Do you have belly fat hanging around that you just can’t get rid of? This post shares 15 helpful tips to lose belly fat, so you can feel better in your body and confident about your health.
Belly fat is a pain. I know it – I’ve been there and I’ve had it. I know just how you feel. You diet, you exercise, and yet you feel like you are getting nowhere. We can change that, my friends. I get tons of emails and requests for tips to lose belly fat so I’ve decided to dedicate an entire post to it. We’re gonna talk about annoying belly fat and give you the encouragement you need to kick it to the curb.
Cuz it can be done. It’s possible. And I know for certain, it doesn’t take a whole lotta magic. In fact, this post tells you how to lose belly fat based on science – because I know that the science behind weight loss, being healthy, and all that is the way to go. Once you know what to do and why, the rest will come together. So let’s get to it!
What is belly fat and why is it bad?
Belly fat is just like it sounds. Belly fat is an accumulation of tissue in the abdomen. You’ve got subcutaneous fat and visceral fat (that one being the especially dangerous type) that build up, making your clothes tight and bringing about other complications. Eating a healthy diet and exercising 30 minutes a day can have a very positive influence on fat accumulation.
What does an accumulation of fat in the abdominal area do? This fat build-up can cause:
- High blood pressure
- High levels of lipids in the blood
- Heart disease
- Insulin resistance
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- Fatty liver disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Why is my stomach big?
Belly fat accumulates for a lot of reasons. Even skinny people can have belly fat, in particular the visceral fat I was talking about earlier. This body fat tends to build up around the organs like the liver.
- Trans fats: Packaged goods, for example, are often full of trans fats and that’s why when people switch to a clean-eating diet, they often lose weight.
- Being sedentary: It’s been proven that being sedentary can add to the problem of fat build-up around the middle.
- Not getting enough sleep: Not taking the time to get adequate rest at night? You may be setting yourself up for belly fat gain.
- Too much sugar: With so many hidden sugars in foods, it’s really easy to take in way more than you should. Sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the main culprits. Cutting out sugar can help you lose overall body fat, as well as inches around the hips and waist.
Does alcohol cause belly fat?
Alcohol can definitely cause belly fat; scientific studies have backed that statement up for years. Sure, alcohol like wine is fine in moderation, but overdoing it with the drinking can lead to belly fat pretty quickly. Less than one drink a day shouldn’t cause belly fat, but drinking 4 or more drinks a day often will certainly contribute. Trying to lose abdominal fat? Watch your alcohol intake and you’ll see results.
What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat?
Fiber is really useful when it comes to burning fat. This is for a few reasons, such as it fills you up so that you eat less. Studies show that fiber gets rid of inflammation in the digestive system too. Besides the fiber in the black beans heading this list, 5 foods burn belly fat fast.
- Black beans
- Red bell peppers have Vitamin C that oxidizes fat
- Apple cider vinegar – you know how I LOVE my ACV
- Yogurt (it’s associated with lower BMI and smaller waist circumference – yay for yogurt)
- Salmon has polyunsaturated fat, which is a good fat.
What exercises burn belly fat in a week?
Exercise classified as HIIT will burn fat the fastest. High-intensity interval training is great because it can be done in short spurts and burns more calories because you are working harder. For instance, 10 minutes of sprints up a hill will have more effect than a 10 minute walk. In this study, you’ll see that high-intensity interval exercise may reduce body fat pretty quickly – and that translates to burning abdominal fat too.
I know for some, it seems near impossible to fit exercise onto an already busy day. Take a look at my post on exercise, my post on boosting your metabolism, and my video on how to exercise effectively right at home!
I recommend adding several sprints to your daily walk. If you cycle, alternate fast cycling sessions of several seconds with moderate sessions. Other cardio related exercises that will help you burn belly fat in a week are burpees, jumping jacks, and pushups.
Remember to take it slow – don’t overdo your first attempt and risk injury. No impact exercises like planks and sit-ups for the core muscles will help also, but don’t look to spot exercises only for targeting the abdominal muscles. Trying a resistance band workout is also an excellent idea because weight lifting and resistance training both burn belly fat too.
What is the fastest way to burn your belly fat?
1. Eat fiber. Eating soluble fiber (pears, oats, kidney beans, figs, and more) is one of the best ways to not accumulate fat. Science tells us fiber slows down the digestive process, boosts satiety, and reduces the risk of diseases like obesity and cancer.
2. Eat clean. This means eating foods like whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, fresh vegetables and fruits, and healthy carbs such as quinoa, oats, and black beans. Healthy carb diets have been scientifically proven to give you a flat stomach in no time.
