One of the most stubborn fats to lose in the body is belly fat. Belly fat is the fat that sits under the skin around your waist.
While it is normal to have small amounts of fats underneath the skin, too much of it can be detrimental to your health as it can lead to heart attacks and diabetes.
Belly fat can also be a nuisance because it can make you feel insecure about your body. With huge love handles, you might not be in a position to wear a tight-fitting dress or shirt.
Fortunately, you can lose belly fat and get toned abdominal muscles.
You just need to incorporate strategic approaches to your diet and exercise routines and make some necessary lifestyle changes.
Below are 15 ways that can help you lose belly fat.
1. Increase your protein intake
In your quest to lose belly fat, you must increase the amounts of protein you consume every day.
To lose belly fat, you must lose excessive body weight, and protein plays a significant role in weight loss.
First, it enhances the release of hormones that make you full all the time. This means that your appetite will reduce, making you eat fewer calories.
Your cravings and desire for late-night snacking will be cut back, preventing you from eating unnecessary and gaining weight.
Increased protein consumption also boosts your metabolism, such that your body can burn more calories even when sleeping.
The recommended protein intake is 30% of your calorie intake.
Wondering how many grams of protein these are? Multiply your calorie intake by 0.075. If your diet contains 1800 calories, you should eat (0.075*1800) 135 grams of proteins daily.
Ensure that your protein consumption is spread out throughout the day.
Some of the foods rich in proteins and should include in your diet include dairy, eggs, fish, meat, protein bars and whey protein.
2. Fill up on soluble fiber
Soluble fibers aid in fighting belly fat.
These fibers mix with water to form a substance that reduces the rate at which food is released from the stomach into the gut. As a result, your appetite reduces.
Soluble fibers also promote healthy bacteria in the gut that facilitate the loss of fats around the belly.
Avocados, legumes, flax seeds, and blackberries are excellent sources of soluble fibers.
3. Reduce carbohydrates in your diet – especially refined carbs
You do not necessarily have to cut back carbs entirely from your diet to lose belly fat. What you should avoid are refined carbs.
Refined carbs are bad because they do not offer sufficient nutritional value to your body.
Refined carbs are foods like pizza, white flour, white rice, processed food, among others.
These foods do not contain fiber in them. Fiber is essential because it makes you feel full, thus decreasing your appetite.
Their lack of fiber makes them less useful in aiding weight loss. You will also not get enough energy after consuming them.
Consider eating good carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes.
4. Reduce alcohol consumption
Too much consumption of alcohol enhances the gain of fats around the belly. It makes excess fats to be stored around the waist.
The liver is supposed to burn fats. But when you drink alcohol, it burns alcohol instead of these fats, leading to bigger waists and belly. You will later have to put a lot of effort when getting rid of beer belly.
Additionally, it is very easy to consume a lot of calories when taking alcohol. A bottle of beer contains about 150 calories, and most people can drink many in one seating.
If you are looking to gain a slimmer waist, you must cut back on alcohol. You might consider completely stopping consumption or reducing the amount you take every day.
5. Avoid eating a lot of sugary foods
A high intake of sugar leads to an increase in abdominal fat.
When you consume sugar, it is converted to fats around the heart and abdomen. This is not only detrimental to your waist but your overall health as well.
You, therefore, need to avoid sweetened beverages and snacks that have high sugar content.
6. Limit salt consumption
According to this study, people who consume a lot of salt become hungry often. Resultantly, they are bound to eat more, leading to weight gain.
Salt contains sodium, and if consumed in large amounts, it can lead to water weight.
Water weight is the excess water retained in the body. It causes bloating and puffiness around the stomach. It can also cause your weight to fluctuate.
To limit salt consumption, eat natural foods, and do not add raw salt to cooked food.
7. Do abdominal muscles workout to get rid of stomach pouch
To lose tummy fat and gain impressive abs, you must also consider doing abs workouts that build your abdominal muscles.
Some of these exercises include burpees, Russian twists, and bear crawls. You must incorporate the right forms to reap the benefits of these exercises.
Below is a description of how you should effectively execute these exercises.
This is a high-intensity workout that can get your tummy toned if done correctly and consistently.
To do a burpee, get in a standing position where your feet are aligned with your shoulders. Squat deeply and place your hands on the floor.
Move your feet back and get into a plank position. Then jump with your hands above your head, as explained here.
Do three sets of 10-12 reps.
ii) Russian twist
Russian twists are also vital when losing belly fat. This exercise involves moving your torso from side to side with your feet raised above the ground.
Get on the floor, sit with your knees slightly bent and feet raised. Then hold a ball or a weight and move your torso to the right and left.
After every turn, pause and squeeze your obliques. As a beginner, you can start by doing three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
iii) Bear crawl
Bear crawls will work not only your belly but also your whole body.
It involves getting down and moving on all fours. Your hands should be below your shoulders and your hips aligned with your knees.
