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Science: This is the best exercise to flatten your belly

If belly pooch is your biggest enemy when it comes to weight loss, you’re certainly not alone. While it would be great to just wave a magic wand and make the flab disappear, there’s actually something that comes pretty close: exercise. One exercise in particular is scientifically proven to whittle your waistline—and make your belly fat practically vanish into thin air. (On the flip side, these tricks to flatten your belly don’t require a lick of exercise.)

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Mama June in 2013


Mama June in 2017

The "Honey Boo Boo" star documented her weight loss journey on her very own reality show! She is now down to a size 4 — and she looks incredible!


Khloe Kardashian in 2012


Khloe Kardashian in 2016

Hard work does pay off! The youngest Kardashian sister is obsessed with exercising and documents all her workout sessions on social media.


Lena Dunham in 2015


Lena Dunham in 2017

The "Girls" star lost a significant amount of weight after going on a holistic diet to help alleviate symptoms of endometriosis. 


Wendy Williams in 2012


Wendy Williams in 2017

The TV personality revealed in 2015 that she lost 50 pounds over the course of three years with a healthy diet that doesn’t include refined sugars, meat, dairy or "eating after dark." It looks like she’s been committed to the strict diet. She looks better than ever in 2017!


Ricki Lake in 2010


Ricki Lake in 2011

The actress lost 20 pounds when she appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2011.


Jordin Sparks in 2008


Jordin Sparks in 2017

Hard work pays off! "American Idol" alum began her weight loss journey by walking around her neighborhood and the rest was history! Her favorite workout? Zumba.


Sara Rue in 2003


Sara Rue in 2016

The "Rules of Engagement" star is a total fan of Jenny Craig for its simplicity. She looks incredible and totally glowing!


Jonah Hill in 2014


Jonah Hill in 2017

Talk about a transformation! Hill has lost weight and gained weight through the years — depending on the movie he’s working on — but his latest transformation is absolutely jaw-dropping.


Christina Aguilera in 2012


Christina Aguilera in 2013

Smoke show! The songstress dropped 20 pounds over the course of one year. Doesn’t she look incredible?!


Miranda Lambert in 2012


Miranda Lambert in 2013

The country crooner slammed critics who accused her of having weight loss surgery. She revealed that she dropped the pounds the old-fashioned way — eating right and working out with her trainer!


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A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness has recently revealed the best way to flatten your stomach. Over the course of eight weeks, 39 volunteers exercised four times per week. While one group performed four regular cardio and strength workouts, the other group did two regular workouts and two high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Then, researchers used a series of tests to assess the participants’ progress.

The final results couldn’t have been more clear: Not only did the HIIT group lose more weight overall, but they also lost more inches to their waistline when compared to the conventional exercise group. The HIIT participants also significantly reduced their levels of visceral fat, which is found in your abdomen and associated with health problems such as type 2 diabetes. What’s more, the HIIT group also showed an increase in their cardio respiratory fitness, while their counterparts did not.

8 PHOTOSFoods that won't make you gain weightSee GalleryFoods that won't make you gain weight


Calories per air-popped cup: 30

If it’s not smothered in buttered, doused in seasoning or salt, popcorn makes for a great snack. If air-popped, the light, low-calorie snack can be a good source of fiber, without the cholesterol. Plus, it’s considered a whole grain! 


Calories per stalk: 6

Since celery is mostly water, the fibrous plant has been known to offer many health benefits.  

Cottage cheese

Calories per 1 cup: 222
Calories per 1 cup, low-fat: 163

A great source of calcium and vitamins, cottage cheese is a go-to snack for many looking to maintain their weight. High in protein (28 grams in 1 cup of low-fat) it’s recommended highly by nutritionists and athletes. The calcium-packed snack will help you feel full as it is "associated with metabolic processes that reduce fat accumulation and accelerate fat loss," according to Authority Nutrition.


Calories per cup: 85

The fruit is low in saturated fat, is a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber — and thus, can be a healthy snack for those looking to maintain or even lose weight.


With only 52 calories in half of the fruit, the citrus makes for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, the fruit is known to boost metabolism and lower insulin levels — thus, actually burning fat! 

