Or, waist not, want not.

Belly fat. Just those two words are ugh-inducing. And the closer to 40-plus you get, the bigger the sigh. Not only is it an eyesore in the mirror, it is an indicator that you might have serious health problems on the horizon.

Regardless your opinion on how to lose the belly fat whether it be diet changes, quitting alcohol, or doing a painstaking amount of crunches, there are several factors that can alter your midsection that all doctors agree on.

#1 – It’s time to kick sugar (and artificially-sweetened beverages) to the curb…for good. Sugar and artificial sweeteners are proven to negatively effect the gut microbes in your body which changes the way they process the sweet. And trust us, it ain’t that sweet at all.

#2 – Let proteins save the day! Aim for 25-30% of your food consumption per day be attributed to proteins like whole eggs, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy products. Even adding coconut oil as a cooking alternative leads to reduced body fat.

#3 – Get rid of those unhealthy carbs that increase your appetite and directly effect weight gain and increased water weight. Bonus: if you keep your sugar intake minimal, you can eat more healthy carbs.

#4 – Don’t forget to eat your fiber! Viscous fibers turn to a kind of gel-like substance when digested and slow down absorption and digestion of sugars and fats in your body. This means a reduction in the jolt given to your insulin levels when you eat sugar (think greased lightning when you drink a soft drink) and more time spent by your body to break it down (hello calories burned).

#5 – Take a hike! Like, literally, take a hike. Cardio helps burn up belly fat whereas there is no indication that any amount of crunches will alter your waistline.

#6 – A favorite at Beacon: WRITE DOWN YOUR FOODS! It’s called accountability people! It forces you to be mindful of what goes into your body and assuage that old adage, “A moment on your lips, forever on your hips (next stop, my thighs!).”

#7 – Meditate. Stress is a flat-belly killer thanks to good ole cortisol along with other factors like tired = hungry. So don’t take our word for it – go try it out! Need help? Check out this list of the best meditation apps. 

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash