6 Ways to lose belly fat

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PHOENIX -- It's a common struggle for people who are trying to lose weight -- belly fat.

According to Dr. Asa Andrew, beating belly fat is all about balancing your hormones naturally.

1. Exercise no more than 45 minutes a day to reduce excess cortisol, the hormone that stores belly fat.

Dubbed the "stress hormone," cortisol helps our bodies deal with stress and can have some positive effects in the short term. Long-term, however, elevated level of cortisol can have several detrimental effects, including increased abdominal fat.

When it comes to exercise, you want to get in 30 minutes a day, four or five days a week, but be careful about going longer.

"When you go over that 45-minute threshold, cortisol, which is a stress hormone in the body, elevates tremendously," Dr. Asa explained. At the same time, testosterone levels drop.

"You're doing the opposite of what you're really trying to accomplish," he said.

2. Drink two cups of green tea every day.

3. Eat good-quality lean protein. Go organic if you can.

4. Have your doctor do a blood test to check all three estrogen levels -- estriol, estradiol and estrone.

"If you can adjust those three estrogens, you can make a big difference," Dr. Asa said.

5. Consider taking a supplement with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Studies have shown that taking 6 games of CLA per day can decrease belly fat by up to 30 percent.

Bonus tip: Green coffee bean extract is proven to significantly lower belly fat. Dr. Oz featured the supplement on his show, citing "a staggering newly released study" that "triggered unprecedented excitement for a weight-loss study." According to that study, participants lost an average of 17 pounds in 22 weeks by doing nothing more than taking this supplement.

Before embarking on any weight-loss program, you need to consult with your doctor to make sure you're doing the right things for your body.

Known as America's Health and Lifestyle Coach®, Asa Andrew, MD, is a national best-selling author, radio and TV host, and founder of Diagnosis HOPE, a nonprofit dedicated to health education and supporting the uninsured. For more information visit www.DrAsa.com.