Body fat is unattractive, makes clothes feel tighter, lowers your self-esteem and harms your health. If you see fat on your waist you are looking at subcutaneous fat, which is the fat under your skin.
However, inside your body, you have fat that surrounds your organs called “visceral fat.” Unfortunately, visceral fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes and shortens your life expectancy .
Studies show that those that carry more subcutaneous fat are more likely to have increased visceral fat [2,3,4].
When we workout and diet we simultaneously lose both types of fat, but more importantly, we also reduce our visceral fat which decreases our overall cardiometabolic health risks .
Please be aware, as I have mentioned in dozens of articles, that you cannot “target” fat cells. No matter what that infomercial “claims,” even if you do a thousand abdominal crutches on their “magical machine” you will not target belly fat.
more: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways To Lose Belly Fat
Despite the “claims” from that new leg press machine you see online, even if you do thousands of leg presses you will not spot reduce fat from your hips and glutes. Let me repeat this again: Fat spot reduction is not possible.
However, with the right attitude, diet and exercise plan you can lose fat – including belly fat. Here are the top 25 most effective tips to get leaner – backed up with medical research!
1. Eat More Protein
High protein diets will raise your metabolic rate to burn more fat [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], and it will also suppress your appetite [12, 13, 14].
In my last article I explained how much protein you should consume. As a general guideline, most people can follow the rda recommendations of 0.8-1.3g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to achieve their weight loss goals.
However, if you are more active with weightlifting and aerobic activity, it may be best to consume as much as 1.5g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight a day.
Strive to eat lean sources of protein like chicken breast, beans, seafood. If you are a vegan then you must read about these power protein vegan foods!
2. Eat Low Carbs
At the end of the day, you need to burn more calories than you consume to burn fat. Even if you cut the fat, if you are consuming too many carbohydrates then your body will first burn the carbohydrates you ate before burning the fat.
more: The Best Natural Tips To Quickly Lose Belly Fat
Studies show that fat loss is best achieved with a diet with both low carbohydrates and low fat [15, 16].
Eating a low carb diet has been linked to decreased blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reduced risk of acquiring diabetes mellitus [17, and 18].
Here are the top 50 best low carb foods you can consume on your diet. Make sure you avoid refined grains found in white rice or white flour, cereals, or breads .
There are a variety of low carb diets out there, but the key is to eat in moderation, whether that it be less than 150g a day or as few as 50g a day.
Ultimately, a low carb diet will get you leaner and remove that annoying fat and reduce your cardiovascular risk .
Check out various sources from the Mayo Clinic or carbohydrate calculators to find how many carbohydrates you should eat for your particular weight loss goals [21, 22].
3. Lift Weights (Heavy Weights!)
It should be no surprise a low calorie intake with weight lifting exercise leads to fat loss [23, 24, 25].
Not only will you build more muscle mass, but this enhances your metabolism and burns more calories throughout the day since you have more muscle.
Research shows that compound exercises using large muscle groups (squat, bench press, deadlift, Olympic lifting) burn more energy–both during and after training–than exercises that involve smaller ones .
If you want to try these technical lifts be sure to reach out to a certified personal trainer to assist you to avoid injury.
more: Super Quick Ways To Get Rid Of Thigh Fat
4. Drink More Water
Water leads to fat loss goals because the hydration leads to increased fat burning through a metabolic process called lipolysis [27, 28, 29].
Water, rather than low calorie sweeten beverage, has been also been shown to be more effective for weight loss .
It is recommended that males drink 13 glasses of water, and females drink 9 glasses of water .
5. Intermittent Fasting
The basics of intermittent fasting (if) are that you fast (no food intake) for a period of time, which can vary from skipping some meals, or fasting for an entire day multiple times a week.
You do not necessarily limit the food intake, rather you limit when you eat them. Recently, I published an article that goes into extreme detail on the methods and benefits of if.
Overall, research shows that if leads to glucose and fat metabolism, as well as hormonal balance to aid in weight loss [32, 33, 34].
