Okay, so… you want to look good in a bikini, but you need a flat, perfect stomach to feel comfortable. Or you want to wear jeans with just a little bit of your lower stomach showing yet you can’t because you’re unable to get rid of that extra layer of stomach fat. Is there a way to fix this problem and get rid of belly fat once and for all?
Let’s get one thing straight at the beginning – just because a person is overweight doesn’t mean they’re necessarily unhealthy.
The truth is, there are a lot of people who are overweight that are actually very healthy (1).
At the same time, people who aren’t overweight might be extremely unfit metabolically, leading to bad health problems down the line (2).
How can this be? Well, the truth is, the fat directly under your skin isn’t a real health problem. You might not like the way it looks , but it’s not too unhealthy for you.
Take The Quiz: Which Veggies Fight Abdominal Fat?
So what’s the real problem fat? Well, simply put, it’s the belly fat. The fat that accumulates in your abdominal cavity (3).
Even if you’re not very overweight, if you’ve got a lot of extra fat right around your belly and waistline, it can be a definite problem health wise.
For women, anything above 35 inches around your waistline is classified as abdominal obesity. And that’s the fat that has to go more than any other type.
Here are some proven strategies for getting rid of belly fat as quickly as possible:
1. Try Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise is excellent for curtailing and burning belly fat. It’s one of the best things you can do for your body if you want to live for a long time and be healthy.
Bear in mind here – I’m not talking about exercising your abdomen directly. No matter how many crunches and situps you do, you’re not going to lose belly fat.
Scientists did a study that found that 6 straight weeks of only training the abdominal muscles didn’t change waist circumference at all.
However, that’s not to say that all types of exercise are ineffective for reducing belly fat.
Try aerobic exercise (think running , walking, or swimming) to get fast results and big belly fat losses. Plus, these kinds of exercises help prevent you from regaining the same excess abdominal fat later after you lost it.
2. Eat A Lot Of Fiber (Especially Viscous Fiber)
What is fiber? Well, mostly, it’s indigestible plant matter.
It’s also a wonder when it comes to losing abdominal fat. Eating fiber has been shown again and again to help you lose abdominal fat – but not all types of fiber.
The most effective fiber to eat to lose belly fat is viscous fiber – the kind that binds with water and forms a kind of gel like substance in your stomach.
Sounds gross right? Well, it actually slows down food as it passes through your stomach, dramatically slowing down digestion. What does that mean?
It means that you feel fuller for longer, and your appetite gets reduced.
Just 14 additional grams of fiber per day leads to a 10% calorie reduction per day – and sustained weight loss over long periods of time.
Want to get more fiber? The best way to do it is eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes. Oats are good too – or you could go the supplemental route.
3. Get Rid Of Carbs
This has been shown over and over again – if you cut carbs out of your diet, you’re going to lose fat – especially around the midsection.
There have been more than 20 randomized studies that demonstrate that low carb diets will give you 2 to 3 times as much weight loss than low fat diets.
Want to know the crazy part? This is when the subjects in the low carb diets were allowed to eat as much as they want while the low fat subjects had to count calories and watch what they ate.
Plus, when you’re on a low carb diet, you lose a lot of water weight very quickly – leading to extremely fast results on the scale and in the mirror.
Studies have also shown that low carb diets specifically target fat around the belly – which is exactly what you want. Cut refined carbs out of your diet (like white breads and pasta) and make sure to eat a lot of protein.
4. Eat More Protein
Want to know maybe the most important factor when it comes to losing abdominal fat? Well, the answer is protein.
Protein has been demonstrated by scientists to reduce cravings by 60% and force your body to burn 80-100 calories per day extra – leading to a 400 calorie or more reduction in food intake.
Listen, I’m going to talk straight with you. If you want to lose weight, eating more protein is probably the most effective thing you can possibly do. It cuts the fat off your body, and if you keep it up, it prevents you from gaining the fat back.
Protein has even been shown to be most effective against belly fat. A study found that people who ate more (and better quality) protein wound up having much less belly fat. Plus, another study found that increased consumption of animal protein led people to be much less at risk for having belly fat.
A lot of these studies pegged the right amount of calories from protein at 25-30% of your total calories – so go for that number.
That means eating more unprocessed eggs, poultry, dairy, seafood, meats and fish products. That’s the absolute best way to get protein.
If you’re a vegetarian, or don’t like eating those foods, you can go for protein supplements instead, in the form of shakes. It’s not quite as good as animal protein, but it will work.
5. No More Sugar
ok, ok, not no more sugar.
But cutting added sugar from your diet is a fantastic way to cut belly fat.
Sugar – especially refined sugar – is terrible for your body. That’s because your liver is the only part of your body that can break down fructose – and refined sugar will flood your liver with it. What does that mean? It means that all the excess fructose gets turned straight into fat.
There has been study after study that has come out demonstrating that fructose and excess sugar leads to lots and lots of belly fat.
Plus, it can train your body to be insulin resistant, which causes its own host of health problems and only compounds excess belly fat.
Want to know what’s even worse than refined sugar? Liquid sugar. When you drink something that has a lot of added sugar, your brain doesn’t recognize the extra calories the same way that it does for solid food – and you wind up eating a ton more calories overall.
Here’s one terrifying statistic – in children, beverages that are sweetened with sugar lead to a 60% increased risk that the child will be obese – per serving each day .
Want to get rid of your belly fat. Completely cut sweetened drinks out of your diet. 100%. Just throw them all in the trash.
Your belly will thank you.
Which leads me to my last strategy:
6. Track How Much You Eat (And Exactly What You’re Eating)
Listen, the most important thing you can do for your health is to pay attention to what you’re putting into your body – because that’s what’s going to control how healthy you are.
That’s why it’s so surprising to me that so many people don’t read the labels, and don’t really pay any attention to what they’re eating.
I’ve worked with a lot of people who think they’re eating “really healthy”, but when they actually take a look at their diet, they see how unhealthy their food consumption is.
Listen – don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you to track every single food and drink you eat for the rest of your life.
But if you want to make a difference, try pledging to track your consumption for a few days. That will help you see exactly where you’re going wrong – and exactly what you can do to make a huge difference.
Try using a calorie calculator online to track your foods. You’ll notice big changes that you wouldn’t have seen without it – so give it a shot!
P.S. Do you know which unique veggies fight abdominal fat?