A healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce belly fat. It’s also important to limit sugary drinks, as the brain doesn’t register liquid calories the same way it does solid ones.
Vigorous exercise trims all types of fat, including visceral belly fat. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week and add strength training.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet to lose belly fat. But a well-rounded eating plan that includes plenty of lean proteins and fiber can help you trim your abdomen. You can find both of these in foods like beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, cruciferous vegetables and fruits, including berries, pears and apples with their skin on.
Everyone has some belly fat, but some people store it more viscerally than others, which can lead to health complications like high blood pressure and heart disease. Too much visceral fat may also increase your risk for dementia and certain cancers, especially breast and colon.
You can’t spot reduce, but you can get rid of belly fat by losing weight overall and exercising regularly. Start with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five days a week and create opportunities to add movement to your daily routine: park farther away from your destination and walk the rest of the way, take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand while talking on the phone.
2. Exercise Regularly
The best way to lose belly fat is through a combination of paying attention to nutrition and regularly exercising. Belly fat is dangerous because it’s stored close to vital organs and can increase your risk of cardiometabolic problems, like clogged arteries. It can also trigger inflammatory responses and hormone imbalances, which increase the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Exercise can help you burn calories, but if you want to eliminate belly fat, it’s important to do a mix of aerobic exercise and strength training. Strength training helps you build muscle tissue, which can reduce your body’s fat storage and improve your metabolic rate, so it’s an essential part of any healthy weight loss plan.
Spot exercises, such as crunches, can tighten abdominal muscles, but they won’t get rid of visceral fat. Instead, you’ll need to make sure you get plenty of full-body strength workouts, like deadlifts.
3. Sleep Well
A good night’s sleep is important for a variety of reasons, including keeping your energy levels up so you can hit the gym and stick to a healthy diet. However, a lack of shut-eye may also contribute to the accumulation of belly fat.
Studies have shown that even short periods of mild sleep deprivation can increase your calorie consumption, and lead to an increase in both subcutaneous belly fat as well as visceral abdominal fat. This excess belly fat can increase your risk of heart disease, as well as insulin resistance and diabetes.
If you want to lose belly fat, you need to work on getting more sleep. Aim for 6.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep each night, and try to stick to a regular bedtime schedule. This will help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed each morning. Getting more sleep will also improve your ability to exercise, so you’ll be better able to keep up with your high-intensity workout sessions.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress can affect hormones and your body’s ability to lose weight. Even if you’re eating right and exercising regularly, chronic stress can prevent you from losing your belly fat.
Stress-related abdominal fat can also cause digestive problems like pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. It can also lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and inflammatory bowel diseases.
You can reduce stress-related belly fat by making simple lifestyle changes. Try to avoid stress-inducing foods, like refined sugar and processed carbohydrates. Instead, eat whole grains and plenty of vegetables and fruits. Also, try to eat three meals a day and snacks between each meal. This will help to keep your blood sugar stable and reduce cortisol spikes.
Getting enough sleep is also important. One study found that people who got less than six hours of sleep per night were more likely to develop visceral fat. Alcohol can also be a stress-inducing beverage. Alcohol may feel good in the moment, but it can also add extra calories to your diet and delay weight loss because the body burns alcohol before it starts burning fat.