These tips may not have you looking like this, but you can lose your belly fat over time, without making any major lifestyle changes.

Belly fat is somewhat of a dirty word these days, and with good reason. Science is discovering that it is much more dangerous than other kinds of fat. Belly fat is a concentration of visceral fat in your abdominal region. Visceral fat is packed around your internal organs, potentially contributing to a plethora of problems, including heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems and more.

In short, accumulations of belly fat not only keep you from taking off your shirt around the pool at your 20th high school reunion, they can actually put you in an early grave. Some people are predisposed to build up belly fat in greater concentrations than others, who are more likely to add fat in a more evenly distributed fashion.

For those of you who need to lose that unsightly and unhealthy bump around the belly, here are some things you can do everyday that will slowly whittle it away. No, you won’t peel off 50lbs a month with these strategies, but you will slowly watch your belly disappear, and you won’t have to spend hours exercising every day (although exercise never hurts). These simple lifestyle tweeks will help you to lose what may have taken you years to gain. It will still probably take you a year or two to lose.

Major Fat Loss Mistake-
Realize that you can’t out exercise a bad diet, unless your last name is Phelps, so don’t fall into this common trap. You think “Hey I’m doing a bit more exercise, so I can eat more now.”,  closely followed by “Hey, I’m doing a bit more exercise so I can eat these large fries now.” That kind of thinking will sabotage your weight loss efforts faster than you can down a smoothy.

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DEC, short for don’t eat crap. Remember that simple little phrase and it will do more than almost anything else to jump start your fat loss efforts. The three main components of crap are refined sugar, white flour, and saturated fat. Fat has gotten a bad rap as something that can make you fat, but it actually saturated fat that causes most of the health problems. Fat can make you fat because it more calorically dense than carbohydrates  or protein, so it easier to eat a greater number of calories when you eat high fat foods. That doesn’t mean you should stay away from fat. On the contrary, you should eat it, but only the right kinds of fat, and watch what you eat and how much, because it is easy to pile on the calories if the food is high in fat.

In short, if you just DEC, and then don’t overcompensate by eating more, you’ll lose weight. You don’t even have to eat a diet that a health food nut would envy, just cut the crap.

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Eat smaller meals, 5 times a day. Your body will assimilate nutrients much more effectively if you eat smaller meals, more frequently. For example, try eating at 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 7pm, instead of the traditional 7am, noon, and 6pm. Definitely do not skip breakfast. Interestingly enough, and perhaps counterintuitivly, studies have correlated skipping breakfast with obesity.

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Find little ways to pack more activity into your day. Here are some great ways to do this.
– If it is less than 4 floors, take the stairs.
– Unless it is unsafe to do so, park at the far side of the lot or parking garage and walk to the building. It always cracks me up watching people drive around aimlessly, waiting for a closer parking spot at the gym, so they won’t have to walk so far to go in and work out.
– Don’t have the kid at the grocery store load your bags into the car; do it yourself.
– Get some ankle weights and wear them around.
– Get a wireless headset and pace around your office or cubicle while talking on the phone at work, rather than just sitting in your chair for 8 hours a day. You’ll be amazed how many more calories you’ll burn.
– If you’re on the road all the time, stop every hour or so and walk around for 5 minutes.
– Find as many things to do around the house as you can. Don’t have your kinds do things, even if they really should be. Take out the garbage, rake the yard, shovel snow, scrub the floor, etc.
– Wash your car by hand instead of going to the drive through car wash or using a power washer.
– If your mailbox is a bit away fro your front door, don’t get the mail as you drive by. Wait until you get hoe, then walk back to it for your mail.

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Replace one or two of your 5 meals meals with a smoothy. See the post I did last year on how to make delicious weight loss shakes. The secret is to make sure it has plenty of fiber, protein and ice. The ice is both a volumizer and a hydrator. The protein and fiber help to keep you from getting hungry. I usually use low fat, sugar free yogurt or low fat milk in mine as well. The calcium and protein in yogurt has been shown in university studies to help burn fat and build muscle.

These are really simple ways to fight the belly fat bulge. You’ll have to make some changes in the way you have been living if you want to lose fat. It stands to reason that you’ll not change your body if you just keep on doing the same old things that got you where you are now. The good news is that you don’t have to radically change your life in order to fight belly fat. Some subtle changes can be a great weapon in your fat fight, and are much easier to implement than a radical lifestyle change. Just don’t expect instant results. Stick with it, and you’ll not ice a change in your belly for the better.