How To Reduce Hanging Belly Fat

Everyone’s body stores fat differently. The lower belly tends to be a place where fat collects for many people. This is because of:

  • genetics
  • diet
  • inflammation
  • lifestyle factors

Patience is key when you’re working to get rid of belly fat, but there are things you can try to optimize the process.

First, throw out the idea that you can “spot treat” areas of fat on your body. You can do thousands of reps of toning exercises to tighten your waistline and not see fat loss.

Exercises like cardio, yoga, and crunches may tone your muscles and strengthen your lower abs, but they won’t “erase” fat deposits.

The only way to lose fat on your lower stomach is to lose fat overall. A calorie deficit helps with this.

Jump-starting Your Metabolism

Eat breakfast: It might seem counterproductive to eat if you’re trying to lose weight, but studies show that eating breakfast within an hour of waking up keeps your insulin levels steadier and your LDL cholesterol levels lower.

Decompress: Research indicates that the secretion of cortisol (a hormone your body produces during times of stress) is correlated with an increase in belly fat.

Aim to take 10,000 steps a day: In one study where men reduced their daily steps from about 10,000 to less than 1,500 (without changing their diet), their visceral (belly) fat increased by 7% after just 2 weeks.

Switch out refined grains for whole grains: In a scientific study, people who ate all whole grains in addition to five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy, and two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry lost more belly fat than another group that ate the same diet, but with all refined grains.

Drink plenty of water: Studies suggest that consistently drinking water throughout the day can lead to a more active metabolism, regardless of dieting. Drinking more water also helps your body flush out waste/toxins and improves your overall health.

Dieting for Fat Loss

Reduce calorie consumption: Unless you restrict calorie intake, you won’t lose belly fat. Keep track of your daily calorie consumption by using a program such as MyFitnessPal or the USDA SuperTracker to record everything that you eat.

Eat good fats: 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.

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.

Exercising for Fat Loss

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.

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.

Add resistance training: A 2006 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.

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.

Measuring Progress

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.

Continue taking your measurements as you progress: After incorporating some of the above strategies, keep measuring so you can see your progress.

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.

Diet to get rid of excess belly fat

Consuming more calories than you burn can make you more likely to develop visceral fat. It sometimes accumulates around the abdomen.

Eating the right foods may help aid weight loss. Avoid or limit foods that are highly processed and high in refined sugars and bleached grains. They’ve been linkedTrusted Source to blood sugar instability and inflammation in the digestive tract.

Instead, focus on adding healthy protein and fiber sources to your diet. Cruciferous veggies may help keep you full for longer and contain many nutrients. These include:

  • broccoli
  • kale
  • cauliflower

Protein can boost your stamina and energy without adding a lot of calories to your daily calorie needs. Some protein sources include:

  • hard-boiled eggs
  • lean meats
  • beans and legumes
  • nuts and seeds

Avoid or limit artificially sweetened drinks, including energy drinks and diet sodas. Stick to anti-inflammatory beverages, such as unsweetened green tea and water.

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