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According to a dietitian, shedding your stubborn belly fat could be possible with one simple switch. Here’s how to kickstart your weight loss journey without disrupting your routine.

Losing weight the old-fashioned way, (i.e. through diet and lifestyle modifications) is usually considered to be a ‘slow and steady’ race. Sure, there are all kinds of pills, potions and six-week shred diets that claim to speed up the process, but very few have been proven to deliver long-lasting results.

Plus, some areas of the body are especially stubborn when it comes to weight loss such as the infamous belly area. But most of us, despite knowing what foods to avoid, are left racing against the clock all day, opting for quick and easy alternatives over fresh, homemade meals.

But according to experts, there’s one simple way to kickstart weight loss, guaranteed to leave a person feeling instantly lighter without the accompanying hunger and deprivation most crash diets and ‘healthy swaps’ evoke.

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Belly fat is one of the most accumulative and stubborn areas in the body, but according to dietitian and chief clinical officer at Oviva, Lucy Jones, there’s one foolproof way to ditch it for good.

“Targeting particular body areas is hard, but there is some evidence from studies like the Framlingham Heart Study, that eating less sugar and refined carbs– and instead replacing these with wholegrain foods– can help to reduce more abdominal fat,” Jones tells the Daily Star.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, regular wholegrain consumption in a group of participants was linked to a decrease in body fat percentage over a 16-week study period.

Another study in the same journal followed two groups over 12 weeks, with one told to eat only whole grains and the other told to avoid them entirely. Though both groups were found to have lost weight after the experiment, the wholegrain group lost an average of 11 pounds, compared to the non-wholegrain group’s average loss of 8 pounds).

The wholegrain group were found to have lost significantly more body fat from the abdominal region than the group that abstained.

Long-term effect of abdominal fat

Aside from making it harder to squeeze into your skinny jeans, belly fat can have some pretty dangerous effects on your health– especially the longer it’s left to accumulate.

Given the proximity to the majority of your central organs, stomach fat can heighten your risk of several chronic conditions, such as diabetes and liver and heart issues.

Jones says an excess of sugar in a person’s diet (one of the leading contributors to abdominal fat) can create an ‘inflammatory response in the body, putting the body in a stressed-out state’. This physiological state encourages the body to store fat.

Additionally, sugar has been known to increase a person’s natural insulin levels over time– the primary regulator glucose and fat metabolism in human the body.

Though we’ve long been led to believe carbs are the enemy when it comes to weight loss, Jones and other experts say not all types of carbohydrates should be avoided.

The dietitian urges us to reach for wholegrain pastas and breads in lieu of white, highly processed varieties.

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