Interestingly, when if is combined with weight lifting it helped retain more muscle while burning fat than in a calorie-restriction diet [35, 36]. if has been linked to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes [37, 38].
6. Do More Cardio
An exercise program that combines aerobic training (running, swimming, dancing) in addition to weightlifting increases muscle mass and burns more calories to enhance fat loss [39, 40, 41].
7. Eat More Fiber
Research from Harvard and multiple medical journals shows that fiber is an effective way to lose weight [42, 43].
Fiber also reduces your risk of diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation [44, 45, 46, 47]. When you eat more fiber you feel fuller and this decreases your appetite so you are less likely to overeat.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that men younger than 50 get 38g of fiber a day and men over the age of 50 get 30g of fiber a day; and that women younger than 50 get 25g of fiber a day, and women over age 50 get 21g of fiber a day [48, 49].
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the healthiest sources of high fiber foods include grain foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts .
more: 10 Ways To Lose That Stubborn Belly Fat Once And For All
8. Whey Protein
If you are unable to eat all your protein then drink whey protein to stimulate muscle growth .
In regards to weight loss, the increased protein will lead to increased satiety and increase your energy expenditure so you will both build muscle and burn fat [52, 53, 54, 55].
Each scoop of whey contains approximately 25g of lean protein which can be made into a delicious smoothie.
9. New Workout Routine
End the monotony of your routine by trying a new workout. If you want to gain pure strength, I recommend the 5-3-1 program (which I swear by!).
If you want to try something simple and get lean muscle experiment with 5×5. And if you want to do something with greater rep range and frequency I encourage you to implement German Volume Training.
Whatever program you decide on, stick to it for a few months and see how your body changes.
10. Join a Gym or Class
When you spend money on something you will be more likely to use it.
Aim to find a gym that is in close proximity to you that offers all the equipment you want, but also has classes for you to try so you can do different exercises to keep you motivated.
11. Get a Training Partner
I attribute my success in competitive bodybuilding and powerlifting largely to the supportive, encouraging and inspiring training partners that I have had.
Not only did they push me on every spectrum in the gym, but they held me accountable to my diet and to being consistent to show up every day ready to push myself. I can’t even count how many times I had a buddy call me and say, “Let’s go! It’s leg day! And you’re going to crush it!”
Furthermore, having a training partner allows you to bond closer together and creates lifelong friendships. Although it was almost a decade ago, I still keep in close contact with my collegetraining partners – who continue to lift religiously – despite their busy lives as physicians, surgeons, political consultants, government employeesor bankers!
Building good habits early in your life will lead to positive lifestyle changes.
more: How To Lose Weight Fast With 3 Scientifically Proven Steps
12. Set a new Goal for Each Workout
Do you ever find yourself going to the gym without a purpose? Do you find yourself just “going through the motions?” Stop that!
You need to set attainable and appropriate reasonable goals for each and every workout. If you plan to squat 100lbs, then write it out the night before. Visualize it. Be S.M.A.R.T!
Prepare yourself for it. Warm up and focus on that goal. Then do it! If you do not set a new goal each workout you will find that you will get complacent and your weight loss will stall. Try these 7 tips for gym goal setting.
13. Avoid Trans-Fats
Trans-fat are processed food that is “partially hydrogenated oil” that is generally added to food to give it more desirable taste and texture.
It is often used to deep fry foods and can affect your health by raising your cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke [56, 57, 58]. Increased consumption of trans-fat is also correlated to weight gain [59, 60, 61].
According to the Cleveland Clinic, trans-fat are commonly found in cookies, cakes, margarine, breakfast sandwiches, candy, doughnuts, fried foods and pizza .
14. Drink Alcohol Sparingly
One serving of beer is 150-200 calories which adds up on weekends when people tend to binge drink.
Furthermore, drinking also leads to overeating late at night which also adds on more calories. Studies show that the more you drink the more likely you are to gain visceral fat [63, 64, 65].
15. Avoid Sugary Drinks
You should avoid drinking sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, fruit juice, and chocolate milk as they have been to be linked with weight gain [66, 67, 68].
