10 Effective Ways to Implement Now to Lose Belly Fat!
- 10 Oct, 2022
Losing weight in itself is hard, but when it comes to losing fat, especially belly fat, the difficulty level increases multifold. From Googling ‘How to burn belly fat in a month?’ to going on extreme crash diets, all of us have tried numerous things and failed miserably.
We vaguely followed whatever Google threw at us without looking for the scientific evidence behind the tips and tricks for losing belly fat.
So, is there no real information on Google to help you lose weight and get a flat stomach?
Well, there are and they have been time and again backed by scientific evidence. Before we unfold multiple ways that will help you get a flat tummy, let’s see what are the types of belly fat, why are they formed, and how long it takes to lose it.
What are the Types of Belly Fat?
While most of us intend to decrease belly fat, we do not know that there are two types of belly fat. Let’s learn about what these two kinds are before moving ahead.
- Subcutaneous Belly Fat
- Visceral Belly Fat
1. Subcutaneous Belly Fat
Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (SAT), or what is commonly referred to as Subcutaneous Fat is the fat that’s found underneath your skin. This soft fat is often visibly jiggling on your belly.
Unlike the fat found in the deeper abdomen, SAT isn’t mostly linked with an increased risk of diseases. Having said that, having excessive belly fat, in general, can be linked with the development of chronic diseases.
2. Visceral Belly Fat
Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT), or visceral fat is the fat that’s found deep in your abdomen. This means that it surrounds internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
In comparison to subcutaneous belly fat, visceral fat has a considerable amount of cells, blood vessels, and nerves, and it’s metabolically more active.
As per a study published in the National Library of Medicine, the accumulation of visceral belly fat is strongly linked to hormonal insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar levels, and type II diabetes. It may also have a significant role in systematic inflammation.
What are the Reasons for Belly Fat Formation?
Now that you have a deeper understanding of the kinds of belly fat, let’s dive into the cause of belly fat formation.
Belly Fat, or weight gain in general, happens because of excess consumption of calories. Having said that, you literally have no control over where the fat will deposit in your body. It may end up settling under your belly, on your thighs, on your hips, or anywhere else. This predominantly depends on one’s genes, sex, and age. For instance, females are far more prone to developing subcutaneous belly fat, while men easily fall prey to visceral belly fat.
If you gain weight, the possibility of developing belly fat increases multifold. However, weight gain is not the only cause that can be associated with belly fat formation. Jessica Cording, the author of The Little Book of Game-Changers, states certain other factors such as not getting enough good-quality sleep or being stressed as causes of belly fat formation. A study published in Nutrition & Metabolism attributed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol as a reason for the accumulation of fat tissue around the midsection.
How Long will it Take to Lose Belly Fat?
All of us have fallen prey to the tips and tricks to lose belly fat overnight, within a week, or 10 days. But, have you seen these working? Of course not!
Did you gain weight or belly fat in a day, then how is it practically possible to get rid of it overnight?
So, let’s get an objective understanding of how long will it take to cut stomach fat.
Lowering belly fat is dependent on several factors, including age, genetics, lifestyle, and so much more. However, if you need an arithmetic understanding of this time span, here is what the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has to say. Shedding 1 pound of fat requires burning 3,500 more calories than you eat. If you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day through portion control or exercising or both, then you can lose 1 pound of fat in a week.
10 Ways to Lose Belly Fat
Now that you know everything about the types of belly fat, the reasons for its formation, and the time it will take to lose weight, let’s dive into the evidence-based ways of losing it.
1. Monitor your Calorie Intake
The first way is derived from the arithmetic equation of weight loss. Now that you know each pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day.
This will put you in a calorie deficit, which means your body will be burning more calories than you consume. You can expect to lose a pound in a week if you strictly monitor your calorie intake. Since keeping a count of your calories can be a tedious process, you can use common apps to log your calories and get the best possible understanding and interpretation of your calorie intake.
2. Consume Healthy Fats
Having fats for belly fat loss? Sounds absurd, isn’t it?
Well, it’s not! Consuming healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) in comparison to unhealthy fats (trans fat) can make you feel fuller for longer, thereby reducing the urge to keep munching on something all the time. However, the catch with healthy fats is to add them in moderation to your diet chart for weight loss.
