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How to Lose Belly Fat

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Potbelly, paunch, gut, beer belly. All synonyms of a bulging stomach. None too flattering.

Belly fat is the commonest form of fat accumulation in the body and is often also seen in people who are otherwise lean and thin. This is why a lot of people are found asking the question: how to lose belly fat? Men have a greater likelihood of having a belly bulge than women, though many women tend to gain weight around the abdomen post menopause. Genetic and hormonal factors are also responsible for making some people more prone to getting a protruding belly than storing fat elsewhere in the body.

Compared to fat accumulation in other parts of the body, belly fat is believed to be more dangerous to your health. For starters, it is directly linked to health risks like Type II diabetes, heart diseases and stroke. Besides, having excessive abdominal fat is often an indicator of excessive visceral fat too, which is the fat stored around the vital organs in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis (heart, lungs, digestive tract, liver, etc.), and which is regarded as a bigger cause for concern than subcutaneous fat or the fat stored right under the skin in the abdomen, thighs, hips, and buttocks.

How to Lose Belly Fat – The Way Out

There are many solutions that address your concern: How to lose belly fat? It helps to know however that spot reduction is more myth than reality and so whatever you do to lose belly fat will cause you to lose weight from other parts of your body too.

1. Eat healthy: Losing weight, most of the time, is really as simple as that. Bring down your consumption of processed, high-sugar, salt-rich and fat-laden foods and include more fruit and legumes to your diet. Eat whole, unprocessed foods like brown rice, oats, whole grain pasta and quinoa. Switch to healthier fats including olive oil and real butter.

Remember that it’s ok to indulge yourself once in a while, but make sure you don’t fall into the old pattern of eating things that cause weight gain.

2. Reduce your calorie intake: One strong reason why you have got a protruding belly could be that your calorie intake is much higher than what it ought to be. The logical solution then is to bring down your total calorie consumption.

But be careful not to be overzealous and cut down your calorie intake drastically. Your body will feel starved and it will start to store whatever fat it can instead of losing it. Naturally, this will be counter-productive. Even if this does not happen in your case, and you manage to lose weight rapidly by starving yourself, remember that you will not be able to sustain your weight loss in the long run and your chances of relapse will be stronger than if you lose weight gradually.

3. Consume special foods known to reduce fat: Researchers are keenly engaged in investigating the fat-loss properties of certain foods. Some of these foods are known to especially aid in losing belly fat.

Flax seeds top the list of foods that target belly fat. Though a source of fat (the healthy polyunsaturated fat), they are rich in fiber content and improve digestion thereby easing constipation and bloating. In addition, they regulate your insulin levels curbing your sugar and fat cravings and helping you cut calories drastically.

Yogurt helps the good bacteria thrive in your gut so that you have fewer chances of experiencing gas, bloating and constipation, all which make your belly look inflated. You can combine the goodness of yogurt and flax seeds by adding a spoonful of ground flax seeds to a bowl of yogurt.

Berries like cherries, red grapes and blueberries contain pigments called anthocyanins that lend them their characteristic red or blue color. Research indicates that these pigments are helpful in burning fat.

Almonds and walnuts are packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin E and Omega-3 Fatty Acids and are a great way to put out your hunger pangs. Whenever you feel hungry between meals, reach out for almonds or walnuts instead of opting for cookies, chips or pies.

Sweet potatoes are very rich in fiber, Vitamins A and C, protein, calcium and iron. That is reason enough to include them in your diet. And because they give you a feeling of fullness, they are also a healthy way of suppressing your in-between-meals appetite.

4. Work out regularly: This is like stating the obvious. When you exercise, you burn calories. Abdominal exercises may not particularly be helpful in losing belly fat and may only help you build and strengthen abdominal muscles. What you need is a combination of cardio and strength training exercises. Aerobic activities including walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming are very helpful too. A number of yoga exercises are especially good for weight loss. You can turn to Pilates too for weight loss.

Like we said earlier, spot reduction of belly fat may not be possible. In fact, it is seen that when you exercise, you lose a bit of fat from everywhere. So, you will lose fat from belly while also losing excess fat from other parts of your body.

5. Meditate: Now, since stress is known to be responsible for accumulation of fat, you might as well get rid of it. How? Try doing any activity that makes you feel good or gives you happiness. The best thing to get rid of stress however is meditation. Spend a certain amount of time every day to meditate and you will see your stress levels coming down rapidly.

6. Give alcohol a miss: Alcohol is a major factor responsible for the stomach bulge. That’s why the synonym beer belly. If possible, give up alcohol altogether. If that’s too big a sacrifice, then drink moderately and less frequently than before.

7. Eat small portions of food multiple times a day: There’s enough evidence to support this method of addressing your worry of how to lose belly fat. Instead of having three big meals a day, have five or six small meals. This makes your body produce more of the fat burning hormones and less of the fat storing hormones, and stokes your metabolism.

How long before that flat tummy?

This is difficult to answer. The reason being that it depends on a whole lot of things such as, how devotedly you follow your diet and exercise regimes; what kind of foods you include in your diet; what kinds of work outs you perform; how much the difference between your calorie intake and calorie outgo is; etc. Besides, everybody’s body responds differently to the same set of changes. That said, it is important to know that it is always better to have a more natural and gradual rate of weight loss than to lose weight rapid fast. Rapid weight loss can have severe repercussions for your health. If nothing, it makes you more prone to relapsing after a while. So, make sure that you don’t cut you calorie consumption too sharply. Stay away from crash and fad diets. Have patience. Make healthy choices that will give you a long-term benefit. Give your body some time to adjust to the dietary and physical activity changes you make, and you will definitely see your belly size reduce.

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