Too much belly fat can increase your risk of developing certain chronic conditions. To lose belly fat, you can reduce alcohol intake, eat more protein, and lift weights.
Excessive belly fat can harm your health and contribute to many chronic conditions.
Visceral Fat, a specific type of belly fat, is a major risk factor in type 2 diabetes and heart disease ( 1Trusted source).
Many health agencies use body Mass Index (BMI) to determine the weight and predict risk for metabolic disease.
BMI is calculated using height and body weight but does not consider visceral Fat ( 2Trusted Source).
Although losing abdominal Fat can be hard, there are many things you can do to get rid of it.
These are 18 proven ways to lose belly fat.
Note on sex, gender and sexuality.
To reflect the terms used historically to describe gender, we use “women’ and “men” throughout this article. Your body’s response to weight loss may differ depending on gender identity. Your doctor can help you understand your situation and set weight management goals.
Consume plenty of soluble fibreSoluble fiber absorbs water to form a gel which helps slow down food passing through your digestive system.
Studies have shown that fiber can promote weight loss. It makes you feel fuller, which helps you eat less ( 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Insoluble fiber can also help to reduce belly fat.
A more recent observational study that involved over 1,100 adults showed that the rate of belly fat gain for every 10-gram (g) increase in soluble fiber intake decreased by 3.7% over five years ( 5Trusted Source).
Excellent sources of soluble fiber include: 6TrustedSource
Soluble fiber can help you lose weight by increasing your fullness and decreasing calorie absorption. Include high-fiber foods in your diet.
- Trans fats should be avoided.
Trans fats can be created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats like soybean oil.
They were previously found in some spreads and margarine, but most food producers are discontinuing them.
In observational and animal studies, these fats are linked to inflammation, heart disease and insulin resistance. 7Trusted source, 8Trusted source, 9Trusted Source.
A 6-year study showed that monkeys who consumed high trans-Fat levels gained 33% more abdominal Fat ( 10Trusted Source).
Avoid trans fats and read the ingredient labels to help you reduce belly fat. These fats are sometimes listed as partially hydrogenated.
Studies have shown that a high trans-Fat intake can lead to an increase in belly fat. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose weight; it is worth limiting your intake.
- Moderate your alcohol intake.
Alcohol may have some health benefits but can cause serious side effects if consumed in large quantities.
Research shows that excessive alcohol may cause belly fat.
Studies have shown that heavy alcohol intake increases the risk of excess fat storage around your waist ( 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
Your waistline may shrink if you cut back on alcohol. It doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking alcohol completely. However, it can be helpful to limit how much alcohol you consume in a given day.
More than 2000 people were involved in a study about alcohol consumption. The results showed that those who consumed alcohol daily but less than one drink per week had lower belly fat than those who consumed less alcohol but ate more alcohol on certain days ( 12Trusted Source).
The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting your alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one for women ( 13Trusted Source).
Increased belly fat has been linked to excessive alcohol consumption. You can lose weight by drinking moderately or completely abstaining from alcohol if you are trying to lose weight.
- Eat a high-protein diet.
For weight management, protein is an essential nutrient.
A high protein intake promotes fullness and lowers appetite.
You can also increase your metabolism and help you retain muscle mass when you lose weight ( 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Numerous observational studies have shown that people who eat more proteins tend to have lower abdominal Fat ( 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source and 18Trusted Source).
Make sure you include a good source of protein with every meal.
- Whey protein
If you want to lose belly fat, high-protein foods like Fish, lean meats, and beans may be a good option.
- Reduce your stress levels.
The stress hormone cortisol can cause you to gain belly fat.
Research has shown that high cortisol levels can increase appetite and cause abdominal Fat storage ( 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Additionally, larger waists are associated with higher levels of cortisol production in response to stress. Further, increased cortisol levels can lead to more Fat around the middle ( 21Trusted Source).
Engage in stress-relieving activities to help lose belly fat. Meditation and yoga can help you lose weight.
Stress can lead to fat gain around the waist. If you want to lose weight, stress must be reduced.
- Sugary foods should be avoided.
Sugar can contain fructose. This is linked to many chronic diseases if consumed in excess.