16. Avoid Fruit Juice
What? But isn’t fruit good for you?
Yes! Raw whole fruit is great for your health. However, don’t drink fruit juice [69, 70].
If you drink it you may end up consuming 300-400 calories. Instead eat it raw as this will also release hormones to tell your body that you are satiated from the fruit and this will stop you from overeating as well.
more: How To Lose Arm Fat Quickly And Easily From Home
17. Sleep More
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep leads to better hormonal balance, enhances muscle recovery, keeps you alert during the day, and is directly linked it to decreased weight loss [71, 72].
In turn, weight gain can also negatively affect your ability to get sufficient sleep [73, 74, 75]. Practice good sleep hygiene and go to bed at the same time everyday.
more: Take The Quiz – Do You Know The Unique Veggies That Burn Abdominal Fat?
18. Exercise Log
It is hard to remember how much you lifted each day for a specific exercise. However, when you keep track of your workout with an exercise journal log, it allows you to gradually increase the repetitions or weight for each exercise.
It also allows you to plan your workout for each day based on how you did on the gym that particular day.
19. Reduce Your Stress
Stress releases cortisol which increases appetite and fat storage. Numerous studies show that stress induced cortisol response leads to increased abdominal fat distribution [76, 77, 78, 79].
Try to reduce stress in your life through meditation, nurturing your personal and spiritual relationships, and keeping a work-life balance. Try these 10 proven ways to reduce stress in your life.
20. Food Log
You must know how many calories you need to consume a day. This sets your limit for each day which will guide your progress.
I highly recommended using the National Institute of Health Body Weight Planner, since this calculator takes into account a variety of factors that affect your recommended caloric intake for weight loss such as your gender, age, current weight and height, and activity level.
21. Hire a Personal Trainer
It can get confusing calorie and overwhelming walking into a gym when you do not know how to begin.
While working out with a friend is helpful, it may be best to get an expert opinion through those that are certified personal trainers.
Shop around for a personal trainer. The right fit will make or break your success. You want a personal trainer that is in shape, knowledgeable, supportive and encouraging.
If you are concerned about the cost, try to join with a spouse or friend to get a discount.
22. High Intensity Interval Training (hiit)
This unique training method raises your metabolism during and after the workout to help you burn fat long after you are done working out.
Studies have linked this quick and efficient training method with weight loss and abdominal fat reduction [80, 81, 82, 83, 84].
My personal favorite cardio routine is Tabata Interval sprint training (not for the weak of heart!) [85, 86, 87].
23. Push Yourself
You will never get the results you want unless you push yourself. You do not need to kill yourself. But you need to work up a sweat and feel spent after each workout.
Think about it. If you show up and “go through the motions” you will never achieve the results you want. If you did 10 reps of 15lb curls on that last set and it felt easy, then go for 12-15 reps on your next set.
Push yourself to see results. Build your resilience in the gym and apply it to your life [88, 89].
24. Eat Fish Each Week
Salmon is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and will help maintain eyesight, replenish skin, keep joints and bones strong, reduce your cardiovascular risk, and contribute to weight loss [90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95].
Aim for one serving a week to get those benefits.
25. Stay Resilient
You will have good days where you have phenomenal workouts and stick to your diet perfectly. And you will have days that you may binge eat, drink too much alcohol, or skip the gym.
It happens. You are human. Do not beat yourself up. You need to regroup and get your focus back.
Remember, being healthy is not simply a number that you want to see on the scale in a few weeks from now. No. Being healthy is a lifestyle. With a disciplined and positive attitude you will achieve the results you want for the rest of your life!
The Best Tips To Lose Belly Fat
- Eat more protein
- Eat low carbs
- Lift weights (heavy weights!)
