7 Ways to Banish Belly Fat
1. Drink Water first thing in the morning when you wake up. You can make this into a game to see how much water you can chug. Not only will this help you wake up, it will also get things moving in your body and improve energy levels. Remember to continue to drink at least half your body weight in water throughout the day!
2. Eat WHOLE foods and avoid processed food (basically anything with a nutrition label). Ask yourself these three simple questions before you buy or eat food to determine if it is a whole food:
a. Did it once have eyes?
b. Did it grow from a tree?
c. Did it sprout from the ground
3. Limit sugar intake to less than 25 grams per day. Now I’m not just talking about refined sugars, meaning the granules that you ADD to your coffee or oatmeal; I’m talking about ANY kind of sugar: fruits, carbs, salad dressings, etc. The best place to start this is to begin tracking how many grams of sugar you currently consume on a daily basis. You can literally google “how many grams of sugar does an apple have” and you will receive an answer. There are other sites such as www.calorieking.com and apps like My Fitness Pal that can track this information for you. Once you know how many you eat, you can see where you can cut back and remove excess sugars.
4. Reduce toxicity by eating only organic produce, free-range poultry, pastured pork and grass-fed beef. By eliminating the chemicals, hormones and antibiotics that are prolific in our food supply, your body will function better.
5. POOP! You should eliminate every day at least once. If you are not, or if you eliminate excessively, this means you have some gut dysfunction. Having a healthy gut is very important as it is your second brain. Your gut produces much of your hormones and neurotransmitters, so you can imagine if your gut is inflamed and not working well, you’re probably not going to feel well overall. Your poop can tell you a lot about how your body is working, or not working, so pay attention!
6. Get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you have kids or you’ve babysat, you know all to well the rituals of putting a child to sleep. You might give them a warm bath with lavendar essential oils and then cozy up in a rocking chair and read a book and then put the child in bed and sing them a lullaby…all in all this process can take 30 minutes or more. And then what do we do for ourselves? We’re exhausted, but still have so much to do so we grab a beer or glass of wine, perhaps attempting to settle our minds so we can go to sleep, fingers-crossed, by midnight…only to be woken up at 5 AM by the kid. Or maybe you have to get up for work and your plate is really full with stuff you have to bring home every night to get done. We have a ritual to put kids to sleep, but we abandon ourselves. So don’t drink before bed, this actually stimulates your system and can cause you to have restless sleep; turn off all lights so it’s completely dark in your room; remove any and all screens (ipad, phone, TV) from your room and do not watch any screen for at least 30 minutes before bed (again light stimulates cortisol which will keep you awake); and create a ritual to put yourself to sleep.
7. Reduce your stress. Stress comes in a variety of packages: food, emotions, pollution, exercise or lack of sleep are all examples of stress on your body. See what things you can improve to eliminate it as a stressor and practice meditation, Tai Chi, Pranayama Yoga and/or Heart Rate Variability training. Each of these practices will help you become better adapted to deal with stress.
Take care of yourself and your body will take care of you.