In todays BodyRock News, we are going to break down belly fat, and give you some solid tips on some quick changes that you can make to dramatically reduce your belly fat and to support your health and fitness goals.
Losing abdominal fat, or belly fat, is a common weight loss goal.
Abdominal fat is a particularly harmful type. Research suggests strong links with diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
For this reason, losing this fat can have significant benefits for your health and well-being.
You can measure your abdominal fat by measuring the circumference around your waist with a tape measure. Measures of above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women are known as abdominal obesity.
Certain weight loss strategies that we practice here at BodyRock can target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.
Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.
Studies show that added sugar has uniquely harmful effects on your metabolic health.
Avoid the F-Word
Numerous studies have indicated that excess sugar, mostly due to the large amounts of fructose in processed foods can lead to fat building up around your abdomen and liver.
Sugar is half glucose and half fructose. When you eat a lot of added sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat.
Some researchers believe that this is the main process behind sugar’s harmful effects on your health. It increases abdominal fat and liver fat, which leads to insulin resistance and various metabolic problems.
Liquid sugar is the worst in this regard. The brain doesn’t seem to register liquid calories in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you almost always end up eating more total calories.
A study observed that children were a staggering 60% more likely to develop obesity with each additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Try minimizing the amount of sugar in your diet and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks. This includes sugar-sweetened beverages, sugary sodas, fruit juices, and various high sugar sports drinks.
Read the labels to make sure products do not contain refined sugars. Most foods marketed as health foods can contain significant amounts of sugar.
Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit, which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.
Protein may be the most important macronutrient for weight loss.
Research shows it can reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80–100 calories per day, and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.
If weight loss is your goal, adding protein may be the single most effective change you can make to your diet.
Not only can protein help you to lose weight, but it may also help you to avoid regaining weight.
Protein may be particularly effective in reducing abdominal fat. One study showed that people who ate more and better protein had much less abdominal fat.
Another study indicated that protein was linked to a significantly reduced chance of abdominal fat gain over 5 years in women.
This study also linked refined carbs and oils to more abdominal fat and linked fruit and vegetables to reduced fat.
Many of the studies observing that protein helps with weight loss had people getting 25–30% of their calories from protein. This may be a good range to try and experiment with.
Try increasing your intake of high protein foods such as whole eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy products. These are the best protein sources for your diet.
If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, a quality protein supplement – like whey protein — is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.
This is supported by numerous studies. When people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight.
Avoid the C-word
More than 20 randomized controlled studies have now shown that low carb diets sometimes lead to 2–3 times more weight loss than low fat diets.
This is true even when those in the low carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while those in the low fat groups are calorie restricted.
Perhaps most importantly, studies comparing low carb and low fat diets indicate that low carb eating specifically reduces fat in the abdomen and around the organs and liver.
Just avoiding the refined carbs — like sugar, candy, and white bread — should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein intake high.
If the goal is to lose weight fast, some people reduce their carb intake to 50 grams per day. This puts your body into ketosis, a state in which your body starts burning fats as its main fuel and appetite is reduced.
Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter.
Eating plenty of fiber can help you reach your weight-loss goals. However, the type of fiber is important.
It appears that mostly the soluble and viscous fibers have an effect on your weight. These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in your gut.
This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your digestive system. It can also slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.
One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of around 4.5 pounds (2 kg) over 4 months.
One 5-year study reported that eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
This implies that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at reducing harmful belly fat.
The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods, including vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals, such as whole oats.
Exercise, particularly Strength Training, is among the best things you can do to increase your chances of living a long, healthy life and avoiding disease.
Helping to reduce abdominal fat is one among many of the amazing health benefits of training with us here at BodyRock.
This doesn’t mean doing abdominal exercises, as spot reduction — losing fat in one spot at a time is not possible. In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity - so make sure that you are doing a solid HIIT based Strength program like this free 5 day Introduction to Strength Training For Women Bootcamp that is targeting the whole body and building fat burning lean muscle tone.
If you are more into cardio based workouts, be sure to optimize them fully by adding hands free resistance like a weighted vest designed specifically for women's bodies. The resistance will turbo charge your burn and help build fat burning lean muscle tone.
Weight training and optimized cardiovascular exercise will reduce fat across the body.
Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from regaining abdominal fat after weight loss, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance.
Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and improvements in other metabolic problems associated with excess abdominal fat - so get training with us!
Most people know that what you eat is important, but many don’t know specifically what they’re eating.
A person might think they’re eating a high protein or low carb diet, but without keeping track, it’s easy to overestimate or underestimate food intake.
Tracking food intake doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything you eat. Tracking intake every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize the most important areas for change.
Planning ahead can help you achieve specific goals, such as boosting your protein intake to 25–30% of calories or cutting down on unhealthy carbs.
Most people can reduce their abdominal fat through taking on key lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet packed with lean protein, vegetables and fruit, and legumes, and exercising regularly.
Try and incorporate as many of the above strategies above into your daily routine.