These include type 2 diabetes and heart disease ( 22TrustedSource, 23TrustedSource, 24Trusted Source).
Studies by observation show that high sugar intake is associated with increased abdominal Fat ( 25, Trusted Source, 26, Trusted Source).
Refined sugar alone can cause belly fat gain. Even natural sugars like real honey should be used in moderation.
Many people are concerned about their sugar intake. Reduce your sugary candy and other processed foods high in added sugar.
- Cardio exercise (cardio).
Cardio (aerobic exercise) is a great way to improve your health and burn calories.
According to studies, it can also be an effective exercise to reduce belly fat. But, the results are mixed on whether high-intensity exercise is better ( 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source and 29Trusted Source).
It is important to consider the duration and frequency of your exercise program.
One study showed that women who did aerobic exercise for 300 mins per week lost more Fat than those who exercised for 150 minutes.
Researchers also found that the changes in visceral stomach fat between the two groups were not significantly different ( 30Trusted Source).
Aerobic exercise can be a great way to lose weight. Research suggests it is particularly effective in reducing belly fat and overall body fat.
- Reduce carb intake, especially refined carbs.
For losing weight, it can be beneficial to reduce your carb intake.
Low-carb diets can cause belly fat loss in overweight people and people at risk of type 2 diabetes ( 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
It doesn’t mean you have to eat a low-carb diet. Research suggests that replacing refined carbohydrates with unprocessed starchy carbohydrates may increase metabolic health and decrease belly fat ( 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
The Framingham Heart Study found that people who ate whole grains were 17% less likely than those who ate a diet high in refined grains (36 Trusted Source).
Excessive belly fat is linked to a high intake of refined carbohydrates. Reduce your carb intake and replace refined carbs with whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.
- Do resistance training (lift weights).
Resistance training (weightlifting or strength training) is essential for maintaining and growing muscle mass.
Studies involving people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes have shown that resistance training can help reduce belly fat ( 37TrustedSource, 38Trusted Source).
One study that involved teenagers who were overweight found that strength training combined with aerobic exercise resulted in the greatest reduction of visceral Fat ( 39Trusted Source).
It’s a smart idea to consult your doctor before you start lifting weights.
Strength training is a great way to lose weight and reduce belly fat. Research suggests that strength training is even more effective when combined with aerobic exercise.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages should be limited.
Sugar-sweetened beverages can increase belly fat.
A study on type 2 diabetics found that people who consumed at least one cup of sugar-sweetened beverages daily had higher belly fat than those who consumed less.
Your brain does not process liquid calories the same way as it processes solid calories, so you may eat too many calories and store them later on as fat.
You can lose belly fat by limiting your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like:
- Sweet Tea
- alcohol mixers containing sugar
If you want to lose belly fat, limiting the consumption of liquid sugars, such as sugar-sweetened drinks, is important.
- Restful sleep is key to your well-being.
Your health is affected by how much sleep you get. Research shows that insufficient sleep can lead to obesity and an increase in belly fat ( 43Trusted source, 44Trusted source 45TrustedSource, 46TrustedSource).
A 16-year study that involved more than 68,000 women showed that those who slept less than 5 hours per day were more likely to gain weight (47 Trusted Source).
The condition of periods of sleep apnea, in which breathing stops during the night, has been linked to excessive visceral Fat ( 48Trusted Source).
You should also ensure that you are getting enough quality sleep.
Talk to your doctor if you believe you may have sleep apnea.
A higher risk of weight gain is associated with sleep deprivation. If you want to lose weight, you must get enough quality sleep.
- Monitor your food intake and get active.
Many things can help you lose weight or belly fat. However, consuming fewer calories than your body requires to maintain weight is the key (
You can track your calories by keeping a food journal or using an app or online food tracker. This strategy has been proven to be effective in weight loss.
Food tracking tools allow you to track your food intake, including protein, carbs and fiber. Many allow you to track your exercise and other physical activities.
This page contains links to several websites and apps that can help you track your calorie and nutrient intake.
It may be helpful to track what you eat if you are trying to lose weight. Two of the most popular methods to track your food intake are keeping a food journal and using an online food tracker.
