There are many people desperately searching for how to lose belly fat tips right now. After the stress of coronavirus quarantine many have sadly found that they cannot now fit into their clothes that they were wearing before the pandemic.
Given the situation and the daily stresses that have came with it continuing exercising and following a healthy diet was the probably the last thing on most people’s minds.
If you find you have accumulated some unsightly belly fat then read on for some top tips on how to lose belly fat.
What is Belly Fat?
There is often confusion between belly fat and visceral fat. Belly fat is a layer of fat that accumulates just under the skin known as subcutaneous fat. 90% of body fat is subcutaneous and excess fat in the belly area is often more noticeable as a “spare tire” round the middle.
Related reading: Dangerous Visceral Fat : Will A Low Carb Diet Get Rid Of It?
Visceral fat is invisible fat that accumulates around the internal organs. If it becomes excessive it can cause your belly to protrude so it can be difficult to determine if it’s belly fat or visceral fat. However, if you have excess subcutaneous fat you could also have a large amount of visceral fat.
In either case it’s best to take steps to reduce it. You may already know that having a fat belly and larger waistline is often linked to a higher risk of diseases including high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes.
Researchers have shown that cutting down on carbs is one of the best ways to lose belly fat. Therefore, following a low-carb diet like keto can help you to trim down your waistline and lose that unwanted fat in your belly.
Related reading: Best Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss
If you have finally made the decision to lose that nasty fat in your belly but don’t know how to get started, check out these tips.
How to Lose Belly Fat Tips
1. Cut Down on Carbs
We are all used to eating carbohydrate foods. Research shows that a typical American diet consists mostly of carbs. What’s even worse is the fact that 42% of the daily calories consist of low-quality carbohydrates, while only 9% are high-quality carbs, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Eating too much of the wrong carbs can lead to overeating, which could explain the increasing number of obese and overweight individuals in this day and age.
Related reading: Best Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss
By reducing your daily carb intake and following a low carb diet, such as the keto diet, you could lose that fat in your belly. If you find the keto diet very restrictive, you can simply follow a low-carb diet, with a focus on eating healthy unrefined carbs.
Related reading: Does a Low Carb Diet Work for Weight Loss?
Avoid Whole Wheat
I have to warn you here that if you read elsewhere that whole wheat is good for reducing belly fat then please don’t take that advice.
In 2012 the intriguing book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight by William Davis, a cardiologist, hit the shelves. He says wheat is the “world’s most destructive dietary ingredient”. There is now an updated and expanded version of this book.
Dr Hyman agrees. He gives a number of reasons for avoiding wheat to lose weight. Firstly, modern wheat contains much higher levels of amylopectin A, a super starch, that is super fattening. This is why two slices of whole wheat bread raises your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar!
Secondly, modern wheat also contains super gluten which is much more likely to create inflammation in the body. Fat cells produce inflammatory molecules, the underlying cause of many diseases, so you don’t want to add to that.
Thirdly, during digestion, the proteins in wheat are converted into “polypeptides”. They are absorbed into the blood where they reach the brain and can cause addictive eating behavior including cravings and bingeing.
There is a whole lot more to it than that and many other reasons for avoiding wheat and gluten but there is too much for this article. Just take my advice and that of others and don’t eat wheat or gluten.
2. Add more Healthy Fats to Your Diet
The keto diet is a great diet to follow if you are trying to trim down your waistline. It’s a very low carb, high-fat diet that involves drastically reducing carbs in favor of fats.
If you want to fully benefit from keto, you should focus on eating healthy fats. If you want to lose belly fat on keto while staying healthy, you should aim to eat a lot of polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, seeds, and nuts.
Related reading: Keto Diet Fats : Best and Worst To Eat
By eating high-quality fats, you can cut back on overeating and you won’t be craving for more food after a meal, which is the key to losing that unhealthy fat sitting on your waistline. Just ensure you eat in small portions because fats are high in calories.
3. Incorporate Intermittent Fasting
If you’re on the keto diet, consider incorporating intermittent fasting to make your diet even more effective and help you lose more fats on your belly.
Intermittent fasting means going on periodic fasts in between keto dieting. The fast usually lasts from 16 to 24 hours. Studies show that incorporating intermittent fasting in keto is more effective for weight loss.
According to Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND, two hormones will be targeted when you go on a mini fast, glucagon and insulin. Fasting can help to lower insulin levels and increase glucagon. She further stated that,
“When insulin levels are low, the body processes glucose rather than store it as fat,”
Glucagon will break down the fats through a process known as lipolysis. By doing so, the body will be able to utilize fats for energy. Following intermittent fasting alone comes with weight loss benefits, and if you combine it with a low-carb diet like keto, you’ll be able to lose even more weight, including those fats in your belly.
4. Eat More Protein
The typical macro ratio for a keto diet is – 5% carbs, 25% protein, and 70% fats. Unfortunately, a lot of keto dieters are not paying much attention to protein. They tend to get most of their calories from fats and not much from protein.
Protein is very important especially if you want to lose belly fats. This has to do with how your body processes insulin. Louis Aronne, M.D., director of the obesity clinic at Cornell University has said that,
“Your body starts to produce more insulin as you age since your muscle and fat cells aren’t responding to it properly.”
If your body will not respond well to insulin, it will end up making more of it, and this can lead to fat storage, most especially in the belly area. This is where protein will come into play. By adding enough protein to your keto diet, you would be able to protect your body against insulin resistance.
But be very mindful of the type of proteins that you eat. Some proteins are bad for the heart, especially if you eat too much of them. Always go for grass-fed and pastured meat, organic and pastured poultry and wild caught fish.
Why grass-fed meat? The omega 6 to omega 3 fat ratio is better than commercially produced meat. Most people on a the Standard American Diet get too many Omega 6 fats and not enough Omega 3 fat for good health.
Related reading: What’s So Good About Grass-Fed Meat?
It’s even better if you can avoid animal-based proteins and choose plant-based proteins instead, such as lentils and beans.
5. Don’t Forget Exercise
Although most trainers will tell you there is no way to target belly fat specifically with exercise studies have shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) could be effective at reducing belly fat.
Michael Fredericson, MD, professor and director of physical medicine and sports medicine at Stanford University, says that when you’re doing HIIT
the idea is that you’re pushing your cardiovascular system and your metabolic system at a much higher rate than you normally would.
If you can’t manage HIIT then a combination of diet and general exercise can reduce fat stores overall and it will come off your belly eventually.
You don’t have to do strenuous exercise at the gym either. Running and walking can be just as effective for fat burning as hard work outs.
You can find some specific exercises that can help in my article Burn Some Body Fat With Bodyweight Exercises.
Final Thoughts on How to Lose Belly Fat
These how to lose belly fat tips are proof that you do not need to deprive yourself of food just to get rid of those health risk fats. A lot of people think that the only way to lose weight and trim your waistline is by going on very restrictive and fad diets But it all comes down to choosing the right foods to eat.
Simply lessen your consumption of carbs and focus on eating high-quality fats and proteins. Choose foods that are more filling so you can avoid unhealthy bingeing, which is the main reason behind accumulating belly fat.
Following the keto lifestyle is one of the best ways to lose belly fat. With a keto diet, you can still eat lots of delicious foods so long as you eat the right low carbs. Need some help to get started? Check out my 7 Day Keto Jumpstart.