- One of the stubborn fats in the human body is the belly fat, in order to see your six pack you have to burn the fat which covers over your abs, almost everybody feels unhappy if they have fat on their belly.
They call it stubborn fat because it is hard to shift and it has higher amount of fat cells that don’t respond as easily to the fat breakdown process, the fat which is around your lower belly called ”Beta fat”, it is the kind of fat which is hard to get rid of.
There is another kind of belly fat referred to as visceral fat, this fat is deeper belly fat which is located under the skin and even covers on some organs such as kidney and liver.
So the belly fat is very dangerous for your health, it can cause diabetes and heart disease, sleep apnea, and maybe cancer.
Without belly fat people are happier and healthier, and have more self-esteem, and it will boost your confidence, nothing feels better than having flat belly.
Even if it is very difficult to lose belly fat, but it is worth to put the effort to burn it and see how much better you will feel.
So here are several things you can do to remove the excess belly fat.
1- Eat a high protein diet
Protein is important for fat loss, it is also important for weight control, and helps to raise metabolic rate and helps to build and retain the muscle mass during weight loss diet and it gives energy. It also helps to release the fullness hormone and decreases appetite. People have less abdominal fat with high protein diet than people who eat lower protein diet, but you need to make sure you are having good quality protein foods rather than other source of protein with saturated fat, the good protein foods such as. chicken breast, tuna, beans, steak meat, eggs, whey protein, milk, and avoid snacks high in carbohydrates.
For fat loss the nutrition is more important than exercise, specially for belly fat, you need to make sure you are eating the right foods.
Here are the top foods that help to burn belly fat, and some of them increases the metabolism. Try to include these kind of foods in your daily meals.
Try to use coconut water and milk to your shakes, and use coconut oil and butter with foods, it is a very healthy fat that will kick out the unwanted belly fat.
It will increase your metabolism and burn belly fat, and it is very low in calories, the more you eat the better.
It is full of fiber and healthy fat, it helps to release the fat from your body and increases weight loss, and it has other benefits too, such as, better digestion, an increase in the cardiovascular system health (decreases bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol), and improves joint health.
Nuts and Seeds.
Such as Almonds, Macadamia nuts, Cashews, Pistachios, chia seeds, Walnuts, these are healthy proteins, it will keep you full, and it will increase your metabolism.
They are good weight loss foods, because they are low in calorie and high in fiber. They contain large amounts of water which will boost your metabolism and keep you satisfied longer, and you will eat less, as a result you will lose belly fat. You can make green smoothies by including spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, arugula, chard, and mustard greens.
Very good metabolism booster, and a good source of vitamins, such as: orange, apple, grapefruit, lime. There are lots of good fruits out there, you can eat instead of sugary snacks or sour candy.
Berries are full of vitamin C and fiber. Fiber is a great source to burn belly fat and increases metabolism, such as: Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Cranberries.
They have a good balance in carbs and proteins, and will keep you full for long hours, such as: Black beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, Garbanzo, and cannellini beans.
Eggs are a very good source of lean protein, and it will keep you satisfied, also helps you to lose belly fat.
Metabolism booster, and if you can eat hot peppers, you will burn fat faster, specially chili peppers and jalapenos.
2- Foods that cause belly fat
You need to avoid some foods if you want to lose belly fat.
Processed foods (Junk food).
Remove all the processed and prepackaged foods which will cause belly fat and make you unhealthy, and replace it with natural whole foods.
Don’t eat too much sugary foods, because the excess of it will cause some chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and fatty liver.
Try to take the sugar from natural foods such as fruits, which is mentioned above, and alternate them and avoid traditional sugar.
But remember, even if you take the natural sugar from fruits and vegetables, they can also cause weight gain if you eat too much of it, and the more sugar you eat the more you crave, so you must put a limit in your daily natural sugar dose.
Sugar sweetened beverages.
Sugar sweetened beverages are worse, because it contains liquid fructose, and this will cause belly fat and fat on your liver.
Although fruit juice provide some vitamins, but it is high in sugar, drinking high amount of it will cause abdominal fat.
Replace fruit juice with natural juice and water, sparkling water, and avoid sweetened beverages, such as soda, sweet tea, and punch..etc.
Don’t eat carbs, but not all carbs, especially refined carbs, such as, white bread pasta, and flour. Replace them with natural whole grains, people have less abdominal fat who eat whole grain instead of refined grain.
You don’t have to follow a strict low carb diet, you can simply reduce your carb intake less than 50 grams per day and replace them with natural carbs, it will help you to lose belly fat, instead of having a full sandwich, your can have half with salad or fruits, everyday. Small changes will make a big change over some time.
