Belly fat is not just bad for your health, it also looks bad. It has been linked with diabetes and heart disease. 1 A latest study published in July 2019 in the Obesity Journal has linked waist circumference with thickening of aorta walls, which increases risk for cardiovascular disease. 2
It is exactly this reason that losing belly fat can be the best thing you can do to your body.
So when do we know that belly fat is excess of the recommendation. According to Australian Heart Foundation your health is at risk if your belly/waist size is more than 37 inches in case of a male and 31.5 for females.
If you are one of those who have a lot of excess belly fat, then you need to take stops to shed belly fat because it will not only help you look better but also live longer.
Now that we have got you convinced that you need to get rid of stubborn belly fat, here are 10 science based ways to lose belly fat.
1. Avoid Sugar and Sugar Sweetened Drinks
The first promise you need to make to yourself is to limit sugar intake in your diet. And you will start with totally putting a ban on sweetened beverages like soda or all such drinks. Even fruit juices are unhealthy.
However, you can eat sweet fruits because they are treated differently by the body and do not produce insulin spikes.
2. Eat Food That Burns Fat
Take a detailed look at what you are eating and shift away from processed foods to natural fat burners. These foods increase metabolism and help burn more calories. Some of the foods that you may consider to shed belly fat are:
- Green tea
- Oily fish like salmon
3. Ditch Foods That Cause Belly Fat
If you are interested in knowing how to get flat stomach, you will need to not only cut back on refined sugars but also certain other foods which cause stomach fat. Processed foods and high carb foods top that list.
A Canadian study has found that those who consume processed food are 32 percent more likely to have obesity. 6
A recent study has also strengthened the observation that a low carb diet reduces belly fat, body weight, cholesterol and triglycerides. 7
Alcohol is also something that you need to watch if you are looking for ways to lose belly fat. We all have heard of beer belly. So drink in moderation
4. Eat More Protein to Reduce Belly Fat
When it comes to losing weight, protein plays the most important role. It not only makes you feel fuller for longer which means you are not as often hungry but it also helps build muscle. 8
And more muscles mean more burning of calories even at resting state because muscles have higher metabolism than fat.
Another study has found an inverse relationship with eating high quality protein diet and central abdominal fat. 9
Try to get your protein from healthy sources like fish, poultry, turkey, and lean meat.
5. Start Exercise
Exercise has been described as a medicine for belly fat reduction. 10 There is scientific agreement that exercise produces improves overall health and if you do moderate exercise for 40 minutes at least 5 days a week, you not only lose weight but you also are able to lose weight and keep it off.
However, take note that exercise should be comprehensive and include aerobic and muscle training. Spot reduction does not work which means that you can not just target belly muscles and hope to shed belly fat only.
Some of the exercises that can be in the list of ways to lose belly fat are:
- brisk walk
- interval training
- lifting weights
6. Get Quality Sleep
Running a sleep deficit not only makes you eat more to stay active but you also end up eating unhealthy foods at odd hours of night. 11 Therefore, improving quality and quantity of sleep is one of the methods to lose belly fat.
Get enough sleep of at least 6 hours. Try to follow a sleep schedule and ideally develop a habit of waking up early.
7. Eat More Fiber
Our shift to fast food has dramatically decreased the amount of fiber in our diet. Fiber makes you feel fuller, suppresses unnecessary hunger and improves your health with benefits for better bowel movements and reduction in cholesterol. 12
In fact the best effect on weight loss is triggered by soluble fiber which is found in foods like oats, vegetables, fruits and legumes. You can also use a supplement like glucomannan which is an excellent source of fiber
8. Avoid Stress
We are familiar with how stress leads to mindless and low quality overeating. And stress has been shown to cause weight gain in the abdominal region.
Some of the best ways to reduce stress in your life is to exercise, build social relationships, do meditation and spend time with family.
9. Dont Skip Breakfast
Science is not conclusive on whether skipping breakfast leads to weight gain but it is certain that skipping breakfast leads to high blood glucose fluctuations which is one of the reasons for belly weight gain.
Moreover, you are more likely to eat junk at work if you have skipped breakfast. 13 Have a high protein in the morning and you will eat less during the day which is a sure way to lose belly fat.
10. Cut Carbs
Numerous studies have shown that cutting carbs from diet gives immediate fat loss results. In fact it is carbs and not fats that are the real reason for belly fat.
What is best about low carb diets is that they have direct effect on visceral fat which is the belly fat. 14
Coupled with high protein diet, it is one the best ways to lose belly fat. If you can just avoid refined carbs like bread, candy, sugar etc, it should be sufficient to help you shed belly fat.
You might want to fit in your old pants or your doctor may have advised you that it is time for you to get in shape, by taking cue from above simple ways to lose belly fat, you can start that journey today.
In the end it boils down to three things: watch your diet, get moving and get enough sleep.