7 practical ways to get rid of belly fat Health

7 practical ways to get rid of belly fat

With modern life being a tight-rope walk between spending hours before the screen, fixing up quick meals, and managing a social life, people are left with little time to focus on their health, thus having to bear the brunt of belly fat accumulation. The good news is that having a flat stomach is no rocket science, as you only need grit and determination. Check out some effective tips that will help in losing abdominal fat.

Giving up processed foods
Processed foods contain high levels of saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugar. Research has drawn associations between having processed foods and increasing visceral fat or fat wrapped around the body’s abdominal organs. Visceral fat, in turn, increases one’s risk of developing lifestyle diseases like type-2 diabetes, cholesterol, heart conditions, etc., and is the leading cause of a protruding stomach. Therefore, avoiding processed foods is imperative to reducing belly fat.

Following a high-protein meal plan
Studies have demonstrated that eating protein-rich foods can help shed extra pounds, reduce abdominal fat, and prevent one from regaining weight. It is advisable to incorporate some form of protein with every meal by picking from protein sources like eggs, fish, chicken, milk, yogurt, and soy. The recommended protein intake range is 0.8 to 1.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight.

Increasing soluble fiber intake
Eating soluble fiber, which dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance during digestion, is considered a good strategy for belly-fat loss than having foods rich in insoluble fiber, which quickly passes through the digestive tract. Due to the gel formation process, soluble fiber promotes satiety, preventing one from overeating and contributing to losing belly fat. Foods containing high levels of soluble fiber include oatmeal, barley, peas, lentils, dark-colored vegetables, and citrus fruits. In contrast, whole grains like wheat bran and certain fruits and vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, and beans are rich in insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber, though not unhealthy, can cause bloating and diarrhea if ingested in large quantities and impede one’s efforts to reduce belly fat.

Monitoring calorie intake
Choosing good fruits, vegetables, and grains is integral to controlling calorie intake while replenishing the body with essential nutrients. For example, eating a bowl of watermelon is a better alternative to having a banana, as the former contains fewer calories while having equal nutritional value. It is also advisable to avoid or limit the intake of fruits like mangoes, passion fruit, figs, and dates, replacing them with low-cal alternatives like kiwi, blueberries, grapes, apples, and guavas. Similarly, it helps to limit (but not avoid) foods like whole grains and whole-grain bread, granola, potatoes, avocados, and oily fish, which are high in calories. Portion control is the key to effectively losing belly fat.

Proper exercising
Certain exercises are typically more effective than others in reducing belly fat. If one wants a flat stomach, cardio activities like walking/jogging, skipping, Zumba, aerobics, and cycling should be integral parts of their workout routine. Crunches, mountain climbers, burpees, and planks can contribute to stronger muscles and core strength, expediting belly-fat loss. It helps to consult a fitness coach or instructor to chalk out a systematic workout plan.

Maintaining a proper sleep schedule
According to research, lack of sleep can lead to a 9% and 11% increase in belly fat and visceral fat, respectively. The body burns many calories in a state of hibernation, a crucial aspect of reducing stomach fat. Lack of sleep is linked with increased appetite due to hormonal imbalances, increasing weight gain and susceptibility to cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased triglyceride levels. Simple activities like staying away from gadgets at night, sleeping in a dark room, investing in a good smartwatch, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle can help maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

Eliminating stressors
High-stress levels are linked with increased cortisol secretion, causing the liver to release more glucose to regulate energy. Therefore, chronic stress is connected with developing a stress belly and rising blood sugar levels, further contributing to abdominal fat gain. The first step to eliminating stress is to figure out what triggers it the most – work, household chores, personal issues, etc. – and actively seek to control these factors. Activities like yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation are also highly effective in regulating stress levels.

Monitoring one’s food intake and maintaining an active lifestyle are the cornerstones to reducing belly fat. It also helps to consult professionals like nutritionists, fitness coaches, and healthcare professionals to understand one’s precise nutritional and fitness needs and chalk out a systematic regime to lose those extra pounds.