Beyond weight loss: The many benefits of banishing belly fat
iStock/Manuel Faba Ortega
Does stubborn belly fat have you frustrated? While we all want to look and feel our best, getting rid of extra belly fat is also beneficial to our long-term health and reduces our risk of serious illnesses. Excess belly fat can lead to heart disease, raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, boost the odds of developing high blood pressure, and more. Keep reading to find out how the following home remedies can help you reduce unwanted belly fat quickly–minus fad diets or latest fitness trends. Also try out these ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
Increase your protein intake
You don’t have to hop on the Paleo train and ride it all the way to the station, but increasing your intake of protein and reducing your intake of carbs is one of the fastest ways to lose belly fat without additional exercise. Protein helps to balance blood sugar and lower levels of insulin, a hormone that signals your body to store fat, especially around your midsection. For healthier carb alternatives, skip the white bread and pasta in favor of whole-grain complex carbs, seasonal fruits, root vegetables, and squashes. This is how nutritionists sneak more protein into their diets.
Add coconut oil to your diet
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), whereas many vegetable and seed oils are comprised of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). Studies indicate that many of coconut oil’s benefits are mainly due to its high quantity of MCTs. MCTs are easily digestible, quickly converted into energy by your liver rather than being stored as fat, and may stimulate your body’s metabolism helping you to lose belly fat. Don't have a lot of time? Try these ways to bust belly fat in just one day.
Find a go-to stress reliever
Whether you’re overworked or overwhelmed, chronic stress may be one factor contributing to resistant belly fat. Prolonged levels of the stress hormone cortisol tend to spark your appetite, increase your cravings for comfort foods, slow down your metabolism, and promote abdominal fat storage. Finding calming activities such as meditation, deep breathing, or a soothing bath, will help you manage and reduce your day-to-day stress and help you lose belly fat to boot. This simple things helps you lose one inch of belly fat in just 7 minutes.
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Drink green tea daily
Thanks to its waist-trimming compounds called catechins, green tea is the perfect detox drink to lose belly fat. Catechins speed up your metabolism and aid your liver in burning fat. Consider swapping out your regular coffee intake with green tea; studies have shown four to five cups of the tea is what’s needed to see the benefits. Also, beware of store-bought bottles of green tea that often contain extra sugar, which can override any health benefits. For maximum results, it’s best if you brew your own and ditch the sugar altogether, or replace it with a natural sweetener like stevia that won’t spike your blood sugar. Here are more health benefits of drinking green tea.
Give yourself a bedtime (and stick with it)
A surprising way to lose belly fat without exercise is by catching more sleep. Research shows sleeping for six to eight hours per night will help keep your insulin levels and your stress hormones in check. Plus, you’ll have the necessary energy to burn calories more effectively during the day. Here’s how you can even lose weight while you sleep.
Spice up your meals
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory component extracted from the herb turmeric. With a few capsules a day, or by adding the pungent spice to your food, curcumin supports a healthy inflammatory response by mediating several inflammatory processes in your body. Research has shown curcumin supports a healthy metabolism and is a great ingredient to add to any recipe to cure your belly fat. To get the maximum benefit of curcumin, look for a turmeric extract that contains at least 95 percent curcumin.
Be a water guzzler
Drinking eight glasses of water each day aids your digestion, reduces bloating, and keeps your metabolism functioning at its best. Plus, replacing your sugary drinks with water throughout the day is a quick fix to decrease your daily caloric intake, which leads to overall weight loss and a trimmer belly. Add a splash of lemon or lime to make a bland glass of water more exciting, and you’ll be well on your way to a trimmer tummy. Here are more tricks for drinking more water every day.
Getting a manicure is a great way to keep your fingernails in shape, but have you thought about your cuticles and why they are important? Cuticles keep dirt and bacteria out of the body. If the cuticle does not exist or has been cut away, it leaves the body vulnerable to infection and nail fungus because dirt and bacteria can get underneath the skin in that area. So the cuticle actually protects you!
What is the best way to care for your cuticles? The right combination of vitamins and minerals, in a cuticle cream or cuticle butter, provides nutrients to the cuticle. Cutting the cuticles will only lead to problems such as ridges and white spots on the nails, in addition to a possible entryway for bacteria. The cuticles are intended to protect while being soft. By using essential oils combined with a few other amazing ingredients, you can make your own DIY cuticle butter that moisturizes and softens the cuticles, literally at your fingertips! And this combined with my DIY moisturizer for dry skin can offer amazing results for soft, attractive hands. (1)
How to Make Cuticle Cream
To make your own cuticle cream, start by filling about one-third of a small saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil. Now, combine the shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil into a mason jar or heat safe glass container, and place it in the pan. As these ingredients melt, blend them together with a spoon or whisk. Shea butter is a favorite of mine because it is loaded with stearic and oleic acids as well as vitamin E and vitamin A. It boosts collagen, too, which is a major benefit to the skin and its youthful appearance. Beeswax falls right in line with shea butter, adding amazing moisturizing benefits because it’s also rich in vitamin A. As an emollient, it softens and hydrates the skin while maintaining healthy cellular structure. And, of course, coconut oil adds benefits to this easy-to-make cuticle saver by offering antibacterial and moisturizing properties. It also contains lots of antioxidants.
Now, remove from heat and add the vitamin E, lavender, lemon and myrrh essential oils. We know vitamin E is great for the health of your skin. Even though vitamin E is found in the shea butter and beeswax, adding a little more can provide some added benefits. Vitamin E helps strengthen the cuticles. Plus, it adds moisture and elasticity, which is helpful for keeping them soft. Additionally, it is a natural anti-aging nutrient that reduces inflammation. What’s better is when you combine vitamin E with vitamin C found in lemon essential oil, it gains the ability to fight even more inflammation.
Lavender essential oil is not only relaxing, but it is also a very healing ingredient for the skin due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics. And myrrh is favored among essential oils for healthy skin and cuticles because it is great at preventing fungal infection. Tea tree essential oil is another great option to prevent and/or heal nail fungus.
Once you have blended all of the ingredients well, transfer to a small container or jar and let the mixture cool to room temperature. This will solidify it into a butter or dense cream. To use, massage a small amount onto and around the cuticle area. Allow it to sit for 10–15 minutes. Or simply massage it in, using it as a moisturizer for the entire hand. You can apply the cuticle cream daily. Make sure to wash your hands well before dipping into the container. Or, use a spoon or knife to scoop out the cream so that you do not contaminate it with bacteria since we do not add preservatives. This recipe will last several months, so you can store it in your bathroom cabinet.
DIY Cuticle Cream with Lavender & Myrrh
Total Time: 5 minutes
1 tablespoon organic beeswax
1 ½ tablespoons organic raw shea butter
½ teaspoon organic coconut oil
2 drops vitamin E oil
2 drops lemon essential oil
8 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops of myrrh essential oil
2 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)
Fill about one-third of a small saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil.
Combine the shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil into a mason jar or heat-safe glass container. Place the jar in the pan.
Blend ingredients together with a spoon or whisk.
Remove from heat and add the vitamin E, lavender, lemon and myrrh essential oils.
Transfer to a small container or jar and let it cool to room temperature.