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One of the most commonly searched questions on the internet revolves around weight loss. Across the globe, countless individuals struggle with losing weight, particularly in their midsection. Finding a solution that works can be quite challenging but not impossible.
Aside from the easy route of getting surgery, exercise and a good diet plan are the most popular choices. Like exercise, it is important to choose a diet plan that will target your specific needs, in this case, one that will help you lose belly fat.
Two types of belly fat
Before you even think of dieting, it is crucial to understand what belly fat is and where it comes from. When we talk about belly fat, we are referring to the fat visible around the abdominal area. There are two types of belly fat, visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is the kind of fat that clings to a person’s organs, while subcutaneous fat is the kind that simply sits under the skin. Of the two, the health risks of visceral fat are more harmful. Some of these health risks include heart diseases, asthma, type – 2 diabetes, heart attack, several types of cancer, etc.
Common causes of belly fat
Now that we’ve tackled the kinds of belly fat, let’s move onto their common causes. Many stomach spreads do not just happen overnight. Rather, a combination of bad practices is the culprit. They are as follows:
- Poor diet – number one on the list is a diet that constitutes of sugary foods, high-carb intake, and the consumption of trans fat filled food items.
- Alcohol – too much alcohol does not only lead to liver diseases, it causes inflammation, hence the term “beer belly.”
- Lacking in exercise -logic simply dictates that little to no exercise equates to an inability to burn more calories than you take in.
- Genetics – a study conducted by the CDC linked a person’s genetics to possible obesity.
- Age – countless people who struggle to rid themselves of that abdominal bulge have stated how slower metabolism brought about by aging has made their attempts of a flatter midsection unsuccessful.
- Stress – whenever you get stressed out, your body produces cortisol. An increase of cortisol impacts metabolism. Not to mention that most people tend to binge eat or reach for junk food when stressed out, when paired with excessive amounts of cortisol, the body will then store those calories for use at a later time. Unfortunately, it tends to store it away in the belly as well as in other areas.
- Lack of sleep – fat is burned while we sleep, therefore it only follows that poor sleep would lead to insufficient calories burned.
If you are noticing that no amount of working out at the gym, sleeping enough or living a stress-free lifestyle has fully given you that flat stomach you always wanted, then perhaps it’s time to take a closer look into your diet. Instead of ditching your current sustenance to go ketogenic, vegan, or carb-free, you can slowly take out harmful food and include healthier options that can help the fat-burning process.
What foods help burn belly fat?
As you may have already noticed, there are numerous diet plans that exist today. Each one of these plans is geared towards a person’s lifestyle and nutritional requirements. We’ve all seen celebs and influencers crediting their personal trainers and their favorite meal plans for the healthy and fit bodies they possess.
Not everyone is however blessed with the resources to hire the best trainer or go full-blown keto. In place of a dietary plan that you are uncertain will work for you, the next best thing to do is to supplement your meals with foods that have been known to help burn belly fat.
So let’s say you already eat regular plain yogurt, but did you know that eating greek yogurt is a healthier alternative? How so, you ask? Take a look at this chart:
2% Greek Yogurt ( ¾ cup serving size )
2% Plain Yogurt ( ¾ cup serving size )
Carbohydrates = 5 grams
Carbohydrates = 12 grams
Calories = 160 grams
Calories = 100 grams
Fat = 3.5 grams
Fat = 2.5 grams
Protein = 19 grams
Protein = 7 grams
Sugar = 5 grams
Sugar = 7 grams
Despite the minor discrepancies, low fat Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of proteins that can satiate your hunger more than the regular one. Therefore, your stomach feels full longer, making you least likely to binge eat or snack on random cravings.
This fiber rich food is also filled with ample probiotics. Probiotics bring in helpful bacteria into the body especially your gut. By introducing probiotics into the system, you feed the existing good bacteria while encouraging their growth and proliferation in the body. To give you a quick science lesson, probiotics are essential because they aid in lowering the dietary fats absorbed by the body, thereby boosting the release of bile which leads to the decrease of belly fat.
Keep your metabolism high but switching out your usual proteins – sorry you need to put down the burger because that doesn’t count. Opt for skinless chicken breasts, leaner parts of beef, turkey (as long as you go for the white meat), tofu, and of course your best alternative would be in the form of fish. Salmon and tuna are always tops of that list. These not only give your slow moving metabolism a much needed push, but they also ensure you stay full for hours.
Loaded with antioxidants, green tea is great in warding off diseases and fighting off inflammation. Try 1 to 2 cups of good quality green tea daily to get the most out of this powerful fat buster.
Spices that pack a punch
Herbs and spices give dishes that extra oomph without adding to the sodium in your meal. Along with this, the inclusion of spicy hot seasonings like cayenne pepper is also great for ensuring your fat-burning juices aka metabolic rate is at a good pace. How can you say no to flavorful AND fat burning food?
Not all veg are created equally. In order to get the right “fat-free” nutrients, it is a must to select the types that aren’t laden with starch. Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are just some go-to options. Include one with every meal, along with some fruit and you’ve got an enriched and filling food source. Some great fruit options are bananas, kiwis, melons, berries, citrus fruits, and avocados.
It goes without saying that eating the appropriate foods daily is vital for maintaining a flat belly. By incorporating food products that are great fat burning boosters you can transition to a healthier lifestyle in a gradual manner.
