Not many people have perfect six-pack abs (but if you do, good on you!) but having an exceedingly expanded waistline can do more than keep you out of figure-hugging clothes, you could face serious health issues: Your risk increases  for high blood pressure and high cholesterol– major factors for heart disease – as well as type 2 diabetes and even some forms of cancer.

The truth is carrying excess belly-fat makes way for a condition called Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and fatty deposits in the liver. The good news is by shrinking your belly you can reverse the effects of Syndrome X and cut your risk of heart disease, diabetes, even Alzheimer’s disease in half with a few small tweaks to your lifestyle.

My top belly-fat blasters have actually been a part of a healthy lifestyle since the beginning of time, but you may not have thought of them to help slim your waistline.

1. Watermelon: A hydrating fruit rich in lycopene, it will increase your body’s arginine levels, an amino acid that ups the body’s fat-burning potential. At the same time the juicy red fruit helps the body burn fat, it also builds lean muscle. Just 1 cup a day does the trick.

2. Dill: Add this herb to veggies (especially cabbage), fish, casseroles, soups and stews, Dijon mustard or reduced-fat mayo to ease gas and bloating. You’ll also get the added benefit of speeding up the breakdown of carbs and proteins in the gut.

3. Pineapple and Papaya: These two tropical fruits contain the enzyme bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties and shrinks belly fat. Many women know the disappointment of having a waistline that spills over the top of her waistband. But think of taking your first steps toward a slimmer middle this way–to change your waistline you have to first change your mind. Think differently about food and make food choices that work for you, rather than against you.

4. Mint: An herb, yes, but this one goes the extra belly-fat burning mile. Mint leaves trigger the release of extra bile from the gallbladder, which is important because it helps the body to digest fat. For a quick remedy to belly bloat (maybe you want to ease into that little form-fitting black dress?) add 10 crushed mint leaves to 2-4 cups of roasted dandelion tea every day and you could lose two or more pounds in 10-14 days.

5. Dandelion Root: I like roasted dandelion root tea to beat belly fat. The dandelion root increases liver function, which flushes toxins and excess water from the belly area and in turn gives you a flatter tummy. Just 2-4 cups a day does the trick.

MOTIVATION FOR DAY 2 …

Don’t beat yourself up about making a mistake — when you know better, you do better. This business of living a healthy lifestyle is a process. The truth is, each day you open your eyes you have the grace of another chance. I’m rootin’ for ya!

Go With Dr. Ro to Lose Your Final 15!

You may know Fierce adviser and nutritionist Dr. Rovenia M. Brock from her regular appearances onThe Dr. Oz Show and The Meredith Vieira Show, or from her own health show, Heart & Soul, on BET. She has helped stars like Sherri Shepherd and everyday people alike drop millions of pounds, and now she’s sharing her best-ever diet plan in Lose Your Final 15.

Lose Your Final 15 is all about 15 days, 15 pounds and 15 servings. You can join Dr. Ro and other Fierce readers on our first phase, which starteded Monday, June 5, 2017. Missed the date? No worries. You can still join us. It’s never too late!

The plan is broken down into three, 15-day phases. In each phase, you will enjoy 15 servings of food per day. Dr. Ro teaches you to identify foods by their real serving size with easy at-a-glance charts and tables. You can then choose your 15 servings per day from the 45 delicious recipes developed by Dr. Ro to keep you satisfied and on track.

Beyond just diet, Lose Your Final 15 includes 15-minute meditation guides and exercise plans that fit into any schedule. With Dr. Ro as your guide, you will experience newfound vibrancy, health and happiness.

Check out the three steps below, and click this link to sign up for the challenge to receive personal support from Dr. Ro. Follow Dr. Ro and Fierce on social media for daily tips, and always check back here for invaluable information. Tell your friends and family. Let’s do this together! We challenge you!