Instead of socializing with your friends over a sugar-laden latte, try meeting up with them for a little walking and talking. Cutting out sugar and adding regular walks to your weekly routine can reduce your overall fat – including fat around your waistline. In addition to reducing body fat, cutting out sugar while doing regular physical activity provides other health benefits, such as reducing risk for some chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Cut out simple sugars from your diet, such as sodas, fruit juices, cookies and processed foods that contain processed sugar. According to Harvard researchers, women who drink one or more sugar-sweetened soft drinks per day are more likely to gain weight. You can read the nutrition labels to determine whether or not there is added sugar. The nutrition label will tell you exactly how many grams of sugar are in the product. You can also look for ingredients such as cane sugar, molasses, high-fructose corn syrup or fruit juice concentrates, which are fancy names for sweeteners that contain sugar or have the same effect.
Replace foods high in sugar with fresh vegetables or lean protein, such as chicken, fish or tofu. Rather than filling your diet with empty calories, choose foods that are high in nutrients.
Schedule time to walk for at least 30 minutes most days of the week to take advantage of the fat-burning benefits of exercise. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity weekly. If weight loss is your goal, try walking for 60 minutes to double the amount of calories burned. Recruit a friend or family member as a walking buddy. An exercise partner will help keep you motivated.
Add two days of muscle-strengthening activities to your walking routine. Choose muscle-strengthening activities that activate all major muscle groups in your body, such as circuit training or Ashtanga yoga. According to the American Heart Association, muscle-strengthening activities will promote loss of overall fat -- including abdominal fat.
- Talk to your physician before changing your diet or exercising.
Ann Daniels has been a professional writer for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in many national health and wellness publications. Daniels holds a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.