Excess belly fat can prove problematic in many ways. It appears to pose greater threats to your health compared with fat elsewhere and can affect self-esteem. While it can strike both sexes at any age, hormonal changes and a steadily decreasing metabolism can make it more likely to appear as you reach your 30s and beyond. The basic tenets of reducing fat apply to everyone regardless of age, but as you get older, your body becomes less forgiving of unhealthy habits, and you simply need to work harder than you might have had to when you were younger.
In fact, having lots of fat in the abdominal area is strongly linked to diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease .
For this reason, losing belly fat has massive benefits for your health and can help you live longer.
Belly fat is usually estimated by measuring the circumference around your waist. This can easily be done at home with a simple tape measure.
Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women is known as abdominal obesity.
If you have a lot of excess fat around your waistline, then you should take some steps to get rid of it even if you’re not very heavy overall.
Fortunately, there are a few proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.
Sugar is half glucose, half fructose, and fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in significant amounts.
When you eat a lot of added sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat.
Some believe that this is the primary mechanism behind sugar’s harmful effects on health. It increases belly fat and liver fat, which leads to insulin resistance and a host of metabolic problems.
Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight.
It has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80–100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day .
If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein is perhaps the single most effective change you can make to your diet.
Not only will it help you lose, it also helps you avoid re-gaining weight if you ever decide to abandon your
3. Cut carbs from your diet
Carb restriction is a very effective way to lose fat.
This is supported by numerous studies. When people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight (19).
Over 20 randomized controlled trials have now shown that low-carb diets lead to 2–3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets.
This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry.
Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results. A difference on the scale is often seen within 1–2 days.
There are also studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets specifically target the fat in the belly, and around the organs and liver .
What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb diet is the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat.
Just avoiding the refined carbs (sugar, candy, white bread, etc) should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein intake high.
However, if you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.
Of course, low-carb diets have many other health benefits besides just weight loss. They can have life-saving effects in type 2 diabetics.
It is often claimed that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss.This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your digestive system, and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.
The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals like whole oats.
Then you could also try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This is one of the most viscous dietary fibers in existence, and has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies.
Listing all of the amazing health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise does appear to be effective at reducing belly fat.
However, keep in mind that I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Spot reduction (losing fat in one spot) is not possible, and doing endless amounts of ab exercises will not make you lose fat from the belly.
In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity
That being said, other types of exercise can be very effective. Aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, etc) has been shown to cause major reductions in belly fat in numerous studies.
Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance.
Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, lower blood sugar levels and improvements in all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with excess abdominal fat
What you eat is important. Pretty much everyone knows this.
However, most people actually don’t have a clue what they are really eating.
People think they’re eating “high protein,” “low-carb” or something else, but tend to drastically over- or underestimate.
I think that for anyone who truly wants to optimize their diet, tracking things for a while is absolutely essential.
It doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes.
The Bottom Line to Losing Belly Fat
Weight loss always requires some effort, you’ve got to have a mindset to lose belly fat. With a strong commitment to following a proper diet plan and being active with lots of exercise can be your goal to losing weight. To lose belly fat you have got to change your lifestyle and be a be healthier and slimmer you.