Belly fat is an important barometer for health. Health experts use belly fat, or central obesity, as a surrogate measure to gauge risk of chronic diseases. The belly fat we’re referring to here isn’t the kind you can pinch or see, it’s wrapped around the organs deep in your abdomen. This deadly fat wraps around the organs deep in your abdomen, spiking your risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome. If you let that fat stay there, nestled on your lap, growing and making you sicker, there is no doubt about the consequences.
Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults now have central obesity (colloquially referred to as “belly fat,” and clinically defined as a waistline of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men), up from 46 percent in 1999-2000, according to a September 2014 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average U.S. waist circumference has also grown to an average 38.8 inches, up more than 1 inch in about a dozen years. It’s more than a fashion crisis.
The good news is you can start blasting both types of fat today with these 10 healthy habits, inspired by the New York Times bestseller Zero Belly Diet:
1) Order a Coffee-black:
A cup of coffee has nearly zero calories. A cup of coffee with cream and sugar has 80 calories. If you drink two cups a day, learning to take it black will save you 14 pounds in a year.
2) Nuke frozen veggies:
While frozen produce has a nutrient density that’s often higher than fresh, canned foods don’t hold up. A study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that for some vegetables, canning degraded as much as 95 percent of the vitamin C and damaged every B vitamin in the food. Prepare a deliciously healthier meal—and feel flat-bellied afterwards.