Without a doubt, the one body part that we seem to focus the most attention and have the most concern about with our appearance is the mid-section. It seems like everyone wants to have a trimmer tummy, strong abs and to get rid of the beer gut. There is more to eliminating a flabby belly than just being able to fit into your favourite bikini with confidence. Reducing the excess, visceral fat in the stomach is also essential for having good health. It is the visceral fat that secretes proteins from between the organs where it is found, and this in turn can lead to inflammation which increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Let’s take a look at 20 ways to beat the belly fat for good.
1. Get Moving
One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your mid-section is by moving your body in moderate aerobic exercise daily. Make sure you break into a sweat for 30 minutes each day, in any way that you enjoy. You might try cycling, jogging or even briskly walking to get your heart rate up and to work to about 50-70% of its maximum.
2. HIIT It Up
High Intensity Interval Training is another effective way of moving that can really effectively reduce your mid-section. By doing short and intense bursts of exercise followed by brief rest periods where you move less intensely, you can burn more calories than by doing longer cardio sessions. In one study it was found that people who did 30 minutes of HIIT every day lost 20% of their belly fat over a 3-month period . You should aim for 2-3 HIIT sessions each week in addition to your other cardio routines.
3. Build Your Muscles
Resistance weight training should also be part of your workout as it builds muscle which helps to burn more calories, even after you have stopped training. Building toned muscles throughout the body helps to reduce visceral fat as well as lean up the total body. You can work on resistance training through doing body-weight exercises, lifting weights or by using resistance bands.
4. Cut out the Booze
Like it or not, alcohol is terrible for the waistline. Whether it is beer, wine or harder liquor hat you are imbibing, all forms of alcohol will only cause a beer belly. Not only are these drinks full of sugar, but alcohol also causes your body to make fat which goes straight to the stomach. Limit drinks to just a single serve a day for women or two for men- or better still, cut it out altogether for really impactful results.
5. Minimise Stress
If you want to reduce your belly fat then it is essential to reduce your stress levels. Every time you become stressed out your body releases the hormone cortisol into the body, which causes the body to store belly fat. Try practising breathing or do meditation as a way to keep your cool and keep stress- and cortisol levels– down.
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
A close relative to stress, lack of sleep also leads to spikes in your cortisol levels, meaning that the less rest you get, the more abdominal fart your body is storing.
7. Eat Fat to Lose Fat
It might seem somewhat counterintuitive, but in order to lose your belly fat you need to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. By eating healthy, monounsaturated fats your body feels satiated, much more than if you only eat carbs or protein. This will mean you eat fewer snacks and are less likely to make unhealthy food choices. Try to eat plenty of nuts and seeds, avocados as well as olive oil to trim your tummy.
8. Drink Green Tea
A recent study has found that people who drank four cups of green tea per day for 3 months were able to reduce their belly fat more quickly than exercises who didn’t . It is believed that the compounds in green tea called catechins help promote weight loss by accelerating fat burning.
9. Cut Out Refined Carbohydrates
You need to make sure that you are consuming the right kinds of carbs. Refined carbs are those in which the fibre, vitamins and minerals have been removed to make ‘white’ foods that do little for trimming down the tummy. Target belly fat by eating only whole-grain bread, pasta, rice and cereal and avoid sugary sweets at all costs.
10. Keep Up Your Calcium
Eating calcium-rich foods can aid in loss of visceral fat by minimising the amount that goes to your tummy. Aim to eat a serving of calcium with every meal though milk, yoghurt, cheeses and dark leafy greens, though the proteins in dairy enhance the fat-burning effect more than calcium from other sources including supplements.
11. Cut Out Soda
Staying hydrated is important for keeping a trim tummy but stick to drinking plain water. All soda, whether it is the diet variety or regular kind- should be removed from your diet if you want to trim your tummy. You can replace soda with fruit or herb infused water or even add some juice to sparkling water to make a healthy spritzer if you crave the fizz.
12. Increase Vitamin D
This vitamin which you can get through sun exposure works with calcium to minimise cortisol levels which as we know, increes fat stores on the stomach region. If you can’t get enough sunlight every day, try eating vitamin D-rich foods which includes fortified cereals and fish such as salmon and tuna, or take a D3 supplement.
13. Eat Dark Chocolate
This tip might seem surprising! Dark chocolate of 70%or more cacao content can help to increase the anti-inflammatory compounds in the gut when it is eaten by the good bacteria in the belly. These compounds contribute to a reduction in bloating in the belly which will make you look and feel trimmer around the tummy.
14. Go All the Whey
Whey protein can help to blast abdominal fat. Be sure to eat yoghurts, cheeses or add whey protein powder to a smoothie or consume a protein bar that incudes whey to really give your belly fat a move along.
15. Take a Probiotic
If you have too many bad bacteria in your gut then it can lead to increases in inflammation and fat. Support the good bacteria by taking a daily probiotic, or include 2-3 serves of foods such as kefir, kombucha and bone broth to help your digestive system function optimally.
16. Time Your Meals Right
Space out your meals so that you have periods of fasting throughout the day. Periods of fasting help you to consume fewer calories and gives your body time to rest from digestion. Eat your dinner early and delay having your breakfast to really stretch the fasting period out to 12 hours, and watch your belly to quickly reduce in size.
17. Eat a High Protein Breakfast
One way to prevent sugar and caffeine cravings the middle of the day which only contribute to belly fat, is to eat a high protein breakfast. Loading up on about 15 grams of protein to start your day will mean you won’t have an energy crash. Add protein powder to your breakfast smoothie or eat eggs or tofu at the start of your day.
18. Go Low-GI
Eating low-glycemic-index foods are important for keeping blood sugar levels even throughout the day. If your blood sugar constantly spikes and crashes it causes our friend cortisol to rear its ugly head, which as we know only causes our bodies to carry visceral fat. Stabilise cortisol by eating low GI foods such as beans, lentil and whole grains.
19. Do Core Exercises
In addition to daily cardio which will reduce belly fat, you can also strengthen your abs so you can build muscle tone which will slow down the production of visceral fat. Do core exercises such as sit ups and crunches every day to strengthen and trim your belly region.
20. Eat More Fibre
Increasing the amount of soluble fibre in your diet will help to deposit fat under the skin and not build up onto the belly. You can get your soluble fibre through eating vegetables, fruit, oatmeal and beans.
Following these tips for beating belly fat will definitely see you reduce your tummy size. You can also join us on our Bootcamp holiday where we see many guess have a massive reduction in belly fat. Take a look at our before and after photos to see the difference in people’s belly regions.