Having a lot of fat in your abdominal area has been strongly linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is why is it not only important to lose belly fat for appearance but more so to improve your overall health. Losing belly fat can have serious health benefits and can help you live longer.
Belly fat is usually measured by taking the measurement of the circumference of your waist. This can be done with a measuring tape at home. According to an article by healthline.com, “anything above 40 inches (102cm) in men and 35 inches (88cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity.”
If you find you are heavy around the waistline, it is important you take steps to improve this. Below are 6 steps you can take to decrease your waistline.
1) Avoid Sugar
Added sugar is extremely unhealthy and unfortunately for us, it is in almost everything now.
Sugar is made of glucose and fructose. The liver can only metabolise fructose in significant amounts and when a lot of added sugar is consumed, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat.
It is very important to avoid drinks that are high in added sugar. Liquid calories aren’t registered by your brain in the same way that solid calories are. So when you consume liquid sugar you end up eating even more calories than you would think.
We recommend trying to minimise the amount of sugar you consume and consider completely eliminating drinks that are high in sugar. This includes fizzy drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice. Although it is important to note that whole fruits are perfectly fine to keep in your diet. This leads us to point 2.
2) Eat more fibre
While fruit juice has a lot of sugar, whole fruits are very high in fibre. Whole fruits are extremely healthy and the amount of fibre and other good nutrients you get from whole fruits overweigh the bad effects from the fruit juice. To sum up, eat fruit, don’t drink fruit juice.
The best way to get more fibre into your diet is to eat more fruit and vegetables.
3) Say goodbye to carbs
Cutting carbs has been seen to be very effective when trying to lose weight. When people cut carbs from their diets, their appetite goes down and they lose weight.
Reducing the number of carbs you consume also leads to quick reductions in water weight. This gives people near instant results and a difference on the scale can be seen within a day or two.
If cutting all carbs sounds too challenging, just avoiding refined carbs should be enough. refined carbs are in sugar, sweets and white breads etc.
If losing weight fast is your goal, try to drop your carb intake to 50 grams per day. This will induce ketosis in your body which will kill your appetite and will force your body to burn fats for fuel.
4) Add more protein to your diet
Protein is very important when trying to lose weight. Healthline.com said protein “has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80–100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.”
Foods that are high in protein are whole eggs, fish, nuts, meat and dairy products. If you find you struggle to get enough protein in your diet then a good quality protein supplement can be used.
Another tip is to cook your foods in coconut oil. This is been shown to help reduce belly fat.
5) Track your calorie intake
Everyone knows that what you eat is important but do you truly know what you eat?
Unless you are keeping a form of a food diary, you most likely are kidding yourself and when you do begin to track your foods it may come as quite a shock.
We don’t suggest weighing everything for the rest of your life but doing so for a week or two will be very informative and you will start to know by just looking at your portions what you are eating.
The myfitnesspal app is a great way to track what you are eating.
Again, we all know exercise is very important if you want to live a long and healthy life.
When trying to lose abdominal weight we must stress that abdominal exercises are not necessarily the way to go. It is impossible to lose fat in one area so doing ab exercises will not help you to lose belly fat. So instead we advise choosing an exercise you enjoy and stick with that.
Aerobic exercise such as walking, running, swimming etc are great for losing belly fat.