Are you struggling with pesky love handles, but "crunches" sound like a cereal? The thought of spending hours doing endless ab exercises trying to remove the muffin top is not appealing. Sweating, in general, is something done only on a hot day. Or perhaps, you've made it a challenge to work the obliques as if it's the last thing you've accomplished, but the side fat remains. While regular exercise helps keep your mind and body healthy, the best way to lose side fat without exercise is through diet and lifestyle changes.
Everything seems to have sugar hidden inside. It has names like sucrose, lactose, and fructose. While you expect cookies, cakes, and candy to come loaded with added sugar, you may be surprised how much your favorite spaghetti sauce includes.
Research shows that too much sugar increases metabolic syndrome. (1) Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that happen at the same time, increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Other possible adverse health outcomes are extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. (2)
Instead of reaching for a cookie or sugary cereal, replace it with a piece of fruit or oatmeal. If you can, eliminate added sugar. You'll be amazed at how much lighter you feel and the abs that emerge.
Fatty foods have gotten a bad name. Okay, maybe for a good reason, but what people forget or don't know is that there are "healthy fats" and "unhealthy fats." Healthy fats are in foods like avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Filling up on these nutrition-dense items keeps you fuller longer and adds essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.
One study concluded that avocados lowered the risk of metabolic syndrome and improved the overall vitamin and mineral intake for the participants. People in the study who ate more fruits and vegetables had a better diet. (3)
But remember, healthy fats can help you lose the side fat, but you don't need a lot of nuts or avocados to benefit. Fatty foods are high in calories, but it's the right kind of calories.
If you add more fiber to your daily diet, it may help you lose belly fat. Fiber is plentiful in fruits, vegetables, oats, beans, and nuts. Stocking up on these items not only helps burn the subcutaneous fat around your middle, but it also makes you feel fuller longer, helping you avoid the potato chips.
Researchers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center determined that the best way to minimize visceral fat was to consume more fiber through a diet laden with fruit, vegetables, and beans. The study showed that adding 10-grams of fiber into your diet daily, reduced the side fat by 3.7% within five years. (4)
While this may border on exercise, being active doesn't mean you have to increase your cardio or commit to a hundred pilates crunches every day. When you're active, you're adding healthy movement into your day.
Take a nice walk through your neighborhood or choose the stairs instead of the elevator. At work, set a timer to pace the office for a minute or two. Finding ways to mitigate sedentary activities (a.k.a sitting at a desk all day), such as walking, helps you burn calories.
Stress is the silent killer. The causes are varied from being overworked, poor relationships, and financial concerns. Even if you manage stress like a boss, you’re bound to feel anxiety at some point in your life.
Feeling stressed triggers the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol can be beneficial as protection against an attack or trauma, but regularly elevated levels have detrimental effects on your mind and body. (5)
Many studies have linked abnormal amounts of stress with obesity. (6) Lowering your stress by making healthier lifestyle choices will help you lose love handles. You can try a magnesium cream to help you relax naturally. Magnesium soothes your fight or flight response from cortisol production and may lower stress levels.
Do you envy those who sleep ten hours a day? Well, the good news, adults-only need 7-8 hours per day of uninterrupted sleep. Yet research shows that less than seven hours increase cortisol levels leading to extra side love. (7) Since stress and sleep are best friends, it's crucial to reduce stress so you can sleep more. Or sleep more, so you can reduce stress. Eliminating the "stress trigger" helps. You can also try a melatonin cream to coax your body into relaxation.
Melatonin is a natural hormone generated by the body to make you sleepy. As daylight recedes, your melatonin levels increase. By the time you're ready to get some shut-eye, levels peak. However, sometimes you need a little boost with a high-quality melatonin cream.
Now, who doesn't love a glass of wine or two after working all day? While a few drinks a week isn't harmful, if you make it a daily habit or over-consume too regularly, you're adding fatty pounds around the waist. Scientists have linking alcohol consumption to obesity. (8)
Alcohol adds unnecessary calories to your diet and encourages poor eating choices. After an all-nighter, you reach for the fried eggs and bacon. It's best to minimize or eliminate alcohol from your diet to lose belly fat. Instead, drink more water.
Losing side fat without exercise is easier than you think. The first step is to minimize your sugar intake and increase your portions of healthy fats and fiber. Next, make it a goal to move a few minutes a day, eliminate stress and alcohol, and add an hour or two of sleep to your schedule. Okay, it may not be easy, but the steps are clear. Make it a goal to make one new positive change today, and you’ll notice how your stubborn body fat disappears.