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Whittle Your Middle: 5 Strategies That Work

Whittle Your Middle 5 Strategies That Work

Extra weight around the middle can be an indicator of future health problems, and can cause you to feel self-conscious about your appearance. Rather than giving in and buying your jeans an extra size larger, however, adopt a common-sense approach to waist management. By making a few simple changes in your lifestyle, you can trim your waistline and enjoy better health.

Take probiotics

Scientists are just beginning to study the influence probiotics have on weight loss, and so far, the news is good. For example, a 2009 Finnish study found that women who consumed probiotics during pregnancy had a smaller waist size 12 weeks after delivery than a control group. Probiotics are found in yogurt and other fermented foods, and are available in supplement form.

Eat soluble fiber

Soluble fiber helps your body to resist accumulating visceral fat, the "bad" belly fat that has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. When you eat soluble fiber, a type of fatty acid is produced that helps to reduce insulin levels. Maintaining steady insulin levels is one factor that can help you to control your weight. One of the best sources of soluble fiber is beans, which you can add to almost any meal. Oatmeal is another excellent source of soluble fiber.

Eliminate refined foods

According to best-selling diet author Jorge Cruise, fat around the middle is a mark of too much sugar consumption. To get rid of excess fat in this area, eliminate refined foods. Sugar and refined grains raise insulin in the body, which sends a signal to the cells to store fat. Eat a whole-foods diet and you're likely to see both fat and bloat disappear from around your middle.

Get rid of excess stress

People who are under too much stress tend to eat too much – and are often unaware of how many calories they are consuming. Instead of walking to the refrigerator when you feel anxious, take a stroll, schedule a massage or take a hot bath. Anything that you do to reduce stress helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Since cortisol leads to an increase in visceral stomach fat, it's in your belly's best interest to keep levels of this stress hormone low.

Get moving

While there are a number of gadgets and exercises that claim to help you to shed inches from your middle, the truth is any fat-burning exercise will do. Burn more calories than you take in, and you'll eliminate fat from all over your body – including your waist. When you're not actively exercising, it helps to keep moving, as even walking around doing mundane tasks such as cleaning the house will help your body to use calories efficiently and keep levels of fat-storing insulin low.

Remember, no weight-management technique is a panacea in and of itself. To keep your waistline under control, you'll need to consistently implement a number of strategies. Once you've created these new habits, however, weight loss will come naturally. Once you learn how to effectively manage your waistline, shopping for pants will become a much more pleasant experience as you look through the racks for a smaller size.

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