If you are looking for ways to lose your belly fat, we got some tips and tricks to help you.
Losing belly fat is important not just for aesthetic reasons, but for your health.
Excess abdominal fat, particularly the deep visceral fat that surrounds your organs is the most dangerous fat in your body.
It's a predictor of many metabolic syndromes.
Diabetes UK associated "visceral belly fat" with health problems such as:
Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even breast cancer.
Harvard Health reports every 2 inches of additional waist size raises your risk for cardiovascular disease by 10%.
This also goes for thin people.
If you have excess belly fat even if you are slim, you can be at risk as well.
The simplest ways to know whether you carry excess fat is to measure your abdominal fat.
You can do this by measuring your waist at the navel level.
Here's how to measure your belly fat:
Keeping your abdomen relaxed, measure your waist with a tape measure.
Next, measure your hips at the widest point, usually at the bony prominences.
Divide your waist size by your hip size:
- Waist (in inches) / Hip (in inches) = Waist-to-Hip Ratio
- For women, anything above 0.85 poses a health risk.
- For men, 0.95 and above is where the risk starts to rise.
Another method to measure belly fat is the waist circumference.
This one involves one instead of two steps.
Follow the steps below.
Take your shoes off and stand with your feet together. Be sure your belly is bare. Relax and exhale.
- Using a simple measuring tape, measure your waist a the navel.
- Record the measurement to the nearest one-tenth of an inch.
- See the belly fat chart below to compare your results.
Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity.
If you have excess belly fat regardless of your figure, it is important that you take every measure to reduce it.
Here, I outlined some healthy tips and tricks to help you lose your belly.
1. Clean Up Your Diet
You've probably heard the saying "abs are made in the kitchen".
This statement could not be truer.
Your diet is the number one factor in losing belly fat and getting flat abs.
That means you need to remove the sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol from your diet.
These foods and beverages have been linked to abdominal obesity.
Cutting them may help reduce your belly fat.
Instead, base your diet on whole foods.
Foods like fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meats, fish, and eggs are to be included.
These foods are high in fiber, potassium, omega 3 fatty acids, and are in low sodium.
All essential nutrients that support your health and reduce your abdominal fat.
2. Give Up Added Sugar
If there's one food that increases the fat around your belly is added sugar.
Did you know the average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar per year?
That’s a lot of sugar, especially when added sugar only adds calories without any nutritional values.
Added sugar provides no dietary benefits to your body and health.
It's extremely unhealthy and harmful. It also adds fat to your abdominal.
Sugar contains glucose and fructose.
While glucose gets used by the body as an energy source, fructose can only get converted to energy by the liver.
Because of that, when you consume sugar in excess, it gets overloaded and converted into fat.
Consuming fructose-sweetener has been linked to abdominal obesity as well as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, even liver problems.
Limiting your added sugar will not only help you lose belly fat but also reduce your risk of many health issues.
3. Cut Back on Carbs
Even the modest reduction in carbohydrates can help you lose fat, including belly fat.
What's even greater is amongst overweight people, diets with less than 50g of carbohydrates a day can lead to a greater loss of belly fat.
I'm not suggesting to go on an extremely low-carb diet. This just shows how replacing processed carbs with unprocessed carbs can help reduce your visceral fat.
According to one study, those who eat whole grains over refined grains have less chance of having belly fat by whopping 17%.
The takeaway here is simple. Cut down on carbs, especially refined carbs to reduce abdominal fat.
In addition to the reduction of belly fat, a low carb diet also offers numerous other health benefits.
4. Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods
One of the simplest ways to lose belly fat is to eat a diet rich in dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the body.
It's categorized into two types —insoluble fiber and soluble fiber.
What's different is how they react to water in the body.
Insoluble fiber is water resistant. What it does is to bulk up your stool and make it easier to pass it to the gut.
It's the type of fiber that helps you be regular.
Soluble fiber, on the other hand, blends with water and become gel-like and slows down the release of digested food in the gut.
Most common foods with soluble fiber are oat bran, nuts, lentils, barley, peas, and even some veggies and fruits.
Soluble fiber helps with losing belly fat and preventing a fat gain around the midsection.
One study shows an increase in intake of soluble fiber by 10 grams daily can drop your risk of adding stomach fat by 3.7%.
To wrap up, add more soluble fiber to your diet to reduce your belly fat and prevent gaining more!
5. Drink Green Tea
Green tea it’s one of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
It contains catechins, which is a fat burner that blasts the belly fat tissues.
It does this by upping your metabolism and releasing more stored fat to the bloodstream. Together, it leads to your liver's fat burning capacity.
Green tea also contains antioxidants called polyphenols.
Polyphenols are responsible for the beverage’s possible role in increasing fat burning.
This is well documented in a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
They found that green tea not only leaves positive effects on weight, but also on belly fat reduction.
These findings revealed how green may help combat and reduce belly fat.
6. Do Cardio (Aerobic) Exercise Regularly
Cardio exercise is not only an effective way to burn calories and lose weight, but it can also help with belly fat.
It's even quoted to be the most effective way to exercise to blast off your belly fat.
For best results, try doing a combination of moderate-intensity and high-intensity exercise.
But regardless of the intensity, aim for 300 minutes of aerobic exercises per week.
7. Do Weight Training Exercises
Weight training exercises are great for strength building and muscle preserving. Since a higher proportion of muscle mass helps keep your metabolism running in high gear.
Muscles are more metabolically active than fat. Meaning they use more energy in the form of calories to sustain itself.
In one study, weight training done with cardio led to a greater loss of belly fat.
Interested in adding weight training to your workout routines? This article can be very helpful.
Lastly, Engage Your Abs with Core Exercises
And by core exercises, I'm not referring to crunches and sit-ups.
While they are good and make your abs sore, they're not the best in strengthening your abs. Or let alone, shape up your stomach.
Core exercises such as the plank, torso twist, and legs lift are by far more effective than those ab workouts.
They target all angles of your abdomen, and some will even improve your posture and core strength.
If you need some ideas of ab exercises, check out this list of 25 best moves for your abs and core.
Take Home Message
Belly fat, particularly visceral fat is very unhealthy and harmful.
Having an excess of it increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer.
Luckily, you can lose your belly fat by adding some of the tips and tricks mentioned above.
It may take some time, but if you stick to the new changes, you will lose the belly fat and get a slimmer waistline for good.
You may also be interested in these belly workouts to make your abs and core stronger after losing the fat.
The take-home message here is to lose belly fat and tighten stomach, you must make lasting changes to your lifestyle including diet and exercise routine.