How to lose belly fat fast and keep it off for good.
We reveal 17 top tips to fast track your belly fast weight loss.
Losing Belly fat is hard work. Stomach fat (known as visceral body fat) is stubborn.
It’s also dangerous.
Visceral fat has been identified as a major risk factor for heart disease, metabolic disease, and Type 2 diabetes.
To get rid of belly fat, it requires consistency, dedication, and patience.
And it takes knowledge.
Though there are no shortcuts to real, permanent fat loss, it will come more quickly to those with the insider knowledge to ramp up their body’s thermogenic effect, restore the body’s balance and attain optimum health.
Here are 17 key tips on how to lose belly fat. We include foods that burn belly fat, habits to improve your BMI (body mass index) and exercise to lose belly fat.
1. Increase Your Fiber Intake
The more soluble fiber you add to your diet, the more belly fat you will be able to lose. That’s because fiber will help to keep down your blood sugar levels. As a result, you will have stable insulin levels (1).
Fiber is also very filling, while also acting as a natural cleanser for the body. It improves digestion and helps to remove waste from the body.
Fiber has even been shown to directly impact belly fat loss. A 2011 study found a 10-gram increase in the intake of soluble fiber decreased belly fat gain by 3.7% over a period of 5 years (2).
Add high fiber foods to your diet to get an adequate intake of soluble fiber. Best soluble fiber-rich foods include:
- Bright colored Vegetables
- Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
- Beans, Lentils, and Legumes
2. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
It’s no surprise that overindulging in alcohol can lead to a ‘beer gut’ (3).
If you’re serious about getting rid of visceral body fat, you need to cut back on the booze. Limit yourself to one drink per day, including on the weekends!
3. Start Weight Training
Want a secret ingredient to allow you to totally transform your body and put your belly fat burning efforts into hyper-drive?
Well, it’s not so secret, but it is still hugely under-appreciated.
Most people connect lifting weights with building muscles. Sure, they’ll do that. But they’ll also burn fat and help you lose weight(4).
Exercising with weight resistance also releases hormones, such as testosterone and human growth hormone, that promote fat loss.
In fact, recent studies show that, if done smartly, weight training can burn more calories than most forms of cardiovascular exercise.
In addition to weight training, perform cardio 3X per week. So what exercise burns the most belly fat? The answer is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Completely new to exercising and fitness? You can start by average two days a week of physical activity with or without weights. It’ll help you build the strength you need for weight training and HIIT.
4. Meal Prep
Meal Prepping is one of the secrets to staying on track with your smart eating plan. It involves spending a couple of hours, normally on the weekend, to prepare your meals for the week.
This makes it so much easier for you to reach for healthy choices that abide by your macronutrient guidelines. Meal prepping will also make it far less likely that you will revert back to unhealthy eating habits.
This new routine alone can help reduce your calorie intake and help develop good eating habits that’ll help you lose weight and belly fat.
To prep healthy meals, be sure to include plenty of health-boosting foods that fight off tummy fat.
What Foods Help Burn Belly Fat?
Here are 10 best foods to eat to lose belly fat:
- Greek yogurt
- Whole grains
- Green tea (unsweetened)
- Lean protein
5. Drink More Water
It is very easy to mistake hunger for thirst.
That’s why staying hydrated is an essential part of a healthy weight loss plan. But drinking water can also help to boost your metabolism. In a study, participants saw a 30% increase in their metabolism simply by drinking 16 ounces of water daily (5).
Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Sip from it regularly to keep yourself full. Having water regularly swilling around your mouth will be a healthy substitute for the chewing action of eating.
Sipping water will also help you to satisfy your thirst, rather than mistaking the sensation for hunger.
Having a glass of water before each meal is an effective eating habit both to lose weight and get rid of belly fat.
6. Avoid Liquid Calories
There are some serious problems with liquid calories.
A lot of weight loss shakes contain refined sugars to add flavor. Others have added preservatives as a flavor and mixability enhancers. Studies have also shown that people who eat solid food have an increased level of satiety when compared to those who take meal replacement drinks.
