If you're struggling to get rid of a thick middle, you're battling visceral fat, the fat located in your abdominal region that surrounds vital organs. While this fat is easier to get rid of than subcutaneous fat, it is also worse for you. Excess visceral fat has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. People with large middles tend to have higher levels of cortisol, the body's key stress hormone. Too much cortisol slows your metabolism and also breaks down muscle, making you hard-wired to store fat.
Diet Plan: Avoid Refined Carbohydrates and Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
First, avoid refined carbs like white bread, pasta and rice that are low in fat and spike blood sugar, which can increase stress and make you hungrier. Replace simple carbs with anti-inflammatory foods such as barley, buckwheat and amaranth. These whole grains stabilize blood sugar and help control cortisol surges. Go for other healthy anti-inflammatory fats, too, like olive oil, avocado, sea bass and salmon. (Try Dr. Oz's anti-inflammatory toast: Toasted Ezekiel bread—sprouted 100% whole grain—topped with avocado, olive oil, lemon and chili flakes.)
Workout for an Apple Body Type: Metabolic Disturbance Training
To slim your middle, you'll want to practice interval training that involves sudden bursts of high-intensity movement alternated with lower intensity movement. Using an exercise stepper, begin by stepping up and down at a moderate pace for two to five minutes. Then crank up the pace for 30 seconds to one minute, until you can feel your heart rate has increased and you're slightly out of breath. Then go back to the more moderate pace. Repeat throughout the workout. This method boosts both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to speed metabolism and burn belly fat.
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