Belly fat can affect your confidence and self-esteem. But did you know that it is also dangerous for your health? Also known as visceral fat, it accumulates around your internal organs and increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Here are our top five most effective tips on how to lose belly fat fast.
1: Avoid Saturated Animal Fats and Trans Fats
Saturated animal fats are found in animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs. These fats accumulate in the body and cause many negative health issues, including increased visceral fat. Trans fats are human-made substances used in margarine, processed baked goods, and other convenience foods. Numerous studies have shown that eating trans fats can increase visceral fat levels by up to 33%.
2: Reduce Your Carb Intake
Diets high in carbohydrates, especially refined carbs and sugar, increase visceral fat accumulation. Eating less than 50g net carbs per day has been shown to lower belly fat levels in people who are overweight. Replacing refined carbs with whole grains, vegetables, and pulses also has a positive effect on visceral fat.
3: Increase Cardio Exercise
Unfortunately, it is not possible to spot-reduce areas of the body with exercise. Sure, sit-ups and crunches will strengthen your abdominal muscles, but they won’t reduce the fat in that area. To reduce body fat, you need to increase cardiovascular exercise. Start slowly if you are not used to exercising. Increase your duration and intensity until you are performing 30 minutes of moderate-high cardio 4-5 times a week.
4: Increase Soluble Fiber
Studies have shown that consuming at least 10g soluble fiber a day slows your build-up of visceral fat. Also, soluble fiber decreases overall caloric intake by making you feel fuller. Add in foods rich in soluble fiber every day. Great food choices include:
- Flax seeds
- Apples and pears
- Legumes such as black beans and kidney beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Nuts and seeds
5: Reduce Stress
When we are stressed, our bodies naturally hold on to more fat because of the elevated levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones trigger appetite increase and visceral fat accumulation. Try to reduce stress as much as you can. Deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and avoiding conflict can all help to reduce stress levels. You can’t control other people; you can only control yourself. Practice letting go of situations that you can’t control and instead focus your energy on self-care.