8 brillant ways to lose belly fat right now

Jill Bridges, SATI STAFF

One of the most common, unfortunate problems that a person can experience is having an excess amount of belly fat. In addition to lowering your self-esteem and possibly harming your body image, too much belly fat can also lead to an increased risk for dangerous health disorders like cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. In an attempt to shed unwanted belly fat, it’s common to try a variety of solutions, including over the counter fat burners and the latest fad diets. Unfortunately, these quick-fix solutions very rarely provide the results you need.

Because there are so many different ways for trimming belly fat and reducing your waistline, it can be difficult to know which method is most effective. Learning more about the most popular methods for losing belly fat is the best way to decide which option will help you meet your weight loss goals. Discover ways to remove excess belly fat from your body, as well as myths involving the process and why they don’t work the way they claim.

Belly fat removal myths

For most people, the biggest reason to get rid of excess belly fat is to be more attractive. While this is understandable, a better reason to get rid of those unsightly love handles is to improve your health. An increased amount of belly fat has been linked to dangerous hormonal imbalances such as high estrogen, low testosterone, low DHEA, high insulin and high cortisol [1].

The best way to choose the right method to lose belly fat is to first eliminate the methods that simply don’t work. The market is flooded with quick weight loss solutions, from commercials for supplements that promise instant fat reduction to trendy diets. While exercise can be a great way to lose belly fat, results will vary from person to person. In fact, you should be cautious about any fitness routine that claims to burn a set amount of calories, as they generally do not take your specific metabolism into consideration — which can cause your calorie burn rate to increase or decrease above projections [2].

Another myth related to belly fat is that people with pear-shaped body types are healthier than people with apple-shaped bodies. Many doctors hold onto the belief that fat stored in the thighs is less dangerous than fat stored in the midsection. However, there is little scientific evidence to back up this claim. In fact, excess fat across the glutes and thighs is extremely unhealthy, with studies showing increased heart disease risks for women with waistlines above 34 inches and men with waistlines above 40 inches [3]. A 2013 study by the University of California Davis showed that these fatty tissues tested higher than normal protein levels, which can cause inflammation and resistance to Insulin [2].

Choosing effective fat removal methods

Now that you know a little more about the health effects of belly fat, and why you should avoid fat reduction techniques that promise a miracle cure, it’s time to examine what methods are actually effective at combatting fat and reducing your waistline.

When considering a belly fat removal method, it’s important to keep a few factors in mind. First, never trust a claim without doing your own research. Before committing to a method for reducing belly fat, make sure there is medical evidence to back it up. This will prevent you from wasting time and will make your efforts more successful.

Secondly, be sure not to go overboard in your efforts to lose fat. Weight loss should be done gradually to reduce stress on your body. If you lose too much weight too quickly, it can result in very negative consequences that put your health at risk. If you keep these issues in mind, you can easily choose an effective method for removing belly fat.

Weight loss drugs

One of the most effective methods for fighting belly fat is taking a weight loss drug, particularly drugs such as Meridia, Phentermine, and Xenical that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Primarily meant for people struggling with obesity, these drugs have been shown to result in as much as 22 pounds of weight lost in a year. However, this is in addition to changes in diet and activity level, and not solely from the weight loss drug [4].

Many people don’t realize that your body actually creates a hormone whose primary purpose is weight regulation. This hormone is produced in the fat cells in your body and is known as leptin, and appears to have an effect on how the body burns fat. However, as found in a recent study performed by researchers from Rockefeller University [5], there are still many questions about how leptin works and its relation to fat storage.

Some studies have revealed that this hormone can create a peptide known as a-MSH in the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that controls hunger and metabolism. It has been theorized that increasing this peptide may help adjust metabolism, although further testing is required.

Changing your diet

Changing your diet is one of the most effective ways of eliminating belly fat, particularly when you limit the amount of carbohydrates that you eat. Reducing the intake of carbohydrate-high foods has been positively linked with a reduction in your body’s fat levels.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins compared results of two diet, one focused on low-carb intake and the other on low-fat intake. The results of this study showed that low-carb dieters lost on average 10 pounds more than those on the reduced fat program [6]. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate carbs completely to lose your belly fat.

Simply by swapping out refined carbohydrates for whole grains and unprocessed starchy carbs, you can increase your metabolism and lose weight [7]. Furthermore, in 2007, testing was done to see how low-carb diets affect mood and hunger [8], and it was shown that low-carb diets improved both of these areas.

1. Eliminate trans fats

Another way to trim belly fat is to eliminate foods in your diet that are high in trans fats. Trans fats are typically found in prepackaged foods such as cookies and crackers, as well as fried fast foods. Eating too much fatty food can result in increased fat levels throughout your body [9].

Whenever possible, swap trans fats and saturated fats for healthier polyunsaturated fats [10]. For example, coconut oil is a contains healthier fats and can easily be incorporated into your diet. A 2011 study by ISRN Pharmacol [11] showed that people who added virgin coconut oil to their diets saw decreases in weight circumference, cholesterol levels and weight, though the levels of difference varied between genders.