Chicken and other lean meats 

Calories in 3 oz of skinless chicken: 142 calories

A healthy source of protein, chicken helps fill you up while giving you energy. Fried chicken doesn’t count! 


Calories in 1 cup, cooked: 222

Not only can quinoa help you maintain your weight, but it can help you lose weight as well. Packed with iron and a plethora of amino acids, it can help you say lean and full. 


Calories in a 3 oz serving: 120

Salmon is one of the healthiest foods out there, packed with nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin D. It’ll also fill you up, without making you crash. 

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Thanks to the short, intense bursts of energy required for HIIT workouts, your body gets pushed to its absolute limit, causing it to burn fat for the rest of the day, researcher say. Four of these training sessions per week could be the secret to getting the six-pack you’ve always dreamed of. Ready to get started? This exercise can flatten your stomach in 10 minutes.

If you don’t have a gym membership yet, you can still banish your belly fat for good. Just focus on your plate, instead. These 10 foods fight belly fat; incorporate them into your diet, and you’ll be on your way to a slimmer waistline in no time.

[Source: Women’s Health]

RELATED: 16 PHOTOSFood Swaps That Cut CaloriesSee GalleryFood Swaps That Cut Calories

Read on for simple healthy swaps that can change the way you live and eat.

Replace Granola with Oatmeal

Have you ever read the nutritional facts on a box of granola? The deceptively healthy breakfast can be incredibly sugar-filled. Instead, make a big pot of steel-cut oats and enjoy a small portion all week. Oatmeal is healthier and definitely less sugary than granola.

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Replace Sour Cream with Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is an extremely versatile food. Add fruit and it’s sweet, spoon it on tacos and it’s savory. Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt, which has a lot more protein and a lot less fat.

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Replace Pretzels with Almonds

If you’re looking for a satisfying and crunchy snack, raw or roasted almonds are a filling and nutritious choice.

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Replace Pita and Hummus with Veggies and Hummus

By dipping veggies into your hummus you’ll decrease the calories in the snack while increasing the nutritional benefits.

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Replace Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash

For a healthier noodle, try spaghetti squash, which is lower in calories, but high in fiber.

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Replace Iceberg Lettuce with Kale

Yes, salad is almost always the healthy choice, but there is a hierarchy when it comes to greens and unfortunately iceberg lettuce is one of the least nutritional greens. If you can’t give up crunchy iceberg lettuce, just mix kale or spinach into a salad and you’ll have a perfectly healthy meal.

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Replace Potatoes with Cauliflower

Mashed potatoes are a super delicious comfort food, but by mashing up cauliflower instead of potatoes, you’ll significantly lower the amount of calories in the dish.

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Replace Butter with Almond Butter

Instead of lathering butter on to a bagel or toast, try almond butter. The nut butter boasts healthy fats and will keep you satisfied for longer.

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Replace Creamy Soups with Clear Broths

Soup can make for a great, healthy dish, but the calories can add up if the broth is filled with milk or cream. Go for chicken or vegetable broth-based soups, or better yet, make your own at home!

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Replace Milk with Almond Milk

Based on calories alone, almond milk has fewer calories than skim milk.

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Replace Beef with Mushrooms

Mushroom burgers are all the rage in the food world and make for tasty burgers. If you’re not willing to give up beef entirely, shake up your burger recipe by adding mushroom, which will help to cut down on fat, but add nutritional value.

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Replace White Bread with Whole Wheat Bread

By using whole wheat bread in sandwiches or for toast you’ll be enjoying more fiber and than you would by eating white bread. According to SparkPeople, whole wheat bread still has fewer calories than white bread too.

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Replace Rice with Quinoa

Rice always makes for a great side dish, but quinoa is not only more versatile, but a whole lot healthier. Quinoa contains protein, vitamins and nutrients, and it even has fewer calories than brown rice with 185 in a cup compared to 195.

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Replace Mayo with Avocado

The heart-healthy fats in avocados actually make it the perfect spread for toast or a tasty addition to egg salad. In terms for nutritional value, avocados beat mayo by a landslide.

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Replace Ketchup with Mustard

Unfortunately, ketchup actually contains a lot of sugar. One tablespoon of ketchup has four grams of sugar and 20 calories even though this doesn’t sound like much, it can quickly add up. On the other hand mustard has no sugar and three calories per tablespoon.

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