Belly fat is bad for you, not just because it makes you look bad, but because a lot of fat around the abdomen has been strongly linked to diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes (1). This is why losing belly fat offers massive health benefits and can literally help you live longer.
If you have excess fat around your abdomen, you need to make an effort of getting rid of that, even if you’re not heavy overall.
Thankfully, there’re a number of proven strategies that you can use to specially target your abdomen, whether you’re trying to get an hourglass figure or simply want to lose a few pounds around your abdomen.
Here are 5 proven ways to slim down your waist and get that figure you’ve always desired.
1. Cut down the sugars
Added sugars are particularly very unhealthy.
Sugar is essentially a combination of fructose and sucrose, and fructose can only be broken down by the liver in large amounts (2). Consuming too much added sugar forces the liver to convert it into fat.
Numerous studies have revealed that excess sugar as a result of large amounts of fructose leads to increased fat accumulation around the abdomen and in the liver.
It’s this increased liver fat and belly fat that leads to insulin resistance followed by a host of other metabolic issues.
Make a firm decision to minimize the amount of sugar and sugary foods in your diet and consider keeping off sugary drinks.
So things like sugary sodas, sugar-sweetened beverages, high-sugar sports drinks, and fruit juices should be off your list of favourites. You also need to start reading labels if you really want to cut off refined sugar.
2. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Trying to starve yourself into a slim waist is counterproductive. Why? When you starve yourself, you actually end up eating much more than you should when food is finally in front of you.
Believe it or not, one of best-kept secrets of experienced dieters is that they eat smaller meals frequently.
Eating frequent but smaller meals prevents you from becoming too hungry and helps you to eat less overall.
This approach also stimulates your metabolism, allowing your body to burn more calories all day long.
For a start, try eating 6 small meals in a day rather than the regular 3 large ones. This will help you to stick to your healthy weight loss diet with little effort.
3. Reduce carbs from your diet
Restricting carbs is a great way of not only losing belly fat, but also body weight as a whole.
Essentially, when you cut carbs, your appetite will reduce and you will lose fat.
Interestingly, this remained true even when the low-carb participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted while the low-fat groups were calorie restricted.
Low-carb diets also result in quick loss of water weight, which can give you near-instant results.
Simply avoiding refined carbs (such as candy, sugar, and white bread) and keeping your protein consumption high will go a long way in reducing your belly fat. Think about reducing your carbs to about 50 grams per day –this will suppress your appetite while primarily burning fats for fuel.
4. Include more fiber in your diet
Fiber-rich foods ensure that your bowel moves normally and minimizes blockages and bloating.
Additionally, fiber-rich foods will help you stay fuller for longer and also require extended chewing, which can prevent overeating.
Most fiber-rich foods are also lower in calories compared to other types of foods.
Some of the best foods in this category rich in soluble fibers include peas, apples, peas, carrots, citrus fruits, oats, and barley.
The best examples of foods rich in insoluble fibers include products containing wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, beans, nuts, and green vegetables.
Soluble fiber has also been shown to reduce insulin levels and boost the burning of visceral abdominal fat.
Plain water should be your favorite drink for when you need to flush your system, keep your body hydrated and reduce bloating. But if you find plain water rather boring, you can resort to water with some traces of flavoring like lemon, mint leaves or lime.
Well, I saved the best for last –exercise is one of the best ways to slim down your waist. It’s the ticket to avoiding many diseases and living a healthy, longer life.
Discussing the health benefits of exercise will require another full article, but working out is extremely effective in reducing abdominal fat and slimming the waistline.
It’s however important that we set the records straight here – spot treating your abs might not give you the wholesome results you’re looking for.
Successfully clearing your belly fat using exercise requires a holistic approach. You need exercises that work your abs but also offer a good degree of cardiovascular work. What most people don’t know is that when you work all your major muscle groups, you add more muscle mass to your muscles and increase your metabolism.
Your muscles require extra calories to maintain themselves. So working out major muscles along with a proper diet will trigger your body to burn more calories and start using energy reserves – and your belly fat just happens to be the largest energy reserve. Think of body fat as a single organ, located throughout your body, but in your case, most of it is spread around your belly.
That said, aerobic workouts such as running, walking and swimming have been shown to burn belly fat (6). After you’ve got your cardiovascular workouts taken care of, incorporate some ab-specific workouts such as crunches, rollers, bicycle maneuvers, squat thrust, reverse crunches, planks, sit-ups, leg raises and so on.
You need to look at sliming down your waistline not only because it looks good, but because a lot of fat around the abdomen has been strongly linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
There are different strategies that you can implement. Here are 5 main proven strategies:
Cut down the sugars – numerous studies have revealed that excess sugar as a result of large amounts of fructose leads to increased fat accumulation around the abdomen and in the liver.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals – eating frequent but smaller meals prevents you from becoming too hungry and helps you to eat less overall.
Reduce carbs from your diet – restricting carbs is a great way of not only losing belly fat, but also body weight as a whole. Numerous studies have revealed that low-carb diets result in 2 to 3 times more weight loss compared to low-fat diets.
Include more fiber on your diet – fiber-rich foods will help you stay fuller for longer and also require extended chewing, which can prevent overeating.
Exercise – your muscles require extra calories to maintain themselves. So working out major muscles along with a proper diet will trigger your body to burn more calories and start using energy reserves –and your belly fat just happens to be the largest energy reserve.
If you implement all these strategies in your daily life, it won’t be long you will see a noticeable difference in your mid section and get the figure you’ve always desired.
So, when are you going to start implementing these strategies?
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