Q:

What is the best way to slim down your belly?

A:

Quick Answer

To reduce belly fat, exercise vigorously, eat 10 grams of soluble fiber per day, get adequate sleep and reduce stress, according to WebMD. Add strength-training exercises using weights to a cardiovascular workout, as well as functional exercises that work core muscles in the abdomen and back, to increase muscle mass and help the body burn more fat and calories, suggests Health.com.

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Full Answer

Consume less saturated fat found in meat and dairy, and eat more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and fatty fish to lower visceral, or abdominal fat, advises Health.com. Avoid refined grains and sugars and processed foods that cause an inflammatory response in the body and encourage belly fat. Choose whole grains, fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of anti-inflammatory antioxidants to help prevent abdominal fat.

High-intensity workouts burn more calories and are more effective for reducing belly fat than low-intensity exercises, which may not cause any change at all, according to a study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise cited by Health.com. In another study on sleep, women who slept five hours or less per night gained significantly more weight than those who received seven hours of sleep. Reducing stress lowers cortisol in the body, a hormone that is associated with higher levels of visceral fat. Individuals with excess visceral fat have a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

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