Belly fat not only makes it difficult to find clothes that fit properly, but it is the most dangerous type of fat to have. So how can you effectively and safely lose belly fat to attain and maintain proper health? There are scientifically proven ways to lose belly fat.
Belly fat, or visceral fat, is the fat that lingers in your abdominal area, but what you may not realize is that it is also surrounding your major organs, including your kidneys, liver, intestines, pancreas, and heart. Visceral fat, at high levels, can put you at risk for diabetes, stroke, artery disease, heart disease, and has even been linked to certain cancers.
There are risks to having belly fat, but there is also a way to eliminate enough to get you to a healthy percentage. In the following article, you will learn:
- What foods are best to get rid of belly fat
- What foods are best to avoid
- Best exercises for belly fat
- How to lose belly fat naturally
As a personal trainer and CrossFit enthusiast, I have studied the area of body fat intensely. It may seem as though losing belly fat is an uphill battle or impossible, but it’s quite achievable. Like anything else monumental, take it one step at a time and maintain a positive attitude.
What Is Belly Fat?
There are three different types of body fat:
- Triglycerides: this fat circulates through your blood
- Subcutaneous fat: the fat layer directly beneath the surface of the skin
- Visceral fat: Visceral fat is just under the muscles of your stomach.
It may seem like belly fat does little more than make your clothes tight, but it impacts your health a great deal. Visceral fat can be harmful to every organ because of the excess hormones and the chemicals that are produced.
Visceral fat can put your cardiovascular health at risk and is also known to cause colorectal cancer, as well as Type 2 diabetes. There is a way to determine if you have excessive belly fat, and that is to take measurements of yourself. Wrap a measuring tape around your stomach (no clothes), above your hip bone.
The measurements that generally correlate to too much belly fat for women is 35 inches or more, and for men, 40 inches or more.
Which Foods Are Best to Get Rid of Belly Fat?
To rid yourself of unwanted belly fat, the first thing you will need to do is watch what you eat. It’s hard to put away snack foods due to convenience, but once you understand the health benefits of certain foods and how easy they are to incorporate into your day, it will become second nature.
Avocados are a true miracle of nature, packed with good fats and loads of fiber, numerous vitamins and minerals, and heart-healthy antioxidants. Avocados help to regulate your blood pressure because they are a natural diuretic and help to rid your body of unwanted sodium and fluid buildup in the body.
A recent study showed the effects of avocados on two groups of adults. One group ate fresh avocados daily, while the other group consumed the same amount of calories but without the avocado. The study went on for three months and after this time, the group that ate the avocados saw a reduction in belly fat; this was not noted in the group that did not eat avocados.
You may not find that you want to eat an avocado every day, but incorporating them into your diet will provide health benefits. There are several delicious meals and snacks that can be made from these delicious fruits.
Many diets, including the paleo diet and keto diet, steer away from eating grains of any kind, but they are necessary for your overall health and the reduction of belly fat.
There was research conducted that included more than 2,800 participants concluded that whole grains had a positive effect and reduced belly fat, whereas refined grains (white rice, pasta, bread), caused an increase in visceral fat.
There is no reason to avoid all grains, especially if they are consumed in moderation and are chosen carefully. Whole grains will help increase your energy levels when you are exercising. Your consumption of whole grains should match your energy output level and be consumed more if you are active, and less if you are staying idler throughout the day.
Healthy whole grains include oats, quinoa, and wild or brown rice. You don’t need to eliminate grains to lose belly fat, and you could be hindering your overall health by eliminating them from your diet.
Lentils are an underrated superfood that is not only gluten-free but can be used in several capacities in various dishes. Lentils are also full of incredible nutrients such as minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and are a high source of fiber.
Lentils are also an incredible food for busting belly fat. Not only does a diet that has a healthy dose of lentils help you lose visceral fat, it helps with bowel regularity and is excellent for lowering cholesterol.
Wild salmon is a high source of vitamin D and is important immune system, mental health, and bone-density regulation. Research shows that low vitamin D levels in your blood are tied to an increase in all-over body fat and visceral fat for women and an increase in visceral fat in men.
