How To Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)

Health & FitnessWeight-Loss

  • Author Coach Catherine
  • Published May 16, 2021
  • Word count 600

Belly fat is more than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight.

It’s seriously harmful.

One type of belly fat — referred to as visceral fat — is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions .

Many health organizations use body mass index (BMI) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease.

However, this is misleading, as people with excess belly fat are at an increased risk even if they look thin

Though losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.

Here are 5 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.

  1. Eat plenty of soluble fiber

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system.

Studies show that this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full, so you naturally eat less. It may also decrease the number of calories your body absorbs from food

What’s more, soluble fiber may help fight belly fat.

An observational study in over 1,100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat gain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period .

Make an effort to consume high fiber foods every day. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include:

flax seeds

shirataki noodles

Brussels sprouts

avocados

legumes

blackberries

  1. Avoid foods that contain trans fats

Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil.

They’re found in some margarines and spreads and also often added to packaged foods, but many food producers have stopped using them.

These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies .

A 6-year study found that monkeys who ate a high trans fat diet gained 33% more abdominal fat than those eating a diet high in monounsaturated fat .

To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated fats

  1. Don’t drink too much alcohol

Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it’s seriously harmful if you drink too much.

Research suggests that too much alcohol can also make you gain belly fat.

Observational studies link heavy alcohol consumption to a significantly increased risk of developing central obesity — that is, excess fat storage around the waist

Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don’t need to give it up altogether, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.

One study on alcohol use involved more than 2,000 people.

Results showed those who drank alcohol daily but averaged less than one drink per day had less belly fat than those who drank less frequently but consumed more alcohol on the days they drank.

  1. Add apple cider vinegar to your food

Drinking apple cider vinegar has impressive health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels.

It contains acetic acid, which has been shown to reduce abdominal fat storage in several animal studies

In a 12-week controlled study in men diagnosed with obesity, those who took 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of apple cider vinegar per day lost half an inch (1.4 cm) from their waists .

Taking 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) of apple cider vinegar per day is safe for most people and may lead to modest fat loss.

However, be sure to dilute it with water, as undiluted vinegar can erode the enamel on your teeth.

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