1. Don’t Skip Snacks
Go for snacks that are calorie controlled – 150 calories or less is a good rule of thumb. When your stomach is growling, try a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts; a granola bar; homemade baked kale chips, or roasted edamame.
2. Keep Moving Throughout the Day
Sitting for extended periods at your desk during the work day raises the risk for developing heart disease. Interrupting long periods of sitting at your desk at work with two minute breaks of light or moderate-intensity activity such as walking and stretching can help curb risks of increased glucose and insulin levels.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable – Publicly
People who hold themselves accountable to their health and fitness goals publicly are more likely to follow through. Post your goals on Facebook, and let your friends and family support you in your fitness journey.
4. Lift Weights to Keep Your Body Young
As women age, relying on impact exercises alone is a mistake. Resistance training keeps your bones strong and stimulates muscle growth–and the more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn, even when you’re not exercising.
5. It’s Never Too Late
Making simple changes in your diet and lifestyle can help you start eating healthier, no matter what your age. Get rid of extra sugar: toss out the sugary cereals and snacks in your home. Switch to reduce or no-fat dairy products and try incorporating a vegetable into each lunch and dinner. Add in a 20 to 30 minute walk a day to start feeling better.
6. Knock Out A Fitness Plateau
If your workouts aren’t having an effect on your body anymore, you might have reached a fitness plateau. This happens when your body gets used to its exercise routine and workouts become too easy. The secret to busting out of a plateau is switch up your workouts to keep your body guessing. Change your resistance, your speed or the amount of time you’re doing to keep getting results.
7. Munch on Cottage Cheese
Worried about belly fat? Try a bedtime snack that is full of protein, like cottage cheese, to help your muscles repair while you rest. Bonus: cottage cheese is a natural relaxant, which will help you fall asleep more quickly and keep your cortisol – a hormone that increases ab fat deposits – at bay.
8. Go Heavier on the Weights
You’ve incorporated weight training into your workout – great job! But routinely raising the amount of pounds you lift will reap even more benefits. As a general rule of thumb, once you can do 15 reps of an exercise without resting, you should increase the weights. Women, go up 5-10 lbs; men can increase by 15-20 lbs.
9. Stop Overdoing Crunches
Big movements like squats and pushups are better at achieving a flatter belly than crunches, because they work your core significantly. Don’t cut out crunches all together but add planks and pushups for a more effective belly workout.
10. Add Protein to Post-Workout Meals
Include protein in meals after working up a sweat. It will help your body absorb carbohydrates better. A combination of the two will help your body replenish after working out.
11. Stop Gimmick Diets
You can’t undo a lifetime of eating habits and preferences overnight – no, not even by eating cabbage soup 3 times a day or chugging maple syrup. Instead of going on a diet, focus on changing your lifestyle. Be conscious of what foods you’re eating, cutting calories and adding in exercise.
12. Sleep More to Burn Belly Fat
Fat burning and muscle repair happen at bedtime. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body isn’t functioning as well as it can. Additionally, when you’re sleep deprived, your body releases cortisol.
13. Drink More Water
Keep Hydrated with water or non-caloric beverages. Often when we feel hungry, our bodies are just thirsty. So when in doubt, drink up.