Not only the people with obesity but even people with flat abs have some belly fat. And that’s quite normal. But having too much belly fat can be detrimental to our health in a way that another fat is not. Some fat rest under our skin while the others are deeper inside our lungs, liver, heart, and other organs. And that deeper fat is called visceral fat, which is a huge problem even for thin people. Thin people who don’t indulge in too many physical exercises sometimes have too much belly fat.
Though it is necessary to have some visceral fat to cushion our organs, having too much of it can lead to a rising risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, including colon cancer and breast cancer.
When our body starts gaining too much weight, it stores fat in unusual places. With increasing obesity, some people have stored fat in certain areas, such as around the heart. Even if you are thin, you still can have too much visceral fat around your heart. Therefore, it is pretty misleading as thin people with excess belly fat are prone to cardiovascular diseases like people with obesity.
Losing this fat from the belly is quite a difficult task, even for those who are dieting and exercising regularly to reduce their excess abdominal fat. And visceral fat is such a big issue because the fat in the waistline is visceral. This article will discuss some practical ways to lose belly fat backed by science.
13 Effective Ways Backed By Science That Will Help You Lose Belly Fat
Intake More Fiber:
Dietary fiber includes the parts of plant foods that our body cannot digest or absorb. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which are easy to break down and absorb, fiber is not digested by our bodies. Instead, it passes through our stomach, small intestine, and colon and gets excreted from our bodies. A high-fiber diet makes you feel full even by eating less and keeps you satisfied for longer. Moreover, high-fiber foods take a longer time to eat and are less energy dense, and they have fewer calories than the same volume of other foods.
Studies suggest that increasing your soluble dietary fiber intake reduces the risk of fat accumulation. Therefore, you become less likely to die from cardiovascular diseases and cancers. If you are not getting enough fiber daily, you can boost your intake by making good food choices, including fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grain products, and legumes.
Avoid Foods With Trans Fats:
One simple truth about trans fats is that it is double trouble for our heart’s health. Trans fat is the worst type of fat to consume. A diet of trans fats can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and type 2 diabetes. Those fats also harm our cholesterol levels. Baked goods such as cookies, cakes and pies, frozen pizzas, fried foods including doughnuts, fried chicken, French fries, stick margarine, and even non-dairy coffee creamer include trans fats. In many countries, foods with less than 0.5 grams of trans fats are labeled as 0 grams trans fats. Therefore, still, there are foods available in the market with hidden trans fats, and eating several servings of those foods is harmful to your health.
To keep your body healthy and lose belly fat, you must avoid foods that include trans fats. Choose trans-fat-free alternatives such as naturally occurring olive oil, corn oil, or canola oil. Eat plant-based meat and dairy alternatives and foods with monosaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids.
Stop Consuming Too Much Alcohol:
Though we have a good laugh at a family gathering having that poor cousin with a beer belly, beer belly is associated with numerous health complications and is hard to get rid of. Alongside beer, many other alcoholic drinks have high calories contributing to weight gain and accumulating fat throughout the body, including the belly.
Alcohol is indirectly responsible for the growing waistline. Sometimes, the food we consume with alcohol, such as nachos, pizzas, and other high-fat and high-calorie foods, makes our existing health complications even worse.
Unfortunately, drinking alcohol also interferes with our body’s ability to efficiently burn fat, making it even harder for you if you are trying to lose belly fat. However, you can notice changes in your bloated belly by keeping yourself sober for a few months. But remember, the time estimate may vary significantly from person to person.
Embrace A High Protein Diet:
Losing belly fat can be difficult if you are trying to do so without consuming adequate protein because protein is the one component that keeps control of your appetite. Protein takes a much longer time to break down as compared to other nutrients like carbohydrates. Therefore it plays a vital role in losing belly fat. Protein helps increase the energy you expend each day by increasing the calories you burn and building lean muscle mass.
The slow digestion of protein keeps you full for longer. Therefore, if you are trying to lose belly fat, you need to add protein-rich foods, including eggs, fatty fish, beans and legumes, full-fat dairy products, chia seeds, and almonds, as they are protein-rich and content with healthy fats and dietary fiber. You can also opt for yogurt and other protein-rich foods to make your meals rich in protein.
Focus On Stress Management:
When a person deals with chronic stress, they start gaining weight, especially around the midsection, called a stress belly. It happens because the stress hormone cortisol promotes fat storage in the belly, making it hard for people to lose belly fat. Believe it or not, when your stress level is off the chart, you will start noticing your belly becoming muchly bloated alongside other physical symptoms like tight shoulders, sleeping issues, headaches, and tension.
If you are dealing with belly fat and want to get rid of it as soon as possible, focus on activities that can release your stress. First, you need to identify what is making you feel stressed and take necessary actions such as creating a consistent sleep routine, boosting your fiber intake, sticking to a rigid workout schedule, or seeing a psychotherapist control your stress.
Cut On Sugary Foods:
Though many other things to improve to lose belly fat, you can start by focusing on changing your intake during the first meal of the day. One good way to improve your food choices is to eliminate sugary foods. Avoid taking juices and sugary drinks and replace them with water to dramatically cut down your sugar intake and gradually move towards cutting down on foods rich in sugar.
