Losing belly fat, or belly fat, is a common weight loss goal. Belly fat is a particularly harmful type of fat. Research suggests strong links to conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Because of this, losing this fat can have significant benefits for your health and well-being.
You can measure your belly fat by measuring around your waist with a tape measure. Measurements over 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women are referred to as abdominal obesity. Some weight loss strategies can target the fat in the abdominal area more than other areas of the body.
Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.
1. Avoid sugar and sugary drinks
Foods with added sugar are bad for your health. Eating many of these types of foods can lead to weight gain. Studies show that added sugar has unique detrimental effects on metabolic health. Numerous studies have shown that excess sugar, mainly due to high levels of fructose, can lead to fat accumulation around the abdomen and liver. Sugar consists of half glucose and half fructose. When you consume a lot of added sugar, the liver becomes overloaded with fructose and is forced to convert it into fat.
Some believe this is the main process behind sugar’s adverse health effects. It increases belly fat and liver fat, leading to insulin resistance and various metabolic problems. Liquid sugar is worse in this regard. The brain doesn’t seem to register liquid calories the same way it does solid calories. So when you drink sugary beverages, you end up consuming more total calories.
One study observed that children with each additional daily serving of sugary drinks were 60% more likely to develop obesity. Try to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet and consider eliminating sugary beverages altogether. These include sugar-sweetened beverages, sugary sodas, fruit juices, and various high-sugar sports drinks. Read the labels to make sure the products do not contain refined sugar. Foods marketed as diet products can also contain significant amounts of sugar. Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to whole fruits, which are extremely healthy and contain lots of fiber that mitigate the negative effects of fructose.
2. Eat more protein
Protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient for weight loss. Research shows they can reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day, and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day. If your goal is to lose weight, adding protein may be the most effective change you can make to your diet.
Protein can not only help you lose weight, but also prevent weight gain. Protein can be particularly effective at reducing belly fat. One study showed that people who ate more and better protein had significantly less belly fat. Another study showed that protein was associated with a significantly reduced risk of abdominal fat gain over 5 years in women.
This study also linked refined carbohydrates and oils to increased belly fat and fruits and vegetables to reduced fat. In most studies that found protein to help with weight loss, people got 25-30% of their calories from protein. It is therefore a good fork to try. Try increasing your intake of protein-rich foods like whole eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy. These are the best sources of protein for your diet.
If you’re struggling to get enough protein in your diet, a quality protein supplement like whey protein is a healthy and convenient way to boost your overall intake. You can find many protein powder options online.
3. Eat less carbohydrates
Eating fewer carbohydrates is a very effective way to lose belly fat. Many studies prove it. When people reduce carbohydrates, their appetite decreases and they lose weight. More than 20 randomized, controlled studies have now shown that low-carb diets sometimes lead to 2-3 times greater weight loss than low-fat diets. This is true even when people in the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want while those in the low-fat groups are calorie-restricted. Low carb diets also result in rapid water weight reduction, which yields quick results. People often see a difference on the scale within a day or two.
Studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets indicate that a low-carb diet specifically reduces fat in the abdomen and around the organs and liver.
This means that some of the fat lost on a low-carb diet is harmful belly fat.
Simply avoiding refined carbohydrates like sugar, candy, and white bread should do the trick, especially if your protein intake remains high.
When the goal is to lose weight fast, some people limit their carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day. The body then enters ketosis, a state in which it begins to burn fat as its main fuel and appetite decreases.
4. Eat high-fiber foods
Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant material. A high-fiber diet can help with weight loss. However, the type of fiber is important.
The soluble and viscous fibers in particular seem to have an impact on your weight. These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “seals” in your gut.
This gel can significantly slow the movement of food through your digestive system. It can also slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a persistent feeling of satiety and decreased appetite. A review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day was associated with a 10% reduction in calorie intake and a weight loss of about 2kg over 4 months. A 5-year study reported that eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was associated with a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. This implies that soluble fiber can be particularly effective in reducing harmful belly fat.
The best way to get more fiber is to eat lots of plant-based foods, including vegetables and fruits. Legumes are also a good source, as are some grains like whole grain oats.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of living a long, healthy life and avoiding disease. Reducing belly fat is one of the amazing health benefits of exercise.
It’s not about doing ab exercises, because spot reduction: losing fat in one spot isn’t possible. In one study, six weeks of abdominal training alone had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
Strength training and cardiovascular exercises break down fat all over the body. Aerobic exercise like walking, running, and swimming can significantly reduce belly fat. Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from regaining belly fat after weight loss, meaning exercise is especially important during weight maintenance. Exercise also helps reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and improve other metabolic issues associated with excess belly fat.
6. Track your food intake
Most people know that what you eat is important, but many don’t know exactly what they’re eating. A person may think they are on a high-protein or low-carb diet, but by ignoring this, it’s easy to overestimate or underestimate their food intake.
Tracking food intake doesn’t mean you have to weigh and measure everything you eat. If you track it for a few days in a row now and then, you can identify the key areas for change. Planning ahead can help you achieve specific goals, such as: B. increasing your protein intake to 25-30% of calories or reducing unhealthy carbohydrates.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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