Belly fat or abdominal obesity that develops around the centre of the body which is more than a trouble that makes your clothes feel tight.
It’s really harmful.
Many health organizations use body mass index (BMI) to categorize weight and foretell the risk of metabolic disease.
Although, this is confusing as people with excessive belly fat are at an increased risk even if they look thin (2).
Though losing fat from this area can’t be so easy, there are several methods you can follow to reduce excessive belly fat.
Here are 20 effective tips to lose abdominal fat, proved by scientific studies.
1. Eat lots of soluble fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps in slow passage of food through your digestive system.
Studies show that this type of fiber helps in weight loss by making you feel full, so you naturally eat in quantity or less frequently. It may also reduce the number of calories your body takes from food (3, 4, 5).
Soluble fiber may help you fighting belly fat.
An observational study in about 1,100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber consumption, belly fat gain reduces by 3.7% over a period of 5-year (6).
Always try to consume high fiber contained foods every day. Best sources of soluble fiber are:
- flax seeds
- vegetables such as broccoli, carrot
- Brussels sprouts
- fruits like blackberries,pear ,oranges
- Whole grains
2. Avoid foods that contain trans fats
Trans fats are created by hydrogenation of unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil.
They’re found in meat some dairy products , margarines and spreads and also usually added to packaged or processed foods, but many food producers have stopped using them.
A 6-year study found that monkeys who consumed a high trans fat diet gained 33% more abdominal fat than those eating a food rich in monounsaturated fat (10).
To help reduce abdominal fat and protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and avoid the products that contain trans fats. These are usually mentioned as partially hydrogenated fats.
3. Don’t drink too much alcohol
Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it is seriously very harmful if you drink in excess amount.
Research suggests that excessive alcohol intake can also contribute you to gain belly fat.
Lowering alcohol intake may help decrease your waist size. It is not required to give it up altogether, but limiting the quantity of your drink in a single day can help.
Results suggested those who consumed alcohol regularly but averaged less than one drink in a day had less abdominal fat than those who drank less frequently but had more than 1 drink in a day. (12).
4. Eat a high protein diet
Protein is an very important nutrient for weight management.
High protein consumption inhances the release of the fullness hormone PYY, which decreases appetite and leads to fullness.
Protein also increases your metabolism and helps you to hold on muscle mass during weight loss (13).
Many observational studies show that people who take more protein result in having less abdominal fat than those who take a low protein diet (16).
Make sure to have a good protein source in your diet, such as:
- whey protein
5. Reduce your stress levels
Stress can promote belly fat gain by triggering the adrenal glands to release cortisol, which is also called as the stress hormone.
To help reduce belly fat, engage in pleasure giving activities that relieve or reduce stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be very effective steps.
6. Don’t eat a lot of sugary foods
Sugar contains fructose, which has been associated with several chronic diseases when consumed in excessive amount
It’s important to notice that more than just refined sugar can cause belly fat gain. Even healthier sugars, such as real honey, should be used occasionally.
7. Do aerobic exercise (cardio)
Aerobic exercise or cardio is an effective way to improve your health by reducing belly fat and burn calories.
Studies also show that it’s one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat. However, results are not clear as to whether moderate or high intensity exercise is more useful (27).
In any case, the frequency and duration of your exercise are are important and shuld be focused than its intensity.
One study found that postmenopausal women lost more fat from all areas when they followed aerobic exercise for 300 minutes in a week as compared to those who exercised 150 minutes in a week (30).
8. Cut back on carbs — especially refined carbs
Reducing your carb intake can play an important role in losing belly fat, and overall all body fat.
You don’t have to follow a now low carbohydrate diet. Some studies suggest that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce abdominal fat (34, 35).
In the famous Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest intake of whole grains were 17% less probable to have excessive abdominal fat than those who consumed diets high in refined carbs. (36).
9. Replace some of your cooking fats with coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat.
Few studies suggest it may also lead to abdominal fat loss (39).
In one study, it is estimated that,men with obesity who consumed coconut oil daily for 12 weeks lost an average of 1.1 inches (2.86 cm) from their waists without any big changing in their diets or exercise routines. (40).
