If you ask numerous people that are trying to lose weight for their reasons, most of them will tell you that they want to tone their belly area.
Belly fat is a major problem – not just because it looks bad when you are wearing fitting clothes, but also because it is a health risk you would rather live without (it has strong links to heart disease and Type II Diabetes).
The good news is that there are plenty of proven strategies to help you shed this annoying fat off. In this article, we will highlight six of them.
Staying away from sugar-sweetened drinks and sugar itself
It does not take rocket science to know why added sugar is a long-term risk to your health, especially if you consume it in large quantities. Medical and scientific studies have found that it has harmful effects on your metabolism.
The sugar we are referring to is the artificial sugar you find in sweetened drinks as well as confectioneries and sweetened foods. Sugar is comprised of half fructose and half glucose, while the liver can only handle fructose in specific amounts (such as from fruits). Once there is an overload, the liver is forced to convert the fructose into fat.
The accumulation of fat leads to more fat deposits in the liver and belly, which increases resistance to insulin and other issues with metabolism.
Liquid sugar is even worse, as the brain fails to ‘register’ it in the same way as solid calories – so sweetened beverages are also a very bad idea. None of this applies to fruits though, as the fructose amounts they contain are negligible unless eaten in copious amounts.
Eating higher amounts of protein
When it comes to losing weight, protein is your best friend. Studies have shown it reduces cravings by as much as 60 percent, increases metabolism by at least 80 calories daily. Protein also helps when you do not want to regain weight after previous weight loss efforts.
A certain study also revealed protein consumption has an inverse relationship to your belly fat – the more you take high-quality protein, the less fat you have. Aim for at least 30 to 40 percent of protein content in the foods you eat. These sources include whole eggs (come from pasture fed poultry), meat, fish, dairy products, legumes and seafood.
This remains a highly effective method of reducing belly fat, and is supported by many scientific studies. When you cut carbs, your appetite reduces and you lose more weight – in fact, studies have shown it results in two to three times more weight loss compared to a low-fat diet.
All low carb diets will reduce water retention in your body, leading to faster results in weight loss. It also reduces fat content in the liver and other body organs. Aim to avoid refined carbs in particular, such as white bread, candy and soft drinks, and maintain high protein intake to lose more weight.
Consume more fiber-rich foods
Fiber consumption proves to be an effective method of weight loss, but not all fibers are made equal. The fiber types that have the greatest effects on your weight are viscous and soluble fibers – these are the ones that bind water molecules, and they form a very thick gel that lines your gut.
The advantage is that they slow down the movement of food through the digestive tract, therefore slowing down nutrient absorption. That means you feel full faster and for longer, meaning your appetite also reduces.
The best way to consume more fiber is eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as other plant foods like legumes and certain cereals – oats being a good example. There is also the option of taking fiber supplements such as glucomannan, which happens to be a good source of viscous fiber today.
Invest in a good fat burner
When it comes to taking a weight loss supplement, many are on the fence about it. The truth is, there are many such products in the market that do more harm than good. You need to also be aware of the kind of ingredients to avoid when it comes to fat burners.
To be on the safe side, take a fat burner that is made purely from a natural ingredient like Ultra Omega Burn. It is made purely from Omega 7 which is a fatty acid. Not only does Ultra Omega Burn helps you lose weight, it also provides many other health benefits like better skin, improves IBS symptoms and lowers bad cholesterol.
It is important to exercise and develop a routine for several reasons – it can help you live longer and become more fit, but it also helps hasten the process of losing stubborn belly fat.
However, bear in mind this does not mean you start doing abdominal crunches or other forms of abdominal exercise. Spot reductions is not possible, so you will not lose fat from your belly if you are only doing those types of exercises. There are other exercise forms that are more effective.
For instance, aerobic activities like swimming, running and walking, have proven to lead to major reductions in belly fat. They are also important for maintaining weight limits because they prevent your body from re-gaining the fat it lost, while also reducing inflammation and boosting metabolism.
Track your food quantity intake and know what you consume at all times
You are what you eat – we are sure you have heard this phrase before. However, many people have no idea what they actually eat, or how much they eat. You might think you are eating ‘high-protein’ or ‘low-carb’ foods, but the reality is you are likely over or underestimating it.
It is important to keep track of what you eat. Not necessarily counting calories all the time, but occasionally doing it to monitor changes you should make.
A good food tracker like Myfitnesspal will help you log all your calories consumed.
Losing belly fat is not a walk in the park. Like all tasks of shedding weight, it needs dedication and a willingness to change your diet and activity habits to succeed.