Many health organizations now use BMI to class weight and warn people about the potential threat of metabolic syndrome. But this is terribly misleading, since those with excessive belly fat actually are in a greater risk to develop metabolic disease even if they seem thin (as judged by BMI). Even though losing fat in this area may be difficult, there are many things you can do to lower belly fat without starving yourself. In fact, many of these tips will improve your lifestyle and actually help you lose weight, especially belly fat. So, what are the best tips for losing belly fat?
The first tip to lose belly fat is to eat fewer sugary foods. This means eliminating all sugar-sweetened beverages, including soft drinks, energy or sports drinks with sugar, and any type of fruit juice except fresh. This includes any sort of fruit that’s high in calories, such as blueberries, kiwi, or prunes. The less sugar you eat, the less fat you’ll have.
Another important way to lose belly fat is to adopt a new diet of low-calorie meals, but keep the portion size small. Instead of eating three large meals, eat five or six small ones. By eating this way, your metabolism speeds up because it’s burning more fuel. And since your metabolism is working at a maximum capacity, you’re losing weight much faster in a shorter amount of time.
One of the best ways to improve your metabolism while you lose belly fat is to change your sleep habits. A study done at the University of Illinois’ College of Medicine showed that those who got plenty of sleep also had a higher level of activity. So the next time you read a fitness magazine or watch an infomercial about a supplement, remember that skipping a night’s sleep has the same affect on your metabolism as eating three big meals. Your body needs to have the proper amount of time between meals to fully digest all of the food you’ve eaten. So if you skip a lot, you give your metabolism a chance to “catch up” and you’ll find your efforts to lose weight more successful.
Some studies suggest that adding green tea to your diet may help your metabolism. Green tea contains catechin polyphenols, which have been known to stimulate a rapid metabolism. In one study, overweight and obese women who drank the highest amounts of green tea had more rapid metabolic rates than those who only consumed small amounts of green tea. So make green tea as an ingredient in your weight loss plan. You can also try drinking it in combination with exercise, as long as you don’t drink it right after you exercise.
There are other compounds that may help you lose belly fat, too. One of them is soluble fiber, which slows down the process of getting waste products from your digestive system to your body. Studies show that soluble fiber can help you burn more fat. This is because it slows down the movement of digested food through your digestive system. So if you add soluble fiber to your diet, you’ll find that you’ll be able to lose more belly fat.
Another thing that seems to be related to obesity is an increased risk of heart disease. Women who have a high level of physical activity seem to have a reduced risk of developing coronary artery disease, or cholesterol problems. The results were found in two separate studies, one led by researchers at the University of Texas and another by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Women who were overweight or obese and had large plaques in their arteries were more likely to be at a greater risk for heart disease than women who were considered to be within a normal weight range. So, those foods that help you lose belly fat may actually increase your risk for heart disease.
Another thing that seems to be a problem for many people is sugary drinks. Many people tend to believe that soda, as a sweetener, causes belly fat. Researchers say that sugary drinks actually make it harder for the body to digest all the sugar that’s present. If you add more sugary drinks to your diet, your digestion will become less efficient, which increases the likelihood that you’ll gain weight. Instead, drink water, herbal teas, or unsweetened iced teas instead.