9 Proven Ways To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat.
Belly fat is maligned for its way of tampering with any outfit that doesn’t involve a muumuu, but really there’s something way worse about the stuff: When white fat expands in your abdomen, nestling deep among your organs, it sets you up for some serious health trouble. In fact, research has shown that waist size is a bigger risk factor for serious diseases than your overall fat percentage.
We now know that this type of fat, called visceral fat, is metabolically active and churns out stress hormones like cortisol and inflammatory substances called cytokines that affect the body’s production of insulin. The result: It’s worse than just being generally overweight; you’re looking at increased risks of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and even dementia.
Unfortunately, some women are just more prone to carrying weight in their middle instead of their hips and thighs, and there are plenty of. Sometimes, it’s genetics—maybe your mother or grandmother was more apple-shaped. Belly fat can also increase around menopause, or for women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Even certain lifestyle habits, from sleep to stress, can make your belly grow. Speaking with a doctor will help you understand what other factor might be contributing to your weight gain but at the end of the day, nothing sheds belly fat like diet, , and everyday changes to your lifestyle.
The smooth stomach of your dreams is always within reach, but it takes time and dedication. Commit to these daily habits, and you’ll start dropping pounds before you know it.
1. Never stop moving.
There’s one thing to like about visceral fat: It yields fairly easily to aerobic exercise. Vaporizing calories via running, biking, swimming—anything that gets your heart rate up—wins over resistance training when it comes to getting rid of the stuff. A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Physiology, found the sweet spot: Jogging the equivalent of 12 miles a week will help you lose belly fat. Researchers found that aerobic exercise burned 67% more calories in the study over resistance training.
Not a fan of running? Don’t give up on exercise yet. A regular walking routine will also help you get a flatter belly. Aim for 45 minutes to an hour of brisk walking every day, or try alternating between a brisk pace and leisurely stroll.
And while high-intensity cardio may be the ultimate belly fat burner, don’t shy away from weight training and full-body workouts; they’ll help you grow stronger and boost your metabolism (to help you burn calories more easily) along the way. We asked one personal trainer to share the best workouts that burn fat from your entire body, including your belly. Some of her favorites: The rowing machine, heavy lifting with shorter rest times, and planking.
2. This time, eat protein like you mean it.
A diet high in protein may protect you against insulin resistance, Aronne says. One easy way to up your intake is to add organic protein to your smoothies, meals, or snacks. You can also meal prep these protein packed recipes that will last all week.
In one study, obese women who followed a diet for eight weeks that was roughly 30% protein, 40% carbs, and 30% fat lost significantly more fat—including visceral pudge—than women who stuck to a plan that was 16% protein, 55% carbs, and 26% fat.
3. Pound the polyunsaturates.
in food will pack on more visceral fat than polyunsaturated ones,according to 2014 Swedish study. When subjects ate 750 more calories daily for seven weeks, either in the form of palm oil (saturated) or sunflower oil (polyunsaturated), the former gained more visceral fat while the latter gained more muscle mass and less body fat. You know the deal: Polyunsaturated fats are the ones in nuts, seeds and fish and can help you lose belly fat.
More recent studies have found that saturated fat can have a place in a healthy diet, in moderation, but being conscious of which high fat food you’re eating (and remembering to always skip trans fats) is key. Wild-caught salmon, avocado, and almond butter are just a few of the delicious food packed with healthy fats and other nutrients that promote weight loss around the belly.
4. Pucker up.
Obese people who consumed a tablespoon or two of vinegar daily for eight weeks showed significant decreases in body fat, particularly visceral fat, according to a 2009 Japanese study. “One theory is that the acetic acid in the vinegar produces proteins that burn up fat,” explains Pamela Peeke, professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of Fight Fat After 40.
5. Try yoga.