To help speed your fat burn, eat five to six small meals a day instead of two or three larger ones. “When we eat more than our body needs, the excess is sent to the liver to be turned into fat and sent nearby to the abdominal area for storage,” Davis says. Each of your small meals should consist of at least one portion of protein, one portion of carbohydrates and a small portion of fat. Use your hand as a guide — each portion should be about the same size as your hand making a fist. Eat breakfast within one hour of waking, and then eat about every three hours after that, stopping approximately three hours before bed.
If you want to rid yourself of belly fat, you need to pay attention to food labels. That’s because simple sugars can make you fat. In a 10-week study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, study participants who consumed fructose- and glucose-sweetened beverages packed on pounds — and the fructose group saw a significantly higher volume of belly fat. Many processed foods contain added sugars, so stick with a clean diet and avoid products with these words on the label: fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, honey, liquid sugar, invert sugar, syrup, galactose, dextrose, dextrin, corn syrup solids, molasses.
Vary your training.
Rather than trying to crunch away all of your belly fat, Tina Claire, a certified personal trainer based in West Hollywood, California, recommends a whole-body approach to training. “You cannot spot reduce, so doing crunches alone won’t do the trick,” she says. Instead, Tina suggests mixing 20-minute sessions of high-intensity interval cardio (See tip eight for more details), 30-minute sessions of slow-and-steady cardio and 35-minute sessions of weight training every week. Then perform abs exercises three times per week after regular workouts.
Make friends with (the right types of) fat.
According to Robyn Kievit, RD, family nurse practitioner of Boston, Massachusetts, not all fats go straight to your waistline. “Individuals who eat diets rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are less likely to store fat in their bellies,” she says. Pistachios, which are loaded with antioxidants, are a great source of such healthy fats. Keep a stash at work and consume an ounce per day (about 47 shelled pistachios) instead of your typical vending-machine snack. Just remember to take a handful out of the bag before you start munching so you don’t eat more than planned. By OXYGENMAG