25 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)
25 effective tips to lose belly fat
There are many diet and lifestyle habits that increase or decrease belly fat.
Avoid consumption of sugary foods and beverages: Sugary foods and beverages have high sugar content. Added sugars contain high fructose, which may decrease fat burning. Hence, avoiding sugary foods and beverages, such as candies, cakes, frozen yogurt, soda, flavored coffee drinks and sweet tea, helps you to lose belly fat.
- Eliminate processed food: Processed foods have been stripped of nutrition, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Foods like white rice, white bread and food products made of refined flour are easily digestible and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals. Hence, eliminating processed foods and including whole-grain foods may help you to lose belly fat.
- Increase physical activity and adopting a regular exercise regimen: A sedentary lifestyle remains the main culprit in increasing abdominal obesity. Women sitting continuously for more than three hours are at an increased risk of abdominal obesity. Exercising daily for 30 minutes may aid in losing belly fat. Activities like brisk walking, swimming, dancing and jogging may also help you to lose belly fat.
- Improve sleep quality: Sleeping for less than five hours per night may result in a weight gain of around 32 lbs. Similarly, sleeping for more than eight hours also does the same. People with sleep disorders are most likely to experience weight gain. Hence, sleeping for six to eight hours seems to be adequate for losing belly fat.
- Avoid extreme stress: Stressing out a lot can release the “stress hormone” cortisol, which can increase abdominal obesity. Stress also leads to a decline in sleep quality, overeating and heavy alcohol drinking, which in turn also contributes to abdominal obesity. Meditation and breathing techniques may help to relieve stress and make you feel good.
- Refrain from alcohol: Alcohol in moderation can curtail the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, a higher amount of alcohol may lead to inflammation, liver disease and other health issues. Some studies have shown that alcohol curbs fat burning and gives you empty calories and as a result, the unburned fat gets deposited in the abdomen.
- Quit smoking: Smokers generally have larger waistlines, as smoking localizes the fat in the abdomen. Smoking can also cause diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
- Adopt a healthy, long-term approach to eating: Most of the time, it is easy to overshoot the line between eating to feel full and overeating. Overeating can result in the consumption of excess calories and eventually weight gain. Thus, mindful eating is the key to prevent abdominal fat.
- Self-monitor: Use food diaries, record activities or measure your waistline regularly to help you lose belly fat effectively.
- Practice portion control: To control the temptation of overeating, serve food on an individual plate instead of putting it in serving dishes on the table. This may discourage you from overeating. Measuring portions helps you take control of the amount of food you eat daily.
- Try intermittent fasting: Use alternate days of fasting and time-restricted feeding, which may be helpful in eliminating belly fat.
- Eat a high protein diet: Protein helps to build muscle mass, which helps increase metabolic rate and decrease calorie intake. High-protein diets prevent weight gain and abdominal obesity.
- Curb carbohydrates: Restricting the intake of carbohydrates or consuming low glycemic index foods, such as oats, barley, non-starchy vegetables and nuts, helps reduce fat.
- Eat plenty of soluble fiber: Fiber adds bulk to the diet. It stimulates early satiety, thus preventing abdominal obesity. Flaxseeds, avocados, legumes and blackberries have plenty of soluble fiber.
- Do aerobic exercises: Aerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass, thus burning more calories throughout the day.
- Always read labels: Food labels reveal a lot. The label helps identify the amount of sugar, fat and protein in a good, which may help you to choose smarter and healthier options to consume.
- Hang out with health-focused friends: Having friends with the same goal may keep you motivated.
- Use the stairs instead of elevators: Adding more physical activity to your daily routine may help you lose belly fat.
- Limit saturated fats: Limit the amount of saturated fats, such as full-fat dairy products, that you consume to restrict calorie intake.
- Consume foods rich in antioxidants: Foods and beverages rich in antioxidants, such as green tea, grapes, blueberries, nuts or dark green leafy vegetables, help you burn more belly fat.
- Eat fish three times a week: Fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines or anchovies, are rich in omega-3 fats and may facilitate abdominal fat burning.
- Eat flavourful foods instead of bland foods: Eating bland foods may make you indulge in junk food.
- Have vitamin D-fortified food: Vitamin D-fortified food helps you avoid food cravings. It helps to reduce fat storage and thus, aids weight loss.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking water can do wonders. Drinking more water often leads to consuming fewer calories without any added sugar as compared to sweetened drinks.
- Use olive oil or coconut oil for cooking: Adding these oils may help you control your appetite and keep hunger pangs at bay.
Medically Reviewed on 9/3/2020
Johns Hopkins Medicine