Start moving your right hand and left leg forward. Then move your left hand and right leg forward. Keep alternating these moves as demonstrated here.
Three sets of 10 repetitions on each side would be ideal to start you off. You can increase the intensity of this workout with time.
Note that these exercises alone will not get the job done. You must combine with other workouts, as discussed later in this article.
8. Incorporate cardio exercises
Ab workouts alone will not help you get rid of the belly fat. You must do cardio exercises too to get rid of excessive stomach fat.
Cardio exercises will not only improve your health but also help in burning calories. These exercises range from high to low-intensity workouts.
As a beginner, you can increase the intensity of your workouts gradually. Some of the cardio exercises to consider include swimming, circuit training, running, cycling, and stair stepper.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends combining cardio and strength training exercises for the best results.
Since there are many cardio exercises to choose from, it is best to start doing those you like.
It is recommended to do these workouts 3 to 5 days per week. Each session should last between 30 to 60 minutes.
9. Do resistance training to reduce stubborn abdominal fat
Resistance training involves lifting weights. It is very beneficial when you are aiming at losing fat around your belly.
Lifting weights helps to preserve and increase muscle mass around your belly. As a result, fats are burned, and your tummy becomes toned.
Performing resistance training exercises for at least two days a week is an effective way to lose belly fat.
It is always wise to consult a certified personal trainer before doing resistance training. They will guide on the right ways and forms of executing different exercises.
A combination of ab workouts, cardiovascular exercises, and strength training will give you the flat belly you wish to have.
10. Workout consistently
As you achieve anything, you need to be consistent at every belly fat loss strategy you settle on.
Belly fat can be very stubborn to lose mainly because you cannot spot reduce or target the belly alone. This can make you lose hope quickly.
Getting a flat tummy requires you to workout correctly and consistently. Also, note that exercises alone will not make you achieve this goal.
You will need to make the necessary modifications to your diet and lifestyle. Eat the right foods and do the right exercises in the right way.
Tracking the progress that you are making is also essential. If you are not making any progress, you need to evaluate your plan and make the necessary adjustment.
11. Learn how to cope with stress to get rid of excessive belly fat
Stress might sound unrelated to belly fat, but there is s direct connection between the two.
When you are overly stressed, the adrenal glands are triggered to produce cortisol, a stress hormone.
High levels of cortisol will increase your appetite. If you are the type that finds comfort in eating lots of food, you will end up messing up with your belly fat diet.
What’s worse is that cortisol will cause the excess calories to be stored around your belly, increasing fat gain around that area.
While you might not avoid stress, it is crucial to learn how to cope with it at such times.
Doing yoga, meditating, taking a walk, or talking about your problems with your loved ones can help relieve stress.
12. Manage cravings for unhealthy foods
One of the main things that can hinder you from losing belly fat is cravings. Eating unhealthy foods can lead to weight gain.
To reduce cravings, drink lots of water, and eat a lot of proteins. These will make you feel full.
Also, consider planning your meals to include healthy fat foods that help burn belly fat to reduce the uncertainty of what you should eat.
Getting belly fat is not a do or die situation. Do not be so hard on yourself.
Have cheat days within a week or a month whereby you eat foods that you are not in line with your diet.
Be disciplined enough to resume your belly fat loss diet afterward.
13. Embrace a healthy lifestyle to get a flat tummy
To build and maintain a slim belly, you must embrace a healthy lifestyle.
You need to be active. Sitting for very long hours is not appropriate when you are trying to gain a slimmer waist.
Eat foods that benefit your body. Avoid processed foods, alcohol, and foods that have unnecessary calories.
Drink water regularly and reduce the consumption of sweetened beverages.
It is best to stick to lifestyle habits and exercise routines you can do in the long run.
14. Get enough sleep
A study reveals that short sleep duration causes weight gain, leading to an increase in belly fat.
Poor sleeping patterns can also lead to behaviors also lead to increased food intake, which is not good if you are aiming to have a flat belly.
Ensure to sleep comfortably for a reasonable duration of time. You will let your body rest and have enough energy and drive to work out your belly.
15. Do intermittent fasting to get rid of stubborn stomach fat
A study reveals that intermittent fasting can help in losing belly fat and overall body weight.
Intermittent fasting involves alternating periods of eating and periods of fasting. There are different plans, and the best is one that fits your lifestyle and body needs.
When you consume carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into sugar, which is used as energy. If all sugar is not used, it is stored as fats.
If you do not eat, the body will use these stored sugars as sources of energy. This means that fats will be burned, aiding in fat loss.
If you have underlying medical problems, it is wise to consult a doctor before committing to intermittent fasting.
The key to long-term belly fat loss results is embracing healthy habits.
With consistency and commitment, the tips discussed above will help you get a flat tummy. It is wise to try and combine different methods to determine the ones that suit you best.