Belly fat is the bane of a healthy lifestyle. It’s been linked to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. And while some people seem to be genetically predisposed to packing on more pounds around their midsection than others, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to belly weight gain.
From what you eat for breakfast or how often you go out drinking on weekends with friends after work, it all adds up over time and can lead in some cases to an extra ten pounds creeping onto your frame without much effort at all.
The good news is that losing belly fat doesn’t have to be a difficult process—if you know what you need to do beforehand. In this article we explore the top ways experts suggest for losing belly fat.
Roll out of bed and grab a cold glass of water before breakfast, as it helps to kickstart your metabolism from the moment you wake up. Not only that, many people tend to store more toxins in their body as a result of poor sleep patterns, so drinking water will help flush them out.
Breakfast itself should be a healthy one. Skip the pastries and other sugary foods, as they will cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then crash throughout the day. Rather, go for something like fruit with yogurt or oatmeal—more fiber than simple carbohydrates—which will help keep blood sugar even while providing long-lasting energy.
Lunch should be a nutritious, balanced meal. You can go with a lean protein source—think turkey or chicken—alongside a whole-grain carbohydrate, such as whole wheat bread, and plenty of vegetables. The complex carbs from the bread will provide long-lasting energy for your afternoon activities without revving up your insulin levels too much at once, while protein and vegetables will help you feel full and provide nutrients to your body.
It is important not to skip meals when trying to lose belly fat, as it can lead to insulin resistance—where the body’s cells don’t respond well to the hormone insulin which regulates blood sugar—as well as overeating later in the day.
Skip sugary beverages like soda and even juice, as the high levels of sugar often found in these drinks can cause belly weight gain when consumed regularly. Instead, drink water, tea (green or black), or coffee (regular or decaf).
Exercise is a key part of losing belly fat. A 2014 study from Harvard suggests that people who exercise before eating breakfast burn more fat than those who didn’t. Plus, there are plenty of other studies that show the benefits of exercise for weight loss and belly fat.
Riding a bike or jogging on an incline can help you lose belly fat, as the added resistance provided by natural terrain helps tone your abdominal muscles while also burning more calories. Plus, the higher you climb on a hill, the greater your speed will be.
Alternatively, try some strength training with weights at home or in a gym. Even just 30 minutes of exercise three times a week can help keep belly fat from clinging to your midsection and causing issues with insulin sensitivity and more.
Finally, get enough sleep. It may seem like a small factor in your quest for belly fat loss, but it’s worth keeping in mind that more and more research suggests a link between poor sleep patterns and obesity at large.
Getting a full 8 hours of shut eye every night will help you achieve more balance throughout the day—between eating and spending time on things like exercise and work—as well as encourage your body to metabolize food better, leading to faster fat loss.
With these simple tips you’ll be well on your way to losing belly fat in no time.