- Drink more water
- Intermittent fasting
- Do more cardio
- Eat more fiber
- Whey protein
- New workout routine
- Join a gym or class
- Get a training partner
- Set a new goal for each workout
- Avoid trans-fats
- Drink alcohol sparingly
- Avoid sugary drinks
- Avoid fruit juice
- Sleep more
- Exercise log
- Reduce your stress
- Food log
- Hire a personal trainer
- High intensity interval training (hiit)
- Push yourself
- Eat fish each week
- Stay resilient
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md, mhs is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. He has over a decade of personal training experience and helped hundreds of clients of all levels achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. This inspired him to work as a clinical researcher at the nationally recognized Johns Hopkins Hospital Weight Management Center. During medical school he and his classmates created the health and wellness organization, medfit, which provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. In his spare time, Dr. Mallipudi enjoys playing ice hockey, dancing, and training for his next bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Dr. Mallipudi serves as a contributing writer for the Diet and Fitness sections.
disclaimer: Vixen Daily and its authors may offer health, fitness, nutritional advice but this is designed for educational and informational purposes only. All the information contained on Vixen Daily and its articles is not intended to constitute the practice of medicine. The information provided in articles on Vixen Daily should never be relied on, or used as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Vixen Daily and its authors are not responsible for any actions or inaction, safety or liability on a User’s part based on the information that is presented in the Site. If you seek medical advice, speak to a health professional in person about your particular issues.
how do they do lunges
I really need to loose thigh fat its really disturbing me a lot and giving me sleepless night
I really want to loose belly i drink water but i like sugar
drinking lots of water, reducing stress and getting enough sleep are my top priorities this year. i’ve been so stressed with work that i was already sleep-deprived and i started stress-eating which made me gain belly fat. i understand now the bad effects and i’m trying my best to get back in shape by starting with these simple steps.
doing a lot of cardio has helped me tremendously. i didn’t do much exercises before but i’ve been told about the good benefits. now, i understand why exercise is as important as eating healthy.
i look thin on the outside but has so much belly fat. i remember my friend once told me that having an excess belly fat is harmful. i didn’t believe her but after reading this post, i am now convinced that i should start eating healthy and have regular exercise. thanks for these tips.
i was really having a hard time understanding how can i lose my belly fat. this article has helped me a lot. it is very easy to understand and detailed.
i can’t fit my pants anymore because of my belly fat. i will make sure to follow the tips in this article to get rid of the fat on my waist.
definitely eliminate drinking alcohol. this is one of the main reasons why you have big belly. drink more water and try to do some cardio exercises, this will help you start a healthy way of living and will get you in better shape.
yes, it is true that seeing a low number on the scale doesn’t mean you are healthy. eating proper foods and regular exercise are the key.
yes it is true that seeing a low number on the scale doesn’t mean you are healthy. proper foods and regular exercise are the keys.
i don’t think i can avoid alcohol even for the sake of having a flat belly.
for me, the best way to lose fat is to restrict carb.
drinking lots of water will help you lose belly fat. start training on replacing sugary juices and sodas to water and you’ll see amazing results soon.
belly fat has been my number1 problem ever since i had a baby. i try to exercise but there’s just not much time for me to do it. thanks for sharing this, i can do these instead and even exercise at home.
eat low card, high protein diet and drink loads of water. this has been my kind of diet and i do a little bit of sit ups and squats.
i’m going to try all these, i can’t wait to lose my belly fat
always choose the natural version of eating and drinking stuff. and load up with water.
this is not the first time i heard of stress being related to causing weight gain
with these scientifically proven tips, i hope i would lose my belly fat for good.
eating foods rich in protein and fiber has helped me big time. can’t wait to share this tips to my friends.
avoid alcohol and sugary drinks and include exercise in your routine.
perfect! ill keep these in mind.
i focused on fiber and protein rich foods, this helped me a lot.
find a workout routine that will get you started.
definitely watch what you eat. proper and healthy diet is the best thing you can do for yourself if you really want to stay healthy and lose some pounds.
of all the things you mentioned, being resilient is the most important.
drink more water especially before meals. it keeps you from over eating.
i’m doing this soon!
eating low carbs is the best you can do
these are awesome tips and very doable.
definitely drink more water and less sugar filled drinks
eating less calorie and less carbs will do so much to really lose your belly fat.