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Is that muffin top driving you bonkers? You’re not alone. Did you know that 42% of Americans are overweight? That’s a staggering number. But don’t worry. You can get rid of belly fat once and for all with these 13 simple strategies.

Most of us have struggled with belly fat at some point in life. It is not just about vanity but, more importantly, about the impact of belly fat on your overall health. As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a healthy weight, and it seems our bellies take the hit more than any other body part.

Here are 13 effective ways to reduce and get rid of that belly fat once and for all.

Cut Out Sugar

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In case you didn’t know, sugar is the devil. Our bodies store sugar as fat. Not only that, it wreaks havoc on our skin and insulin levels. Eating too much sugar can lead to consuming too many calories, which in turn can lead to weight gain.

Being overweight increases your risk of health problems such as heart disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes not to mention what it does to your mental health as well.

Choose a Healthy Diet

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Improving diet is another effective way to reduce belly fat in adults over 50. A diet high in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins can help reduce the risk of health problems and promote weight loss.

Avoid processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats. Choosing a cleaner diet benefits not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

Portion Control

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While eating healthy snacks might be good for us, it’s of the utmost importance to control portions. Yes, almonds are a great snack, but a handful should do the trick. It’s easy to grab a container and then end up eating half a cup or more without even noticing.

This goes for any snack or meal, healthy or otherwise. It’s important to give your stomach time to send the signal to your brain that you’re full. Try eating slowly and enjoy each mouthful. This will help reduce the amount you eat.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

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Drinking alcohol in moderation is okay, but excessive consumption can lead to belly fat. Alcohol can contribute to inflammation and increase calorie intake, leading to weight gain.

Try to limit your alcohol intake to one serving per day or less. Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, which can lead to weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area. And let’s not forget how much sugar most drinks have in them!

Increase Protein Intake

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One of the best ways to reduce belly fat is to increase your protein intake. Studies have shown that people who eat a high-protein diet tend to have less belly fat than those who consume a low-protein diet. The reason for this is that protein is very filling so people tend to eat less of other foods or not have cravings for junk food.

Some excellent sources of protein include lean meats, fish, legumes, and eggs. Another option is to add protein powder into your daily diet if you don’t seem to consume enough in your foods.

Exercise Regularly

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We all know how important staying physically active is for everyone, irrespective of age. For adults over 50, it becomes increasingly important to focus on exercise/physical activity to reduce belly fat because of reduced metabolism.

Activities such as cardio, strength training, tai chi, and yoga can be effective. Regular exercise can help you burn calories, reduce stress, and improve overall health. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and choose activities that you enjoy, such as dancing or running.

Switch Out High-carbs For Low-carbs

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Refined carbs, such as white bread and pasta, contribute to higher insulin levels which lead to belly fat. Instead of eating these high-carb foods, try swapping them for almond flour bread, cauliflower rice and zucchini pasta. Switching and sticking to a low-carb diet will take some time to get used to, but after awhile, eating high-carb foods won’t interest you anymore.

Choosing a low-carb, high-fat/protein diet will help you feel full for longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable. You can find great recipes and low-carb healthy choices by doing a quick Google search.

Reduce Stress

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It’s easier said than done, but not impossible. Learn stress management techniques, get outside in nature more, practice deep breathing exercises, pet a puppy, and say no to unnecessary drama. Stress wreaks havoc on our physical, emotional and mental health.

When we are stressed, we tend to eat more than we should, and we’re not eating salad and broccoli. Stress/emotional eating usually consists of all unhealthy foods. Chronic stress can increase cortisol levels, leading to increased appetite and belly fat.

stop nighttime bingeing

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Nighttime snacking is the worst yet so many of us do it and we’re bingeing unhealthy foods as well. We mindlessly reach for cookies or a bag of chips while we sit on the couch or lay in bed and scroll through the channels on TV or on our phones. What’s worse is that we go right to sleep after this nighttime noshing.

Try to get in a high protein dinner around 6 p.m. and you’ll find that you won’t be as hungry while watching TV. If you do need to snack, grab something healthy and stay away from processed foods.

control emotional eating

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Unfortunately, some of the strongest food cravings we have are when we are emotional, whether it be because of loneliness, a break up, job loss or any other stressful time in our lives. Emotional eating can get out of control very quickly if we don’t address the root of the problem.

Seek professional help or talk to a trusted friend about the issues you are having that are causing you to eat emotionally. Sometimes, just talking it out can make a world of difference.

intermittent or full-day fasting

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Intermittent and full-day fasting have become quite popular over the years and with good reason: they work. When we limit the foods we give our bodies, our bodies start tapping into our fat stores for energy which results in weight loss.

Try starting off with Intermittent fasting: eating only for 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16 and then work your way up to a full-day (24 hour) fast. Please check with your doctor first to see if this is right for you.

Stay Hydrated

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Drinking enough water is essential for good health and can help you reduce belly fat. Water can help flush out toxins from your body, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, and avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices.

Promotes fullness: It is common knowledge that drinking water before meals can help us feel fuller, which may help us eat less and reduce our calorie intake. This can lead to weight loss, including a reduction in belly fat.

Get Adequate Sleep

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Getting enough sleep is also crucial for reducing belly fat. Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone that can contribute to weight gain. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep routine to improve your sleep quality.

Studies have shown that sleep plays a crucial role in weight management and can have a significant impact on belly fat. It also helps reduce stress, which, as we know, also reduces midsection fluff.

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