Losing and getting rid of belly fat is a struggle for many. It seems that once the fat gets accumulated in the belly, you are stuck with it forever, no matter how many crunches you do or how many miles you run.
The belly fat won’t budge. But the truth is, belly fat, just like anything else, there are things you can do to get rid of – all of it for good. So before you embark on your next belly-fat eliminating journey, here are a few helpful things you should know.
Belly Fat is Dangerous
Belly fat is the most dangerous fat in the body. Not only it hurts your self-esteem but is also harmful to your health. According to a Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis study, people with excess fat in their belly have an increased risk of chronic issues like heart disease and type 2 diabetes (1).
That’s because unlike subcutaneous fat, which hangs out directly under the skin, belly fat (a.k.a. visceral fat) hangs tight around your vital organs. This goes for slim women who are at an otherwise “healthy” weight, too. Yes, you can be over fat without being overweight. If you worry you may be at risk, check your waist circumference. Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity.
And pinching your belly for self-assessment won’t work either as the fat right below your skin is subcutaneous fat, not the dangerous one. The one you need to measure and assess resides internally below the outer fat layer. Use of a measuring tape is a more preferred way of measuring your risk for belly fat.
If you are at risk or struggling with belly fat, there are actionable steps you can take to reduce the stubborn fat. Here are 7 proven ways to lose your belly fat, all based on science.
1. Eat more fiber
According to an observational study of 339 African Americans and 775 Hispanic Americans ranging from age 18-81 years found that, for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat gain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period.
The study revealed a strong correlation between one’s fiber intake and a measure of belly fat. It seems eating a high-fiber diet can help you lose belly fat.
2. Don’t skimp on protein
Protein is good for many things like building muscles and keeping your skin healthy, but that’s not all there is to protein. A high protein diet may boost your metabolism and reduce cravings, causing you to eat fewer calories.
One study shows that a protein-rich diet has an inverse relationship with an accumulation of abdominal fat. The study shows that people who ate more protein had less belly fat. Aim for 25-30 percent of your total calories to be protein. But getting protein doesn’t mean you have to pile meat on your plate.
You can go with plant-based protein, and even marine based for high protein.
3. Keep your stress under control
One thing that can hinder you from losing belly fat is stress in life. But stress is inevitable. And it’s something we all have to deal with one way or another. But According to a Yale study, high-level stress may cause an excess belly fat gain, even in healthy women. The study explains that when we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol (stress hormone), which can be responsible for fat storage around your midsection.
It’s also a trigger for overeating. It’s important to focus on ways to reduce our stress levels in order to lose belly fat. Try meditating, and give exercising a shot to get rid of some of that bad energy. When you feel less stressed, you’re bound to make better choices all around.
Alternatively, yoga is also known as a stress releaser, giving you a chance to physically involved in mind-settling moves where mind and body transformation can take place. There are also many other ways to relieve your stress. Finding what works for you for the long-term brings not only great health benefits but adds quality to your overall life.
4. Take Apple cider vinegar
According to a 12-week study, obese men lost about half an inch in their waist as a result of taking apple cider vinegar daily. To start, here is a simple recipe you can also follow. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoon of apple cider in 8 oz glass of water and drink up first thing in the morning every day.
5. Drink enough water
Belly fat might leave you feeling bloated – but if you’re looking to shed off that fat, drinking water regularly may be helpful.
Some studies show that drinking water before each meal can reduce the number of foods you eat during the meal. Furthermore, staying hydrated throughout the day can keep your metabolic rate in check and help your body run more efficiently. Switching from soft sugary drinks to water can also help you cut back on calories.
6. Get enough sleep
According to WebMD, people who slept 6-7 hours a night gained less visceral fat over a 5 year period compared to people who slept less than 5 hours in one study. Aim for 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night.
7. Get moving
If there’s one thing that can help you get rid of belly fat is exercise. Cardio is one of the best exercises to lose belly fat. It has been shown to be most effective at targeting fat on your belly, especially the deep visceral fat and almost everywhere else. Some of my favorite cardio exercises to raise the heart rate up – are running, biking, and swimming. you’re sure to burn that fat right off with these potentially high calorie-burning activities.
While belly fat is stubborn and hard to lose, there are many actionable steps you can take to reduce the dangerous fat. One thing to take away here is that a healthy lifestyle where you get quality sleep at night time and eat healthy meals composed of fiber and protein-rich foods with minimum stress proves to be most helpful.
Start incorporating a couple of methods introduced here to help lose your stubborn belly fat and improve your health, and over time, aim to build a lifestyle around these proven ways to live a belly fat-free life!