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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 August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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