- Every week, eat fatty Fish.
Fatty Fish is a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
They are rich in high-quality protein and Omega-3 fats which may help protect against chronic diseases.
Evidence suggests that these omega-3 oils may help to reduce visceral Fat.
Studies on adults and children with the fatty-liver disease have shown that omega-3 supplementation may reduce liver and abdominal Fat.
Try to eat 2-3 portions of fatty Fish each week. These are some of the best choices:
Plant-Based Omega-3 Supplements derived from algae and vegans are also available
Your overall health may be improved by eating fatty Fish and taking omega-3 supplements made from fish oil or algae. According to some evidence, it may also reduce belly fat in those with fatty liver disease.
- Reduce your intake of fruit juice.
Fruit juice is rich in vitamins and minerals but is just as sweet as soda or other sweetened drinks.
An example: A 8-ounce (248 milliliters) glass of unsweetened apple juice has 24 g sugar. More than half is fructose.
Research shows that high intakes of fruit juice can lead to weight gain. This is due to the excess calories it provides rather than the fructose it contains
To help reduce belly fat, you can still enjoy the water, unsweetened Tea or sparkling wine with a slice of lemon or lime.
High amounts of fruit juice can cause weight gain as they contain as much sugar as soda. You should limit your fruit juice intake and drink water or unsweetened Tea.
- Probiotic food and supplements are recommended.
Probiotics can be found in certain foods and supplements. They can have health benefits such as improving gut health and increasing immune function.
Researchers discovered that different bacteria types play a role in weight regulation. This can lead to weight loss and even belly fat loss.
Members of the Lactobacillus Family have been shown to reduce belly fat, including Lactobacillus amylovorus and Lactobacillus fermentum (61TrustedSource, 62TrustedSource, 64TrustedSource).
Probiotics are not recommended for weight loss. However, further research is required. Probiotics and other supplements are not all regulated by FDA. It is important to consult a doctor before you add them to your daily routine.
Probiotic supplements can help support a healthy digestive tract. Research also suggests that beneficial gut bacteria could help with weight loss.
- Consider intermittent fasting
As a weight-loss method, intermittent fasting is very in demand.
It is a pattern of eating that alternates between fasting and eating
One popular method is 24-hour fasts, which can be done once or twice weekly. Another option is to fast for 16 hours daily and eat all your food in eight hours.
One study showed that intermittent fasting combined with protein pacing, which is nutrient-dense meals spread evenly throughout the day, led to greater weight loss, total Fat and visceral fat reductions than calorie restriction.
Be aware that older evidence suggests intermittent fasting may adversely affect blood sugar control in men but not women.
Modified intermittent fasting may be a better option than others, but you should stop fasting immediately if there are any adverse effects.
Before you try intermittent fasting, consult your doctor.
Intermittent fasting refers to an eating style that alternates between fasting and eating. According to studies, it may be the best way to lose weight and stomach fat.
- Drink green Tea
Green Tea is a very healthy beverage.
It contains caffeine and the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which are believed to increase metabolism.
EGCG, a catechin in green Tea, has been shown to help with belly fat loss. Green Tea can increase the effect when combined with exercise.
One review found that green Tea can increase weight loss when taken at lower than 500mg per day for 12 weeks.
Another study found that green tea consumption could help reduce body weight and waist circumference.
But, it is necessary to do more qualitative research.
Green tea consumption is linked with weight loss, although more research is necessary. It could be more efficient and works best when combined with exercise.
- Combine different methods to change your life and improve it.
One of these items may have little effect by itself.
Combining different methods can lead to better results.
These methods are often associated with healthy eating and a generally healthy lifestyle.
Changing your lifestyle over the long term is key to losing belly fat and maintaining it.
If you practice healthy lifestyle habits and eat less processed foods, your body will naturally lose Fat
Losing weight can be easy with a consistent lifestyle and dietary habits.
The bottom line
Losing belly fat is not a magic bullet.
It takes effort, dedication, and perseverance to lose weight.
You may lose belly fat and improve your overall health by following some or all of the lifestyle and lifestyle recommendations discussed in this article.