Belly Fat Reduction can often feel like an uphill battle, especially if you’re like me and your abdomen is the most stubborn area when it comes to losing fat. It almost feels as though it’s the first place to gain weight and the last to shed it, which can be incredibly frustrating!
Not only is abdominal fat annoying, but it’s also extremely unhealthy and potentially hazardous. This type of fat, also known as “visceral fat,” clings to your internal organs and is associated with a heightened risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, among other health issues.
Now that we understand why we should avoid it, let’s discuss how we can actually eliminate it. Many people mistakenly believe that performing crunches will reduce belly fat, but this isn’t the case. While crunches do strengthen your abdominal muscles, they won’t do much if a layer of fat is covering them.
Table of Contents
Strategies for Belly Fat Reduction
Consume Whole Foods
The old adage is correct: abs are sculpted in the kitchen. The most impactful step you can take to lose belly fat is to eliminate sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods from your diet.
This strategy has made the most significant difference for me. These foods not only lack nutritional value, but they also cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to belly fat and other health problems.
Increase Fiber Intake
Studies have demonstrated that a higher fiber intake can reduce belly fat! However, many people fail to consume the recommended daily amount of 25-30 grams. So, bring on the wheat bran!
But hold on, it’s not that straightforward. Before you start piling on the wheat bran, it’s crucial to understand that there are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble.
Insoluble fiber, like the kind found in wheat bran, is excellent for relieving constipation. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is what we’re after, as it slows down the rate at which the stomach releases digested food, thereby reducing belly fat.
All fruits and vegetables contain some soluble fiber (another reason to eat more whole foods), but beans, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and avocados are particularly rich in it.
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If you’re in search of a supplement, this PROTEIN AND FIBER NUTRITIONAL BOOSTER from Bob’s Red Mill contains 9 grams of soluble fiber per serving and can be added to your smoothies.
Elevated cortisol levels, a stress hormone, have been linked to increased belly fat. One factor that contributes to higher cortisol levels is insufficient sleep. So, make sure you’re getting enough rest!
The Sleep Foundation recommends adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Personally, I feel the effects if I get less than 8 hours. How many hours of sleep do you typically get per night?
As previously mentioned, crunches alone won’t help reduce your belly fat. However, yoga has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can lead to a decrease in belly fat. Namaste!
Limit Alcohol Consumption
You’ve probably heard the phrase “beer belly.” While it’s often associated humorously with older men, there’s some truth to it.
Your body processes alcohol differently than food, and your liver prioritizes burning alcohol over fat. This means your body wants to burn off the alcohol before it gets to the food.
Couple this with the fact that alcohol can lower inhibitions, leading to overeating or indulging in unhealthy foods, and you can see how it can be problematic.
I believe in maintaining a balanced lifestyle, so I’m not suggesting you completely abstain from alcohol, but it’s definitely something to be aware of.
Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar
While there’s no magic solution for fat loss, Apple Cider Vinegar has shown promising results in aiding fat reduction.
The taste might be challenging to get used to – and that’s an understatement – but it’s something you can adapt to. I usually mix about 1-2 tablespoons into a small glass of water and gulp it down.
The first time is always the hardest, but it gets a little easier each time. You can also try this apple pie apple cider vinegar drink to make it more palatable.
Ensure that the apple cider vinegar is raw, unfiltered, and contains “the mother.” BRAGGS is a popular brand that meets these criteria.