Belly fat is probably our least favorite part of our body. Plus, it’s one of the hardest parts to get rid of when starting a weight loss program, and if you want to get that coveted “six pack,” you don’t even talk about it.
We can do abs and eat salads, but we do not manage to reach the Roman and Greek canons of beauty. Indeed, the belly is one of the main points of accumulation of fat, both in men and women.
Also, abs, even if you think about it, aren’t always the best option. Since it’s natural to want to lose belly fat and it can also cause health problems (it increases the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or type II diabetes), here are the best tips to help you to get the body you’ve always dreamed of this summer.
1) Eat more fiber
You’ve heard it a thousand times, but here’s one more: foods high in refined carbs and sugar don’t really quench your hunger, so you end up wanting more. On the other hand, those that contain fiber, such as wholemeal bread, oatmeal, vegetables, fruits or legumes, will always fill you up more, because they help to slow down digestion.
As the magazine states Prevention, a 2015 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine showed that people who had difficulty following a strict diet lost weight simply by increasing their fiber intake. The recommendation for adolescents, youth and adults is 20 to 35 grams per day.
2. Walk every day
It is true that if you have a sedentary lifestyle, due to your job, it is sometimes difficult to find time to exercise. However, walking is free and a healthy, comfortable and easy way to lose weight. Think about all the benefits it can bring you: you will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%, but also the risk of depression, according to certain studies. You’ll also strengthen your bones (four hours of walking a week can reduce the risk of hip fracture by up to 43 percent) and improve your heart health, preventing heart attacks and obesity.
People who have difficulty following a strict diet have lost weight simply by increasing their fiber intake.
One of the most important studies on the relationship between walking and weight loss was published in 2008 in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health. It concludes that women aged 18 to 40 need to walk 12,000 steps per day (about 9.5 kilometers) to see effective changes on the scale. Men, on the other hand, can afford to travel a shorter distance, around 8.5 kilometers. So, dust off your sneakers and get out of the house.
3. Limit stress and get a good night’s sleep
This is nothing new, stress often pushes us to eat more, as it is a way to alleviate the anxiety we feel. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s easier to eat to feel better than to deal with problems. This is why it is important that you know how to recognize situations that stress you out in order to avoid them, and if this is impossible (for example, if they are work-related), the best is to combat them by other means : exercise, meditation, recognizing what you cannot change or restful sleep.
As for rest, it is also essential. Contrary to popular belief, too much sleep is not good for your health, but too little is even more harmful. A 2017 study in the United Kingdom found that people who slept five hours or less ate 285 more calories the next day, compared to those who slept seven hours or more. In addition, people who had little rest opted for fatty and low-calorie foods. Stress and sleep go hand in hand, so opt for relaxation and good sleep hygiene.
4. Goodbye to alcohol
It’s difficult, we know, but no one said it would be easy. Besides, to show yourself, you have to suffer. You know the theory: To lose weight, you just need to eat fewer calories, but that can be difficult when the cravings start to set in. So what to do? The best thing to do is get rid of empty calories, and that includes alcohol or, of course, sugary drinks. Sometimes the two are mixed together, which is a real ticking time bomb.
According to one study, people who sleep five hours or less tend to eat 285 more calories the next day.
Excessive alcohol consumption can overload the liver because it prioritizes processing alcohol over other nutrients and then stores protein or carbohydrates as fat in the body. Alcohol contains unnecessary calories. If you can’t nip it in the bud and want to start cutting back, some studies recommend one drink per day for women and two for men. Remember, however, that some drinks are more fattening (and of course more harmful) than others.
5. Drink water with lemon
If you read this topic regularly, you already know that metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food it consumes into the energy it needs. The faster this process (rapid metabolism, as they say), the thinner we will be. A good idea in this case is to drink lemon water, which offers a host of health benefits that have a direct impact on belly fat.
However, it is recommended to drink it on an empty stomach, that is to say in the morning upon waking up. It helps detoxify the liver so that it functions better, reduces appetite, eliminates fat deposits and, in other words, improves the aforementioned metabolism.
6. Do weight training
We were talking about metabolism, and weights have a role to play in this function as well. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn because muscles are more metabolically active, although many people make the mistake of focusing only on cardio when trying to lose weight. According to a study published in the Harvard School of Public Health, a 20-minute weightlifting session helps combat and reduce abdominal fat.
7. Watch out for sugar
Sorry. Sugar is a substance in which calories are highly concentrated and has virtually no nutritional value. It not only makes you gain extra pounds, but it also accelerates the storage of fat in the belly.
Additionally, sugar increases insulin levels, which is directly linked to obesity. It can also lead to insulin resistance, which will result in extra storage of belly fat.
I am a student and I am part of the editorial staff of joehovasmf.com. I have the chance to enjoy writing, however, I also like to discuss all subjects and especially anything related to Science.