3. Give intermittent fasting a go. I’ve been following an intermittent fasting regimen for a while now and it’s helped me take a lot of inches off my waistline. Intermittent fasting is a good way to improve your body mass index and waist and hip circumference, according to clinical trials.
4. Drink green tea. Take a look at my post on the benefits of green tea. It’s loaded with fat-burning properties and is an antioxidant. Caffeine and antioxidants like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have anti-inflammatory properties. EGCG also plays an important part in disease control.
5. Drink apple cider vinegar. This is another way that I was able to burn fat and slim down. I drink apple cider vinegar just about every day. Studies show that people who took apple cider daily lost inches off their waists.
6. Eat probiotic foods. Fermented and probiotic foods can play a part in reducing belly fat. It’s been proven by science the bacteria in probiotic foods improve gut health and may help with weight loss. Want to learn more? Read these posts: 9 Shocking Benefits of Sauerkraut and The 8 Best Fermented Foods + Why Fermented Foods Are Good For You.
7. Enjoy fatty fish. Studies have shown that the omega-3s in fish may reduce visceral fat, particularly that found around the liver. Salmon is one of my favorites; it’s delicious and works great for meal prep too!
8. Drink water. I suggest you give up sugar-laden drinks and replace them with water. A study of over 2500 adults showed that diet sodas were associated with abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue. This fat collects on the belly, hips, and thighs – and the butt too! Fruit juices and sodas are just empty calories. Instead of fruit juice, grab fresh fruit. And ditch the soda altogether.
9. Get the required amount of sleep. I go into lots of detail about sleep and weight loss here, but in a nutshell, studies have proven that a lack of zzz’s can lead to weight gain. If you take a tape measure and look at your waist size and then work on getting adequate rest, you’ll see results. In this study, participants under 40 took part and results showed sleep duration had an effect on waist size.
10. Use coconut oil. I’m a big fan of coconut oil and use it in a lot of my recipes. It’s proven in this study that coconut oil may help you lose fat around the middle. Reducing calories, walking 50 minutes a day and taking coconut oil were things shown to reduce belly fat.
11. Cut out refined carbs. What do I mean by that? Refined flours, sweet desserts, and snack foods are the bad carbs you need to avoid. Scientific trials have shown that an increase in visceral fat and false hunger signals result from too many refined carbs. Go for healthy options like quinoa and oats. Bananas and sweet potatoes are healthier alternatives to empty carbs.
12. Avoid sugar. I’ve got a sweet tooth, I’ll admit. But I satisfy that little fact with things like healthy desserts (think chocolate chia pudding and a nice piece of fresh fruit). And if you’ve gotta use a sweetener, opt for the healthiest one you can find. In a recent study, it was determined that body fat can increase even without weight gain, all because of high sugar diets.
13. Eat lots of protein. If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I am big on protein. I’ve got a lot of informative posts on the blog about high protein snacks, protein powder, and even high protein smoothies. Protein is extremely important to our health, raises our metabolic rate, and helps to decrease appetite for unhealthy foods. And, people who eat adequate protein tend to have less abdominal fat. Bonus!
14. Don’t eat trans fats. This kind of goes part and parcel with eating clean. Trans fats are found in packaged foods and not-so-good stuff like frozen pizza and fries. Scientific trials have shown that trans fats do have an effect on body fat, giving the pear and apple-shaped look, with a thicker waist.
15. Drink wisely. If you choose to indulge in a drink now and then, you can do so. But excessive amounts of alcohol are bad for you and the calories add up pretty quickly. One glass of wine can add 100-120 calories to your intake (and that’s a 5-ounce glass, not an 8-ounce one!). Alcohol can add inches to your waistline if you don’t watch out. How? Alcohol consumption is directly correlated with how fat is distributed. That means visceral fat in the abdomen – obvious belly fat.
Does a hormonal belly go away?
Yes, you can rid the body of a hormonal belly. A question I often hear is how do you lose hormonal weight gain? Well, choosing to eat the 5 foods to lose belly fat mentioned above is a start.
But it is also essential to talk about the stress hormone cortisol. If you are stressed, you will produce more cortisol. Cortisol leads the body to store more fat, and it’s typically seen in the belly first. Cortisol has many functions, including reducing inflammation and controlling blood sugar levels. But too much cortisol can lead to lightheadedness, sweating, shaking – and yes, extra belly fat.
It’s a good idea to seek medical advice if you are under too much stress, not just for the abdominal fat but for your overall health. Prevention of stress (try things like meditation, yoga, and yes, HIIT) is something you should do for yourself, along with eating clean and taking time for self care. These things, in combo with the 15 tips to lose belly fat will see you reduce your waist size in no time.
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