Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.
1. Don’t Eat Sugar – and Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Like The Plague
Added sugar is extremely unhealthy. Sugar is half glucose, half fructose… and fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amount. When you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets flooded with fructose, and is forced to turn it all into fat. Numerous studies have shown that excess sugar, mostly due to the large amounts of fructose, can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the belly… Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children… Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and considercompletely eliminating sugary drinks.
2. Eating More Protein May be The Best Long-Term Strategy to Reduce Belly Fat
Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight. If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein to your diet is perhaps the single most effective change you can do. There is also some evidence that protein is particularly effective against belly fat. One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. That is, people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat. Another study in Denmark showed that protein, especially animal protein, was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years. Many of the studies showing protein to be effective had protein at 25-30% of calories. That’s what you should aim for. So… make an effort to increase your intake of unprocessed eggs, fish, seafood,meats, poultry and dairy products. These are the best protein sources in the diet.
3. Cut Carbs From Your Diet
Carb restriction is a very effective way to lose fat. This is supported by numerous studies… when people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight. Over 20 randomized controlled trials have now shown that low-crab diets lead to 2-3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets. This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry. Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results… a major difference on the scale is often seen within a few days. However… if you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.
- Eat Foods Rich in Fiber… Especially Viscous Fiber
Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter. It is often claimed that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss. One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of 2 kg (4.5 lbs) over 4 months. In one 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity, but it had no effect on the amount of fat under the skin. The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit.
- Aerobic Exercise is Very Effective at Reducing Belly Fat
Exercise is important for various reasons. It is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease. In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. Aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, etc) has been shown to cause major reductions in belly fat in numerous studies. Xercise also leads to reduced inflammation, blood sugar levels and all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with central obesity. Exercise can be very effective if you are trying to lose belly fat. Exercise also has a number of other health benefits.
- Track Your Foods and Figure Out Exactly What and How Much You Are Eating
What you eat is important. Pretty much everyone knows this. People think they’re eating “high protein,” “low-carb” or whatever… but tend to drastically over- or underestimate. It doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes. If you want to boost your protein intake to 25-30% of calories, as recommended above, just eating more protein rich foods won’t cut it. You need to actually measure and fine tune in order to reach that goal.