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Get Rid of Belly Fat — Just Wing It!

Get Rid of Belly Fat — Just Wing It!

If you want to banish belly fat, you've gotta do something fairly counterintuitive: eat.

Yep, that's right. Don't starve yourself. Eat. Research shows that dieting too intensely or tracking every morsel too closely creates the perfect conditions for adding belly fat, not subtracting it.

Don't mess with stress
A new study tracked the tension levels of 121 female dieters for 3 weeks and showed some concerning results. Those who followed a strict low-cal eating plan—consisting of prepackaged meals totaling 1,200 calories a day—experienced a significant rise in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And that can spell big trouble when it comes to belly management. Cortisol tells your body to store more calories in your midsection, exactly where you don't want it. On top of that, feeling stressed-out can make sticking with any weight loss plan feel darn near impossible.

Take note of this
Researchers also found that the women who kept super-detailed food diaries felt way more stressed-out than the people who were inclined to wing it. So while it's good to think about what you're putting into your mouth, don't obsess about it. Watch portion sizes, choose healthy foods, be aware of how many times you visit the snack cupboard, but don't make things too difficult. Here are some additional tension-free ways to target a tubby-free torso:

Did you know? About 64 percent of dieters end up gaining back more weight than they lost.

Medically reviewed in June 2018.

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