6 Ways To Lose Belly Fat

Have you ever looked at your belly and wished you could zap off all the excess fat and flab? Me too. 

For many, belly fat can be the bane of our fitness existence—it’s easy to gain and hard to get rid of, all the while it teases us as we go about our days.  

So whether that unflattering flab around your midsection is keeping you from feeling great at the beach, comfy in your favorite jeans, or healthy and energized, we’ve gathered the most effective steps you can take to drop belly fat for good. 

Here are 6 tips that’ll help get your middle slim and trim. 

1. Focus on healthy nutrition and optimize your protein intake.

Overall, a balanced and healthy diet will help you lose that stubborn chub. The right foods can help you get rid of the gut, including veggies, fruit, whole grains, and healthy proteins. Here’s 3 nutrition tips you can implement this week: 

  • Pump up the protein: Protein has been shown to reduce hunger cravings and boost metabolism. One study showed protein was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of five years. So add some chicken to your salad, enjoy an egg on your toast for breakfast, or toss in more lentils, quinoa, chia seeds, and chickpeas to your weekly menu.

  • Get “zenergized” with Matcha: We love waking up and sipping a delicious cup of Joe in the morning. But if you’re struggling with belly fat, you may want to switch out your coffee for matcha. We’ll get into hormone balance later on, but for now all you need to know is that having high doses of caffeine is tied to higher levels of cortisol—the stress hormone that makes belly fat stick. On the other hand, matcha in addition to providing caffeine, is rich in L-theanine—an amino acid that decreases stress and anxiety and increases a sense of calm. 

  •  Load up on Leafy Greens: Kale, spinach, arugula, collards, and other dark leafy greens are some of the most nutrient-packed foods on the planet. Plus, they’re also some of the lowest-calorie foods. Not only can these magical plants help keep us healthy and even inhibit the growth of certain cancers, they also help us drop the belly dough. Their fiber and water content helps greens fill you up and keep you feeling full longer-which can help you lose weight.

2. Limit sugar consumption and eat carbohydrates in moderation.

Unwanted belly fat can also be banished by avoiding sugary food/beverages, processed/packaged food, simple carbs, sodium, alcohol, and trans fats.

Things like white bread, fried food, processed meats, fruit juice, diet sodas, fatty red meat, sodium-saturated canned soups, and ice cream are just some of the foods that keep your belly from looking like a firm, flat feature. 

Now that doesn’t mean I’m saying to throw that new pint of Jenni’s Brambleberry ice cream into the trash—that would be a sin.   

It’s all about moderation—go ahead and enjoy a piece of pizza or ice cream here and there (once a week). But if your desire for a toned tummy outweighs these cravings, skip the fat-fuelers as much as possible. 

3. Load up on soluble fiber.

The good gut bacteria—the kind that’s great for healthy digestion—requires food to thrive. Some of their favorite healthy snacks are those foods with soluble fiber, like black beans. 

Our gut bacteria snacks on the soluble fiber in our diet and turns it into butyrate—a chemical that scientists are finding increases calorie burning. 

Plus, foods rich in soluble fiber, like beans, legumes, flax seeds, asparagus, brussel sprouts and oats, prolong the feeling of fullness, decrease appetite, and have been directly linked to lower belly fat. 

One study found that just a 10-gram increase in daily soluble fiber intake was linked to a 3.7% lower risk of gaining belly fat—pretty big impact, right?

4. Make daily activity a priority.

We’re sure you’re not surprised to see this tip on the list. Anyone looking to lose belly fat can boost their fitness with daily activity. But what kind of workout is most effective at blasting belly fat?

High-intensity interval training, also called HIIT, has specifically been linked to the reduction of fat among adults with more weight.

In one study, people who participated in HIIT exercise three times per week saw similar results as people who did daily 30-minute sessions of moderate cardio. Of course, like any other goal in our lives, sticking to this regiment long-term is necessary for long-term results. 

Sidenote: If you’re looking for a killer workout for trimming those sides, here’s a quick oblique workout you should try out.

If you’re doing everything right, eating healthy, and consistently knocking out HIIT workouts, and are still living with that stubborn chub, allow me to clear the air for you…

5. Learn to manage your stress.

We hope this doesn’t stress you out, but the truth is, elevated cortisol levels—the hormone that spikes when we’re stressed—can be the cause of the stubborn weight around your belly. Studies have shown time and time again that weight gain, fatigue, and increased belly fat are commonly linked to high cortisol levels in many individuals.

We’ve known women who were training for marathons, running for hours a day, and struggling to lose belly fat. Then, they made a daring exercise switch to yoga and watched their weight melt off. 

So while HIIT workouts can be hugely effective at helping you lose the innertube, if your cortisol levels are imbalanced and too high, it’s time for a personal day.  

Besides working to reduce stress in your life and learning how to respond to stressors calmly, there are several proven ways to reduce cortisol levels in your body. Eating a diet rich in healthy fats, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, taking a walk outside, catching some good z’s, and staying hydrated can all keep cortisol levels low. 

Other stress-sapping strategies include yoga, taking up a hobby, playing with a pet, or making time to relax outside work and family life. 

Remember, laughter is cortisol’s kryptonite, so find those people who help you de-stress.

6. Optimize your sleep each night and prioritize recovery.

If you’re like many of us, sleep doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Busy lives can lead to bad sleep. Over time, skimping on sleep can mess up more than just your morning mood.

Researchers found that people sleeping less gained more abdominal fat over a five year period. Their study showed how short sleepers showed a 32 percent gain in visceral fat, versus a 13 percent gain among those who slept six or seven hours per night, and a 22 percent increase among men and women who got at least eight hours of sleep each night.

Want the maximum benefits from snoozing? Your best bet is to shoot for 7-8 hours of slumber each night for peak health benefits.

Watch That Waist Whittle Away

Your health and fitness journey is unique to you. It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t work for your body. That said, millions of dollars and many studies have been dedicated to beating belly fat, and now you know how to give it your best shot. 

Try out these six tricks for a slim and healthy belly. Need support along the way? Join the LEAN Program where you get a comprehensive course on all things nutrition and wellness.

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