If you’re like millions of Americans, you suffer from a few extra pounds around your midsection. It seems that no matter how hard you work, those last few pounds of stubborn belly fat are the hardest to lose. Fortunately, we have some tips that will teach you how to lose belly fat and lose inches fast!
What is Belly Fat?
As you would imagine, belly fat is the fat that settles around your midsection. Belly fat is manageable, but it can be harmful. To understand why we must look at two different types of fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is the more tangible fat in our bodies. If you can grab a handful of it, it’s subcutaneous fat. On the other hand, visceral fat is the kind of fat that you can’t necessarily touch or see. Visceral fat lies deeper inside the body and creates a sort of padding around vital organs. This kind of fat has been tied to issues like cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.
Fortunately, both types of belly fat are manageable, and we’re going to dive into some of the best practices for how to lose fat fast shortly.
How Can I Tell if I Have Too Much Belly Fat?
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There’s an easy way to determine if you have too much belly fat; just measure yourself at home. Wrap a measuring tape around your midsection and record the measurement. For women, if the measurement is over 35 inches, you could stand to lose some belly fat. For men, that number is 40 inches.
What are Some Reasons For Too Much Belly Fat?
There are several contributing factors to how much belly fat you have. Let’s take a look at some of the most notorious contributors below.
1. Poor Diet
We’ll start with poor diet, the most notorious cause of belly fat there is. A balanced, nutritious diet is a major key to keeping the pounds down in the midsection area. Things like sugary foods, beverages, and fast food are all major contributors to belly fat, and if you’re serious about learning how to lose belly fat, this is the first place to start. Here is a list of fat burning foods to consider, instead.
2. Poor Exercise Habits
Exercise is important. But, if you’re practicing poor exercise habits, you may not end up with any gain for all that pain. It’s important to know what kind of exercise is going to have the most benefit. From there, you’ll need to make sure you’re performing those exercises properly to achieve maximum benefit.
3. No Exercise at All
Even worse than poor exercise habits is failing to exercise at all. Spend 30-60 minutes each day engaging in moderate-intensity workouts, and you’ll quickly learn how to lose stomach fat in 2 weeks.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Quality sleep plays a vital part in so many of the most important functions of our body, so it’s no surprise that poor quality sleep seems to be a cause of extra fat. Making an effort to get more quality sleep is a win-win. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and it may have a positive effect in keeping off the extra pounds.
5. High Stress Levels
Excess stress plays a negative role in many aspects of our lives, and it can also affect our weight, especially in the midsection.
First, when we’re stressed, we secrete a chemical known as cortisol. While cortisol can be a good thing, too much of it can lead to excess weight gain, especially around the stomach area.
Besides, we tend to eat more when we’re stressed, and turn to food as a way to cope with being stressed. It’s no surprise that the increase in fat and calories leads to more fat in the belly.
6. You’re Naturally Apple Shaped
Are you carrying extra weight around the belly? It could just be genetics.
The amount of fat that tends to settle in our midsection as compared to other areas of the body appears to be genetically related. Some of us are just predisposed to extra fat in the midsection. This body type is often called “apple shape.” While this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to learn how to burn belly fat fast, you’ll be able to shed the pounds with a bit of extra work.
Ways to Cut Belly Fat
Now it’s time to work on getting rid of those extra pounds in the midsection. Keep in mind that fad diets or exercise routines that promise to show you how to lose belly fat in a week aren’t going to be able to deliver on their lofty claims. Losing belly fat is hard work. But, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll certainly be able to reach your goal. If you’re looking to learn how to lose stubborn belly fat, read on.
7. Get Up Earlier
Getting a headstart on your mornings is a great place to start if you’re looking to learn how to lose belly fat at home. Believe it or not, there seems to be a correlation between when you wake up each day, and body weight. Scientists studied this relation, and their results indicate that test subjects who saw more intense, bright light (i.e., the sun, interior lighting) in the morning had a lower body mass index compared to subjects which saw the majority of their light later on in the day.
8. Eat a Fiber-Rich Diet
Make sure you’re getting a healthy amount of fiber in your diet, and supplement with soluble fiber as well. Soluble fiber helps to regulate our digestive system. It also absorbs water and expands within your stomach, which creates the feeling that you’re full when you otherwise may be hungry.
There are even studies that suggest body fat may have the ability to reduce buddy fat. A recent study indicates that over a five year period, every ten extra grams of soluble fiber in a test subject’s diet led to a decrease in belly fat gain of 3.7%.
9. Cut Trans Fats From Your Diet
Trans fats are a huge problem that has several negative implications concerning our overall health. Trans fats are created when hydrogen is added to unsaturated fats. These kinds of fats have been linked to a myriad of different health issues including inflammation, heart disease, and even belly fat.
