are also a slew of videos online, find one you love and can stick to every few days and you’ll be toning as you shed the unwanted belly fat.
“If there’s one thing that comes up over and over with the thousands of patients enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry, it’s weighing yourself every day on a scale,” says Rena Wing, Ph.D., founder of the registry, which tracks more than 4,500 men and women who have lost an average of 20lbs or more and kept it off for at least six years. “Don’t obsess over the number,” she says, “but at least keep track of the general range of what you weigh so you can catch small changes as they occur and take corrective measures immediately.”
Leafy Greens – Help you feel satisfied longer, boost your metabolism and turn off your hunger receptors. You will eat less and lose more belly fat just by increasing your leafy greens! They’re low in calories and high in fiber, making them the perfect weight loss food. Not a fan? Try one of our yummy green smoothies. Examples include spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, arugula, chard, and mustard greens.
A daily run or Spin class is great for your heart, but cardio workouts alone won't do much for your waist. "You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training," says Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Strength training increases muscle mass, which sets your body up to burn more fat. "Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle," says Kate Patton, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. Patton recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week.
I know easier said than done, but it is a key factor of the fat loss equation. Stress will ruin your insulin sensitivity causing the body to over secrete the fat storage hormone insulin. Furthermore high cortisol levels elevated due to stress also activate fat storage receptors, for men in the mid section and women have a harder time with the hips/buttocks area. We are well equipped to deal with short term stress such as being chased by a wild animal, but the long term stressors from over due bills, relationship issues, sick relatives etc are what really take a toll. Signs that you are overstressed include excessive body fat levels, consistent fatigue, irritability and lack of motivation. Overtraining syndrome has similar symptoms as high stress levels are one of the key factors involved with reducing your capacity to recover from training.
Now that you know more than you thought you ever would about the science of fat loss, we have an important reminder: Always focus on moving daily and eating a well-balanced, healthy diet. Don’t avoid carbs, protein or fat — your body needs it all. Another great thing you can do for yourself is to sign up for 8fit to get meals that are tailored to your preferences, your wellness goals, and your different macronutrient needs.
“Most people who have been lean their whole lives have a much better understanding of proper portion size than people who are overweight,” says Deborah Riebe, Ph.D., a professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island. “If they go out to eat, they’re much more likely to ask for a doggie bag right away or to leave food on their plate rather than cleaning it up.”
When you stay hungry, all the junk you are trying to avoid can get too tempting to resist. To keep yourself from getting too hungry between meals, always keep something with you that you can munch on. It doesn’t always have to be celery or carrot sticks. You can always treat yourself to something delicious that isn’t completely terrible for your diet.
Instead of subjecting yourself to another endless workout, crank up the intensity and you’ll see results faster than you ever thought possible. The results of a study conducted at McMaster University in Ontario reveal that adult male study subjects who exercised intensely for a single minute had equivalent respiratory and metabolic changes to those who worked out at a slower pace for close to an hour, so if you want to burn through that belly fat, say so long to slow and steady.
If you’re consistently hitting the weight rack and scheduling cardio kickboxing classes at your local gym, you’re already on your way to losing your gut. But stepping into your workout space isn’t the only way to ensure you’re getting the most out of that sweat sesh. If you’ve been sticking to your exercise regimen and not seeing the waist-trimming results you’d hoped for, don’t sweat it; we’ve got some science-backed ways to improve your fat-burning capacity and make every sweat droplet count.
Are you like Old Faithful when it comes to your morning walk or evening jog? Know this: The more you do an activity, the more your body adapts to it, so you burn fewer calories. If you want to light a fire under your metabolism, consider cross-training. For example, if you normally walk, try biking instead. "Since you're not used to working all those different muscles, it's a more intense workout, which can translate into a greater metabolic after-burn because your body is working harder to recover and get oxygen to all your tissues," says Carol Espel, M.S., an exercise physiologist for Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City.
Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium to your diet could be the key to getting that flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
Use the meal as a reward for a week’s worth of hard work, or the completion of a project you’ve been dreading. “It’s OK for people to blow one meal a week without feeling guilty,” says James W. Anderson, M.D., director of the Metabolic Research Group at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “If you follow a healthy diet 95% of the time, you can relax and enjoy yourself the other 5% of the time without gaining weight.”
