In a world of processed foods and fatty snacks, there is much concern over weight gain and obesity. For those of us who tend to carry the weight in our stomach area, this makes you at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

For people with large bellies, their body often loses sensitivity to insulin, an important hormone that helps the body feel energized and burn energy. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease occur because of too much bad cholesterol in their systems.

There are some key ways to reduce and lose belly fat:

  • Adhere to a low-calorie and moderate-fat diet to ensure that you stick with the program.
  • Eat fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil, which lower cholesterol and protect your body's joints.
  • Eat high-calcium, non-fat dairy products to help reduce body fat.
  • Drink water to burn more stored fat in your body.
  • Avoid drinking carbonated drinks to reduce water retention and bloating that occurs because of the sodium content.
  • Reduce your portions of potatoes and pasta by half and substitute it with dark green vegetables.
  • Don't eat a large evening meal - the time of the day when you slowly become more sedentary.
  • Vary the amount of calories that are taken from day to day. This tricks your body into not having a chance to store fat.
  • Eat milk and cottage cheese that contain proteins that are slow burning and gives muscles a steady amount of amino acids used for fat burning.

Marlene Veloso