5 Tips to Reduce Lower Belly Fat
Any supplement, or new exercise trend will not help to reduce lower belly fat and improve digestion in a healthy way if we don’t manage our stress levels and improve our diet. Stress can affect our digestion. Digestion is essentially a parasympathetic nervous system function that requires a tremendous amount of energy. Good oxygenation in the human body is very important because, it promotes better circulation which equals to better digestion. Stress triggers high levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol which is located in the belly area. This can interfere with our digestion, cause bloating and over time fat in the lower abdomen. A clean diet high in antioxidants, quality movement, right hydration and stress management can help improve our digestion, reduce lower belly fat and improve our overall health.
Good oxygenation in the human body is very important, because it promotes better circulation which equals to better digestion. This oxygenation doesn’t occur well during periods of stress. In recent years scientists have discovered that belly fat might be connected to high stress levels in both women and men. Stress triggers high levels of cortisol hormone. Cortisol suppresses our thyroid function and metabolism, it decreases lean muscle tissue, lowers our immunity and unfortunately promotes belly fat. Cortisol directly stores visceral fat in our abdomen covering those beautiful muscles we work so hard for. So what can we do to manage stress and reduce belly fat? “Breathe”. Breathe and be conscious when you eat, breathe and be conscious when you exercise and most important of all have a morning and evening meditation where for 5-15 minutes you close your eyes and focus on deep breaths. Believe it or not this makes a huge difference. I was always active and on top of my diet but that stubborn muffin top (lower belly fat) wouldn’t disappear until I included in my day a short morning and evening breathing meditation.
For our hormones to work properly and to repair muscle tissue, our bodies need water. “Drinking the right amount of water at the right time” can help to flush toxins of our body, hydrate us and help with digestion and metabolism. Try not to drink more than half a cup of liquid with your meals as this will dilute the natural digestive juices. If you are experiencing digestive problems avoid drinking cold water or any other cold beverage with your food. Dehydration can negatively affect us in many ways. It decreases our memory, digestion and metabolism. Water transports toxins, cleansing without hydrating causes toxins to re-circulate. Water comes in many forms from sipping on herbal teas, cold pressed juices, smoothies, soups, fruits and vegetables. I like to start my day with a warm glass of lemon water or ginger tea, having a smoothie or a juice as midday snack then after 3 o’clock I may have matcha green tea and as I recommend in Detox + Slim Plan have a cup of herbal tea like chamomile before sleep. Water is lost during sleep just carried on our breath. Having a cup of herbal tea an hour before sleep can help boost the amount of water available to our cells while we sleep so less dehydration happens during night time.
Any form of movement is beneficial for our health as long as it’s performed with consciousness. Are we conscious when we exercise? Are we breathing when we exercise? Are we holding our breath or taking short and fast breaths? These are the questions to ask before and during any exercise routine. Working out while stressed doesn’t help to relax the nervous system, increase the metabolism and help with high cortisol levels. A slow, long, conscious walk with deep breaths can be more beneficial for our body and increase our metabolism than running or performing a strenuous form of exercise where we are trying to catch up our breath. Yoga is a perfect from of movement that helps detoxify the lymph system, strengthens the immune system and supports digestive health. In Detox + Slim Plan we have a variety of yoga routines designed to assist detoxification by gently compressing the blood vessels around the digestive organs in the abdomen which stimulates blood flow to the organs, increases and absorption of nutrients.
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Take no less than 20 minutes to complete a meal then wait 20 minutes to see how you feel. In Okinawa where people have the longest and healthiest life expectancy, they practice something called “hara hachi bu”. They eat until they are 80% full, then they wait for 20 minutes to see how they feel. Before each meal take a moment and concentrate at the present moment. Be mindful of your foods taste, colors and smell. Make sure you are relaxed and calm before and during your meal. How is your breath, are you breathing? When you eat mindfully, you will be able to recognize when you are starting to get full so you can stop before you overeat. How you chew your food can go a long way to help you control the amount of food you eat. Chew more than 15 times. Chewing is the only part of digestion that we have direct power to control. Enzymes in the mouth stimulate digestion and break down your food. Relaxing and eating consciously allows the body to digest effectively. One of my favorite super foods lately is Collagen protein which among its many benefits one of them is healthy gut. It has helped many of my clients with bloating and easier digestion.
In Detox + Slim Plan we focus on Nutrient Dense Foods instead of Energy Dense Foods. Nutrient Dense Foods are high in antioxidants and have a high score of O.R.A.C. Energy Dense foods are high in sugar and carbohydrates, they give us quick energy but it doesn’t last long because these foods don’t provide our body with rich nutrients. A diet rich in antioxidant foods helps us stay healthier, slimmer as it helps with weight gain, helps the body to flush out toxins and it’s the perfect solution to “lower belly fat” reduction. What is O.R.A.C.? Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a method of measuring how high a food is in antioxidants. Foods with the highest O.R.A.C. scores are fruits and vegetables. These foods can help you loose weight, lower stress and improve memory among the many other benefits they have for our health.