Yasi Ansari, the national medical spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says, "Fat sources that I recommend boosting in the diet come from unsaturated fatty acids found in foods like olive oil, nuts, avocados, fatty fish, and eggs, as they can help increase satiety while providing a variety of health benefits when consumed in moderation."
3. Increase Your Protein Bank
You might have seen everyone raving about protein and for all the right reasons. Protein is an essential macronutrient that not only helps keep you full but also assists in muscle repair that is needed after undertaking exercises to burn belly fat.
The most integral time to consume protein is right before you hit the gym or indulge in any form of exercise/workout/physical activity. This is because the hunger pang post-exercising is pretty high and if you aren’t feeling satiated, then you’re likely to consume more calories post-exercising than you’re actually burning.
According to Dr. Cheskin, consuming a high-protein snack with at least 12g of protein will help you avoid feeling hungry after a workout.
4. Make Your Diet Fiber-Rich
The best kind of fat-loss food is highly fibrous in nature. This is because the consumption of food with refined carbs and sugar will not satisfy your hunger, thereby making you reach for more and more. On the contrary, fiber slows down digestion and fills you up for a longer time period.
In accordance with a 2015 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who have difficulty following a strict diet plan to lose weight fast can just add more fiber to their diet for achieving their weight loss goals. If you're looking for fibrous Indian food options then you can easily incorporate brown rice, lentils, and fruits like avocado and pear into your diet.
5. Say No to Refined Carbs
Carbs can act as roadblocks in your weight loss journey, especially refined carbs that tend to mostly deposit in the abdominal area, thereby leading to belly fat.
If you cannot go on a low-carb diet, you can begin by substituting refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs, which may help better metabolic health and reduce belly fat.
6. Avoid Sugary Food
Sugar or sugary beverages are a sweet poison for you if you’re aiming to follow a diet plan for fat loss. An observational study quoted by Healthline shows a link between sugar intake and increased abdominal fat.
If you’re a sweet tooth and giving up on sugar is an impossible task for you, then you can transition to a zero-calorie, zero carbs, and zero-GI natural sweetener that will satisfy your sweet cravings while helping maintain a healthy weight.
7. Take Up Strength Training
If experts are to be trusted, then indulging in full-body strength training is vital for decreasing belly fat. The importance of strength training increases multifold if you aim to keep this fat off longer. Concerning achieving a flat stomach, here are the benefits that strength training can offer-
- It helps build muscles that will eventually replace body fat
- Metabolically active muscles that will ensure you keep burning calories even post-workout
- As and when the metabolic rate of your muscles increases, you can afford some room in your diet to satisfy your cravings.
8. Makes Crunches Your Best Friend
Among the many exercises for weight loss, crunches are really effective. To get a lean midsection, you have to indulge in an abs workout three to four times a week with 24 hours of rest between each session. Although direct abs targeting will happen three to four times a week, you have to activate your core muscles with each workout. The best part about this weight loss exercise is that it can be performed anywhere, at home or at the gym.
9. Reduce Stress
Most of you might not be able to see how stress is related to belly fat in the first place. Well, stress can mess up every part of your body, including your abdomen area. Stress is often associated with over-eating. We tend to resort to having tasty food/junk when stressed rather than divulging deeply into the cause of the stress and dealing with it. And eating junk can bring no good to you when you’re trying to lose your tummy.
Acknowledge that you’re under stress, try going to its root cause, and find a solution for the stress rather than munching on chips that will mess up your fitness goals.
10. Prioritize Quality Sleep
Sleep is an important part of any weight loss journey, be it centric on belly fat reduction or otherwise. Both oversleeping and getting less sleep can have a significant impact on health. A 2017 meta-analysis and review conducted in the UK brought to light that people who slept 5.5 hours or lesser each night ate 385 extra calories while actually resorting to empty-calorie fatty foods. This was found in comparison to people who slept for seven to twelve hours.
Belly fat reduction or weight loss, in general, cannot happen magically. It requires a proper understanding of your body, consistent physical effort, and monitored eating to get that flat stomach. Just having green tea or black coffee is not going to help you lose weight.
Adopting some of the tips shared here alongside being consistent will certainly give you fruitful results. Begin by taking small steps. Make an easy-to-follow diet plan and start by exercising for 30 minutes. Once the habit is formed, you can set up new targets.