People who want to lose belly fat should reduce their sugar intake. Excess sugar can lead to obesity and increase the risk of chronic diseases. People can also drink more water and exercise regularly. HIIT exercises are particularly helpful for losing belly fat.
Belly fat is dangerous because it raises your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Losing it can help you live longer and prevent serious health problems.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Although many people want to lose belly fat for cosmetic reasons, there are good health reasons to trim down your waistline. Belly fat is dangerous because it’s often made of visceral fat, which accumulates near your internal organs and raises your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Having too much belly fat is also linked to a higher risk of premature death, regardless of your overall weight. It’s not just about the extra padding under your skin (subcutaneous fat), but also about the deep fat in your abdomen (visceral fat).
You can’t spot reduce visceral fat by doing crunches or doing a specific diet, but you can cut back on total calories, especially from sugary drinks and foods, and increase the amount of fiber you consume. Try eating a diet that’s low in saturated fat and added sugar and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meat. You can also start drinking green tea, which has EGCG, an antioxidant that boosts metabolism and reduces belly fat.
2. Exercise Regularly
Stubborn belly fat is often associated with a number of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. In fact, excess abdominal fat can also increase your risk for premature death, even if you are a healthy weight according to your body mass index measurement. This is because the dangerous visceral fat found in your abdomen surrounds your vital organs, exposing them to toxins and hormones.
Exercise is the most effective way to lose belly fat and build a toned, strong core. Regular moderate-intensity physical activity reduces circulating insulin levels, which helps your body burn up and lose belly fat. Incorporate cardio exercises like dancing, walking or jogging and resistance training into your routine. HIIT workouts, which involve short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity activity, are especially effective at burning belly fat.
Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. Incorporate daily stretching as well to improve muscle tone and balance.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water can help you lose belly fat. Water contains soluble fiber, which slows the digestion of food and can make you feel full so you eat less. It also helps relieve constipation and reduces belly bloating. Studies show that drinking water before meals makes people eat fewer calories at that meal ().
It can be difficult to lose belly fat, but there are many things you can do to try. Start by making one change at a time, such as eliminating sugary drinks or adding aerobic exercise to your routine.
Strength training is also important because it builds muscle, which burns more calories than fat. In addition, it helps prevent loss of muscle mass during weight loss. Finally, aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Research suggests that getting too little sleep throws off hormones that regulate appetite and satiety. It can also increase levels of ghrelin, the hormone that promotes hunger.
4. Manage Your Stress
If you’re struggling to lose belly fat despite having a healthy diet and regular exercise, it could be due to your stress levels. The hormone cortisol can impact where your body stores its fat, and long-term elevated levels of the hormone can lead to what’s known as a stress stomach.
Stress belly is characterized by the accumulation of visceral fat that surrounds your organs and puffs out your abdomen. This type of fat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other health conditions.
The best way to reduce your stress is to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. You should also try to get enough sleep, as lack of sleep can lead to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they may provide the illusion of reducing your stress but only offer short-term relief. Instead, aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night.