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How do I lose weight in my stomach?

There’s no way to directly target your fat cells — including those in your midsection. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about them.
by Keri Glassman, R.D. / / Source: TODAY

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick and choose exactly where you wanted to tone, tighten or trim down? Sounds nice, right?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to directly target your fat cells — including those in your stomach. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about them. If flat abs are what you’re going for, here are three tips to help you out.

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1. Focus on beating the bloat.

You may just be bloated. Bloat can be a major cause of belly bulge. Take stock of what you’re eating that may be increasing bloat.

Cruciferous veggies are loaded with health-promoting nutrients, but they also may be a secret offender in the bloat department. Add refined starchy foods (like pasta and white bread) and that artificial sweetener in your morning coffee to the list as well.

Up your flat belly game by filling up on water dense veggies like cucumber, celery and spinach, and choosing flat over carbonated water. Also, pick your fruits wisely, papaya and pineapple are good go-tos. And dandelion is one of those famous detox healthy foods for good reason. Try dandelion greens or tea as they may aid with reducing bloat by helping your body flush out excess water.

2. Exercise more.

While doing 1,000 sit ups might make your abs sore for a week, it may not mean much for your waistline. We all know by now, muscle burns more calories than fat. Studies have shown that targeted abdominal exercises alone won’t lead to reduced body fat percentage or even a smaller waistline. But, adding exercise to your normal routine will help. Even adding in a short 10-minute strengthening routine daily, or adding these three moves to your regimen can be effective in boosting your muscle mass, helping to cut down on body fat percentage overall.

While you can’t target fat loss in a specific location, total body fat loss can make a big difference in uncovering those hidden ab muscles.

3. Say buh-bye to stress.

When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, hormones that make it harder to lose weight. Your heart may race and you also may find yourself craving junk food.

These same stressors can even make your metabolism sluggish. Studies have shown that women who had stressful experiences the day before a high-fat meal burned fewer calories after the meal, and that chronic stress is linked to long-term fat storage and weight gain.

On the flip side, some recent research has linked meditation to weight loss, so maybe it’s time to finally commit to trying it? Here is a quick five-minute meditation to get you started.

For more from Keri Glassman, follow her @Nutritious Life. And for even more health tips and advice, sign up for our Start TODAY newsletter.

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