According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention over 40% of Americans are obese. This is the highest it’s ever been, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign that the increase will stop. Additionally, severe obesity has risen from 8% to 9%. With fast-food restaurants on every corner, it’s not difficult to understand why this is happening.

Excess belly fat is a concern because studies show there is a link to premature death. Even people who are in the normal weight range, that have belly fat are in danger. Having excess stomach fat has been linked to high a range of severe health issues including high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

The good news is, that this is preventable. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even cost an arm and a leg to prevent. The choices you make on a daily and weekly basis will determine if you’ll be in this high-risk category at some point in your life.

The goal of this article is to share with you some simple things you can do, to prevent accumulating belly fat, and burning belly fat.

1) Start a Diet

Before starting a diet, or more importantly changing what you eat, you need to make sure you’re fully committed to it. You need to have discipline and determination to follow through, in order to attain your health and fitness goals.

2) No More Excuses

“I’ll start the diet tomorrow.” Sound familiar? Getting started is half the battle of starting a diet. Many people today fail to start because they lack commitment or they deny the fact they register as overweight on a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation. To eliminate excuses, you need to accept the facts head-on and get comfortable with the idea of dieting or changing what you eat.

3) Research

For any kind of dietary changes, you’re about to take, you should research what nutritional changes your thinking about making and consult your physician. Everybody is different, so some diets or nutritional changes might not work for you. For example, if you tend to be iron deficient, you need to make sure your new eating habits address your deficiencies.

4) Figure Out Your Why

As you probably already know, a majority of people that try to go on diets or change their nutritional habits, end up failing. People have different reasons for wanting to make changes. Some people have serious health conditions they need to address, while others just want to fit into their small-sized clothing. Whatever the reasons are, you need to keep them in the forefront of your mind, because it won’t be easy to change. Change is hard for people, and keeping your specific reason for why you’re on a diet will motivate you to stick with it.

5) Don’t View Dieting as Negative

Nobody wants to take on a task they have no interest in doing. Nor do they want to do something that is difficult. One thing that can stop you, is your thoughts about how hard or difficult it can be. You should view it as an opportunity. Like most difficult tasks, it’s best to take it in chunks. So, take it one day at a time, vs looking at how far you have to go. Take pride in small accomplishments. This will help you stick to your long-term goals. 

6) Get Support

There is no need to take on dieting alone. Although other members of your family or friends might not be on the same diet, they can still support you. To achieve that, you should tell them about your diet or changes you’re committed to making. Close friends and family members that are aware of your goals will help hold you accountable, making it easier to attain your goals. 

7) Toss the Junk Food Out

The first few days of dieting might not be that bad, but after a few days of dieting, it can be difficult. If there is tempting food around, you’re significantly more likely to indulge. To make it easier on yourself, do an audit of the food you have and toss out anything that isn’t part of your new diet or nutritional goals. Stock up on what you need so that it’s accessible and get rid of the unhealthy food. 

8) Only Eat if You’re Hungry

There are times when a person eats when they are not hungry. Boredom is one of those times, and it’s terrible for you. There are many possible reasons, which include stress, emotional eating, and bad habits. Other times you could simply be dehydrated. The craving for hydration and food are very similar, so start with hydrating before grabbing for additional calories. If you find yourself sticking to a diet that has you eating at times when you’re not naturally hungry, it might not be a good diet for you. Listen to your body. 

9) Get Enough Rest

When you’re well-rested your body is able to function at a higher level. However, if you’re sleep-deprived, it can lead to weight gain. This is because a sleep-deprived body has a slower metabolism. Additionally, if you don’t get a full night’s rest, your appetite is liable to increase for the lack of sleep. Caffeine is consumed by 90% of Americans and can play a big role in getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you find yourself lying awake at night consider cutting back on caffeine consumption in the afternoon.  

10) Focus on Fiber

You should focus on foods that are loaded with fiber. Fiber can help in flushing out toxins and it can help suppress your appetite by prolonging the digestion process. Fiber can also help reduce spikes in blood sugar levels and help maintain good cholesterol levels. 

Conclusion

Achieving your goals will come down to diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Often, they are intertwined so without one, your weight loss goals might not be achieved. Focus on long-term goals vs short-term gratification. If you only think in the short-term, you’re more likely to stop at a fast-food joint, or indulge in another glass of wine. But if you focus on where you want to be a week, a month, or a year from now, you’ll stick to your goals.  

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