Belly fat is more than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight. It is very harmful. This type of fat, known as visceral fat, is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other conditions (1). Many health organizations use BMI (body mass index) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease.
However, this is misleading, since people with excess abdominal fat are at greater risk even if they look thin on the outside (2). Although losing fat in this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat. Here are 20 effective tips for losing belly fat, backed by scientific studies. DO NOT STOP WITHOUT BEFORE SEE: Popular diets and stroke risk
1. EAT A LOT OF SOLUBLE FIBER
Soluble fibre absorbs water and forms a gel that helps reduce the speed of food as it passes through your digestive system. Studies show that this type of fibre promotes weight loss by helping you feel full, so you naturally eat less. It can also decrease the amount of calories your body absorbs from food (3, 4, 5). In addition, soluble fibre can help fight belly fat. An observational study in more than 1,100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fibre intake, the increase in abdominal fat decreased by 3.7% over a period of 5 years (6). Make an effort to consume foods rich in fibre every day. Excellent sources of soluble fibre include flaxseed, shirataki noodles, Brussels sprouts, avocados, legumes and blackberries. ABSTRACT Excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with an increase in abdominal fat. If you need to reduce your waistline, consider drinking alcohol sparingly or abstain completely.
2. DO NOT EAT MANY SUGAR 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 (22, 23, 24). Observational studies show a relationship between high sugar consumption and increased abdominal fat (25, 26). It is important to realize that more than just refined sugar can lead to belly fat gain. Even the healthiest sugars, like real honey, should be used sparingly.
Excessive consumption of sugar is one of the main causes of weight gain in many people. Limit your consumption of sweets and processed foods high in added sugar.
3. REDUCE CARBOHYDRATES, ESPECIALLY REFINED CARBOHYDRATES
Reducing carbohydrate intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat. Diets with less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day cause loss of belly fat in overweight people, those at risk of type 2 diabetes and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) (31, 32, 33). You don’t have to follow a strict low carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbohydrates with unprocessed starchy carbohydrates can improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat (34, 35). In the famous Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest consumption of whole grains were 17% less likely to have excess abdominal fat than those who consumed diets rich in refined grains (36).
A high intake of refined carbohydrates is associated with excess abdominal fat. Consider reducing your carbohydrate intake or replacing refined carbohydrates in your diet with healthy carbohydrate sources, such as whole grains, legumes or vegetables. Resistance training, also known as weightlifting or strength training, is important to preserve and gain muscle mass.
4. PERFORM RESISTANCE TRAINING (LIFT WEIGHTS)
According to studies in people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, resistance training can also be beneficial for belly fat loss (41, 42). In fact, a study in overweight adolescents showed that a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise led to the greatest decrease in visceral fat (43). If you decide to start lifting weights, it is a good idea to get advice from a certified personal trainer.
Strength training can be an important strategy to lose weight and can help reduce abdominal fat. Studies suggest that it is even more effective in combination with aerobic exercise.
5. GET A LOT OF REPAIR DREAM
Sleep is important for many aspects of your health, including weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which can include abdominal fat (49, 50). A 16-year study in more than 68,000 women found that those who slept less than five hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept seven hours or more per night (51). The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently at night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat (52). In addition to sleeping at least seven hours a night, make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, talk to a doctor and receive treatment. SUMMARY Lack of sleep is linked to an increased risk of weight gain. High quality sleep should be one of your top priorities if you plan to lose weight and improve your health.