Some areas of our bodies, including the stomach, hold on to fat a little tighter, especially as we get older. If you’re struggling to get rid of lingering belly fat, there may be a few things you can do.
1. Exercise regularly
Exercise does more than just release endorphins — it actively decreases the amount of bad fat in your body. Aerobic exercise in particular is very helpful, so try attending a fun dance class, going for a walk, or running a few times a week.
2. Take a minute to relax
Stress isn’t just exhausting — it can actually harm your body. Studies have linked the accumulation of fat to the stress hormone cortisol, finding that people with more abdominal fat also had more negative moods and a lot more stress in their lives.
Tackle both issues by prioritizing stress relief. Whether it’s catching up on a great book, taking a slow-flow yoga class, or soaking in the tub, make sure to relax for at least a couple of hours a day.
3. Avoid too many carbs
A low carb diet isn’t exactly fun, but it can be an effective way to reduce body fat. Research has shown that a lower carb, higher fat diet can make a significant difference in belly fat. While you don’t need to cut out carbs completely, you may want to shift to a more low carb way of life.
4. Focus on soluble fibre
There are two kinds of fibre soluble and insoluble. To lose belly fat, you want to focus on soluble fibre. This can help slow down the delivery of digested food from your stomach to your intestines, which reduces appetite and, in turn, can reduce visceral fat.
Foods high in soluble fibre include black beans, brussels sprouts, avocados, broccoli, and pears, among others.
5. Consume less sugar
As delicious as sugar may be, too much of it just isn’t good for you. Consuming a lot of added sugar has been linked to an increased amount of body fat, one study found that eating less sugar could reduce body fat in just days.
It may not be the easiest thing to do, but trying to eliminate sugar from your diet can be extremely beneficial.
6. Stay away from alcohol
It should be no surprise that too much alcohol isn’t great for your body. In addition to hangovers and other health concerns, research has shown that drinking a lot of alcohol can cause fat to be stored in the stomach area.
7. Stay away from trans fats
Trans fats are artificial fats that are mainly found in processed foods. They have been linked to increased belly fat, as well as an increased risk of heart disease and death. Keep an eye out for them and, in general, try to avoid processed foods if you’re hoping to lose body fat.
8. Get some sleep
Studies suggest that not sleeping enough can lead to an increase in abdominal fat, and a lack of sleep can confuse your hunger hormone, causing you to overeat. The best thing you can do for your overall health is to stick to a sleep routine every night.
9. Eat more protein
Protein is such an important part of your diet, especially if you’re trying to lose fat. Research has shown that people who eat a lot of protein have less stomach fat.
Try eating protein at every meal to make sure you’re getting enough to help reduce the accumulation of fat.
10. Give intermittent fasting a go
Intermittent fasting isn’t actually as intense as it seems. It involves alternating between cycles of eating and fasting, and there are plenty of options to fit your lifestyle.
Research has shown that intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and significantly reduce visceral fat. Just speak to your doctor before you try it for yourself.
11. Consume probiotics
Probiotics are a good, beneficial kind of bacteria. You can get them in supplement form or by eating fermented foods like kombucha and sauerkraut.
One study found that probiotics can help decrease stomach fat and body weight. As an added benefit, they’re great for your gut and for digestion.
12. Opt for high-intensity interval training workouts
We know that aerobic exercise is important when it comes to losing body fat, another effective workout option is high-intensity interval training. These bursts of intense exercise followed by active recovery have been shown to decrease abdominal and visceral fat.
This may be because, after a HIIT workout, your body continues to burn calories for hours, which can lead to a reduction in body fat.
13. Meditate more often
Since both reducing stress and getting more sleep have been linked to a decrease in belly fat, it makes sense that meditation would also be an effective way to do the same. Meditation has been linked to reduced stress levels, and has also been found to help with insomnia and even improve the quality of sleep.
Combining these methods of weight loss will help you to lose belly fat quickly, over a shorter period of time. Remember, though, that losing weight is an extremely personal decision, and you should always consult your doctor before making any significant weight loss decisions to make sure they’ll work well for you. Everyone is different, and your weight loss plan may look different from someone else’s.
Be patient and commit to a weight loss plan that’s been approved by a professional – and remember that your health, not your weight, is what matters most.