Belly fat also referred to as visceral fat, is a major risk factor for type-2 diabetes and cardiac diseases which are seriously harmful. Measurements above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women is known as abdominal obesity. If you have excess fat around your waistline, then you should take some steps to get rid of it even if you are not on the heftier side overall. Fortunately, there are some proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body. Various health organizations use BMI (body mass index) to classify weight and calculate the risk of metabolic disease. Nevertheless, this is misleading, as people with excess belly fat are at a higher risk even if they look thin from outside. Although losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things one can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.
There are some evidence-based ways to lose belly fat:
- Avoid eating sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks: Sugar is half glucose and half fructose, and fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in significant amounts. When a lot of added sugar is consumed, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat.
- Consuming more protein is a great long-term strategy to reduce belly fat: Protein is the most important macronutrient to lose weight. It has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, enhance metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and help you to eat up to 441 lesser calories per day. Adding protein is perhaps the most effective change you can make to your diet to achieve weight loss. It will not only help you to lose weight, but it will also help you to avoid re-gaining weight if you ever decide to abandon your weight loss efforts.
- Cut carbs from your diet: Low-carb diets lead to 2-3 times more weight loss than the low-fat diet. There are studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets specifically target the fat in the belly, and around the organs and liver. The dangerous and disease-promoting abdominal fat is lost on a low-carb diet. Just avoiding the refined carbs (sugar, candy, white bread, etc) should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein intake high.
- Eat Plenty of Soluble Fiber: Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps to slow down food as it passes through the digestive system. Studies show that this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you to feel full, so you naturally eat less. The number of calories absorbed by the body from the food also decreases.
- Avoid Foods Containing Trans Fats: Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil. They are present in some kinds of margarine and spreads and also often added to packaged foods. The observational and animal studies have found that these fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain.
- Prevent drinking too much alcohol: Excessive alcohol ingestion has been associated with increased belly fat. If you need to reduce your waistline, consider drinking alcohol in moderation or avoiding completely.
- Reduce Your Stress Levels: Stress can make you gain belly fat by stimulating the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Engagement in pleasurable activities like practicing yoga or meditation can be an effective method.
In a nutshell, there are a lot many other ways to lose belly weight. There is no magical solution to lose belly fat in a snap. Weight loss always requires some effort, commitment, and perseverance on your behalf. Successfully adopting some or all of the strategies and lifestyle goals discussed in this blog will definitely help you lose the extra pounds around your waist.