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How To Reduce PotBelly | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Oct 11, 2023

 

Too much belly fat can increase your risk of certain chronic conditions. Drinking less alcohol, eating more protein, and lifting weights are just a few steps you can take to lose belly fat.

One specific type of belly fat — visceral fat — is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

 

Though losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do if you’re looking to reduce excess abdominal fat.

Here are 18 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.

 

 

1. Eat Plenty Of Soluble Fibre

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system.

Studies show that this fibre may promote weight loss by helping you feel full, so you naturally eat less.

 

2. Avoid Foods That Contain Trans Fats

Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil.

Previously, they were found in some margarines and spreads and also often added to packaged foods, but most food producers have stopped using them.

These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies.

 

To help reduce belly fat, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated fats.

3. Moderate Alcohol Intake

Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it can be harmful if you drink too much.

Research suggests that too much alcohol can contribute to belly fat.

Heavy alcohol consumption contribute to a significantly increased risk of developing excess fat storage around the waist.

Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don’t need to give it up completely, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.

One study on alcohol use involved more than 2,000 people. Results showed those who drank alcohol daily but averaged less than one drink per day had less belly fat than those who drank less frequently but consumed more alcohol on the days they drank.

 

4. 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, such as:

meat
fish
eggs
dairy
whey protein
beans

5. 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.

 

To help reduce belly fat, engage in activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective.

6. Don’t Eat 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.

 

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.

7. Do Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise 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.

In any case, the frequency and duration of your exercise program can also be very important.

One study found that postmenopausal women lost more fat from all areas when they did aerobic exercise for 300 minutes per week, compared with those who exercised 150 minutes per week.

However, researchers also noted that changes in visceral belly fat were not significantly different between either group.

 

8. 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.

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.

In the Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest consumption of whole grains were 17% less likely to have excess abdominal fat than those who consumed diets high in refined grains.

9. 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.

If you decide to start lifting weights, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor first and get advice from a certified personal trainer.

 

10. Limit Sugar-sweetened Beverages

Sugar-sweetened beverages are high in added sugars like fructose, which can contribute to belly fat.

One study of people with type 2 diabetes found that consuming at least one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per week was associated with increased belly fat compared to consuming less than one serving per week.

Additionally, because your brain doesn’t process liquid calories the same way it does solid ones, you’re likely to end up consuming too many calories later on and storing them as fat.

To lose belly fat, it’s best to limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages such as:

soda
punch
sweet tea
alcohol mixers containing sugar

11. 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 groups.

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.

In addition to sleeping at least 7 hours per night, make sure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, consider speaking to a doctor about treatment options.

 

12. Track Your Food Intake And Exercise

Many things can help you lose weight and belly fat, but consuming fewer calories than your body needs for weight maintenance is key.

Keeping a food diary or using an online food tracker or app can help monitor your calorie intake. This strategy has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss.

In addition, food tracking tools help you to see your intake of protein, carbs, fiber, and micronutrients. Many also allow you to record your exercise and physical activity.

You can find several free apps or websites to track nutrient and calorie intake on this page.

13. 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.

Aim to get 2–3 servings of fatty fish per week. Good choices include:

salmon
herring
sardines
mackerel
anchovies
For vegans, vegetarians, and those who don’t regularly consume fish, plant-based omega-3 supplements derived from sources like algae are also available.

14. 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.

For example, an 8-ounce (248-milliliter) serving of unsweetened apple juice contains 24 g of sugar, over half of which is fructose.

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.

Still, to help reduce excess belly fat, 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.

 

15. Eat Probiotic Foods Or Take A Probiotic Supplement

Probiotics are bacteria found in some foods and supplements. They may have health benefits, including helping improve gut health and enhancing immune function.

Researchers have found that different types of bacteria play a role in weight regulation and that having the right balance can help with weight loss, including loss of belly fat.

Those shown to reduce belly fat include members of the Lactobacillus family, such as Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus amylovorus, and Lactobacillus gasseri.

However, while probiotics may be beneficial for weight loss, more research is needed. As some probiotics aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it’s important to talk with a doctor before adding probiotics or other supplements to your routine.

16. Consider Intermittent Fasting

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.

Keep in mind that there’s some older evidence suggesting intermittent fasting may negatively affect blood sugar control in women but not men.

Although certain modified intermittent fasting methods appear to be better options, stop fasting immediately if you experience any negative effects.

Additionally, talk with a doctor before trying intermittent fasting or making other changes to your diet.

 

17. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is an exceptionally healthy beverage.

It contains caffeine and the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which appear to boost metabolism.

EGCG is a catechin, which several studies suggest may help you lose belly fat. The effect may be strengthened when green tea consumption is combined with exercise.

Interestingly, one review concluded that green tea could increase weight loss, especially when consumed in doses of less than 500 milligrams per day for 12 weeks.

Another review showed that regular consumption of green tea could be beneficial for reducing body weight and waist circumference.

However, more high quality research is needed.

By Franziska Spritzler

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