Beneath the muscles in your stomach, there lies visceral fat that is known as belly fat. This type of fat is stored around the internal organs, and it is metabolized differently than other types of fat.
Apart from the cosmetic issues of belly fat that can impact one’s appearance, it has significant implications for long-term health. Even a small amount of belly fat can lead to a range of health problems because it produces excess hormones and chemicals that affect almost every organ in the body.
Belly fat has been linked to numerous health issues such as weakened bones, high blood pressure, inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, type 2 diabetes, and even a higher mortality rate.
Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to eliminate belly fat. The only effective way to get rid of it is to lose weight. To lose weight, both dietary and exercise changes are required.
Here are eight safe and effective tips to get started on your journey to reduce belly fat. These tips, if consistently followed, can lead to significant changes in your belly in a short amount of time.
1. Eat only when you’re hungry
Stop when you are no longer hungry, not full, not satisfied, just not hungry anymore. And remember, when you eat, chew slowly—this should help prevent you from overeating.
2. Don’t reach for snacks right away when you feel hungry
Drink a glass of water instead when you feel hungry—chances are you are dehydrated and not really hungry.
3. Eat many small meals throughout the day
Stay away from large 3 main meals a day. This helps to regulate your blood sugar and energy levels, which in turn helps you steer your body away from accumulating extra fat in your body.
4. Eat foods with plenty of fiber
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. They’ll help you feel fuller and you’ll less likely be hungry between meals.
5. Eat dinner at least three hours before going to bed
Your body digests food better when you are sitting or standing upright. Eating late at night can cause poor digestion and affect your blood sugar levels, which can lead to poor sleep quality and late night snacking.
6. Avoid processed and packaged foods.
Instead, eat whole foods that provide adequate vitamins and minerals. Empty calories in junk foods, like potato chips, leave you feeling hungry. Also try to cut sweet, fried, and high-fat foods—they do nothing but make you dehydrated and fat.
Try adding the following foods to your diet, which will aid in your weight loss: sugar-free yogurt, oats, coconut oil, nuts, chicken breast and lean cuts of beef, cayenne pepper, salmon, avocado, eggs, and green vegetables.
7. Include interval training in your workouts
Step up your workout and push yourself to your own edge. While all exercise is helpful, it may be especially beneficial to engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) at least a few times per week. HIIT involves periods of intense exercise followed by short periods of rest.
Researchers found that HIIT was more effective than moderate-intensity continuous training in reducing belly fat in women who were predisposed to Type 2 diabetes.
8. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night
This will help you feel energized throughout the day. When you’re tired, you may be more tempted to reach for unhealthy foods and you’ll have more frequent hunger pangs.