At one point in our lives, belly fat causes trouble for most of us. It’s not just tight clothes, but belly fat can also pose serious health troubles. A type of belly fat, commonly known as visceral fat is the primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and several other health complications.
People who lead their lives with excess belly fat are at more risk of developing health complications early on in their lives. And losing belly fat is challenging, you need exercise, diet and most importantly you need discipline. To help you lose belly fat, we’ve come up with a list of tips and tricks that are backed by science.
Science Supported Tips for Losing Belly Fat
1. Increase a Soluble Fiber Diet
Soluble fiber absorbs a lot of water and forms a type of gel that slows down how fast the food passes through the digestive system. The more soluble fiber you eat, the fuller you feel, this way you end up eating less food. It can also decrease the number of calories your body absorbs from food.
Soluble fiber can help in belly fat loss. Some of the best high fiber foods that you should include in your diet are:
- Flax seeds
- Brussels sprouts
2. Avoid Food with Trans Fats
Trans fats happen by including hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil. Trans fats are available in spreads and are also added into packaged foods, but a lot of food producers have stopped using them.
These fats are known to increase inflammation, increase the risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain. To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, read ingredients carefully and avoid food products that contain trans fats.
3. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Limited consumption of alcohol can offer several health benefits but consuming too much alcohol can lead be extremely harmful. According to some studies, too much alcohol can be the reason behind belly fat gain.
To “lose belly fat“, you may want to consider cutting back on alcohol. You don’t have to give up on alcohol altogether, you just need to limit your consumption. People who had less than 1 drink a day had less belly fat than those who drank more.
4. High Protein Diet
Protein is one of the most crucial nutrients for maintaining good health. High protein intake increases the release of the fullness hormone PYY, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness of the body. A high protein diet boosts metabolism which helps you to retain muscle mass during weight loss.
Food items that contain high protein levels are:
- Whey protein
5. Reduce Stress Levels
Stress has a severe impact on our bodies and it can also make you gain belly fat. Higher levels of cortisol (stress hormone) increase appetite which directly leads to an increase in belly fat. Women that have a large waist, produce cortisol at a higher rate compared to others. Increased level of cortisol is directly related to belly fat increase.
6. Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar contains an ingredient known as fructose, and excess consumption of fructose can cause several chronic diseases. These chronic diseases include type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease. You should know how much sugar intake can lead to an increase in belly fat. If you can’t cut back on belly fat, then use natural sugar instead.
7. Include Cardio in Your Routine
Aerobic exercise or commonly known as cardio can significantly improve your health and help you lose belly fat. Cardio is one of the most effective types of exercise when you’re looking to lose belly fat. The intensity and specificity of your exercise should depend on the type of belly fat.
Regardless of that, the frequency and duration of your exercise regime are more important than its intensity.
8. Say No to Carbs
Carbs aren’t your friend, especially refined carbs. If your goal is to lose belly fat, then cutting back on carbs is very important. Diets with less than 50 grams of carbs daily can cause a significant loss of belly fat in people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes and in women with PCOS.
It’s necessary to build and follow a strict no-carb diet, just regulating the number of carbs you consume daily is enough. Just replacing refined carbs with unprocessed carbs can also improve metabolism.
9. Perform Resistance Training
Just like doing cardio, lifting weights (resistance training) can also help in building muscle and losing belly fat. According to some studies involving people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease, lifting weights can help in “belly fat loss”. If you decide to start lifting weight, then it’s a good idea to get help from a certified professional.
10. Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages are full of liquid fructose, which is one of the leading causes of belly fat gain. Sugary drinks lead to increased fat in the liver. Consuming sugary drinks on daily basis is worse than consuming high sugar foods.
To lose belly fat, you should avoid sugar-sweetened drinks such as:
- Sweet tea
- Alcoholic drinks containing sugar
11. Keep Track of Food Intake & Exercise
You can follow all the tips and tricks for belly fat loss, but if you end up consuming more calories than your body needs all the effort will be for nothing. If you can, you should keep a journal or use a food tracker app that can help you manage your calorie intake. To maintain the ideal body weight, you should use this technique.
Food-tracking tools can help you manage how much protein, carbs, fiber, and micronutrients you consume. Use this data in a combination with exercise and you can lose belly fat.
12. Eat Fatty Fish Weekly
Contrary to their name, fatty fish are incredibly healthy. They’re full of high-quality protein and omega-3 fats that protect you from diseases. According to some studies, consuming fatty fish can cause you to lose visceral fat.
You should try to get at least 2-3 servings of fatty fish every week, some of the best options include:
13. No Fruit Juice
While fruit juice offers a healthy supply of vitamins and minerals, they also contain almost the same amount of sugar as other artificial sweetener drinks. Drinking excess fruit juice can cause you to gain belly fat.
To help lose belly fat, you should try to replace fruit juice with water, unsweetened iced tea, sparkling water.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Diet
Drinking apple cider vinegar can provide incredible health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid which is known to reduce abdominal fat in some animal studies. Consuming 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day is safe and is required for losing belly fat. Make sure to dilute the vinegar into water, as consuming undiluted vinegar can rid your teeth of protective enamel.
15 Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been proven effective in weight loss and it also has other health benefits. For those who don’t know, it’s an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting.
Another method involves 24-hour fasts at least once or twice a week. Another method of fasting is to not eat anything for 16 hours every day and eat all the food in the remaining 8 hours. According to some studies, intermittent fasting is more beneficial for men as compared to women.
Conclusion: Tips for Belly Fat Loss
Losing belly fat is tough, if you don’t have all the steps figured out, then chances are all your efforts will be in vain. Follow all the tips we’ve mentioned above for losing body fat and you can see significant results.