If you crave sweet savors after every meal, prefer eating berries, melon, or apple instead. But always remember that fruits can never be a substitute for vegetables.
Practice Aerobic Exercises Regularly:
Aerobic exercises are easy to practice, including walking, running, riding, etc. Though exercising is a proven method to lose fat from your body, not every form of exercise is effective for losing belly fat. People think losing the overall body weight must be the primary focus while getting a toned and taut tummy is the goal- the concept is not entirely correct. In fact, they need to practice some core-focused exercises that result in a strong and chiseled core.
The best aerobic exercises that work for the core can banish belly fat faster than other physical activities. It’s always suggested to work closely with a trainer or coach and let them know about your target of burning visceral fat; they will help you choose the suitable cardio activity and ensure you enjoy doing them.
Reduce Your Carb Intake:
Eliminating refined carbs like candies, white bread, and sugar can be highly beneficial, especially when losing belly fat. When you limit your daily carb intake to 50 grams, your goal of losing belly fat becomes more achievable as it puts your body into ketosis. In this state, your body starts burning fats and reduces your appetite. Low carb diets also have other health benefits as they can significantly improve the health of people with type 2 diabetes.
However, while eliminating carbs is believed to be beneficial for losing belly fat, some types of carbohydrates can be super helpful in losing belly fat. Carbs derived from foods in high soluble fiber, plain Greek yogurt, fermented foods, etc., are suggested by doctors to people trying hard to lose belly fat.
Perform Resistance Training:
Resistance training or weight training is an excellent high-intensity exercise routine that can help burn belly fat. Resistant training sessions are not time-consuming, but they still get your heart pumping and work for your entire body. Each routine must include pushing, squatting, pulling, deadlifting and loaded carries.
No matter what HIIT exercises you choose, consistently practicing resistance training will help you combat belly fat. Other high-intensity interval training includes burpees, push-ups, jump squats, etc. You can also try some exercises at home, such as leg lifts, abdominal crunches, bicycle crunches, etc.
Resistance training helps burn off more calories than fat does when your body is resting. As a result, your belly becomes toned faster. Studies show that resistance training that includes wet training decreases fat and boosts metabolism simultaneously.
Avoid Sweetened Beverages:
Frequently drinking sweetened beverages is associated with obesity, heart diseases, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, kidney diseases, and more. Therefore, if you’re trying to lose your belly fat, limiting the intake of sugary drinks is mandatory to have a healthy dietary pattern. Sugar-sweetened beverages mean every liquid sweetened by adding sugars like corn sweetener, brown sugar, fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, and raw sugar. And the examples of sweetened beverages are not limited to fruit drinks or energy drinks but even sweetened waters.
Therefore, while trying to lose belly fat, you need to rethink the beverages you are intaking. Sweetened beverages are a source of added sugars in your diet, and people who often drink those beverages are more likely to face significant health problems. The better way to avoid those sweetened beverages is to choose water over sugary drinks. If you need any flavor, you can add slices of lemon, cucumber, or berries to the water. And if you find it hard to reduce the habit of drinking sweetened beverages, don’t stock up on those beverages and replace them with water bottles in the fridge.
Get Adequate Sleep:
If you are trying to lose belly fat, your daily sleep is as significant as your diet and exercise. Unfortunately, very few people get enough sleep, and about 35% of adults sleep fewer than 7 hours most nights. There is ample evidence that sleep is the factor people forget toconsiderwhen they have difficulty losing belly fat.
Short sleep cycles are linked to higher body mass index and obesity. Lack of sleep also negatively affects hunger, influencing a person to consume more calories from high sugar and high-fat foods.
Start getting enough sleep, and you will prevent increases in calorie intake and appetite generally happening when a person is sleep-deprived. After an excellent whole night’s sleep, you will be more mindful and make healthier food choices, which will reward you with a better body.
Keep Track Of Your Foods:
It will be a complete novel if we start discussing all the benefits of tracking your daily food intake. But all we can say is that tracking your food intake will give you insights into many aspects of your eating habits. You will begin to notice what food groups you eat more and what you miss. Suppose you are unsure about what you are eating. In that case, it is necessary to educate yourself about the food groups and choose the ones that provide you with enough nutrients and help in your ultimate goal of losing belly fat.
When tracking your foods, we also consider tracking all the little extras, including the casual beverages you sip while driving to the office.
Alter Your Lifestyle:
You don’t only want to lose belly fat taking all the time in this world, but you want to lose belly fat faster. Even though different people lose belly fat differently, you can achieve your goal with specific lifestyle changes, which will take you close to your goal faster.
Drinking water is the first tip we want to give you to maintain good health, alongside drinking green tea, detox water, black tea, and black coffee. Those drinks are great for your health as they keep you fuller for longer intervals of time and prevent you from eating unhealthy stuff.
Last but not least, reduce your salt intake as the sodium present in salt slows down the metabolism making it difficult for one to lose belly fat. We also recommend having dinner before 8:00 PM as the metabolism slows down as the day progresses, making it challenging for the body to digest foods.
There is no magic wand that can help you lose belly fat overnight. It will require extreme dedication, effort, perseverance, and commitment to bring sustainable and long-lasting results. Successfully adopting the strategies and lifestyle goals discussed in this article will help you lose the extra pounds around your waist.