However, evidence for the benefits of coconut oil for abdominal fat loss is unclear and controversial (41).
Also note that coconut oil is high in calories. Instead of adding extra fat of coconut oil to your diet, replace some of the fats you’re already taking with coconut oil.
10. Perform resistance training (lift weights)
Resistance training, also called as weight lifting or strength training, is important for retaining and gaining muscle mass.
If you want to start lifting weights, it’s a nice idea to get advice from a certified trainer.
11. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages are full with liquid fructose, which can lead to abdominal fat gain.
Sugar containing drinks appear to be even worse than high sugar containing foods.
To lose abdomen fat, it’s best to totaly avoid sugar contained beverages like:
- sweet tea
- alcoholic drinks containing sugar
12. Get plenty of restful sleep
Sleep is important for many reasons of your health, including weight. Studies suggest that people who don’t get enough good quality of sleep more likely to gain weight, which may include abdomen fat (50, 51).
A 16-year study involving more than 68,000 women found that those who slept less than 5 hours every night were significantly have more chances to gain weight than those who had taken 7 or more hours of sleep every night (52).
Along with sleep of at least 7 hours every night, make sure you are also getting sufficient quality sleep.
If you suspect you may suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, consult to a doctor and start medications.
13. Track your food intake and exercise
Food-tracking tools help you to see your calorie intake along with intake of protein, carbs, fiber, and essential micronutrients. Many also allow you to record your exercise and physical activities.
You can find five free apps or websites to track your nutrient and calorie intake on this page.
14. Eat fatty fish every week
Fatty fish are incredibly healthy.
Some evidence suggests that these omega-3 fatty acids may also help in reducing visceral fat.
Target to get 2–3 servings of fatty fish every week. Good quality of fishes include:
15. Stop drinking fruit juice
Although fruit juice gives vitamins and minerals,but it is also very high in sugar like soda and other sweetened drinks.
Drinking in large quantity may has the same risk for abdominal fat gain (62).
An 8-ounce (240-mL) serving of unsweetened apple juice contains 24 grams of sugar, and half of it’s suger is fructose (63).
If you want to reduce excess belly fat, replace fruit juice with water, unsweetened cold tea, or sparkling water with a piece of lemon or lime
16. Add apple cider vinegar to your diet
In a 12-week confined study in men diagnosed with obesity or over weight, those who consumed 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of apple cider vinegar every day lost half an inch (1.4 cm) from their waists (68).
Having 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) of apple cider vinegar every day is quite safe for most people and may lead to modest fat loss.
However, make sure to dilute it with water, because undiluted vinegar can erode or damage the enamel of your teeth.
If you want to take apple cider vinegar, there is a good option to choose from online.
17. Eat probiotic foods or take a probiotic supplement
Researchers have found that different types of bacteria have a role in weight management and having the right balance can promote weight loss, including abdominal fat loss .
Probiotic supplements usually contain several types of bacteria, so make sure you purchase one that have one or more of these bacterial strains.
18. Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting has trending now a days and become preferable weight loss method.
It is an eating pattern that revolves between periods of eating and periods of fasting (74).
One popular method involves 24-hour fasts once or two times a week. Another includes fasting every day for 16 hours and eating normally within an 8-hour period.
In a review of studies on intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting, people undergo 4–7% decrease in abdominal fat within 6–24 weeks (75).
There’s some evidence that intermittent fasting, and general fasting in, may not be as beneficial or helpful for women as for men.
Although certain modified intermittent fasting method seems to be better options, stop fasting immediately if you feel any negative effects.
19. Drink green tea
Green tea is an exceptionally healthy beverage.
20. Change your lifestyle and combine different methods
Just doing one of the items on this list won’t have a significant effect on its own.
If you want better results, you need to combine different methods that have been proven to be effective.
Interestingly, many of these methods are things generally linked with healthy eating and an overall healthy lifestyle.
Therefore, changing your lifestyle for the long term have an important role in losing your abdominal fat and keeping it off.
There are no magic solutions to losing belly fat.
Weight loss always needs some effort, commitment, Patience and perseverance on your behalf.
Successfully applying some or all of the strategies and lifestyle changes discussed in this article will surely help you lose the extra fats around your waist.