10 Effective Tips For Women Who Want to Lose Belly Fat
Too much belly fat can increase your risk of certain chronic conditions. Visceral fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.
Losing fat from this area can be difficult, but there are several things you can do if you are looking to reduce excess abdominal fat.
Here are 10 effective tips for women to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.
1. Eat a high protein diet
Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight management.
High protein intake increases the release of the fullness hormone peptide YY, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness.
Protein also raises your metabolic rate and helps you to retain muscle mass during weight loss.
Many observational studies show that people who eat more protein tend to have less abdominal fat than those who eat a lower protein diet.
Be sure to include a good protein source at every meal. High protein foods, such as fish, lean meat, and beans, may be beneficial if you’re trying to decrease belly fat.
2. Don’t consume a lot of sugary foods
Sugar may contain fructose, which is linked to several chronic diseases when consumed in excess.
These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease.
Observational studies show a relationship between high sugar intake and increased abdominal fat.
It’s important to realize that more than refined sugar can lead to belly fat gain. Even natural sugars, such as real honey, should be used in moderation.
3. Do aerobic exercise (cardio)
Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an effective way to improve your health and burn calories.
Studies also show that it can be an effective form of exercise for reducing belly fat. However, results are mixed as to whether moderate or high intensity exercise is more beneficial. The frequency and duration of your exercise programme can also be very important.
Aerobic exercise is an effective weight loss method. Studies suggest it’s particularly effective at reducing belly fat and overall body fat.
4. Cut back on carbs, especially refined carbs
Reducing your carb intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat.
In fact, low carb diets may cause belly fat loss in people with overweight, those at risk for type 2 diabetes, and people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
You don’t have to follow a strict low carb diet. Some research suggests that replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat.
5. Perform resistance training (lift weights)
Resistance training, also known as weightlifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass.
Based on studies involving people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease, resistance training may also be beneficial for belly fat loss.
In fact, one study involving teenagers with overweight showed that a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise led to the greatest decrease in visceral fat.
6. Get plenty of restful sleep
Sleep is important for many aspects of your health, including weight. Studies show that not getting enough sleep may be linked to a higher risk of obesity and increased belly fat for some people.
A 16-year study involving more than 68,000 women found that those who slept fewer than 5 hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept 7 hours or more per night.
The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat.
It is important to get quality sleep every night even as you aim to sleep for seven or more hours.
7. Reduce your stress levels
Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
Research shows that high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage.
What’s more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds to fat gain around the middle.
To help reduce belly fat, engage in activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective.
8. Eat fatty fish every week
Fatty fish can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet.
They’re rich in high quality protein and omega-3 fats, which may offer protection against chronic disease.
Some evidence suggests that these omega-3 fats may also help reduce visceral fat.
Studies in adults and children with fatty liver disease have shown that omega-3 supplements may significantly reduce liver and abdominal fat.
9. Limit consumption of fruit juice
Although fruit juice provides vitamins and minerals, it’s often just as high in sugar as soda and other sweetened beverages.
Research suggests that consuming high amounts of fruit juice could contribute to weight gain due to the excessive amount of calories that it provides rather than the fructose that it contains.
To help reduce excess fat from your belly, moderate your intake and enjoy other beverages with lower sugar content, such as water, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling water with a wedge of lemon or lime.
10. Consider intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting. Studies suggest that it may be one of the most effective ways to lose weight and belly fat.
Intermittent fasting has recently become very popular as a weight loss method. It’s an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting.
One popular method involves 24-hour fasts once or twice per week. Another consists of fasting every day for 16 hours and eating all your food within an 8-hour period.
One study found that combining intermittent fasting with protein pacing — which involves consuming nutrient-dense meals spaced evenly throughout the day — led to greater reductions in body weight, total fat, and visceral fat compared to calorie restriction.