Belly fat can be frustrating, and is one of the most difficult areas to slim down. Losing excess weight around your abdomen requires a combination of regular exercise, a healthy diet, and lifestyle changes.
How to get rid of belly fat with exercise
Make physical activity a part of your daily routine with a goal of exercising for at least 20-30 minutes a day. Don't push yourself too hard. Begin slowly as you train your muscles to become stronger, and extend the duration of your workouts gradually to burn more calories. Exercises to try include:
- Circuit training: Burpees, sprints, press-ups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push- or pull-ups, etc. are great for burning calories
- Cardio: Walking, running, swimming, etc. and high-intensity workouts that combine cardio and weight training may take 6-8 weeks to see results.
- Strength training: Adding muscle to your frame is a great way to boost your metabolism. When you have more muscle, you burn more calories. Include 2-3 days of strength training in your exercise regime.
- Tabata: This high-intensity interval training exercise involves 20 seconds of intense workout followed by 10 seconds of rest, and is one of the best forms of exercise to target fat around your abdomen.
How to get rid of belly fat with diet
Exercise alone cannot guarantee good results. You should eat a nutritious and well-balanced diet high in proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Protein helps boost metabolism and promotes visceral fat loss, and fruits and vegetables provide sustained energy while also being low in calories. Principles of healthy eating include the following:
- Limit sugar: Excess sugar consumption, especially sweetened beverages like soft drinks and fruit juices, may be the primary cause of abdominal fat accumulation. To satisfy your sweet tooth, go for fresh or dried fruits instead.
- Eat more fiber: Fiber reduces hunger hormone levels, makes you feel fuller for longer, and helps with digestion. Increase your fiber intake by eating flaxseeds, legumes, grains, and sweet potatoes.
- Avoid processed foods: Since processed foods tend to be high in saturated fat and sugar, try to avoid them and opt for whole foods instead.
- Choose healthy fats: Healthy unsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, avocados, flaxseed, and olive oil, can help you lose weight as well as reduce your risk of heart disease. Saturated and trans fats, such as those found in processed foods, have the opposite effect, adding fat and increasing your health risks.
- Don't skip meals: Instead of skipping meals, eat smaller meals more frequently. This trains your metabolism to work faster and more efficiently, helping you lose excess weight.
How to get rid of belly fat with lifestyle changes
When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, exercising and eating healthy are only the beginning. It’s also important to make changes in your lifestyle, as factors such as stress, hydration, and sleep can affect systems in your body that regulate metabolism and other important processes.
- Tackle your stressors: Cortisol, a stress hormone, promotes the storage of visceral fat. Find ways to manage stress by meditating or using other relaxation techniques.
- Limit alcohol: Alcohol has been linked to larger waistlines because when you drink alcohol, your liver burns alcohol instead of fat. Booze contains a lot of sugar as well.
- Drink lots of water: Drink plenty of water to keep your metabolism going. It will not only help you lose abdominal fat but also keep your energy levels high all day.
- Drink green tea: Green tea is a healthy beverage that contains the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, which may help boost metabolism. When green tea is combined with exercise, the antioxidants may be even more effective.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep has an impact on many elements of your health, including the buildup of abdominal fat. To help with weight loss, try to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night.
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Rush University Medical Center. Losing Belly Fat. https://www.rush.edu/news/losing-belly-fat
Life Enriching Communities. Waist vs. Weight. https://lec.org/blog/waist-vs-weight-how-to-lose-inches-not-just-pounds/
Cleveland Clinic. Want to Lose the Belly Fat? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/tips-for-losing-belly-fat/
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