Which is the unhealthy fats of course, fried food, junk food, heavy food with butter, unhealthy cuts of meat like bacon, those are all unhealthy unsaturated fat, such as soybean oil as well.
These fats cause heart disease, insulin resistance, and belly fat. Stay away from products that contain trans fats and read the ingredients label carefully.
Replace the fat which you are already eating in your daily diet with coconut oil. Coconut oil is still high in calorie but it is one of the healthiest fats you can eat, it will increase metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high calorie intake.
Full of calories and carbs and sugar, Alcohol have some health benefits in small amounts, but too much of it will cause serious problems.
Alcohol will cause belly fat if you drink everyday, therefore leads to obesity. The excess fat will store around the waist. Cutting back on alcohol will help you to reduce waist size, if you can not cut altogether, just cut back slowly everyday and you will get there.
2- Avoid mental stress
When a human is under stress, the body will automatically produce a hormone called cortisol or stress hormone, in order to help your body to mount stress response, but unfortunately it has a negative effect if it is produces in excess.
High production in cortisol hormone will make you gain belly fat, and also will increase your appetite and crave for sugary foods which will cause abdominal fat storage.
This hormone production will be on men and women, but women tend to produce more stress hormone who have already large waist, that’s why women’s weight lost will affect more negatively.
In order to reduce stress, you should engage in activities that relief stress, like yoga, meditation, or a good hot bath after a long day.
3- Don’t starve
Skipping meals to reduce calorie intake or going to starvation mode will not help you to lose belly fat, cutting down too much of your calories will help you to lose some weight in the beginning, but not for the long term, later the weight will come off much harder.
Many people will think that it is a shortcut just not to eat, or eating less calories, but actually it will harm your body, and will slow down your metabolism, so you should eat smarter and make a healthy change to your diet that you can stick to.
4- Get a good sleep
One of the reasons that make weight loss harder is not getting enough sleep at night, sleep is important for many aspects of your health and also weight.
Studies show that people gain weight especially belly fat who don’t get enough sleep, because the next day our bodies will produce more hormone of ”ghrelin” which will make us more hungry, and will reduce the hormone ”Leptin” which make us feel full, this means that when you wake up you will eat more.
Other studies also show that people who sleep less than five hours a day, gain more fat than people who sleep seven hours, this condition is known as sleep apnea.
So you should get good quality sleep at least 7 to 9 hours at night, quality sleep means without waking up at midnight, if you have any sleeping disorder it is better to go to a doctor.
5- Lose weight with green tea
Green tea has many health benefits and it is exceptionally a healthy beverage, it contains many nutrients, including antioxidant, anti-cancer, and healthy brain compounds.
Studies show that the flavonoids and caffeine in green tea can elevate metabolic rate, increase fat oxidation and improve insulin activity.
Studies suggest that consuming green tea will help you to lose belly fat, but this effect will be stronger if you combine drinking tea with exercise.
6- How to control your food intake
The key for losing weight is to eat fewer calories than your body needs, to make this calorie counting easier, you need to know how much calorie you are eating daily to control your food intake.
Instead of writing on paper, nowadays we are living in a world where we have technology, almost everybody has smart phones, using online food tracker or an app can help you monitor your calorie intake, these apps will even track your protein intake, carbs, fiber, and macro nutrients. There are other apps also that tracks your daily activity and exercise.
This app strategy has been shown to be very beneficial and helpful to stick to your goals.
7- Soluble fiber diet
Soluble fiber means soluble in water, and when mixed with water it forms gel like a substance as it passes through your digestive system.
Soluble fiber diet has many benefits, such as, moderating blood glucose level and lowering cholesterol, also, it will help to lose weight because you will feel full, so you naturally eat less.
You can find good source of soluble fiber in, oats, flax seed, brussels, avocados, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
8- Fish health benefits
One of the healthiest food you should take in consideration is fish. It has many health benefits and important nutrients. Fish has good quality source of omega 3 which helps you to reduce body fat, and it will give better results if you include exercise.
Fish also has some other important health benefits, it lowers the risk of a heart attack and strokes, it reduces cholesterol levels, and has a source of vitamin D.
It is important to eat a few times a week, good quality fishes are salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and mackerel.
9- Apple cider vinegar for belly fat
Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, it has acetic acid which will reduce belly fat.
Taking maximum 1 or 2 spoons daily it is safe for most people, if you cannot drink it directly, you can mix it in a large glass of water, but it is better to start with small doses, because too much vinegar can cause harmful side effects.
