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8 Eye-Opening Tips To Shake Off Your Stubborn Belly Fat

8 Eye-Opening Tips To Shake Off Your Stubborn Belly Fat

With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to think about what you’ll do with that plate of turkey and mac n’ cheese — will you be stuffed like a turkey or will you be svelte for the new year?

There are many reasons why the holidays are a grand time. They are a time in which to be happy — you are spending time with family, friends, and loved ones and exchanging stories and gifts. This is also the time of fatty foods and “soul” food cooking that may taste amazing (like seriously amazing), but can be harmful to your health and your happiness.

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Here are 8 tips to help you lose those that stubborn belly fat and keep it off during the holidays!

1. Drink Plenty Of Water

Yes, it’s a rule as old as time, or at least as old as whenever the USDA created those guidelines. Drinking at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day will help you not only maintain your weight but aid in weight loss. You’ll also start to notice changes in your skin and nail health. It promotes an overall healthy body and keeps your skin glowing, your waist slimmer, and your hair shinier!

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2. Don’t Go Back For That Second Helping

During the holidays, it is normal for us all to go back to the kitchen for second, sometimes even third, helpings, but this is not good. If you’re trying to stay slim and not feel like your zipper on your pants is about to bust open, it is important to avoid over-indulging in holiday foods. There is nothing wrong with having a slice of grandma’s famous sweet potato pie, but going back for the whole pie should be avoided!

3. Create A Plan

Everything you do in your life requires some plan of attack or some idea of how you want to achieve it. This is very true for losing weight and getting rid of belly fat — you must create a plan of action on how you want to drop those extra pounds. It is as simple as taking time one afternoon and writing down what your goals are for weight loss, whether it’s to fit in that new dress for Christmas or just to be beach ready for the Spring!

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4. Do More Cardio Exercises

Cardio and other exercises lead to smaller waistlines, but also happier attitudes. When you exercise, you release endorphins that aid in you feeling happier, and nothing brings about more happiness than seeing the results of your hard work. You know your body better than anyone, and you know what exercises are more challenging for you, so it is important to always consult a doctor or medical professional before engaging in rigorous activity.

5. Start Off Slow

Losing weight, especially belly fat, can take time — nothing is ever done in a few weeks. Those fad diets and juice fasts will help you to lose weight, but usually you’re losing muscle and the results don’t last. In order to lose belly fat and keep it off, you must change your habits and your routine and make up in your mind that you are ready to be healthier. Losing belly fat must start with you taking it slow and changing a few habits, then incorporating exercise and portion control.

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6. Eat More Protein And Less Sugar (You Can Still Eat!)

When dropping belly fat, it is important to not completely stop eating and to starve yourself — that is detrimental to not only your weight loss but your overall health! Eat more foods that are high in protein, such as chicken, eggs, salmon, and lamb. Eat less foods that are high in sugar and fat, such as pies, cake, ice cream, cookies, and the like. Many may think it is hard to eat less sugars due to the holidays. However, sweet potatoes and yams, not cooked in all that extra butter and sugar, are healthier and are still a sweet alternative to indulging in holiday sweets.

7. Eat More Fiber (Yes, Jaime Lee Curtis Was Right)

Eating more fiber not only helps to regulate your digestive system but it aids in losing belly fat. All those commercials were right, incorporating more fiber into your diet will help you to feel better and less bloated.

8. Keep A Journal

It is important to document your weight loss and to keep track of what you’re eating and your weight loss goals. There is nothing wrong with having a journal at any age, not only can you express your frustrations but you can also have a physical representation of your goals and you can check them off each time you achieve them. So, this holiday when your family asks why you’re writing in that notebook, tell them that you’re trying to make it into the new year with a slimmer waistline!

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Michael Murphy

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

“Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

1. Dehydration

If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

2. Lack Of Exercise

A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

3. A Poor Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

4. Skipping Breakfast

Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

7. Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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8. Hypothyroidism

If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

9. Anemia

People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

10. Cancer

While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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