2. Remove alcoholic drinks

Removing alcoholic drinks from your diet may also help with weight reduction. While you may be familiar with ‘beer belly’, virtually any type of alcohol can result in weight gain and an uptick in belly fat [12]. Like any food or drink, alcohol contains calories, and drinking alcohol in excess can add hundreds of calories to your diet. If you do drink, do so in moderation to help reduce its impacts on your health.

3. Limit your sugar intake

It’s also important not to forget about the sugar. Increased levels of daily sugar intake results in additional fat around the belly. The average person eats between 22-30 teaspoonfuls of sugar a day [13].  Lowering how much sugar you consume per day can improve a wide array of health factors, including your weight. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your sugar intake, start with sodas and other sugary drinks [14].

4. Drink more water

Staying hydrated is important to your overall, good health.

While eliminating unhealthy items from your diet, it’s important to add health alternatives. For instance, you should strongly consider increasing the amount of water you drink. Studies have shown that drinking a glass of water before a meal decreases appetite and over time may result in an average weight loss of nine pounds. The belief is the the water before eating made those involved in the study feel satisfied more quickly, leading to less food consumption [15].

5. Consume more protein

Adding protein to your diet is also a key element to weight loss. By increasing your daily protein intake, you can reduce cravings by as much as 60%, increase your metabolism to burn an additional 80-100 calories per day and your reduce your total daily caloric intake by up to 441 calories [16]. These findings were confirmed in a 2005 study by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition [17]. By increasing the amount of dietary proteins consumed by patients, researchers noted a reduction in caloric intake, as well as increased leptin sensitivity. A second study conducted in 2011 with obese men showed similar results, as the higher amounts of protein eaten led to increased appetite control and feelings of fullness [18].

Surprisingly, a simple snack filled with almonds can be beneficial to your health. A recent study shows that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds a day as part of a heart-healthy diet, reduced LDL and total cholesterol, as well fat around the belly [19].

Workout for weight loss

While monitoring our diet is an important component of overall health, exercise is the most effective method for reducing belly fat. For those who don’t have the time and money to join an exercise class, simply increasing your physical activity can help in your weight loss efforts. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise is best for improving insulin resistance, plus reducing liver fat and enzymes [20]. If you’re interested in a more vigorous exercise routine, you could try High-Intensity Exercise Training or HIET. In 2008, it was shown that these intense exercises alter the body composition for obese women more effectively than lower impact exercises [21], with results still pending for men.

Strength and interval training also can be effective for fat loss. Instead concentrating on a single exercise, such as sit ups, it’s best to choose a routine that targets multiple muscle groups and stimulates the cardiovascular system [22]. By including strength training in your workouts at least twice a week, muscle mass is preserved and increased while unwanted weight and fat is lost [23].

Strength exercises can also increase the number of mitochondria in your body, which can promote optimal brain function [24]. However, this is not to say sit ups can’t be useful. Test patients in a British saw a reduction in their waistlines be exclusively doing sit ups. Unfortunately, there was no actual weight loss achieved [25]. Experts suggest that on average, we should get 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week [26].

Gradually lose weight and keep it off

As mentioned, losing weight goes hand in hand with a reduction in belly fat. However, you want to make sure you’re losing weight the right way. Your goal should be to lose an average of one to two pounds a week. To accomplish this, drop your daily calorie intake by 500-1000 a day [27]. Of course, even modest weight loss can have a major impact on your health. Just by dropping 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, you can see reductions in blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol.

So what is the best way to handle weight loss? The CDC recently laid out an outline of steps to take before setting up a weight loss plan [28]:

  • Make a commitment. For most people, this is a written contract detailing how much weight they want to lose and their time frame. Laying out your weight loss plan in a concrete fashion and committing as fully as possible will make it easier to reach your goals.
  • Note your current position. Take note of what you are eating and your daily activity level. You can then use this information to make adjustments to your lifestyle that will lead to weight loss.
  • Set goals that are realistic. Create smaller, short-term weight loss goals, and allow yourself a reward along the way. Create two to three goals at a time, and keep them specific, realistic, and forgiving. Achieving these smaller goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and will help you stay motivated.
  • Have support on hand. Whether it’s friends and family, or professionals like a dietitian or a doctor, having people with similar goals can help you achieve yours. Having a support system in place will both provide aid and help you stay on track.
  • Check in with your self to monitor progress. Monitor your progress on a regular basis and determine what is or isn’t working with your plan so you can adjust as needed.

The sati line

Losing weight, especially stubborn belly fat, is not an easy process. It takes a lot of work and discipline, but the results that come from it are more than worth the effort. The primary thing to take away is that a quick fix can help for a while, but it’s unlikely to produce the long-lasting results many are looking for. Instead of looking for a quick fix for your belly fat problem, the better idea is to tweak your lifestyle, particularly your diet.
To live a healthier life and shed the excess pounds, you will need to adjust your lifestyle as needed to achieve your desired results. Remember to surround yourself with people who support your decision. From medical experts to friends from exercise class, having a support group can help you stay focused on working towards your weight loss goals. Eventually, the love handles and stubborn belly fat will disappear, and the body you love will be there to take it’s place.

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