We all know how stubborn belly fat can be. Sometimes, no matter how many hours are spent at the gym, it seems like nothing works.
However, losing weight is about more than just the amount of cardio and sit-ups you do. Losing weight often comes down to zeroing in on what you put into your body as well.
Tips for Losing Belly Fat
While most of us wish there was a way to instantly eliminate the fat from our waists, this isn’t how it works in reality.
Losing belly fat is as much about melting inches off your waist by staying active as it is about minimizing your intake of unhealthy foods. With a dedication to eating healthy foods, avoiding unhealthy ones, and consistently sticking working out, you’ll see real results with your weight.
Ready to start slimming down? Keep the following 12 tips in mind to cut down on belly fat:
1. Eat Soluble Fiber
Experts suggest that adding more soluble fiber to your diet will result in weight loss.
Soluble fiber helps to absorb water. This fiber forms a gel and will slow good down as it goes through the digestive system.
According to studies, this soluble fiber will promote weight loss, which helps you feel full, making it easier to eat less food. Additionally, after making soluble fiber a regular part of your diet, you’ll be able to decrease the calories you absorb from food.
Other researchers link fiber to weight loss. A study of 1,100 adults over five years indicates that every 10-gram increase of soluble fiber results in a decrease of belly fat by 3.7%.
Take advantage of the benefits of this fiber by making it a point to eat high-fiber foods regularly. Foods like shirataki noodles, flaxseed, legumes, blackberries, Brussel sprouts, and avocados are all excellent options.
2. Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats are linked to weight gain. As these fats are created by infusing hydrogen into unsaturated fats, any foods that contain trans fats are generally unhealthy.
In addition to weight gain, these types of foods are known for causing insulin resistance, heart disease, and inflammation.
One six-year study showed that diets high in trans fats led to a 33% increase in abdominal fat compared to those that consumed a diet filled with monounsaturated fat.
3. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
The consumption of alcohol is directly connected to weight gain. While alcohol does have benefits when consumed in small amounts, it can be very unhealthy if one consumes too much alcohol regularly.
Studies link heavy alcohol consumption to an increase in central obesity. Thus, to cut back on weight gain one should limit their alcohol consumption. While you needn’t give up alcohol entirely, you can reduce the amount you drink to avoid putting yourself at risk for weight gain and similar issues.
Experts suggest that individuals that are trying to eliminate belly fat should abstain from alcohol completely. After starting a diet completely devoid of alcohol, you’ll quickly be able to see and feel your new health benefits.
4. Add More Protein to Your Diet
Adding more protein to your diet is another proven way to control your weight.
High protein diets help to increase the release of the PYY hormone. This hormone promotes fullness while decreasing one’s appetite, making it very effective in halting weight gain.
Moreover, protein also improves the body’s metabolic rate, making it easier to retain muscle mass during a period of weight loss.
Other studies show that individuals that have high-protein diets often have less stomach fat than those that eat lower-protein diets.
To add more protein to your diet, consider meats like beans, whey protein, dairy, fish, or eggs. Additionally, adding in protein powder or similar supplements will have the same effect at reducing your appetite.
5. Reduce Your Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are also triggers for weight gain.
High-stress levels trigger the body’s adrenal glands into producing cortisol–the stress hormone.
Certain research shows that higher cortisol levels will increase one’s appetite, causing the body to store more fat around the abdomen.
Furthermore, women and men that already have larger waists often produce more cortisol as a response to stress. This increase in cortisol only adds to the weight gain around the midsection.
Cut back on stress by engaging in activities like meditation or yoga. By limiting your stress levels, you’re doing your part to prevent your cortisol levels from rising.
6. Don’t Eat Many Sugary Foods
Sugary foods contain fructose, which, when eaten in excess, has been linked to many chronic diseases like liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Studies indicate that there is a strong connection between increased abdominal fat and high sugar intake.
Sweeteners like refined sugar and real honey can all lead to excess stomach weight gain, so it’s important to monitor all forms of sugar.
7. Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly
Cardio or aerobic exercise is another effective way to lose weight, burn calories, and improve your overall health.
Certain studies show that cardio is one of the best types of exercise to reduce belly fat. Aiming to lose belly fat, it’s important to focus on the duration and frequency of your exercise.
One study indicates that postmenopausal women experienced more weight loss when performing 300- minutes of aerobic exercise a week as compared to others that only exercised 150 minutes a week.
By filling your schedule with regular cardio, you’ll be able to benefit from its slimming effects
8. Cut Back on Your Carbs
Diets filled with carbohydrates are linked to excessive weight gain.
Diets that contain less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day can trigger weight loss in individuals that are overweight, especially women that have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes.
One study shows that participants that filled their diets with whole grains rather than refined grains were less likely to have excessive abdominal fat.
To cut back on carbs, experts suggest replacing any refined carbs with healthy carb sources like vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
9. Use Coconut Oil to Cook
When cooking with the goal of weight loss in mind, start switching out your cooking fats for coconut oil.
As one of the healthier fats, coconut oil is linked to boosting one’s metabolism and decreasing your body’s store of fat as a response to higher calorie intake.
Certain studies also indicate that coconut oil can trigger abdominal fat loss.
Another study discovered the connection between daily doses of coconut oil with weight loss. Experts suggest that taking two tablespoons of coconut oil a day will help accelerate the loss of stomach fat.
10. Perform Resistance Training
Resistance training is another type of exercise that will help to trigger weight loss.
Studies involving subjects with type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and prediabetes indicate that resistance training is effective in triggering fat loss.
11. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is often forgotten as an effective way to maintain one’s healthy weight.
Studies indicate that those that don’t sleep the proper amount tend to experience more weight gain. According to a 16-year study of 68,000 women, scientists discovered that individuals that slept five hours or less each night were more likely to experience weight gain compared to women that slept over seven hours a night.
When studying sleep and weight gain, scientists have also found that sleep apnea is linked to excess visceral fat. In addition to getting over seven hours of sleep a night, experts recommend that it’s important to focus on getting quality sleep as well.
12. Add Fatty Fish to Your Diet
Fatty fish is important for a healthy diet.
These types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids and contain quality protein. Moreover, the fats in fish like anchovies, mackerel, sardines, herring, and salmon are effective at reducing visceral fat.
To benefit from fatty fish in your diet, eat two – three servings of your favorite fatty fish a week.
Experts also recommend taking omega-3 supplements or fish oil supplements to take advantage of these benefits and to reduce abdominal fat.
Final Thoughts on Losing Belly Fat
Belly fat won’t simply go away on its own. Thankfully, there are several tried and true methods that always work. Regardless of your body type or age, you’ll find that these above 12 tips will work in some way for you.
Keep in mind that losing weight is a matter of disciplined eating and regular fitness routines. By fitting the two into a lifestyle that works for you, you’ll be able to get your best body yet.