By Mike Arciprete Special to The Pineapple Belly fat. Its sneaky and shows up out of nowhere like someone you don’t like. And to make matters worse – it’s hard to lose. So what do we do to get rid of belly fat and to keep it from coming back? A thousand crunches a day? A new diet pill? Or how about the old starve yourself for a week routine? Trust me, none of those work and they can even be harmful to your body. Over the years, during my quest to stay lean and gain energy, I’ve tried many different methods. Most of them worked, but only temporarily. The one thing I guarantee will change your overall body, rid you of belly fat, and give you lasting energy is simply “eating clean”. So you’re probably wondering what exactly is eating clean, and how will this flatten my mid section? Not eating Processed foods Basically, staying away from canned or boxed foods unless they have a non-GMO label on them. Going organic, eating more raw vegetables, while pumping up your anti-oxidants with super foods like acai-berries and raw cacao is eating clean 101. Flush your system Drinking plenty of water is a great way to flush your body of harmful chemicals, along with decreasing your sugar and salt intake. You can handle the truth! There are no short cuts. The true way to health starts with knowing what you are eating. If you don’t know what something on a food label means, then why would you eat it? We all have smart phones now, Google it! Everyone’s body is different, and your work schedule may be different then mine. You may have 6 kids and have no time, who knows! But your eating habits must change for any sustaining results. On top of that, now you have to train! I don’t like saying, “working out” or “exercising”. Train your body for a purpose and have a goal. If you don’t have a goal set for what you want for your body, you probably will never achieve it. No matter what your routine is, weight training, running, yoga or Pilates, do it with a goal in mind, and push yourself. Here’s what I do to maintain my abdominals and have lasting energy. 1. Eat Clean at least 5 days a week. 2. Try not to eat past 8:00 pm 3. Train Insane EVERY time! Train early morning on an empty stomach twice a week. This will burn the body fat stored from the day before. Drink water. 4. Incorporate Yoga or Pilates into your life. 5. Cut down on your coffee intake, drink water instead. You want your body to begin to have natural energy. 6. Always start your day with a positive attitude. Listen, I’m NO expert but since I began eating clean I have little, to no belly fat. More importantly I have lasting energy, which helps me while on duty as a firefighter, and all other aspects of my life. Your focus will improve and so will your attitude. I say it again and again, “our body wants to be healthy, so give it what it needs”. It’s little changes that make big differences. Oh, and don’t forget to have a cheat day a least once a week. If you’re putting in the hard work, treat yourself! With all the great places to eat in Delray and NYC…..we deserve it! Email me any questions, ideas or thoughts or to just say hello! firstname.lastname@example.org Mike Arciprete is a NYC Firefighter, Certified PT, Clean Eating Coach, Musician, and loves Delray Beach, cooking and tattoos.