It can be difficult to lose belly fat – it’s often harder to shift than fat in other parts of the body. And, storing abdominal fat can lead to various health problems, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- High cholesterol
If you’re trying to reduce your belly fat this year, here are some tips:
1. Check your diet
Cutting back on calories is one of the quickest ways to get a flatter stomach. There are also some types of foods that can, according to scientists, lead to excess fat.
These foods are:
- Hydrogenated fats, which are found in many processed foods
- Refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta
- Large amounts of alcohol, especially sugary alcoholic drinks
- Sugary drinks like fruit juice and fizzy drinks
- Snacks with a high sugar content like chocolate
Instead, it’s best to eat a balanced diet and replace some unhealthy foods with healthier options, like replacing butter with olive oil spread or white bread with wholemeal.
Additionally, it’s important to include all the major food groups in your diet. If you’re trying to lose stomach fat, some foods to try and consume are:
- Soluble fiber, which can be found in fruit, vegetables, and legumes
- Protein, as this will help you feel fuller for longer
- Probiotic supplements, which can improve gut health
- Green tea has been linked to increased weight loss
- Coconut oil rather than unhealthy fats and oils
2. Make sure you get enough sleep
A lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, so make sure you get plenty of sleep each night. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours a night.
If you’re struggling, you can improve your sleep by:
- Limiting daytime sleeping
- Going to bed at the same time each day
- Spending more time outside
- Avoiding screens before bed
- Limiting your caffeine intake
3. Get plenty of exercise
Exercise is essential for health and wellbeing. It can also help you achieve your weight loss goals and to get a flatter stomach.
Your exercise routine should include cardio, which burns extra calories and improves your overall health. Some of the most popular are low-intensity options, like walking, jogging, and swimming, and these are all suitable for beginners of any fitness level.
Additionally, resistance training or toning exercises like yoga and pilates can help you build abdominal muscles and to tone your body.
4. Lower your stress levels
Lastly, having elevated stress levels can contribute to weight gain. The stress hormone Cortisol, which is essential to survival, is linked with an increased appetite.
To lose belly fat, it’s important to lower your stress levels. You can do this by getting plenty of rest and practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation.