6 simple ways to lose belly fat, based on science

Belly fat is not just a problem because it can look bad.

In fact, having a lot of fat in the abdominal area is strongly linked to diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (1).

For this reason, losing abdominal fat has enormous benefits for your health and can help you live longer.

Belly fat is usually estimated by measuring the circumference around the waist. This can easily be done at home with a simple tape measure.

Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women is known as abdominal obesity.

If you have a lot of excess fat around your waist, you should take some measures to get rid of it, even if you are not very heavy in general.

Fortunately, there are some proven strategies that have been shown to target fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.

Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.

1. Do not eat sugar and avoid sugary drinks.

Ways to lose belly fat

The added sugar is very unhealthy.

Studies show that it has unique harmful effects on metabolic health (2).

Sugar is half the glucose, half fructose and fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in significant quantities (3).

When you eat a lot of added sugar, the liver is overloaded with fructose and forced to turn it into fat (4).

Numerous studies have shown that excess sugar, mostly due to large amounts of fructose, can lead to an increased accumulation of fat in the belly and liver (5).

Some believe that this is the main mechanism behind the damaging effects of sugar on health. It increases abdominal fat and liver fat, which leads to insulin resistance and a series of metabolic problems (6).

Liquid sugar is even worse in this regard. Liquid calories are not "recorded" by the brain in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugary drinks, you end up eating more total calories (7, 8).

Studies show that drinks sweetened with sugar are related to a 60% higher risk of obesity in children, for each daily portion (9).

Make the decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks.

This includes sugary drinks, sugary sodas, fruit juices and several sports drinks with high sugar content.

Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit, which is extremely healthy and has a lot of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.

The amount of fructose you get from the fruit is negligible compared to what you get from a diet rich in refined sugar.

If you want to reduce the consumption of refined sugar, you should start reading the labels. Even foods marketed as healthy foods can contain large amounts of sugar.

Summary Excessive consumption of sugar can be the main driver of excess fat in the abdomen and liver. This is particularly true of sugary drinks such as soft drinks.

2. Eating more protein is a great long-term strategy to reduce abdominal fat.

Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight.

It has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, increase metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and help you consume up to 441 fewer calories per day (10, 11, 12, 13).

If your goal is to lose weight, then adding protein is perhaps the most effective change you can make in your diet.

Not only will it help you lose, but it will also help you avoid losing weight again if you ever decide to abandon your efforts to lose weight (14).

There is also some evidence that the protein is particularly effective against belly fat.

One study showed that the amount and quality of the protein consumed was inversely related to belly fat. That is, people who ate more and better protein had less abdominal fat (15).

Another study showed that the protein was associated with a significantly lower risk of abdominal fat gain over a 5-year period (16).

This study also showed that carbohydrates and refined oils were related to higher amounts of abdominal fat, but fruits and vegetables were associated with reduced amounts.

Many of the studies that showed that proteins were effective had proteins with 25-30% of calories. That is what you should aspire.

So make an effort to increase your intake of protein-rich foods, such as whole eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat and dairy products. These are the best sources of protein in the diet.

If you have trouble getting enough protein in your diet, then a quality protein supplement (such as whey protein) is a healthy and convenient way to increase your total intake.

If you're vegetarian or vegan, check out this article on how to increase your protein intake.

Bonus tip: Consider cooking your food in coconut oil. Some studies have shown that 30 ml (approximately 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day slightly reduce abdominal fat (17, 18).

Summary Eating a lot of protein can increase your metabolism and reduce hunger levels, making it a very effective way to lose weight. Several studies suggest that the protein is particularly effective against the accumulation of abdominal fat.

3. Cut carbohydrates from your diet

The restriction of carbohydrates is a very effective way to lose fat.

This is supported by numerous studies. When people reduce carbohydrates, their appetite decreases and they lose weight (19).

More than 20 randomized controlled trials have now shown that low-carbohydrate diets lead to 2-3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets (20, 21, 22).