Salmon is one of the best sources of vitamin D; as little as a 4-ounce portion of salmon can provide up to 80% of your daily vitamin D. There is a clear indication that vitamin D levels directly relate to body fat loss or any accumulation.
Which Foods to Avoid
If you are looking to decrease your belly fat, there are certain foods that you need to steer away from that cause increased belly fat and can lead to a decrease in your health. When grocery shopping, stick to the outer edges of the supermarket when choosing your foods.
The outer limits of a grocery store include fresh vegetables, fruit, and fish, while the inner isles include foods that are high in fat.
It’s always the tastiest things that are bad for you, and white bread is no exception. It is highly refined and is a top culprit in the production of visceral fat. While studies show that a healthy limit of whole grains can help combat belly fat, white bread leads to belly fat.
Too much white bread can lead to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Included in the bad carbohydrates that cause weight gain and belly fat are refined pasta and rice.
Sodas are full of sugar that lead to belly fat, weight gain, risk of heart disease, and diabetes. Coffees and teas are among the most highly sweetened beverages, especially when ordered at a coffee shop with syrup added.
Among some of the drinks that are highest in sugar are fruit juices, including unsweetened ones. Real fruit juice has a high sugar content and drinking large quantities should be avoided.
Real fruit juice does provide vitamins and minerals, but the fructose in those juices has been known to drive insulin resistance and can increase belly fat.
Drinking liquids that are high in calories is another way to gain excess belly fat because they contain a high amount of calories, but you will still need to eat to fill you up.
Alcohol is a significant contributor to ‘empty calories’ that do nothing to fill you up or offer nutrition. Alcohol is known to slow the fat burning process, even with exercise, so you will have a hard time getting rid of the fat that is typically stored in the belly from drinking alcohol.
The ‘beer belly’ was not named ironically, but for the excess weight that you carry when drinking alcohol in excess. People who typically drink little to no alcohol are less likely to have a high rate of visceral fat than those who drink every day or have several drinks on a given day.
Some of the tastiest and most convenient foods contain trans fats, but they are by far the most unhealthy fats you can consume.
Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats so that they become more stable. Many foods that are high in trans fats tend to be junk food or foods that are typically unhealthy, such as chips, cookies, crackers, and baking mixes, among hundreds of other pre-packaged foods.
Not only can trans fats cause inflammation, but they can lead to insulin resistance and various other diseases, including heart disease.
Best Exercises to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Any exercise is a great way to burn fat, especially if it makes you sweat and gets your heart rate up, but some exercises are going to help you burn belly fat quicker than others. To get rid of belly fat fast, engage in rigorous physical activity every day. Some of the best exercises are listed below.
The first step that anyone can take to help burn visceral fat is to engage in aerobic activity every day. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise can help lower both belly and liver fat.
Some of the best cardio exercises you can do are:
- Brisk walking
- Running or jogging
- Dance class or exercise class
When choosing an exercise, make sure it is something you enjoy so that your chances of sticking with it increase, and you will be more highly motivated. If you don’t enjoy being outside, it’s best not to choose kayaking or biking as your form of exercise.
Interval training at high intensities incorporates short bursts of intense exercise as well as lower intensity exercise. Not only is interval training great for cardio, but it is a huge fat burner and will help reduce your waist size dramatically if you stick with it every day.
Interval training is a great way to burn belly fat because your body is continuously working at different capacities with little to no break during your exercise cycle. Interval training allows you to gain muscle tone and burn fat easier because your body will not get used to the same exercises all the time and hit a plateau.
If you wonder how to dissolve belly fat fast, there is no easy solution, but there are easy answers. It is not a matter of how to get rid of belly fat, but how you go about doing it. It comes down to healthy eating, exercise, and avoiding foods that are high in extra calories with little to no nutritional benefit.
It will not be a quick fix, whatever you choose, but determination and perseverance will lead you down a steady path to a healthier life. It’s a tough climb, but it will guide you on a healthier and longer journey through life.
Now that you have the tools and knowledge to get healthier and burn visceral fat, figure out what activity you love to do and work it into your daily routine. Remember, variety is the key when you are burning fat, so mix it up every day. Choose a diet you can stick with and a cardio activity you enjoy, and soon, you will see your belly fat melt away.