If you’re like most gym-goers, toned and washboard six-pack abs are one of your main fitness goals. But trimming your mid section can be difficult to achieve without the proper strategic planning.
Most people who try to lose abdominal fat often fail. And that’s only because the approach is wrong. Not because your body isn’t capable of losing the weight in your stomach, but it’s because the approach isn’t right.
And there are good reasons for this.
With the right strategic steps, you can actually lose the excess fat in your stomach and get a flatter tummy.
In this article, I’ll share 4 simple tips to reduce belly fat and a flat stomach.
Before we get to the steps to reduce belly fat, let’s talk about different types of stomach fat.
Understanding Belly Fat
A little bit of fat is normal and is part of the body—but too much fat, particularly “visceral fat” is not healthy. In fact, excess visceral fat is dangerous!
Research has linked this type of belly fat with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more.
But measuring this type of fat in the stomach is tricky because you can’t see it or you can’t pinch it.
When you pinch your stomach, it’s the subcutaneous fat you’re feeling. It’s the fat that’s right under the skin that spills over your waistband. Though aesthetically you may not like having it, it’s not the fat you need to worry about.
It’s far less harmless than the visceral fat that’s deep within the abdomen, wrapping the essential organs.
With that said, there is a correlation, albeit not perfect, between waist circumference and visceral fat. Because of that if you have excess abdominal is important that you take steps to reduce it.
Luckily, when you lose belly fat, the fat loss comes from both the harmless subcutaneous fat and hazardous visceral fat.
Here are 4 proven steps to reduce weight in your stomach.
4 Expert-Backed Science Ways to Reduce Belly Fat
While you can’t spot-reduce fat from any part of your body, there are a number of steps you can take to lose fat from your body including belly fat.
1. Fill Your Plate With Protein
Protein may be one of the most important macronutrients when you are trying to lose weight and belly fat.
One study shows that people who ate more and better protein had much less abdominal fat. Based on research, including a lean source of protein in every meal you eat may be the key to your flat stomach.
This is because protein takes more energy to digest and leads to a boost in your metabolism. This slower digestion also helps reduce hunger levels and increase the feeling of satiety.
This is also supported by research that those who eat enough protein often feel more satisfied and end up snacking less.
If weight loss and a flat belly is your goal, adding protein to your diet may be the single most important change you can make.
Aim to consume at least 20 to 30 grams of protein with each meal.
2. Eat More Soluble Fiber
Fiber is another nutrient that’s essential for any weight loss including losing weight in your stomach.
That’s because the soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like texture that helps slow down food digestion. Research shows that soluble fiber helps you feel full and provide satiety, resulting in eating fewer calories.
This is one key reason why fiber is known for promoting weight loss. It is also well exhibited in scientific research.
One study saw that a 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake every day led to a 3.7% less risk of gaining belly fat.
Several studies also concluded that eating more soluble fiber lowered the risk of belly fat.
There is enough evidence that points to eating more fiber for weight loss and both fat loss in your stomach.
Aim to take in more fiber at every meal by including vegetables, beans, and plant-based foods.
Here are some of the best high-fiber foods you can add to your diet.
- flax seeds.
For more weight loss foods, check out this list of 32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast.
3. Add Exercise to Lose Weight In Your Stomach
Exercise is key to weight loss and essential to fat loss in your stomach.
It’s an effective way to speed up metabolism and build lean muscle mass that helps you burn fat even more.
But not all exercises deliver the same level of effectiveness when it comes to losing weight and reducing belly fat. To elevate your fat loss, a combination of resistance training with aerobic exercises will maximize the benefits.
The aerobics will help you burn calories, and the resistance training will help develop lean muscle mass.
Because the muscles are more metabolically active than fat, having more lean muscles naturally gets you to burn more calories and fat.
Simply put, your body will naturally become more efficient in burning calories and help you manage your weight easier.
Think about this stat. For every pound of muscle you build, your body will expand 50 more calories a day. The more lean muscle you build, the easier it will be to burn more calories even at rest.
To start, aim to add 2-3 resistance training workouts a week. For best results, pair that with 2 additional days of cardio and aerobics training. According to CDC, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics are recommended. Those include mellow bike rides and power walking.
If you incorporate high-intensity cardio like running, 75 minutes a week of the activity is recommended.