20 Ways To Reduce Belly Fat

Fat has a number of important functions in your body. It stores energy and helps regulate your hormones. 

But having too much fat is linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases. And belly fat is the worst kind of fat there is for your health. 

Excess belly fat—specifically the kind that builds up around your abdominal organs, called visceral fat, significantly increases your risk for several serious health complications, like type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, blood sugar imbalance, chronic inflammation, and heart disease. 

Don’t let belly fat have the last word. Try these 20 tips to shrink your belly fat and boost your overall health. 

  1. Eat more protein: Protein reduces your hunger hormone and boosts several satiety (full-feeling) hormones. As a result, protein makes it a lot easier to stop overeating. A high protein intake also can boost your metabolism significantly, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. Aim to pack in 30-40 grams of protein per meal with these tips

  2. Get quality sleep: If you’re catching less than 7 hours of sleep a night, your hunger hormones are higher, your cortisol spikes, your insulin levels increase, and your fat-storage ramps up (specifically the kind around your tummy). Make sleep a priority and heal your sleep habits to help your body drop belly fat. 

  3. Limit alcohol: Alcohol increases body fat in four different ways: it stops your body from burning fat until it burns through all the alcohol, it’s high in calories, it increases your hunger hormones, and it boosts cravings for high-calorie, salty, and greasy foods. Lose the beer gut by limiting your booze. Enjoy happy hour the healthy way with my low-calorie drink guide

  4. Eat high-fiber foods: Higher fiber (specifically, soluble fiber) is linked to lower belly fat. Eating soluble fiber helps you lose belly fat and prevent belly fat gain. It promotes good gut bacteria and reduces your appetite. Even as little as a 10-gram increase in daily soluble fiber intake can lower your risk of gaining belly fat. Incorporate more flaxseed, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, legumes, oatmeal, apricots, and oranges to boost your daily soluble fiber. 

  5. Limit sugar: A diet high in added sugar leads to fat buildup around your abdomen and liver. Studies show that added sugar also has uniquely harmful effects on metabolic health. There are massive health benefits from cutting back on your sugar intake, and one of them is losing stubborn belly fat. Swap out your sugary beverages and soda with sparkling water. Snack on sweet fruit or dark chocolate for dessert. Eat whole and full-fat foods to reduce sugar cravings. Check your ingredients on packaged items for sugar and compare brands. 

  6. Cut out high-inflammatory foods: When inflammation is under control, you feel better and can lose belly fat more easily. Cut out inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and seed oils. Reduce inflammation by eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables (especially berries and leafy greens), wild-caught fatty fish like salmon, grass-fed meats, avocados, and fermented foods. 

  7. Tone your abdominal muscles: Tightening your core may not reduce fat, but it can shrink your waistline, add definition, and reduce the appearance of belly fat. Try this 10-minute core crusher for fast results. 

  8. Balance your hormones: Sometimes hormones can be the culprit for excess belly fat. As we age, if life becomes stressful, or when we reach perimenopause, our hormone levels can fluctuate, resulting in a hormonal belly. Creating healthy habits, like prioritizing sleep, eating a healthy diet with adequate protein and fat, and learning stress management skills can help keep your hormones balanced

  9. Reduce stress: Higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to promote more accumulation of fat tissue around the midsection. Stress less by practicing deep breathing, learning to self soothe, or talking with a professional counselor or close friend regularly.

  10. Cut back on refined carbs: Carbohydrates might be the culprit of a growing waistline. Overeating carbs is one of the primary contributors to the accumulation of abdominal fat. Reduce your consumption of simple carbs (like cookies, cakes, and white bread). Swap them out with about 25-30 grams of fibrous carbs, from foods like vegetables, beans, legumes, sweet potatoes, and whole grains. 

  11. Eat healthy fat: Some evidence suggests that omega-3 fats (like those found in fatty fish) can protect you against chronic disease and help reduce visceral fat. Eat fatty fish 2-3 times per week. Pick fish high in omega-3 fats, like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. For vegans and vegetarians, try an algae omega-3 supplement

  12. Eat prebiotic and probiotic foods: Several studies have found that probiotics significantly increase weight loss and decrease waist circumference. Certain strains of the Lactobacillus family, especially Lactobacillus gasseri, can help you lose weight and belly fat. One study found that eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3-4% in 6 weeks. Another found that women who took a Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplement lost 50% more weight over 3 months compared with those taking a placebo pill! Get a healthy gut by eating foods with Lactobacillus, like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi.
  13. Try intermittent fasting: This ancient practice is gaining huge attention in today’s science circles. Health benefits of intermittent fasting include reduced inflammation, balanced blood sugar, lower blood insulin, increased energy, faster metabolism, and better fat burning. New studies are finding that this lifestyle leads to greater loss of visceral fat than other diet methods. Get my free guide here to start intermittent fasting today! 
  14. Sip on green tea: A number of studies show that green tea can boost fat burning. According to one review of 11 studies, green tea helped reduce body weight, BMI, and belly fat in people with type 2 diabetes. Sip on green tea first thing in the morning, or try matcha, which has higher levels of the stress-reducing amino acid, L-Theanine.

  15. Track your macros: Gone are the days that we restrict calories and deal with chronic hunger to lose weight. Today, we know that what we eat within our calorie limit determines our body composition. If your goal is to lose body fat and maintain lean muscle mass, you have to eat the right amount of each macronutrient. Learn how to set your personal macros for weight loss here.
  16. Balance your blood sugar: When your blood sugar levels aren’t stable, you can feel tired and unwell, and your body can begin storing more fat. Improve your blood sugar response by completing a short activity before and after each meal, drinking organic apple cider vinegar mixed with 16 oz of water 15 minutes before your meal, and adding more fiber to your diet.
  17. Eat whole foods: Our bodies perform best and lose weight more easily when we eat a whole-food diet. Become a label reader, and cut the gibberish ingredients. Move away from processed foods. Look for products that are low in preservatives, added sugar, sodium, and all those words you can’t pronounce.
  18. Walk every day: Walking is one of the most underrated and valuable activities you can add to your life. It helps you shed weight, boosts energy, improves moods, increases mental health, reduces cravings, strengthens immunity, and improves sleep. Harvard researchers even found that walking genetically changes your body to make it lose weight easier! To get the most benefits out of walking, take a 20-minute walk (outside if you can) every day.
  19. HIIT: High intensity interval training is perfect for those of us who want to lose belly fat but don’t have endless time to spend at the gym. In fact, HIIT workouts burn twice as much body fat as other workouts. While HIIT workouts burn big calories during the exercises, they also trigger a reaction called Excess Post-Exerise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This means that your body will burn more fat as you rest for the next 36 hours. Try this low-impact HIIT workout instead of running on the treadmill this week.
  20. Shut down snacking after dinner: It’s not all about what you eat. When you eat matters too. Research has found that eating earlier in the day when your body is much better at processing food will help you control your weight. Your insulin does a better job of clearing glucose from your blood earlier in the day. Eat a satiating dinner and skip the late-night snack for a slimmer waistline. 

Find Your weight loss BFF and Burn More Belly Fat

Research shows that people who join a community-based weight loss program lose more weight. Don’t embark on your health journey solo. Join the LEAN community today to lose weight once and for all. 

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