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7 Effective Ways To Kick Your Belly Fat Away

7 Effective Ways To Kick Your Belly Fat Away

Look, I know that the title almost sounds too good to be true, as you’ll find a huge number of similar tips online. However, I’m not here to give you unrealistic expectations and sell you my special brand of fat-destroying snake oil, nor am I here to hold your hand and tell you that you should ease into it slowly. I’m a guy that’s been very skinny, bulky, fairly fat and eventually nice and proportional for my height and skeletal structure, so I tend to be a realist.

I’ve also had a number of friends who struggled with weight, and some of them managed to shed anywhere between 45 and 65 pounds, and none of us did it using a dramatically different method than the rest. In fact, all our lifestyle changes were fairly similar, and there was one constant – we all ate healthier foods, consumed less calories overall and trained our butts off.

You have to commit to a radically different lifestyle and have some patience, as belly fat is the last to go for a vast majority of people, and you can’t “target” it. All you can do is follow a few effective guidelines and wait for your body fat percentage to drop low enough for your body to finally start to let go of those last reserves of belly fat.

1. Switch to diet soda and eat fruit when you crave something sweet

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    Cutting calories can be a tricky task, because it’s difficult for most people to gauge portion size and realize just how many calories they are actually consuming. However, one aspect that contributes to at least 1/4 or 1/3 of most people’s daily calories are sugary drinks and candy. By giving these up you can easily drop some 800-1600 calories or even more, depending on how much of it you consume on a daily basis.

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    A 2 litre bottle of Coke or similar drink is about 800 calories, while a 100g bar of chocolate has about 500 calories. As a comparison, diet sodas have zero or close to zero calories, a medium-sized banana has 100 calories, 100g of strawberries have about 33 calories and a medium-sized apple has just under 100 calories. When you feel a need for something sweet, go with some fruit and a handful of nuts, or a bowl of muesli and some milk.

    2. Opt for healthier foods and do your own cooking

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      Here are a couple of facts that you need to keep in mind when losing weight:

      • You will mostly eat foods that are readily available in your home
      • Most of the time, you’ll just eat what’s quick and convenient to prepare

      When we understand these important points we can come up with easy solutions:

      • Fill up your freezer, fridge and pantries with healthy foods
      • Cook for the next few days or the entire week and have your meals ready to go

      Not only will cooking your own food help you stick to a healthier diet, but it will also save you a lot of money. Restaurants and fast food joints are a problem, so instead of eating out you can have a nice dinner at your house from time to time, or go for a walk and have a picnic. You can bring your food to work in plastic containers. This way you won’t be tempted to go with high calorie foods.

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      3. Take the time to stretch and meditate when stressed or fatigued

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        Static stretches should be done after each workout, be it weightlifting or running, but they can also be used whenever you feel a bit agitated. Not only will some 10-15 minutes of stretching help alleviate joint pain and muscle soreness, but it will also help relax your mind. You essentially occupy your mind with the task at hand and forget about your worries for a while.

        End these short stretching bouts with another 10 minutes of slow breathing in a comfortable position, and try to clear your mind and focus on counting every breath – once you get to ten, start over from one, and visualize the numbers appearing on a big white screen as you count. Effective stress management is very important for keeping your body and mind in good health, and will prevent things like emotional eating.

        4. Walk at least 1-2 hours total each day

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          This is the easiest good habit to get into, and it is actually great for both your heart and weight loss. It doesn’t burn much calories compared to running, hitting the heavy bag or circuit training, but since it is much easier you’ll be less likely to skip a session, and won’t mind doing it for a couple of hours at a time.

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          A simple way to get more walking done is to park a little further away, use the stairs more often, take your dog out to the park, go shopping with some friends or just put on an audiobook or some music and make a few circles around the block. A good substitute can be household chores – some 30-60 minutes of vacuuming, dusting and washing dishes will burn enough calories to make a difference.

          5. Do cardio while watching TV

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            Walking is good for your cardiovascular system and shedding a few extra calories, but nothing beats an intense cardio workout where you keep your heart rate elevated for some 10-20 minutes. Running is great and can be fun, but it tends to be a little hard on the joints, and it’s easy to find an excuse not to do it. This is why I would recommend getting an exercise machine and placing it in your living room, so you can get in a quick session while you watch some TV or listen to an audio book.

            As far as home devices go, a rowing machine is an excellent choice, as it takes up little space, doesn’t waste electricity and gets your entire body involved in the movement, particularly the pulling muscles of the back and the abdominals, which most people neglect when training. Just be sure to make certain you’re using it properly, as you can hurt yourself with bad form!

            6. Build a solid strength base

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              Pumping up those muscles a little bit serves several important purposes:

              • It gives you something to show off when the fat comes off
              • The training helps you burn some extra calories
              • The added muscle tone increases the amount of calories you burn when resting

              Building strength will build a good amount of muscle as well, and the more muscle you have the more calories your body will need just to maintain the same weight, so you don’t have to cut your calories too low or go insane with the cardio exercises. It also makes you feel more agile and energetic, which will cause you to move around more throughout the day, burning yet more calories in the process.

              7. Go to bed earlier and get a solid 8 hours of sleep

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                Getting enough sleep will help you reduce stress, improve concentration and allow your body to regulate its complex biochemistry and keep your metabolism high. If you fail to get adequate rest, you will have trouble pushing hard at the gym or staying consistent with your rowing or treadmill sessions. As an additional benefit, the less you stay awake at night, the less cravings you’ll experience – you can’t eat if you’re asleep.

                These are proven methods that can help you cut your calories, improve digestion, burn a good amount of energy and increase your metabolism, all of which are needed to shed that persistent belly fat. It takes commitment and patience to get the results you want, but as long as you don’t make too many mistakes and stay consistent with these new habits, expect to see a sexy flat belly in a few months.

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                Nemanja Manojlovic

                Editor at MyCity Web

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                Last Updated on October 16, 2018

                The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                Why you can’t sleep through the night

                The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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                Stress

                If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                Eating close to bedtime

                Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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                Medical conditions

                In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                The vicious sleep cycle

                The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                You get a bad night’s sleep
                –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                  You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                  How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                  To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                  1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                  What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                  Here are a few suggestions:

                  • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                  • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                  • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                  • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                  • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                  2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                  What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                  • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                  • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                  • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                  • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                  3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                  Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                  Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                  Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                  Sleep better form now on

                  Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                  I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                  As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                  Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                  Reference

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