Belly fat is more than just a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight.
Fat inside the belly area is also termed visceral fat, and it is seriously harmful.
This type of fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Many health organizations use BMI (body mass index) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease.
Here are 20 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.
1. Eat Plenty of Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system.
Studies show this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full so you naturally eat less. It may also decrease the amount of calories your body absorbs from food
What’s more, soluble fiber may help fight belly fat. An observational study of over 1100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat gain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period (6).
Make an effort to consume high-fiber foods every day. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include flaxseeds, shirataki noodles, Brussels sprouts, avocados, legumes and blackberries.
2. Avoid Foods That Contain TransFats
Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats such as soybean oil.
They’re found in some margarines and spreads, and they’re also added to some packaged foods.
These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies
To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as “partially hydrogenated” fats.
3. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it is seriously harmful if you drink too much.
4. Eat a High-Protein Diet
Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight control.
High protein intake increases release of the fullness hormone PYY, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness. Protein also raises your metabolic rate and helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss.
Be sure to include a good protein source at every meal, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, whey protein or nuts.
5. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.”
To help reduce belly fat, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods.
6. Don’t Eat a Lot of Sugary Foods
Sugar contains fructose, which has been linked to several chronic diseases when consumed in excess.
These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease.Even “healthier” sugars (such as real honey) should be used sparingly.
7. Do Aerobic Exercise (Cardio)
Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an effective way to improve health and burn calories.
Studies also show it is one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat. However, results are mixed regarding whether moderate-intensity or high-intensity exercise is more beneficial .
Regardless of intensity, how often and how much you exercise is important. One study found postmenopausal women lost more fat from all areas when they did aerobic exercise for 300 minutes per week versus 150 minutes per week (30).
8. Cut Back on Carbs, Especially Refined Carbs
Reducing carb intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat.
Diets with under 50 grams of carbs per day cause belly fat loss in overweight people, those at risk of type 2 diabetes and women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) .
You don’t have to follow a strict low-carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat .
9. Replace Some of Your Cooking Fats With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat.
Studies show that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil may boost metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high calorie intake .
10. Perform Resistance Training (Lift Weights)
Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass.
11. Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages are loaded with liquid fructose, which can make you gain belly fat.
To lose belly fat, it’s best to completely avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, punch and sweet tea, as well as alcoholic mixers containing sugar.
12. Get Plenty of Restful Sleep
Sleep is important for many aspects of health, including your weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which may include belly fat.
13. Track Your Food Intake and Exercise
14. Stop Drinking Fruit Juice
15. Eat Fatty Fish Every Week (For Non Veg Diet)
16. Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet
17. Eat Probiotic Foods or Take a Probiotic Supplement
18. Try Intermittent Fasting
19. Drink Green Tea
20. Change Your Lifestyle and Combine Different Methods