Belly fat, or visceral fat, is fat stored in and around your abdominal organs. It can increase your risks of cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, dementia, heart disease and diabetes. You cannot lose large quantities of weight or excess body fat within one week – especially visceral or belly fat. To get healthier and lose the dangerous belly fat, you’ll need to change your diet, exercise routine and lifestyle over a longer period of time. However, during a week you can start to make some great, health-promoting changes to your lifestyle.
Set Realistic One-Week Goals
Set yourself up to lose excess belly fat by setting realistic goals. You won’t be able to lose fat exclusively from your belly — it will come from all over your body, including your midsection — or shed 20 pounds in just a week. You can, however, lose 1 to 2 pounds of fat to start slimming your midsection, using sustainable methods that’ll allow for larger weight loss over longer periods of time.
Take a Brisk Walk Before Breakfast
Zero Belly Diet panelist Martha Chesler did just this as part of her Zero Belly program, and the results were astonishing. “I saw changes immediately,” she reports. In less than six weeks on the program, Martha dropped over 20 pounds and an astonishing seven inches from her middle by combining the Zero Belly Foods with a pre-breakfast walk.
This easy a.m. ritual works on two levels. First, a recent study found that exposure to sunlight in between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon reduced your risk of weight gain regardless of activity level, caloric intake, or age. Researchers speculate that the morning light synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes. And burning calories before you eat means you’re exercising in a fasted state—the energy you burn comes right from your fat stores, instead of the food you ate. But what really stunned Martha was the improvement in her heart health. Before starting Zero Belly Diet, Martha’s heart rate would typically soar to 112 beats per minute (bpm) within moments of starting her exercise bike workout. “After the first week and a half I could not raise my heart rate over 96 bpm with the same workout. It was great to see change in the mirror, and even better to know good things were happening that I couldn’t even see.”
Avoid Damaging Diets
Your best bet for blasting belly fat is slow, steady weight loss — not instant one-week results. Steer clear of diets promising double-digit weight loss in just a week or diets that cut out entire food groups or require you to eat just a couple foods. These are typically fad diets that aren’t sustainable — so you’re likely to regain any lost weight — and such diet plans might even interfere with your ability to lose fat in the long run, explains the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Instead, pair a balanced diet with exercise for slower weight loss. Keep your metabolism revving with a moderate calorie restriction, which is above 1,200 calories for women and above 1,800 calories for men. You’ll feel more satisfied and energetic and get better results in the long run for a beach-ready bod.
Start with Some Fiber-Loaded Oatmeal
Naturally sweet oatmeal recipes in Zero Belly Diet were the key to test panelist Isabel Fiolek’s dramatic 13-pound weight loss. “I happen to have a big sugar addiction,” Isabel admits, “But the recipes have been surprisingly satisfying for my sweet tooth.” Isabel also made dramatic health strides: A checkup after her six weeks on Zero Belly Diet revealed she’d dropped her total cholesterol by 25 percent and her blood glucose level by 10 percent.
So cook up some oatmeal—and top it with some fruit. What’s so magical about this combination? Each provides insoluble fiber that helps reduce blood cholesterol and feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. By doing so, you trigger your gut to produce butyrate, a fatty acid that reduces fat-causing inflammation throughout your body. In a Canadian study, researchers discovered that those whose diets were supplemented with insoluble fiber had higher levels of ghrelin—a hormone that controls hunger.
Mix Up a Plant-Protein Smoothie
Test panelist Bryan Wilson, a 29-year-old accountant, lost 19 pounds and an astounding six inches from his waist in just six weeks on the program, and he attributes his success to the Zero Belly shake recipes in the program. “I love the shakes. I added them to my diet, and almost immediately I lost the bloat,” Bryan said. “I’m a sweet craver, and the shakes were an awesome alternative to bowls and bowls of ice cream I would have had.”
Protein drinks are great ways to get a monster dose of belly-busting nutrition into a delicious, simple snack. But most commercial drinks are filled with unpronounceable chemicals that can upset our gut health and cause inflammation and bloat. And the high doses of whey used to boost protein levels can amplify the belly-bloating effect. The Zero Belly solution: Try vegan protein, which will give you the same fat-burning, hunger-squelching, muscle-building benefits, without the bloat.
Drink adequate amounts of water.
Help keep your body feeling more satisfied and hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water and other clear fluids each day.
- It’s typically recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. However, even amounts up to 13 glasses per day have been recommended.
- Water is essential for hydrating your body. It’s plays a vital role in regulating your body temperature and blood pressure.
- In addition, adequate hydration helps manage your appetite. Plus, drinking a glass of water immediately prior to a meal can help you reduce your overall intake and support your weight loss.
Cut out sugar and refined white flour.
Studies have shown that one of the biggest culprits of visceral fat is sugary beverages, sweets and foods made from refined white flour. Limit or cut out these foods to help reduce belly fat.
- Sweetened beverages like sodas, fruit juices and sports drinks in addition to candy, desserts or pastries can increase visceral fat. In addition, foods made with white flour or are highly processed carbohydrates are also responsible for packing on fat. Look out for crackers, white break, plain pasta, and white rice
- If you crave sugary sweets, try replacing your typical snack or treat with a more nutritious food. For example, try: low-fat Greek yogurt or fruit.
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