Belly fat is a frustrating foe. Not only is it the number one target of most individuals who want to lose excess weight, it’s also been linked to serious health concerns, like heart disease. But belly fat is stubborn. You can’t really eliminate it with exercise alone (though some exercises are more helpful than others). Unfortunately, some of our favorite foods contribute directly to increased belly fat.
If you want to look better, improve your quality of life, and perhaps even increase your longevity, busting that belly fat is a great place to start. But how do you really get rid of belly fat?
1) Ditch the Sugary Drinks
Our bodies are not designed to efficiently process excessive amounts of sugar. Indeed, the very chemical composition of commercially produced white sugar keeps us from metabolizing it effectively. Your liver is in charge of the process but cannot handle large amounts of fructose (one of the components of granulated sugar). Instead of burning it for energy, your liver quickly reaches its fructose threshold and begins converting those unused calories into belly fat.
The easiest way to reduce the amount of processed sugar you consume is to cut out sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, sweetened coffee, and “sports drinks.” Instead, opt for low-calorie, low-sugar options or drinks that are sweetened with alternatives like stevia. Better yet, stick to water. Don’t like plain water? Try lemon-infused or maybe cucumber water.
2) “Beef” up on that Lean Protein
Protein is a powerhouse. Diets rich in quality lean protein provide your body the fuel it needs to build muscle (which burns fat on its own). At least one study  has shown that the amount of quality protein you eat is directly linked to a reduction in belly fat. Indeed, protein helps you feel fuller longer and cuts some of those harmful cravings that send us searching for junk food.
But what is quality protein? Though beef is the posterchild for protein, you should limit your intake of red meat due to its high concentration of cholesterol. Instead, opt for high-protein fish, lean white meat chicken, and vegetarian sources like certain nuts, beans, grains and seeds.
3) Be Smart About Your Carbs
It is en vogue to trash carbohydrates, but they’re an essential building block your body needs to fuel cellular regeneration. If you cut out carbs altogether, you can expect to suffer from muscle weakness, lethargy and “mental fog”.
And while it’s true that reduced carbohydrate diets have been shown to dramatically decrease the amount of belly fat (especially fat around vital organs like the liver); eliminating them altogether is not the best idea.
The trick is to be smart about your carb intake.
Do that by staying away from carb-heavy foods (like sugary snacks) that provide little or no other nutritional value. Instead, when you consume carbs, look for products that balance carbohydrates with healthy ingredients, like fiber and micronutrients.
4) Cleanse Your Body
Scientific studies have shown intermittent fasting diets rebalance your body chemistry and help your internal organs (like your liver and pancreas) process the nutrients you’re feeding them. Indeed, combatting insulin desensitization is one of the best ways to prevent the calories you consume from turning into stored fat at your waistline.
Intermittent fasting typically involves abstaining from solid food for a day or two each week and can help people lose dramatic amounts of weight in a relatively short amount of time. Sound too difficult? The Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet®  was developed specifically to help you maintain excellent nutrition without consuming solid foods over 48 hours. This great-tasting juice-detox can be used over the course of two full days as a meal replacement option and provides your body with a well-balanced combination of good carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and more.
5) Exercise (The Right Way)
Exercise burns excess calories. This causes your body to look for fuel elsewhere (specifically stored fat). Thus exercise burns belly fat.
Concentrate on cardio and aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling. Such “fat-burning” exercises show an appreciable positive reduction in belly fat and also reduce the risk of regaining that belly fat over time.
Exercises to Help Minimize the Appearance of Belly Fat
While cardio burns fat, muscle-building exercises increase muscle tone and “tighten” target areas like your belly. Here are a few exercises you can use to help burn away that stubborn belly fat and slim your waistline in the process.
Core Strengthening Crunch Variants
Lie on your back with your knees bent and roughly 90 degrees. Next, thrust up with your pelvis while keeping your feet and shoulders on the floor until your chest, waist, and thighs create a straight line. Hold for five seconds then slowly lower your hips to the floor before repeating.
This exercise targets not only your abs but also glutes (which tightens your backside) and your hamstrings—which helps with walking/running. (See the original and 9 tougher variants here. )
Prone Toe Touches
Instead of doing this in a standing position, lie on your back and engage your core (bringing your legs vertical in the air while keeping your knees together) and curling your shoulders up with arms extended to reach toward your toes.
This exercise engages the majority of the abdominal muscles in your core and can be used by beginners and pros a like with slight modifications to build those abs and burn that fat. (Watch a correct toe touch here. )
A safer alternative to the potential back-breaking Russian Twist, the Pallof Press utilizes resistance bands to target your oblique abs.
Start by attaching a resistance band to a secure surface at sternum-height. Next set up a solid stance while grasping the free end of the band with both hands close to your chest. Now extend your arms straight out from your body, then retract them slowly. Do it correctly and you will feel the burn. (See how here. )
Visible Results in Days, Not Weeks!
Belly Fat won’t go away by itself. You have to work at it. The right combination of diet and exercise will help you burn those excess calories and will prevent the return of that stubborn belly fat. If you want to see results even faster, try the Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet® as a way to jumpstart your weight loss and shed up to 10 pounds in just two days.