The average American now drinks about a gallon of soda a week. Add to that our odd new habits of swapping tap water for bottled “vitamin” water (+120 calories) and giving up plain iced coffee for Mocha Frappucinos (+520 calories) and you can see how quickly the calories add up—and that’s before chugging an “energy drink” that tastes exactly like what would happen if a crazed pastry chef hijacked a truckload of Smarties and drove it into a battery acid factory (another 280 calories). Those three drinks alone give you 920 additional calories—almost half a day’s worth!
Prioritise lean protein like beef, turkey, eggs, fish, chicken, and tofu. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, participants were either assigned a 12 per cent or 25 per cent protein diet. While the first group lost 11 pounds on average, the high-protein participants shedded around 20 pounds and ditched twice as much belly fat as the low-protein subjects.
Snack on portion-controlled fruit, seeds and nuts. One study found that snacking on 42g of almonds per day (instead of munching on something high-carb with equal calories) helped to reduce belly fat and improved cholesterol levels. “The high levels of fibre are proven to combat excess calorie consumption later in the day,” says registered dietitian Lucy Jones.
To reduce visceral fat and potentially increase lean muscle mass, add 30 minutes of moderate physical activity to your daily routine on most days of the week. Moderate exercise can include aerobic activity (such as walking) and strength training with weights. Combining a more balanced diet with a regular exercise routine can accelerate the loss of belly fat and improve other cardiometabolic risk factors. Adding more whole fruits and vegetables and minimizing sugar intake from processed foods are effective diet modifications for reducing dangerous fat around the organs. Additionally, quitting smoking, getting more than 5 hours of sleep per night, and managing mental stress have all been proven to reduce the accumulation of belly fat in men.
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Core exercises go far beyond your grandparent’s idea of sit-ups and pushups. The core is everything in your trunk, from your upper legs, hips, abs, back, and chest. Exercises that focus on improving your core muscles help you improve your strength and tone beneath your fat. Exercises for love handles should include plenty of core exercise. Focusing on your core should form a major component of your cardio routine and improved diet.
Elisha is a clinical nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for weight loss, insulin resistance, digestive and mental health. Elisha has a huge amount of experience in complimentary health, particularly in helping to work through food related issues such as diabetes and obesity, and provide assistance to combat emotional eating. She has been part of the Healthy Mummy team of experts since 2012, writing informative blog posts, contributing to our recipe books and the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipes. Elisha loves working for The Healthy Mummy because “I love creating family friendly recipes, knowing that women all around the country are losing weight and gaining more confidence and changing their lives for the better.”