For breakfast, try making a smoothie with plain yogurt, (plain is the best way to go because it has the smallest amount of sugar) with 1 piece of fruit of your choice and protein. If you are still hungry, try a handful of nuts (size of your palm), sliced apple w/almond or peanut butter, 2 scrambled eggs (can be mixed with some veggies). Keep your sugar intake minimized, if any at all. Keep your fruit intake to 3 pieces a day (fruits have sugar, even though it’s natural sugar and it’s less harmful than processed sugar). Remember that processed sugar and processed foods will leave your stomach feeling empty, leading your to eat more when unnecessary. Read labels, know what you are putting in your body. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, and if it’s an endless list, you may be better off eating something closer to nature. The less processed the better. The closer to nature, the more nourishing it’ll be and the more satisfied you’ll be.
Do not try to lose weight too rapidly. Crash diets and diet pills that promise weight loss are usually bad for you and actually don't help keep the weight off in the long run. Resist the urge to take the "easy" way out and instead stick with a healthier lifestyle. This way you lose the weight and improve your health, helping you keep the weight off in a way that won't harm you in the long run.
Sure, ketchup is tasty, but it’s also a serious saboteur when it comes your weight loss efforts. Ketchup is loaded with sugar — up to four grams per tablespoon — and bears little nutritional resemblance to the fruit from which it’s derived. Luckily, swapping out your ketchup for salsa can help you shave off that belly fat fast. Fresh tomatoes, like those used in salsa, are loaded with lycopene, which a study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan links to reductions in both overall fat and waist circumference. If you like your salsa spicy, all the better; the capsaicin in hot peppers, like jalapeños and chipotles, can boost your metabolism, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL_dE81O_mw
If you want to shrink your gut, get enough protein in your diet. In this case, about 25 percent of calories. Why? For starters, protein makes you feel full and helps you build muscle (which increases metabolism, thereby making it easier to lose weight). Just as important, high-protein diets have been shown to be the best way of attacking belly fat. In one study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, Danish researchers put 65 people on either a 12 percent protein diet or a 25 percent protein diet. The low-protein dieters lost an average of 11 pounds, which isn't bad. But the high-protein subjects lost an average of 20 pounds--including twice as much abdominal fat as the low-protein group.
While it’s often assumed that bread is off-limits when you’re trying to lose belly fat, the right bread may actually expedite the process. Switching to sprouted bread can help out carb-lovers eager to get their fix without going up a belt size, thanks to the inulin content of sprouted grains. The results of a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism reveal that found that pre-diabetic study subjects whose diets were supplemented with inulin shaved off more belly fat and total weight than those whose meal plans didn’t pack this healthy prebiotic fiber.
If you’re looking to get lean, working out before you sit down to sunny-side-up eggs and toast may be your best bet. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that doing cardio on an empty stomach results in significantly higher fat oxidation, or fat loss, than exercise performed after you’ve eaten. Try hitting the elliptical or Stairmaster before breakfast, and make sure to bring a small snack with you to the gym to keep your blood sugar in check. To follow up your workout, check out these 16 Post-Workout Snacks Fitness Experts Swear By.
If you don’t have an established exercise routine, simply walking is the best first step toward weight loss. “Walking is a pretty good entry point for people,” says Gagliardi. This is particularly true if you have been out of the gym for a while and want to ease back into a workout routine. One small study published in The Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry found that obese women who did a walking program for 50 to 70 minutes three days per week for 12 weeks significantly slashed their visceral fat compared to a sedentary control group.
It has to do with your hormones leptin and ghrelin. Your levels get all sort of messed up and it leads to them telling your body you're hungry when you're really just tired. And to top it off, when you're sleepy, you load up on sugar, grab take out for dinner because you're tired, and skip the gym for the same reason. That's three strikes right there.
To encourage ketone production, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production. And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis.
Here’s a shocker: When a group of U.K. researchers told 30 women to avoid chocolate, then packed them into a room filled with the stuff; the women were much more likely to sneak a bite than individuals who hadn’t been given the order. Blame the allure of the forbidden: The more you tell yourself you can’t eat something you love, the more you’re going to want it.
One study from the University of Adelaide in Australia suggests you may lose more weight when you work out towards the end of your menstrual cycle, as opposed to right when a new one begins. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone tell your body to use fat as an energy source. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," study author Leanne Redman says.