Special Report

11 Best Ways to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat for Good

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Stay away from foods with hydrogenated oils

“I recommend reading ingredient labels to make sure that a food does not contain any partially hydrogenated oils — which is a source of trans fats,” Gorin said. Consuming foods with trans fat such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil may contribute to the accumulation of fat around the stomach, according to animal research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Over six years, monkeys were given foods containing trans fats, and all the extra weight they gained was distributed around the abdomen.

Trans fats are found in baked goods such as cookies and cakes, fried foods, margarine, coffee creamers, and microwave popcorn.

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Alcohol doesn’t have to be banned from your diet

“As with most things, just take an approach of moderation,” Gorin said. Some research has suggested that high alcohol intake is related to high waist circumference largely due to the amount of calories alcohol, especially beer, contains.

Also, consuming too much alcohol typically doesn’t make people feel great — and if you’re feeling less than stellar, you may be less motivated to continue with healthy habits like eating well and exercising, Gorin explained.

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Eat carbs

“You need carbohydrates!” Gorin said. “In fact, your brain’s primary source of fuel is glucose, a carbohydrate.” You can absolutely lose weight without severely reducing carbohydrates, she added. Again, it comes down to everything in moderation.

You may try a modest reduction in consumption of carbs to lose deep belly fat, according to a 2011 study. Also, the participants consuming a diet with moderate reduction of carbs lost 4% more total body fat than those eating a standard diet.

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Increase your protein consumption

Protein is an important nutrient that helps keep you fuller for longer — so that you are less likely to want a snack, according to Gorin. “I recommend including a source of protein such as eggs, nuts, seeds, salmon, tofu, or chicken breast with every meal or snack,” she added.

Protein may be effective in reducing abdominal fat specifically, not just total body fat. Some research has suggested that people who ate more and high-quality protein had less central abdominal fat.

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Consider probiotics

Studies examining probiotics’ effect in reducing body weight and Body Mass Index have been done, but the results have been far from definitive. Some research has shown that probiotics help the body by speeding up fat metabolism, improving insulin sensitivity, and reducing inflammation, but the sample sizes were small and there was no follow-up.