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Contact: Rebecca Climer, rclimer@sth.org

5 ways to cut down belly fat

Tired of all that stubborn belly fat? Lori Black, nutritionist at Saint Thomas West Hospital, suggests the following tips for toning up the mid-section.

  • Change bad habits – try eliminating bad habits. Studies show that smoking increases the storage of belly fat. Also, getting less than five hours of sleep and feeling stressed also increase belly fat.
  • Get help – if you are feeling depressed or showing signs of depression you need to seek help. Studies show that people who are depressed gain weight faster than those who aren’t depressed.
  • Change eating habits – don’t do crash diets or drastically cut your calorie intake. Doing either of the two can slow your metabolism and increase belly fat. If you want to lose weight try eating lean proteins and reducing your portion sizes. Also, choose foods with trans fats versus saturated fats.
  • Work out your abdominal muscles – perform exercises that target your belly region. Exercises where you pull your bellybutton in toward your back as you exhale, hold the position for 10 seconds and then relax your abdominal muscles can help flatten your belly. Also, try sit-ups and pelvic lifts to strengthen your stomach muscles and flatten your mid-section.
  • Exercise more often – along with working out your abdominal muscles simply increasing your physical activity can help reduce belly fat. Studies show that your stomach area may be the first place you notice weight loss and toned muscles once you start exercising. It is recommended to exercise 30-60 minutes daily.

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