How can I lose tummy fat fast?
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight or attempted to tone a particular body part will tell you that dieting is not always enough. A combination of health tactics is often the key to attaining your goal. If you are looking for ways to lose tummy fat fast, there are a few things you can start doing. There is no one size fits all solution and because bodies respond differently. There is a bit of trial and error entailed in order for you to find a solution that works best for you. Here are a few tips to help rid you of that spare tire.
- Tip #1 Ditch the junk food!
Clear out all the sugar filled snacks and junk food that can be found in the pantry. If you cannot forego snacking, look for healthy equivalents. Go for foods like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and pistachios. These are great replacements for your bag of chips since they are great at curbing the appetite.
- Tip #2 Say goodbye to refined carbs
We all have that favorite childhood breakfast cereal, we still reach for to this day. Unfortunately, not only will these send you on a sugar high, they are also filled with too much refined carbs. The same goes for breads, pastries, waffles, and white rice. Reach for complex carbs which are present in brown rice, nuts, quinoa, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, seeds, and beans.
- Tip #3 Try out intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting or IF is an eating program that relies on a cycle of fasting and eating. There are many benefits to IF, including but not limited to ease by which it can be done. No special tools, equipment, or meal plan is required. Anyone can try out intermittent fasting and unlike your typical fast, this does not leave you starving.
There are several IF styles, the most popular is the 16/8 method or the Leangains protocol as some people call it. The technique basically requires you to skip breakfast, and then keep your eating period within 8 hours. After this time, you fast for the remaining 16. Most people eat a late lunch so that they can still enjoy dinner at their usual time, leaving the 16 hour fast to occur mostly while asleep.
- Tip #4 Do more targeting exercises
Ensure that you include targeting moves to your workout. Switch up these moves to avoid getting bored and from plateauing. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-executed plank, crunches, or v-ups. High-intensity training and cardio loaded routines can help but only to a certain degree. If you want to get a flat tummy or get toned abs then you need to put in the work for the specific muscle group.
Even something as simple as adding a 60 minute walk to your daily routine or choosing a standing desk at work can already contribute to your goals. There are still many other tips and hacks to eliminate belly fat, the aforementioned can you get started.
What are the 5 worst foods for belly fat?
Part of the belly fat battle is also knowing the enemy so that you can formulate a good plan of attack. You already know which foods are great for keeping your midriff in check, now it’s time to learn about the 5 worst foods that could take you from rock hard abs to flabby pot belly.
Carbs – to clarify not all carbohydrates are bad for you. There are refined carbs (bad), and complex carbs (good). Refined carbs, also called simple carbohydrates includes refined grains and sugars that have been stripped of bran, fiber, and essential nutrients. Common examples of refined carbs are breakfast cereals, white bread, pizza, tortillas, waffles, and white rice.
Unhealthy fats – just like carbohydrates there are good and bad kinds of fat. It is no surprise that a good portion of unhealthy fats can be seen in fried foods. They are often very tasty but are sorely lacking in nutrients while containing a high-calorie count. Saturated fats and trans fats also belong in this category.
Processed meats – whenever meat is processed it generally includes a curing or salting process. Simply put, when you consume processed meats you are ingesting large amounts of sodium as well as chemical preservatives.
Dairy – notice how a friend, relative, or coworker of yours with lactose intolerance suffers from bloat along with other symptoms? Rapidly fermentable carbohydrates found in dairy or lactose products tend to aggravate the gut resulting in the immediate build-up of gasses, leading to a distended abdomen.
Sugary dense fruits – assuming that all fruits are good for you is a huge mistake. This holds particular truth when you are trying to rid yourself of an enlarged waistline. Cherries, mangoes, grapes, apples, and pears are typical additions to shopping lists. But did you know that these are some of the many fruits that rank high in fructose? If you are trying to watch your sugar intake, it pays to be mindful of the fruits you consume.
How can I lose my belly fat in a week?
Ideally, losing belly fat or weight overall is best achieved slowly. The reason behind this is to avoid any possible injuries or health problems. However, there are a few things that you can do safely in order to reduce the fat on your midsection.
For starters, you can up your water intake. Two litters are the recommended water consumption for adults. Steer clear of fruits juices, shakes, and soda. Consider drinking green tea or coffee if you want a beverage with a bit of flavor.
Keep hydrated throughout the day especially when working out. Turn to exercise regimens that are high intensity. Doing so pushes your body to use your stored energy in fats, which hopefully reduces that tummy thickness. Maintain a fitness routine once or twice a day for a full week or at least keep active by engaging in some sports.
You can also pair your workouts with a low-carb diet or even intermittent fasting. Try not to go overboard by starving yourself. The human body requires food and water for it to function properly. Depriving yourself of one or both things can lead to serious health repercussions down the road.
Drastic weight loss practices are never advised. For the most part, it is always best to consult with a physician before taking on a new diet plan or a professional trainer when looking to change your workout routine.
The bottom line
Lots of diets exist that cater to a person’s nutritional needs and lifestyle. Without a doubt, countless influencers and celebrities credit their personal trainers and of course their favorite diet plans for the fit and healthy bodies that they possess.
Making a switch to one of the many known plans is always best started with the aid of a dietician or your doctor at the very least. Not only can these health professionals advise you on which diet to follow, but they can also provide you with the best answers to any health related queries you may have.