Ways to Reduce Belly Fat
March 02, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

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One of the most common new years' resolutions is to reduce weight or belly fat to look good, but like most new year's resolutions, people fail to accomplish it. A key reason why people fail to lower belly fat is they do not fully know the factors and methods that can aid in losing belly fat. Besides appearing bad, excessive belly fat has many adverse health effects, including higher risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A body waist circumference of above 102 cm (40 inches) for men and above 88 cm (35 inches) for women is immensely dangerous for a person's health, so if your body waist circumference is crossing those limits, you should make a concerted effort to decrease belly fat. Now that the importance of reducing belly fat has been established let's look at some approaches to get rid of belly fat.

1. Fewer carbohydrates

As carbohydrates are mostly stored in organs around the belly, a low carb diet is an effective way to lose fat. Consequently, consuming fewer carbs can lower belly fat. Refined carbs such as sugar and white bread are an even bigger contributor to belly fat; hence refined carbs should ultimately be cut from your diet. Some health experts believe that removing refined carbs from a diet is enough to reduce belly fat, while others suggest that total carb consumption should be no more than 50 grams a day. No matter which course of action you believe in more, the general idea is to minimize carb intake if you want to lose belly fat.

2. Lessen sugar intake

Natural sugar is made of 50% glucose and 50% fructose out of which the glucose gets used by cells, while the fructose gets consumed by the liver. In processed sugars, the level of fructose is significantly higher, thus the liver is unable to use all of it, leading to the formation of the remaining fructose as fats in the belly. As a result, if you like using sugar, make sure to use natural sugar rather than processed sugars and avoid foods with unusually higher levels of processed sugars like energy or soft drinks. In general, you should attempt to reduce sugar intake by always inspecting reading labels on food, so that you buy food with low sugar content.

3. Eating more protein

Protein is an essential nutrient when discussing the loss of weight or belly fat. This is because consuming proteins reduces food craving by nearly 50% since it boosts metabolism by almost 400 calories per day. Additionally, foods with high protein content like eggs, fish, and milk are associated with the conversion of fat into muscle mass, leading to a fall in belly fat.

4. Exercise

Exercise is not only significant in reducing belly fat, but it also has an array of extended health benefits. Cardio and aerobic exercises like jogging/walking, swimming, and bicycling are most effective at diminishing belly fat, as they work the belly to a great extent. Such activities also lessen body inflammation, improve metabolism, and decrease blood glucose levels leading to fewer chances of developing diabetes. However, abdominal exercises should be avoided as they do not cause a reduction in belly fat but rather condition the abdominal muscles.

5. Increase fiber consumption

Fiber is constructed of indigestible plant material, so when it is consumed, the excess fiber not used by the body is excreted through stools rather than stored as fat. Fiber with high water content, for example, leafy vegetables, are even more successful in getting rid of belly fat as they slow down digestion, causing a person's stomach to feel more filled, giving rise to a decreased appetite. 

All in all, there is no single quick way to reduce belly fat; it takes considerable effort to eat healthily and exercise well to lose belly fat. Try to adopt some of the medical advice mentioned in this article, and you will surely lose plenty of belly fat within a few weeks or months.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.