Excess belly fat is not just a cosmetic concern that makes your clothes feel tight. Having excess belly fat can negatively impact your health.
Research suggests too much fat in your belly— visceral fat— can increase your risk of many metabolic diseases. It’s been linked to diseases including heart disease and type diabetes.
Visceral fat is the type of fat found deep within your abdomen cavity around the organs.
It’s this proximity to the living organs that makes this type of belly fat that much more hazardous.
Just from a health standpoint, it is critical to lose belly fat and lower your health risks.
Though losing this deep belly fat can be difficult, it tends to be stubborn.
But there are several things you can do to reduce excess belly fat.
Losing Abdominal Fat
While it’s not possible to specifically target belly fat, you can focus on losing fat overall.
When weight loss occurs, it comes from everywhere in the body.
For that reason, focusing on overall weight loss will help you shrink your waistline. It’s far more effective than targeting belly fat alone.
Losing excess weight also helps you reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, according to Kerry Stewart, Ed.D.
Here are 3 effective ways to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.
1. Add more protein to your diet
Eating a protein-rich diet can help you lose weight even if you don’t count calories. A high protein intake can boost metabolism and reduce the number of calories you take in daily.
This is because protein is one of the high-thermic foods that require more energy to digest and absorb.
Protein is also very filling. This helps manage appetite and promote fullness after eating.
Let’s not forget. Your body also needs protein to retain muscle mass and raise the metabolic rate.
As you lose weight, this is important.
Weight loss tends to cause the loss of muscle mass, but high protein intake can help minimize the effect and build muscles.
Research indicates that those who follow a high-protein diet tend to have less belly fat than those who consume less protein.
However, not all protein foods are created equal.
Be sure to include a good protein source with each meal:
- fatty fish
- protein powder
2. Drink green tea
One weight loss buster is liquid calories.
Liquid calories come in the form of fruit juice, sugary drinks, flavored coffee, and some energy drinks.
It’s not always obvious to your eyes how many calories and sugar are in those drinks, many contain a shocking amount.
Simply replacing those sugary and high-calorie drinks with green tea can help promote weight loss and reduction in belly fat.
This is because green tea contains caffeine and an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGGG).
According to some studies, both appear to speed metabolism and aid weight loss.
Catechin in particular has been cited in several scientific studies that may help with belly fat loss.
The effects are magnified when it’s combined with regular exercise.
Green tea is a tea that’s most known for multiple health benefits including weight loss and belly fat loss.
Just making a simple switch to green tea helps you take advantage of that and ditch other high-calorie drinks.
3. Do aerobic exercise (cardio)
Regularly doing cardio can be an effective way to burn calories, lose weight, and improve your health.
Research also show that it’s one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat.
However, there is no conclusive evidence of moderate or high-intensity exercise benefits weight loss the most.
In any case, what seems to hold the key is consistency, frequency, and exercise duration.
One study that observed postmenopausal women indicates this.
They saw those who did 300 minutes a week of aerobic exercise lost more fat from all areas than those who did 150 minutes a week of cardio.
Cardio exercise is known as an effective form of exercise to burn calories.
Aim 3 times a week of aerobic exercise to your workout routine to reduce belly fat.