With summer quickly approaching, we are all looking for ways to look and feel our best. Belly fat can be more of a deterrent for some of us, and losing it may be more time consuming than we would like it to be. However, it isn’t always as difficult as we make it seem– here are ten effective ways to lose belly fat this summer, according to science.
Avoid or consume less foods with trans fat.
Trans fats are manufactured by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats. Although many food processors have since cut these fats out, many packaged foods are high in trans fats. Research has also linked increased belly gain and inflammation to a high intake of these fats, along with other serious consequences like heart disease and insulin resistance. When grocery shopping, carefully read the labels of the food you’re buying, regardless if you are trying to lose belly fat or not.
Add coconut oil to your cooking regimen.
One of the healthiest fats to keep in your diet is coconut oil. Studies support that the medium-chain fats present in coconut oil can increase your metabolism, and can aid your body in regulating the amount of fat it can store. While coconut oil can be high in calories, consider substituting the fats you consume and the oils you use to cook with for coconut oil.
Moderate your intake of alcohol.
While consuming alcohol is not entirely harmful, heavy drinking can lead to excess belly fat and weight gain. Heavy drinking can often show in excess fat storage around the waist and belly. You don’t need to give up alcohol altogether, however, moderating your drinking and cutting back on it can help reduce waist size.
Stay on a high protein diet.
Most fitness experts will tell you that a high protein intake is key to weight management. A high protein diet can raise your metabolic intake, which can help you retain muscle as you lose weight. It will also release peptide PYY, which promotes fullness and can help abstain from excess calorie intake. Consider centering your diet around these proteins:
Drink plenty of green tea.
Green tea has always been praised and recognized for its many health benefits. It’s high in caffeine and antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, two chemicals that can boost metabolism. The antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, otherwise known as EGCG, is a catechin which can reduce inflammation and belly fat, according to studies. As beneficial as green tea may be, it can be even more effective if it is coupled with consistent exercise.
Practice stress-reducing activities.
Managing your stress does a lot more for your body than you think it does. Your body produces cortisol, also known as the stress hormone through the adrenal glands whenever you stress, which can increase appetite and belly fat. Women who already have large waists are more prone to secrete this hormone in response to stress. Consider partaking in yoga or meditation, as they are leading effective activities linked to stress-reduction.
Add probiotic foods to your diet.
Probiotic based foods and supplements have been found to provide many health benefits, including better immune function and gut health. Certain bacteria have been found to regulate a healthy digestive system, and certain gut bacteria can promote weight loss and maintenance. Certain probiotic supplements may contain other bacteria, so look for supplements that contain at least one or more types of this bacteria strain.
Avoid overly sweetened foods & beverages.
Loaded with high amounts of liquid fructose and sugar, overly sweet foods and beverages can not only make you gain belly fat, but can lead to other serious chronic diseases in the long-term. Many studies show a strong link between high sugar intake and consequently, increased abdominal fat. Overly sweetened beverages can be even worse, as these can manifest through excess fat in the liver and significant abdominal weight gain. As with alcohol, you do not need to entirely abstain from these foods and beverages, however, significantly lowering your intake of these sugars prove to be more beneficial in the long run. You should avoid:
- Sweet tea
- Sweetened alcoholic mixers
Do aerobic exercises.
Practicing aerobic (cardio) exercises is one of the most effective ways to burn calories, slimming your waist down, and staying fit. Many control studies also cite cardio exercises as one of the best ways to lose belly fat, however, it is not clear whether moderate or high-intensity cardio is more beneficial. It is clear, however, that the frequency and duration of these cardio workouts should be your focus. One study on the effects of cardio exercises used by post-menopausal women found that postmenopausal women who exercised for 300 minutes per week lost more fat from all areas than those who exercised for 150 minutes per week.
Track your progress and food intake.
In general, it is always good to track your fitness journey as not only a way of holding yourself accountable, but seeing the progress you have made along the way. Keeping a journal or app that counts the calories you’re taking in have been found to be beneficial and productive ways of monitoring weight loss. These apps do not have to solely focus on calorie intake, and can monitor the amount of fiber, protein, or carbs you’re taking in on a daily basis.
Did we miss any? Comment below any tips you think we should add to this list!