9 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)
Belly fat, also termed as visceral fat, can not only be a nuisance on making your clothes feel tight but can also lead to health risks. This type of fat has been scientifically proven to cause heart diseases and type 2 Diabetes, just to mention a few. Despite being the most commonly used unit for body weight classification, BMI may be misleading when it comes to predicting one’s potential risk of metabolic diseases. This is because people with excess belly fat are at a greater risk even if they appear healthy from the outside.
Losing this fat is not an easy task, but there are several practices and habits one can apply to reduce excess fat. Below are ten practical tips to lose abdominal fat based on scientific research and studies:
1) Take high amounts of soluble fiber
Soluble fiber sucks up water to form a gel which assists in slowing down food as it passes through the digestive system. In turn, one feels full and as a result, eats less. This type of fiber also decreases the number of calories that the body absorbs from food. Excellent sources of soluble fiber are Brussels sprouts, legumes, avocados, shirataki noodles and flaxseeds. According to scientific studies, it has been found that for every 10-gram increment in the intake of soluble fiber, belly fat gain decreases by 3.7% for five years.
2) Avoid too much alcohol intake
Alcohol, in small amounts, can have health benefits but is seriously dangerous if taken in high quantities. Excessive consumption of alcohol has been linked with an increased risk of excess fat storage around the waist (central obesity). This is because alcohol consumption makes one gain belly fat. A recent study carried out on a total of more than 2000 people showed that those who drank less frequently but took more alcohol on the few days they drank had averagely more belly fat than those who took small amounts on a daily basis after two years. This survey proved that limiting the amount of daily alcohol intake is an efficient way of reducing belly fat.
3) Eat a High-Protein Diet
Proteins are vital nutrients in the body for fat control. Consumption of high protein amounts triggers the release of PYY (the fullness hormone) which decreases one’s appetite and in turn promotes fullness. Proteins also release one’s metabolic rate and help the body to retain muscle mass during weight loss. Protein sources include fish, meat, eggs, whey protein, and dairy. People who include traces of the above sources in their diets have been found to have a less concentration of abdominal fat in comparison to those who rarely take protein-rich meals.
4) Reduce carb intake
Reducing carb intake, especially the refined ones, can be very advantageous in fat loss. Diets that have a carb concentration of under 50 grams are recommended for people who are at the risk of type 2 diabetes(overweight) and women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). A better practice would be replacing refined carbs in your diet with starchy carbs that are unprocessed. The Framingham Heart Study contacted over the past decade proved that people who consumed high amounts of whole grains are 17% less likely to build up excess belly fat than those who take high amounts of refined grains.
5) Limit consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages consist of elements of liquid fructose which is a primary cause of fat accumulation. Sugar drinks are even more dangerous than high-sugar foods. This is because the brain does not similarly process liquid calories with solid ones. Instead, the liquid calories are stored as fat in many parts of the body, including the belly. One ten-week study showed a significant gain in abdominal fat in people who took beverages with high amounts of fructose. Such drinks include punch and sweet tea, alcoholic mixers with sugar contents, and soda.
6) Use coconut oil in place of cooking fats
Coconut oil has been listed among the healthiest fats for human consumption. This oil contains medium-chain fats which boost metabolism and reduce the amount of fat the body stores as a result of high-calorie intake. One should averagely take 30ml- two tablespoons- of coconut oil each day to boost loss of belly fat. In a study to test the efficiency of coconut oil in belly fat reduction, obese men were given 30ml of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks after which an average layer of 2.86 cm of fat was lost from their waist with no changes made to the rest of their diet and daily routine.
Since coconut oil still carries high amounts of calories, it is advisable to replace cooking fat with coconut oil rather than adding it to a diet containing cooking fat.
7) Use Apple Cider Vinegar in your diet
Apple cider vinegar is known for its benefits in lowering blood sugar levels. It consists of acetic acid, which is very crucial in reducing abdominal fats in humans and animals according to scientific studies and experiments. A controlled study on obese men who took a single tablespoon of the vinegar per day showed an average loss of 1.4 cm from their waists after 12 weeks. It is recommended to take an average of one to two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day to boost fat loss for the obese people and maintain harmless levels of fat for individuals with standard body sizes. You can also try acv and garcinia cambogia combo to boost your weight loss. It has been recommended by many.
8) Perform gym practices (Weight Lifting)
Weight lifting, also called resistance training, is very essential for burning fat and gaining muscle mass. Continued weight lifting reduces fat since the excess fat is released to produce the energy needed for the exercises. As the fat is burned down, one gets an added advantage of muscle build-up. Both strength training and aerobic exercises(cardio) are recommended for people with type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and prediabetes. Overweight individuals have been found to lose excess body fat, including belly fat, upon undertaking such exercises.
9) Reduce your depression and stress levels
Stress triggers production of cortisol (stress hormone) by the adrenal glands. According to research, high levels of cortisol increases appetite. This leads to intakes of large amounts of food, in which the chances are high that more fat will be consumed. Consequently, more excess fat will be stored in the belly as high-fat amounts are received in the body. Women with large waists have a tendency of producing more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol leads to more abdominal fat gain hence such women are at a higher risk. Meditation and yoga are very effective methods of relieving stress and depression.