It has other benefits also such as, lowering blood sugar level, fight diabetes, lower cholesterol and improve heart health, and even studies show that it can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
10- Probiotics health benefits
Probiotics play a role in weight regulation, a good balance will help you to reduce weight and burn belly fat, because it will help the body to produce hormones which will burn calories and fat, and will increase some hormones that will decrease fat storage.
Probiotic foods have certain strains of the ”Lactobacillus” which helps you to lose fat including belly fat. This bacteria has the most promising effect on weight loss, and it has anti obesity effect, and some of the probaiotics prevent the weight from accumulating.
Probiotics contain bacteria that you can find in some foods and supplements, and this bacteria has many health benefits, such as to improve the immune system, and the digestive system, and heart health, gives healthy skin, reduces the risk of catching cold and flu, and heals from leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease.
Here are some foods that are rich in probiotics: yogurt, Kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles, traditional buttermilk, Natto, and some kind of cheese (gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, cottage cheese).
You should be careful of some types of probiotics because it can cause weight gain, this includes ”Lactobacillus Acidophilus”,but vary from between individuals especially on obese and overweight adults, so better to check the food labels.
11- Intermittent fasting health benefits
Intermittent fasting is a eating pattern that have periods of eating and periods of fasting, it is an effective method to weight loss and belly fat loss, in a year you can do one or two times, each time maximum for one month.
There are several methods to do intermittent fasting.
Some people they fast all day, and eat only 8 hours all their meals, such as from 12 P.M. to 8 P.M. (which is the best method)
Others they fast 1 or 2 days a week for 24 hours, and some other people they reduce the amount of calories to 500 or 600 calories for 2 days per week, and eat normally all other days during the same week.
As long as you don’t compensate the other non-fasting days, then this method will help you to reduce weight and belly fat, also by taking into consideration the quality of food that you will eat.
These methods are not recommended to those who want to build muscle and burn fat at the same time.
Intermittent fasting has many powerful benefits for weight control and health of your body and brain, such as,
– Weight loss as mentioned above
– Reduces insulin resistance, lowers blood sugar.
– Reduction in markers of Inflammation
– Heart health
– May prevent cancer
– Protect against Alzheimer’s disease, increases brain hormone and may aid in the growth of new nerve cells.
But just remember researches are still going on, and many questions are yet to be answered.
Studies show that the effect of intermittent fasting is different on man and woman in terms of insulin sensitivity, and may cause infertility, so women should be careful if they are thinking to start intermittent fasting.
When you start intermittent fasting you may feel weak and your brain does not function as it used to, this will be temporary until your body adapts to the new way of your meal schedule.
If you have any medical conditions you should consult to your doctor before starting intermittent fasting, such as, diabetes, blood sugar, low blood pressure, taking medication, being underweight, pregnant women, eating disorder history, women who are trying to conceive, and women who have a history of amenorrhea.
So in conclusion, intermittent fasting is okay for those who are overall a healthy person, but better to consult your doctor if you have any health issues or medical history.
12- How to lose belly fat with exercise
All these devices that are shown on TV, you attach on your abdominal and relax on the couch will not give you a six pack. After all, you need to do resistance training, cardio and weight lifting to strengthen your muscles to remove the layer of fat which is covering over your six pack muscles and hiding them.
If you are looking only to slim down you should do some cardiovascular exercises such as:
But if you mix this with high intensity interval training which is known as HIIT and low intensity training which is mentioned above, to look toned and less flabby.
One of the best ways to burn belly fat is with building muscle, because you will shape your body and lose belly fat at the same time, doing cardiovascular work will speed up the process, you should not work only on your abs, working on your larger muscles will improve your metabolism.
Working out large muscles will burn extra calories, so the food that you are eating will be used to build your other parts of your body instead of your abs only, you will get the benefit from both sides, because the fat is like one organ in your body, you can not remove from one place only, while you are burning fat from all your body you will also burn your belly fat.
I would recommend working your abs in the end of your training, because you are using them indirectly during your workout on your other muscle parts, otherwise you will tire them, and your whole workout will be less than optimal, and always train from largest to the smallest muscle groups.
13- Change your lifestyle
Of course you are not going to choose from one of the above, if you want a good result you should combine the methods to have a good result.
You should start to change the way you are living for the long term to have a healthy and good looking body including losing belly fat of course.
You should change you daily habits, your nutrition and live a healthy lifestyle in order to reach to your goal weight.
So the bottom line is, you can not just do one thing to lose belly fat, and there is no magic solution, it requires some effort.