After a certain age, the dreaded belly pooch becomes a bit harder to get rid of. With your metabolism slowing, you might find yourself packing on a few extra inches around the midsection, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Check out the list below for three things you can do to help whittle your waistline.
Pack in the protein.
Upping your protein intake could help to shrink your waistline faster. This is because protein helps your body to build muscle and burn off fat. It also helps to reduce your risk of insulin resistance (a precursor to type 2 diabetes) by balancing your blood sugar and preventing fat from being stored on your tummy.
One study found that women following a diet that was made up roughly of 30 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates and 30 percent fat lost considerably more belly fat than women eating the same amount of calories but just 16 percent protein. To work out how much protein you should eat in a day, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.5.
Power up your walk.
Great news: visceral fat — the stuff that sits deep inside your belly and gives you a paunch — yields fairly easily to regular exercise. And even better, walking is one of the best ways to lose that stubborn belly fat — but you’ve got to vary your pace.
Researchers from the University of Virginia found that women who did three shorter, fast-paced walks a week (plus two longer, moderate-paced ones) lost five times more belly fat than those who simply strolled at a moderate speed five days a week, even though both groups burned exactly the same number of calories — about 400 calories per workout. Those power walking also dropped more than two inches from their waistlines, lost three times more fat from their thighs, shed four times more total body fat, and lost almost eight pounds over 16 weeks.
Fight fat with fiber.
Soluble fiber, the kind found in oats and apples, is an effective fat fighter. According to research, every 10-gram increase in your daily fiber intake could help you lose four percent of your belly fat over five years.
Plus, a fiber packed diet will help to keep your digestion moving and prevent constipation and bloating too. Pile your plate with fresh vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and asparagus, and beans, peas, and lentils.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.