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The Florala News of Florala, Alabama

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The waist is a terrible thing to mind

Most people would like to lose a few inches around their waist and they want to lose that weight fast. Unfortunately, crash diets and quick fixes seldom work for long. According to researchers at Mayo Clinic, pounds get put on in the abdominal area more easily than other parts of the body and there are no quick fixes. However, there are some life style changes that can help reduce the waistline and lose the belly fat.

It is a lot more difficult to lose belly fat without exercise, especially if the idea is to keep it off for good. Having strong, lean muscle helps the body burn fat and calories more efficiently. If we lose weight without exercising, we actually risk losing this lean body tissue which will ultimately slow the metabolism. Exercise should be done at a moderate level to achieve results. This means three to five times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time. A good cardio routine is required for overall health benefits.

Sugar is the enemy. There is a strong connection between sugar consumption, insulin resistance, and the increase of belly fat. Since high blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance it is important to limit too much sugar in the diet. A 12ounce soda has only 140 calories but has about eight teaspoons of sugar. Cutting back on soda and processed foods high in sugar is a good idea. Drink plenty of water and eat foods that are naturally sweet like fruit. However, fruit juices are usually high in sugar and often have fewer nutrients than the natural fruit. Any serious weight loss plan must include cutting back on sugar intake. When selecting desserts, check out how much sugar verses fat is in the item. Even if the dessert is fat free but high in sugar, one will still gain weight.

An individual can definitely gain excess weight by consuming beer. One reason is that beer is mostly empty calories. Drinking alcohol can also stimulate the appetite, causing us to ingest even more calories.

Eating when stressed can cause several problems when it comes to belly fat. While calories matter, hormones and stress can determine in part where those calories are stored in the body.

This is especially true for women. Being stressed can cause the hormone Cortisol to increase which in turn increases belly fat. Empty the kitchen cabinets of heavy snacks like potato chips, doughnuts, ice cream and cookies. Exercise, even a brisk walk, can help reduce stress and will help burn a few extra calories, too.

Sleep definitely affects weight loss. The body increases the hormone known as Cortisol when it does not get enough sleep. A high Cortisol level can increase appetite, which makes it easier to overeat during the day. After going to sleep our bodies generally tend to slow down all biological systems. Eating just before bed does not allow the digestive system to process the food properly.

Stop eating at least two hours before going to bed. Eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast can cause us to overeat throughout the rest of the day, so avoid the late night binging.

Most popular diet plans available today include eating lots of lean protein because it helps balance blood sugar levels and keeps the metabolism up. Protein will also keep a person full longer, reducing the amount they eat over the course of the day. Many nutritional experts agree that adding protein to the diet may be the single most important step for losing fat. For general good health, as well as shaving pounds off the belly, it is best to stick with lean protein like fish, chicken breast, turkey, and even eggs. If possible, eat at least some protein with every meal.

For more information, contact Dr. Tom Roberts, P.A.C., at Health mark Walk-In Clinic, (850) 951-4556.

Copyright 2015 The Florala News, Florala, Alabama. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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