Reducing or eliminating trans fats from your diet is another win-win. You may be able to decrease your belly fat while also protecting against the other health implications of trans fats.
10. Limit Alcohol Consumption
We know, this one may be a bit of a bummer. But, if you’re serious about learning how to burn belly fat for men or women, taking it easy on the booze may hold the key.
They don’t call it a beer belly for no reason; it appears that there’s a link between alcohol consumption and the amount of fat we retain around our midsection.
At the same time, this doesn’t mean you need to cut alcohol out altogether. Having a glass of red wine each day has numerous health benefits. Evidence suggests that the relationship between alcohol and belly fat is present with a high level of alcohol consumption.
11. Add More Protein to Your Diet
Wondering how to reduce belly fat quickly at home? A high protein diet is another tip to consider.
First, a high protein diet increases our ability to release PYY, which is known as ‘the fullness hormone.' When we release PYY, it promotes feelings of fullness and decreases the appetite. Protein also helps us to maintain muscle mass while losing fat, and it can raise your metabolic rate (your body’s ability to burn calories) as well. Protein also helps fuel muscle, so not only will you lose body fat as you exercise when consuming a high protein diet, but you’ll also be increasing your muscle mass.
12. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
If you have a sweet tooth, this one may be especially hard to hear. But, reducing your sugar intake could play a key role in reducing belly fat.
Excessive consumption of sugar exposes you to several different health risks, including increased belly fat. Studies have shown that those who consume sugar in excess tend to carry more weight around the middle. What’s more, studies suggest that the fat you do accumulate around the middle is visceral fat, which has a range of different negative health implications, besides affecting how good you look in a bathing suit.
13. Stop Using Artificial Sweeteners
Not only is sugar a culprit in increased belly fat, but it seems artificial sweeteners may also be to blame. Researchers are still trying to understand the link between sugar substitutes and abdominal obesity entirely, but it appears that there is a distinct link between the two.
14. Get Some Sun
Catching some rays is good for you, and it may be good for your waistline too, especially as you get older. Studies have shown that obese test subjects who were exposed to more sunlight lost more body weight through diet and exercise than obese test subjects who didn’t get as much sun.
15. Reduce Carbs or Try To Eliminate Refined Carbs
First, they came for our sugar; now they’re here for our carbs! The sad truth is cutting down on the delicious carbs we love so much plays a positive role in weight loss.
Research indicates that diets that include less than 50g of carbs per day are a great way to burn off excess belly fat. For some people, eating a healthier overall diet may be easier than trying to cut back on carbs dramatically. Fortunately, it looks like there still may be hope.
Studies have also indicated that you don’t necessarily need to eat a low carb diet. Diets which were low in refined carbs also seem to be conducive to weight loss. So, if you love your carbs but want to lose weight around your belly, try replacing some refined carbs with unprocessed ones.
16. Lift Weights
We know that lifting weights can help us gain muscle and increase strength, but they can also help us to lose weight, as well. Lifting weights may not be the way to lose belly fat in 2 weeks, but over time, lifting can have a profound effect on how many excess pounds you’re retaining in the midsection.
We often overlook lifting when it comes to burning fat because it doesn’t burn as many calories as other workouts, like cardio. However, what lifting weights does do is increase our ability to burn more calories while we’re at rest. So in a way, lifting can help supercharge your bodies ability to lose more weight.
Not only does lifting weights increase our ability to burn calories at rest, but it can also prevent the accumulation of belly fat as well. A recent study published in Obesity indicated that weight training was actually more effective than cardio exercise when it came to the body’s ability to keep excess fat from forming around the midsection.
As we age, it becomes harder and harder to prevent excess weight gain. This is especially true around the midsection, so this is certainly welcomed news.
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17. Do Cardio
In addition to weight training, you’ll also want to make sure you’re putting in time on the track. This can be on the treadmill, or whichever your preferred method of cardio exercise is. Cardio exercise raises your heart rate and dramatically increases the number of calories your body consumes. The more calories our body consumes, the more weight we’re able to lose.
In fact, research suggests that test subjects who jogged or ran for 12 miles each week burned as much as 67% more fat than test subjects who relied on different exercise methods for the same period of time each week.
18. Get More Sleep
Finally, here’s a way to lose belly fat we can get behind! Getting more sleep will provide you with more energy throughout the day. It can also impact your focus and mood. But, it can also help to prevent against excess belly fat.
Studies have indicated that individuals who sleep for five hours or fewer each night run the highest risk of developing obesity. So, get some extra winks whenever you can and help fend off extra belly fat.
19. Lower Your Caloric Intake
This one is a no-brainer. We know that our bodies rely on calories for energy. When our bodies don’t have calories to burn, they turn to our stored fat. So, by making sure that you’re burning more calories throughout the day then you’re taking in, you’ll force your body to eat fat for energy, and you’ll lose more weight around the belly.
