Slimming down your waistline is no easy feat. But, it might not be as difficult as you think.

Most people would love a magic potion to help them trim down in the tummy area. But, until that exists we have a few suggestions that can help make a big difference.

Here are 8 tips that will be able to help you in the fight against belly bulge:

1. Find out how much body fat you have

There are precise ways to do this that your doctor will be able to do with technology, such as a CT scan or an MRI. But being in your own home, you can do this too. You do this by measuring your girth. The only thing you need is a measuring tape. Just stand up, make sure the measuring tape is level, then wrap it around your waist.

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If you’re a man, your waist should be less than 40 inches. If you’re a woman, it should be less than 35 inches.

Abdominal fat is an indicator of visceral fat — which is problematic. Ensuring your waist fits within these inches will keep you on the right track to combating belly bulge.

2. Eat smaller portions

This doesn’t mean to go from eating a huge plate of food to eating only what fits on a salad plate. But, fighting the belly bulge does begin with portion control so consider using a smaller plate to train your eyes and your stomach to eat less.

3. Keep moving

When you are at work, move around. By continually moving around, your body is able to burn calories. You can do simple things, such as walking in place or even shifting your hips. Any additional movement will help you start to burn that belly bulge. If you are unable to move around at work, try using a standing workstation. Small steps to avoid obesity can potentially help save you from developing more serious health conditions like diabetes and cancer.

4. Cut back on stressful activities

Stress can cause us to lose sleep and over eat. There is a hormone in your body called cortisol. Cortisol tends to motivate people to be more motivated, but at the same time it does cause impact your appetite. When you have stress that continues over a long period of time, your cortisol levels may not decrease, which will lead to stress induced eating and a constant appetite.

5. Snack on nuts

When you go to grab that bag of potato chips, think twice. There are healthier alternatives. Peanuts, cashews, pistachios and other nuts have proteins that are much healthier than the processed chemicals that are used on potato chips.

6. Try yoga

Finding ways to de-stress can benefit you in many areas, including your waistline. Burning calories doesn’t have to mean training for a marathon. Toning and stretching your muscles is a great way to start the weight loss process and not get too overwhelmed with increased physical activity.

7. Sleep

Sleep deprivation can actually cause your belly to get bigger. What happens when you start to lack sleep is that your metabolism stops functioning in the way it should. This leads to unintended weight gain. If your exhausted you are likely to skip any physical activity you planned for the day too. Aim for at least eight hours a night.

8. Get health tips from your physician

There are many more ways to stay healthy. Each person’s body functions completely differently. Visit your primary care physician and talk about your health goals. They can recommend resources that can help you stay fresh, healthy and in shape.

If you’re in the Southern California area and are in search of a primary care physician, call (800)USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or visit www.keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

By Leonard Kim