Do you feel like you’re fighting a never-ending battle with belly fat?

For most people, the midsection is the most problematic. This may have to do with genetics, lifestyle or diet – but let’s be honest. We don’t care what brought the bulge. We just want it gone.

And the reality is that it’s more problematic than the muffin top that sits above your jeans. Fat in the abdominal area is strongly linked to diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

And when you look at the diseases that are associated with belly fat, you might get a few clues on the food culprits that cause fat cells to accumulate around the midsection.

In this post, we’re going to share our best tips for conquering your stomach without resorting to surgery.

Breakup with sugar

If you have a sweet tooth, this may seem like an overreaction. It may seem like cruel and unusual punishment. But when you’re considering an extreme solution like surgery, this is nothing. You’ve got this.

That’s not to say it’ll be easy. It’ll be brutal for a while, but you’ll get through it and will be surprised at how fast the fat melts away.

Cutting sugar means more than just cutting sweets. You also have to cut sodas, sugary yogurts and most commercial salad dressings. If you consume a lot of processed foods, you must begin reading every label for sugar content. Regardless of the sugar, you’d be surprised at the health dangers of processed foods and meats. A tiny bit of these foods is okay, but you’re going to want to focus on sugarless products as much as possible.

Sugar alternatives are a great stopgap solution, but try to avoid anything artificial like Splenda or NutraSweet. These will help you lose weight, but they may be linked to cancer.

Drastically reduce simple carbohydrates

It’s becoming clear that this post is not exactly the bearer of good news, but if you want to cut belly fat, you’re going to have to change your habits.

Simple (or refined) carbohydrates include anything that has been stripped of all bran, fiber and nutrients. It’s that white bread we all enjoy so much before a meal, and it’s the pasta in the meal. And it’s also empty calories. But that’s not even the worst part. Because the fiber is removed, refined carbohydrates break down almost instantly to sugar within the body. So that bread and pasta is almost as bad as a candy bar. Sorry.

And since we know that belly fat is somehow linked to the body’s ability to process sugar (type 2 diabetes), avoiding refined carbs makes perfect sense.

Eat more protein

Okay, so maybe there’s something to this keto thing everyone keeps raving about. Increasing protein intake has been shown to reduce cravings by 60 percent, boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories daily. Regardless of your diet plan, you can lose weight by increasing your protein.

When you’re dealing with stubborn fat and trying to avoid surgery, you’re probably looking for a drastic solution. You can resolve belly bloat with simple solutions like drinking more water. You may even find that massage for weight loss is effective. But for lasting results, you’ll also want to make dietary changes. And as a bonus, if you follow these tips, you’ll also set yourself on the road to good health.