20. Cut Out Fruit Juices
Many of us look to fruit juice as a healthier way to get our fix of a sugary drink. Plus, they contain many of the vitamins and minerals that we want in our diets.
Unfortunately, they can be just as damaging to us as sugary drinks can. While they do contain some helpful ingredients, our bodies treat the sugar in fruit juice the same way they do with a can of coke. So, drinking fruit juice isn’t doing you any favors. You’ll want to limit or eliminate it from your diet to lose more belly fat.
21. Eat More Fish
Not all fats are bad, and this holds especially true when we’re talking about fish. Fish is great for a variety of reasons.
First, it’s lower in calories when compared to beef, chicken or other proteins. Plus, it’s a very rich source of Omega III fatty acids. These are a hugely beneficial supplement to a balanced diet.
Research suggests that Omega III fatty acids may help to reduce belly fat. The especially good news is that it looks like the fat it helps reduce is visceral fat. Visceral fat can be the most stubborn and difficult to lose fat of all. Plus, it’s also the hardest to lose.
Try to replace a protein like chicken or beef two or three times each week with fish. If possible, aim for particularly oily types of fish, like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and herring.
22. Use Probiotics
Probiotics may come off as a tad bit gross. But, once you get over the whole bacteria thing, you’ll find that they can be an amazing addition to a balanced diet. Probiotics are helpful bacteria that are found in several different foods and supplements. They can help with a variety of bodily processes, like fortifying our immune system or regulating our digestive tract.
Researchers have even to be able to pinpoint specific strains of probiotics that help to regulate our weight. Taking these kinds of probiotics can help you lose more weight everywhere, including in the belly area.
23. Incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into Your Diet
If you’re looking for home remedies for weight loss, adding apple cider vinegar to your diet is a great start.
There are many proven benefits of apple cider vinegar. For example, it helps to defend our bodies against bad bacteria and it helps regulate blood sugar. It also reduces bad cholesterol and reduces your risk for heart disease. What’s more, it may even help to prevent against certain types of cancers.
Most importantly for our purposes, apple cider vinegar can help you to feel full, which reduces your appetite, allowing you to eat less and lose more weight. The best part is it seems apple cider vinegar can be helpful for losing weight without even making other changes to your routine.
A study of obese men indicated that those who took one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day lost half an inch from their waist over a 12 week period, while those who didn’t consume apple cider vinegar experienced no change.
Apple cider vinegar can also help you keep the fat you’re losing off over time. A major component of apple cider vinegar is a compound known as acetic acid. Studies have shown that acetic acid helps the body to defend against belly fat resettling in your midsection.
This stuff isn’t exactly delicious. So, you’ll probably want to add water to dilute your apple cider vinegar before you drink it. There are also many tasty recipes that incorporate apple cider vinegar, so you’ll be able to reap the benefits without the nasty taste.
24. Drink Green Tea
Looking for other natural remedies for weight loss? Sipping on some unsweetened green tea can help you to reduce your amount of belly fat. Not only does green tea have a delicious, mellow taste. But, it also comes with a broad range of different health benefits.Drinking green tea provides helpful antioxidants, it can kill harmful bacteria, help reduce your risk for type II diabetes, and it’s even tied to brain health. It appears green tea can help protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases.
Then there are the weight loss benefits. Green tea contains caffeine and an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Both of these compounds have shown an ability to increase the body’s metabolism. In turn, helping you to burn calories and lose weight. In particular, there appears to be a link between EGCG and reduced belly fat.
Plus, green tea goes hand and hand with exercise. Not only will exercise help you to lose more belly fat. But, studies also suggest that EGCG is more effective when paired with exercise. Green tea contains caffeine. This also makes it a great pre-workout drink to help you get focused and power through your workouts. One type that's been trending on the market recently is Iaso Tea (review here).
25. Watch WHEN You Eat
Timing can have a lot to do with your fat absorption and weight gain. Eating in the morning can jump-start your metabolism, which is why it is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try to stop eating a few hours before bed. Many people recommend stop eating at 7pm. It should be about 3-4 hours before you go to sleep.
Putting The Pieces Together
Now you’re armed with a ton of new information on how to lose belly fat and keep it off. It’s important that you put as much of it into practice as possible. The more of these tips you’re able to follow and incorporate into your life, the easier it will be to lose the weight.
Plus, the more steps you’re taking to reduce belly fat now, the faster you’ll be able to lose it. Still wondering how to lose belly fat in 2 weeks? You’ll probably want to make some sweeping changes to your lifestyle.
You may even want to take the time to invest in a program dedicated to getting the flat belly you want. Or consider hiring a personal trainer or coach.