This is true even when low carbohydrate groups can eat as much as they want, while low fat groups have restricted calories and hunger.

Low-carbohydrate diets also lead to rapid reductions in water weight, which gives people almost instant results. A difference in scale is often seen within 1-2 days.

There are also studies comparing low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets, which show that low-carbohydrate diets specifically target fat in the womb and around the organs and liver (23, 24).

What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low carb diet is the dangerous abdominal fat that promotes the disease.

Just avoiding refined carbohydrates (sugar, candy, white bread, etc.) should be enough, especially if you keep your protein intake high.

However, if you need to lose weight quickly, consider lowering your carbohydrates to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and causing your body to start burning mainly fats as fuel.

Of course, low carb diets have many other health benefits in addition to weight loss. They can have vital effects in type 2 diabetics, for example (25).

Summary Studies have shown that reducing carbohydrates is particularly effective in eliminating fat in the abdominal area, around the organs and in the liver.

4. Eat foods rich in fiber, especially viscous fiber

Dietary fiber is for the most part indigestible plant material.

It is often claimed that eating a lot of fiber can help you lose weight.

This is true, but it is important to keep in mind that not all fibers are the same.

It seems that most soluble and viscous fibers affect weight (26).

These are fibers that bind to water and form a thick gel that "sits" in the intestine.

This gel can dramatically slow down the movement of food through your digestive system and slow down digestion and absorption of nutrients. The final result is a prolonged sensation of fullness and decreased appetite (27).

One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were related to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and a 4.5-pound (2 kg) weight loss over 4 months (28).

In a 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was associated with a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity (29).

What this implies is that soluble fiber can be particularly effective in reducing harmful belly fat.

The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods, such as vegetables and fruits. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals such as whole oats.

Then you can also try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This is one of the most viscous dietary fibers in existence, and has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies (30, 31).

Summary There is some evidence that soluble dietary fiber can lead to reduced amounts of abdominal fat. This should cause significant improvements in metabolic health and reduce the risk of various diseases.

5. Exercise is very effective in reducing belly fat.

Exercise is important for several reasons.

It is one of the best things you can do if you want to live a long and healthy life and avoid illness.

Listing all the incredible health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise seems to be effective in reducing abdominal fat.

However, keep in mind that I am not talking about abdominal exercises here. Reducing the stain (losing fat at one point) is not possible, and doing endless amounts of abdominal exercises will not cause you to lose belly fat.

In one study, 6 weeks of training, only the abdominal muscles did not have a measurable effect on the waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity (32).

That said, other types of exercise can be very effective.

In numerous studies (33, 34), it has been shown that aerobic exercise (such as walking, running, swimming, etc.) causes large reductions in abdominal fat.

Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from regaining abdominal fat after losing weight, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance (35).

Exercise also leads to less inflammation, lower blood sugar levels and improvements in all other metabolic abnormalities associated with excess abdominal fat (36).

Summary Exercise can be very effective if you are trying to lose abdominal fat. Exercise also has a number of other health benefits and can help you live a longer life.

6. Track your food and find out exactly what and how much you are eating

What you eat is important. Almost everyone knows it.

However, most people do not really have a clue what they are actually eating.

People think they are eating "high in protein", "low in carbohydrates" or something else, but they tend to overestimate or underestimate it drastically.

I think that for anyone who really wants to optimize their diet, tracking things for a while is absolutely essential.

It does not mean that you should weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it from time to time for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes.

If you want to increase your protein intake to 25-30% of calories, as recommended above, just eating more protein-rich foods will not be enough. You really need to measure and fine-tune to achieve that goal.

Review these articles here to get a calorie calculator and a list of free online tools and applications to keep track of what you are eating.

I personally do this every few months. I weigh and measure all I eat to see what my current diet looks like.

Then I know exactly where to make adjustments to get closer to my goals.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat


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