The 5 best ways to lose belly fat

Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. This can get in the way of building muscles. Starving yourself is the number 1 nutritional mistakes. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. You can't "spot-burn" belly fat, but it's usually the first to burn off when you exercise, regardless of body shape or size.

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Significantly reduce alcohol, sugary drinks like sweet tea, Kool Aide, fruit punch, fruit juice, Coke, 7-Up, and Pepsi. Exercise in small bursts. Research shows that interval training, or alternating short bursts of energy with brief resting periods, can improve muscle and build endurance more quickly than traditional exercise. Run at top speed for 20 seconds, then slow to a walk until you catch your breath. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Set a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike for interval training. Fit brisk 5-minute walks or stair climbing into your day as often as possible. Skip the crunches — for now.

Abdominal crunches and sit-ups should build strong muscles, but you might not see them under belly fat. In fact, crunches might actually make your stomach look bigger as you build up thicker abs. Instead, if you strengthen your back muscles, your posture will improve and pull in your belly. Get in the push up position, but rest on your elbows and forearms.

Pull your stomach muscles in tight, keeping your back, neck, and bottom in a straight line. Hold this position for 30 seconds or as long as possible. Rest and repeat times. Stand with your feet about 8 inches 20 cm apart. Extend your arms in front of you and do four sets of squats. Stand up straight, with your feet hip-width apart. Put your right hand on your right hip, and lift your left arm straight up, with the palm facing right.

Keeping your legs centered, lean to the right and "reach" over with your left arm, stretching your left side. Repeat times on each side. Ramp up the cardio. Do aerobic exercises which get your heart pumping, burn calories quickly and facilitate fat loss all over the body, including your belly.

You can't "spot-burn" belly fat, but it's usually the first to burn off when you exercise, regardless of body shape or size. Track your progress by timing how long it takes to run a mile. As cardiovascular stamina improves, you'll notice the time going down.

If you get painful shin splints pain along the front of your shins when you run , you may be over-pronating landing with most of your weight on the outer side of your foot. There are shoes designed specifically to help alleviate this.

Start with three cardio workouts a week, or alternate cardio with lighter exercises like walking for thirty minutes daily. A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that combining cardiovascular aerobic exercise with resistance training is more effective than cardiovascular training alone in getting rid of abdominal fat. Unless you restrict calorie intake, you won't lose belly fat. Remember that it takes a calorie deficit to lose one pound of fat.

That is, you have to either burn off calories through exercise or eat calories less than you burn in a week. Break this up into daily limits.

To burn calories a week, you should aim to have a calorie deficit every day. For example, you can exercise to burn calories and cut calories from your diet.

Aim to lose a maximum of two pounds per week. Studies suggest that a diet with a higher ratio of monounsaturated fats like avocados , nuts, seeds, soybeans, and chocolate — can prevent the accumulation of belly fat.

Trans fats in margarines, crackers, cookies, or anything made with partially hydrogenated oils seem to result in more fat being deposited in the abdomen. Avoid these as much as possible. Get more fiber in your diet. Soluble fiber such as that found in apples, oats, and cherries lowers insulin levels which can speed up the burning of visceral belly fat.

Women should aim to consume 25 g of fiber per day while men should aim for 30 g a day. Add fiber to your diet slowly. If you are currently getting 10g of fiber a day, don't jump to 35g of fiber the next day. The natural bacteria in your digestive system requires time to adapt to your new fiber intake. Eat the skin on your fruits and vegetables. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet adds fiber, but only if you eat the skin, as that's where most of the fiber is.

Don't peel those apples before you eat them. With potatoes, leave the skin on with baked or mashed potatoes or if you peel them, make snacks of them. For example, drizzle olive oil, rosemary, salt, and garlic on the peels and bake at F C for fifteen minutes for baked Parmesan garlic peels. Eat more split pea soup.

Split peas are a fiber "power food". Just one cup of them contains 16 g of fiber. Calculate your waist-to-hip ratio. Your waist-to-hip ratio — or the circumference of your waist divided by the circumference of your hips — can be a good indicator of whether you need to lose belly fat. Here's how to get it: Wrap a soft tape measure around the thinnest part of your waist at the level of your navel. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. Women should have a ratio of 0.

Continue taking your measurements as you progress. After incorporating some of the above strategies, keep measuring so you can see your progress. The way bodies distribute fat is largely beyond control and can be dependent on several factors genetics, menopause, etc.

What is within your control is your level of body fat overall — if you keep that low, it won't really matter where the fat goes, as there won't be much fat in the first place.

Weigh yourself at the same time each day. Because body weight fluctuates depending on the time of day, when you last ate or when you last had a bowel movement, standardize the process by weighing yourself at the same time each day. Many people choose to do this the first thing in the morning, before breakfast. Getting to a healthy weight and having a flat stomach can only be achieved through both exercise and diet combined.

Start small and make changes that are easy at first. Once you start to see changes you may be more motivated to take your diet to the next level. Not Helpful 26 Helpful I'm 15 years old, and I'm looking to lose belly fat and lose weight. What's the fastest way of doing it? Talk to your parents, and make an appointment to see your doctor. Ask for a referral to talk to a registered dietitian.

They will help you make some diet and lifestyle changes. It is not healthy to skip meals, and it is dangerous to lose weight too quickly.

Not Helpful 68 Helpful Run or walk to your school if it is safe and of a suitable distance. Drink a lots of water. Keep all of your snacks healthy and your meal portions small. Not Helpful Helpful Set a goal first, like one or two pounds per week. Eat more in the morning than in the afternoon and evening. Drink a glass of water before eating so you feel full faster.

Also, try exercising before you eat in the morning. Not Helpful 84 Helpful Don't put her on a specific diet, just have her eat healthy foods and do activities with her that are fun and active. Find one that she enjoys doing and doesn't see as a workout to lose weight.

Not Helpful 76 Helpful My mum doesn't want me to go on a diet. I do eat quite healthily. Is it okay to just do exercise? Listen to your mum - dieting is faddish. Instead, improve the "quite" to "all" healthy and eat only nutritionally balanced, healthy foods. Cut out all sweets and junk foods, apart from an occasional treat, as humans would have always done till recent times.

The exercise is important, and include plenty of stealth exercise, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and cycling to the shops instead of driving, etc. Not Helpful 86 Helpful I'm 15 years old and I need to lose belly fat by next year, but due to school, I don't have time to exercise. What should I do to lose fat? You always have time to exercise. Twenty minutes of physical activity each day will help just make sure you take five minutes to warm up and stretch.

I learned from my PE teacher that you can always find 30 minutes to get a good workout in. Also, in school you should be careful what you eat on your lunch break. I am a thirteen year old and just obese. Can you tell me how to lose just thigh fat?

Just do squats for half an hour. No matter how much you do on the first day, slowly push your limits. Cardio exercises like swimming and cycling will help a lot. Don't overdo it on the first day, increase it day by day. My arms and legs are very thin but I have a fat belly. How do I get rid of it? Start an exercise plan that builds muscle on your arms and legs, and you'll burn off fat from your belly as well.

In rare cases, you could have a medical condition, such as Cushing's syndrome. Visit a doctor or endocrinologist for tests if you think this is a possibility. Not Helpful 69 Helpful Try to do more squats and aerobic activity to decrease the amount of fat in your legs. Not Helpful 57 Helpful Some believe that this is the primary mechanism behind sugar's harmful effects on health.

It increases belly fat and liver fat, which leads to insulin resistance and a host of metabolic problems 6. Liquid sugar is even worse in this regard. Liquid calories don't get "registered" by the brain in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you end up eating more total calories 7 , 8. Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks. This includes sugar-sweetened beverages, sugary sodas, fruit juices and various high-sugar sports drinks.

Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit , which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose. The amount of fructose you get from fruit is negligible compared to what you get from a diet high in refined sugar. If you want to cut back on refined sugar, then you must start reading labels. Even foods marketed as health foods can contain huge amounts of sugar. Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight.

If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein is perhaps the single most effective change you can make to your diet. Not only will it help you lose, it also helps you avoid re-gaining weight if you ever decide to abandon your weight loss efforts One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. That is, people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat Another study showed that protein was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years This study also showed that refined carbs and oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, but fruits and vegetables linked to reduced amounts.

That's what you should aim for. So make an effort to increase your intake of high-protein foods such as whole eggs , fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat and dairy products. These are the best protein sources in the diet. If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, then a quality protein supplement like whey protein is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, then check out this article on how to increase your protein intake. Consider cooking your foods in coconut oil. Some studies have shown that 30 mL about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day reduces belly fat slightly 17 , This is supported by numerous studies. When people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight Over 20 randomized controlled trials have now shown that low-carb diets lead to times more weight loss than low-fat diets 20 , 21 , This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry.

Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight , which gives people near instant results. A difference on the scale is often seen within days.

There are also studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets specifically target the fat in the belly, and around the organs and liver 23 , What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb diet is the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat.

Just avoiding the refined carbs sugar, candy, white bread, etc should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein intake high. However, if you need to lose weight fast , then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel. Of course, low-carb diets have many other health benefits besides just weight loss. They can have life-saving effects in type 2 diabetics, for example It seems to be mostly the soluble and viscous fibers that have an effect on your weight This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your digestive system, and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite In one 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3. What this implies, is that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat. The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals like whole oats.

Then you could also try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This is one of the most viscous dietary fibers in existence, and has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies 30 , It is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease. Listing all of the amazing health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise does appear to be effective at reducing belly fat.

However, keep in mind that I'm not talking about abdominal exercises here. Spot reduction losing fat in one spot is not possible, and doing endless amounts of ab exercises will not make you lose fat from the belly.

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