A 2007 study gave test subjects either a solid food meal or a meal replacement and then followed their level of satiety over the next 4 hours (6).
The solid food group had far greater satiety levels. In fact, from a chemical perspective, the bodies of the meal replacement group didn’t even know that they had eaten.
If you are searching for how to lose fat belly the easiest way, this would be it. Avoid hefty calories from drinks by sticking to weight-loss-friendly drinks like green tea, water, and black coffee. It’s one change you can make instantly for your belly fat and more.
7. Stay Away From Trans Fats
Trans fatty acids result when hydrogen is added to unsaturated fats as well as being linked to heart disease, and insulin resistance. They have also been shown to increase belly fat.
One study indicated that a high trans-fat diet can result in a 33% increase in abdominal fat (7).
To avoid trans fast, become a label reader. If it lists trans fats, put it back on the shelf.
8. Carry Healthy Snacks
Being able to anticipate and prepare for when you’re going to be hungry throughout the day is a key strategy for successful weight loss. Having home-prepared snacks ready to eat can be a lifesaver when those hunger pangs strike.
It’s an effective way to keep your eating clean and help reduce excessive calories and sugar-laden carbs.
Here are five simple snacks that work well:
- Apple chips
- A healthy smoothie
- A hard-boiled egg
- A small tin of tuna (packed in water)
9. Ditch the Processed Grains
Pasta, bread, bagels, and cereal are all processed grains. Milling, refining and bleaching the grains decreases their nutritional value while increasing the calorie’s density.
Whole grain varieties are better because they retain some of the nutrients and fiber, but even these are somewhat processed and may be high in calories.
From now on, eat only whole grains. That means:
- No white rice
- No white flour
- No white pasta
10. Eat More Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats have the ability to reduce blood cholesterol levels and insulin levels. The best food sources of monounsaturated fats are:
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Peanut Oil
Make conscious efforts to get healthier fats and oils. Fats are one macro that can either help you lose abdominal fat or gain it. Be sure to check the labels to make the right selection.
11. Eat More Omega-3 Fats
Getting more Omega 3 fatty acids into your body will revolutionize the way your body looks, feels and acts, especially in relation to weight loss (8).
Here’s what upping your Omega 3 content will do for you . . .
- Improve your insulin sensitivity
- Help to burn fat
- Speed up your metabolism
- Depress the production of cortisol
- Give you more energy
- Help to build muscle
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish. Eating 2-3 servings of fish per week is recommended, but if you don’t eat fish, there are supplements. You may take omega 3s in the form of supplements and gels. You can buy them from a health store near you.
As a bonus benefit, omegas are also known to benefit your mind and brain. Get the recommended amounts to add a boost to your brainpower!
12. Do A Detox
A 14-day detox is a great way to cleanse your body of toxins, stress, and other impurities. And it’s not just for losing weight. This can effectively open the floodgates to losing fat.
Cleansing the right way is not about your body starving. It is about providing the right nutrients that help to flush out the toxins, bringing your body back into its natural balance.
It also serves as a way to jumpstart your new clean eating habits and weight loss efforts.
13. Eat More Coconut Oil
The humble coconut has been the subject of much research lately. Many of these have been concentrated around their ability to help people lose weight.
Unlike long-chain fatty acids, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil do not circulate in the bloodstream. Instead, they are directed to the liver where they are converted into energy. So, rather than storing the fats from coconut oil as fat, your body uses them to produce energy.
Studies have shown that substituting oils containing long-chain fatty acids (olive oil) with oils comprised of medium-chain fatty acids (coconut oil) results in more fat loss.
Coconut oil is especially beneficial for losing fat around the abdominal area, where visceral fat accumulates.
Visceral fat is the most dangerous fat there is, as it is associated with many diseases.
In a recent study, women with high levels of abdominal fat supplemented their diets with one ounce of coconut oil per day. After 12 weeks, they had a significant reduction in both their BMI and their waist circumference (9).
This was done in the absence of exercise or dieting. It was all down to the coconut oil.
