When you think of belly fat, you may think of how your lower abdomen looks in a swimsuit or think of the reason why your jeans are a bit tight. But belly fat is a lot more than that. Belly fat can actually be harmful to your health.
Visceral fat, which belly fat falls under, is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Your risk is not only determined by your Body Mass Index (BMI), but more by the excess fat you carry — such as belly fat. You may even appear to be thin but still carry some visceral fat. So do you want to know how to lose belly fat?
Tips on How to Lose Belly Fat
1. Fiber, fiber, fiber. Can we stress it more?
So why eat fiber to help you lose belly fat? Fiber helps you feel full so that you eat less, while also slowing down the movement of food through the digestive system. There is also some evidence that fiber may prevent you absorbing as many calories from your food as you would otherwise. Soluble fiber may also be able to decrease your belly fat by 4% over a 5 year period by increasing your intake by just 10g per day.
2. Avoid excess alcohol consumption.
Alcohol in moderation can offer some health benefits, but excess alcohol is bad for your health and can also increase your risk of packing on belly fat. You can still enjoy a glass of wine, but avoid overindulgence.
3. Stay away from trans fats.
What are trans fats? Unsaturated fats such as soybean oil are pumped with hydrogen to make foods such as spreads and margarine. This combination of hydrogen and unsaturated fats is what is referred to as hydrogenated fats or trans fats. These fats are linked to insulin resistance, heart disease, inflammation, and increases in belly fat of up to 33% over eating monounsaturated fats instead.
4. Pack in the proteins.
A high protein diet helps you feel full sooner and for longer, reduces your appetite, and raises your metabolic rate. Eating fish, beans, nuts, and dairy can help you lose belly fat while retaining muscle.
5. Stress less to reduce that fat.
When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands kick into action and produce cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to make you hungry and also encourage your body to store abdominal fat. If you are already carrying a bit of extra belly fat, you produce even more cortisol in response to stress, which adds even more fat. So to lose weight, you need to learn how to stress less. Yoga and proper breathing exercises can be great stress reducers. You can also ensure that you get enough rest. Getting enough sleep will help you shake the belly fat, while a lack of sleep makes you store fat instead.
6. Less sugar to improve your waistline.
Fructose is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Foods with sugar added usually contain fructose, which leads to an increase in abdominal fat. Avoid excess sugar added to food and drinks as much as possible. Even healthy sugars such as stevia and honey should be used minimally, although though they are not as bad as refined sugars.
7. Cardio is key.
Aerobic exercises are one of the best ways to burn calories and improve your overall health, as well as whittle away that belly fat. Stick to a regimen of 75-150 minutes per week of any type of aerobic exercise.
8. Refined carbs should be avoided.
Keep your overall carbohydrate intake low, and avoid refined carbs as much as possible. Reducing carb intake shows proven results in reducing belly fat. A low carb diet with unprocessed carbs and whole grains will help you lose stubborn belly fat.
9. Use coconut oil instead of vegetable oils.
Coconut oil boosts your metabolism and reduces your fat storage. Replacing some of your cooking oil with coconut oil will reduce the added fat in your diet and help you burn fat faster.
10. Resistance training helps build and retain muscle.
Strength training prevents loss of muscle and helps improve your metabolism. Include some weight lifting in your exercise schedule to help you reduce visceral fat and help you tone and burn fat faster.
Other Tricks and Tips for Burning Belly Fat
Watch what you eat by keeping a food diary. Stay away from fruit juice and carbonated beverages, which contain extra sugar, and replace them with green tea, a natural antioxidant which also boosts your metabolism. Naturally fruit flavored carbonated spring water that doesn’t contain any sweeteners is also a great replacement for sodas. Probiotics and intermittent fasting may also play a role in reducing fat storage around your middle section.
There is no magic formula on how to lose belly fat, but committing to a high quality diet and exercise program like FITin56 might just be the solution. So if you want to know the secret for how to lose belly fat, it is perseverance and putting in the effort of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise, along with avoiding certain foods that cause you to pack on the pounds.