14. Add Herbs to Your Diet
Research over the last decade or so has revealed that a number of herbs that been used by native peoples around the world are excellent weight loss aids. Here are 3 of the best . . .
Other herbs like cilantro, parsley, and basils are also full of nutrients and antioxidants. They also add great flavor to any dish, making them a calorie-free way to enhance your meals. Not to mention, they are fairly cheap to get and may last several days or more in the fridge.
15. Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein does more than help you build muscle; it also assists in fat loss (10).
That’s because protein is very filling, decreases your appetite and has the highest thermogenic effect of all the macronutrients. That means that it takes more calories to digest than fats or carbs.
The muscle-building potential of protein when combined with weight training (see Tip # 3 ), also helps to reduce belly fat. That’s because muscle requires five times as many calories as body fat to maintain yourself. So, the more muscular you are, the leaner you will be!
What’s the right protein portion? 3-4 oz of lean protein is recommended per serving.
16. Create a Weekly Menu
Your weight loss plan will never succeed if you are constantly wondering what your next meal will be. It’s much better to plan your entire week’s meals in advance. From there you can write out your shopping list and take it with you when you hit the grocery store. That way, you’ll have everything that you need right in the kitchen to create the foods that you want.
17. Go Easy on Yourself
When you try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you are going in the opposite direction to the majority of people out there. You’re also facing an environment that will put temptations in front of you all day long. To expect yourself to never slip up is an unrealistic goal. One unwise food choice will not ruin your progress.
The point here is that you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you make an unwise decision or end up skipping a workout. Your success will come from establishing lifetime habits that are sustained over the long term. A little stumble here or there will not curtail your results – unless you allow it to!
Is It Really Possible to Lose Belly Fat?
If you’ve struggled to lose belly fat in the past, you may be feeling discouraged to make another attempt.
But don’t let your past experiences get in the way of your success.
The general information related to belly fat out there can be confusing. Not to mention, it’s easy to come across a fat burning guide that’s simply not effective.
But the truth is, it is really possible to lose belly fat. But the catch is, that you need the right strategies that are well supported by science and medical studies.
In this article, we listed science-backed tips and strategies that have worked on many people.
Start following the ones you can to begin reducing your visceral fat and improving overall health.
The 17 tips covered here should be built around a low carbohydrates diet, that eliminates refined carbs and sugar and emphasizes healthy fats and protein. This will help you to achieve the state of ketosis, which will have your body using stored belly fat for energy.
Your goal is to lose belly fat and keep it off, over the long term. The best way to do that is to make gradual, sustainable changes, one at a time. Rather than jumping in with all 17 of our tips in the first week, work through them gradually. That way, you’ll be able to lose the belly fat and keep it off for good.
- (1) Burton-Freeman, B. “Dietary Fiber and Energy Regulation.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10721886.
- (2) Hairston, Kristen G, et al. “Lifestyle Factors and 5-Year Abdominal Fat Accumulation in a Minority Cohort: the IRAS Family Study.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856431/.
- (3) Schröder, Helmut, et al. “Relationship of Abdominal Obesity with Alcohol Consumption at Population Scale.” European Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17885722.
- (4) Roeder, Amy. “Using Weights to Target Belly Fat.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 6 Mar. 2019, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/12/using-weights-to-target-belly-fat/.
- (5) Boschmann, Michael, et al. “Water-Induced Thermogenesis.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14671205.
- (6) Stull, April J, et al. “Liquid and Solid Meal Replacement Products Differentially Affect Postprandial Appetite and Food Intake in Older Adults.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2556245/.
- (7) Dorfman, Suzanne E, et al. “Metabolic Implications of Dietary Trans-Fatty Acids.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19584878.
- (8) Zivkovic, Angela M, et al. “Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Aid in the Modulation of Inflammation and Metabolic Health.” California Agriculture, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24860193.
- (9) Assunção, Monica L, et al. “Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity.” Lipids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058/.
- (10) Batterham, Rachel L, et al. “Critical Role for Peptide YY in Protein-Mediated Satiation and Body-Weight Regulation.” Cell Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16950139.