If I tell you that not all overweight people are unhealthy, would you believe me?
Yes, the truth is there are a lot of overweight people who are very healthy (a).
On the other hand, there are many people, of normal weight, that experience the metabolic issues of obese people (b).
Why’s this? Regarding health, the fat found under the skin is not an issue. That is more of an image problem.
Belly fat found around your abdomen is the major health problem (c).
You should get rid of excess belly fat even if you are not overweight.
You can use a tape measure to measure the size of your waist. This measurement determines how much belly fat you have.
You have abdominal obesity if your waistline measures more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.
To lose belly fat quickly, you need to follow measures that target fats around the belly. There are a few of these measures you can put into practice.
Here is an overview of 6 scientifically proven ways to get rid of belly fat fast for both men and women. None of these involve surgery.
1.Avoid Sugar. And yes, Avoid Sugar (including drinks with sugar in them).
Adding sugar to your diet is a bad idea. Sugar is extremely unhealthy and causes more harm than good.
There have been studies carried out that prove that sugar has a negative health effect on your metabolic health (d).
Sugar is made up of fructose and glucose. Metabolism of significant amounts of fructose only occurs in the liver (e).
The liver can’t metabolize large amounts of fructose. Instead, the fructose is turned into fat and stored around the abdomen (f).
This is what happens when you consume large amounts of sugar. Excess sugar increases belly fat (g).
The largest source of sugar is the sugary drinks we consume, especially soda drinks.
There have been several studies that link sugar to a host of metabolic problems. Conditions like insulin resistance arise from an accumulation of belly and liver fat (h).
Consuming sugar in liquid form is a greater contributor than solid sugar. This is because the brain registers liquid calories differently. When sugar is added to drinks, you consume more of it and end up taking in more calories than solid food (i, j).
A study that the risk of obesity increased by as much as 60% in children that consume sugar-sweetened drinks daily (k).
If you want to get rid of belly fat, make a conscious decision to limit the amount of sugar you consume. You should absolutely stop drinking sugary drinks such as Coke.
What many people do not know is that packaged fruit juice often has large amounts of sugar added to them. To be safe, avoid store bought fruit juice and make your own at home. Basically, avoid any drink that has sugar in it, and avoid adding sugar to your beverages.
Get your sugar from eating whole fruits. The fructose content is not high, and you get plenty of fiber and healthy micronutrients. Compared to what you get from refined sugar and sugary drinks, the fructose content of whole fruits is insignificant.
Reading food labels is a must for anyone wanting to reduce or eliminate sugars from their food. You’ll be surprised how a lot of so-called healthy foods have so much sugar in them.
Conclusion: Refined Sugar is a major cause of belly fat accumulation. At a minimum, significantly reduce the amount you consume. To seriously lose belly fat, the best option is to eliminate refined sugar from your diet and avoid sugary drinks and beverages. Sugar from whole fruit is fine.
2. Increase Protein Intake for Long-Term Belly Fat Reduction
As far as losing weight is concerned, protein is the most important of the macronutrients (l).
Protein can decrease your food craving by as much as 60%. It is also known to increase metabolism by as much as 80 to 100 calories per day. This translates into you consuming about 441 fewer calories per day (m, n, o, p).
For those wanting to lose weight, increasing the amount of protein you consume daily is essential. It is on par with eliminating sugar from your diet.
Additionally, protein is known to target belly fat.
There was a study that revealed that the quantity and type of protein you consume has an inverse relationship with fat around the abdomen. Consuming large amounts of good quality protein leads to low levels of belly fat (s).
There was another study carried out over a five-year period that revealed that those who ate meals high in good protein were at a lower risk of gaining belly fat (t).
In the study, it was revealed that consuming refined carbs and oil posed an increased risk of gaining belly fat while eating whole fruits and vegetables reduced the amount of belly fats.
For it to be effective at lowering belly fat, protein should constitute about 25 to 30% of the total daily calorie intake.
So, what proteins should you consume? Good sources of high-protein foods include nuts, fish, legumes and beans, whole eggs, seafood, meat, dairy products and some whole grain foods such as hemp seed and quinoa.
You can supplement your protein intake with whey protein. It is a healthy source of protein if you don’t like meat.
Most of these proteins are from animal sources. Vegetarians should read this post on how to meet recommended protein intake.
Conclusion: If you want to lose weight, you need to significantly increase your daily protein intake. It particularly targets belly fat.
3. Reduce Carbs Intake Significantly
One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to reduce your carbs intake.
When you restrict carbs, your appetite reduces significantly, and this helps you lose weight (w).
Low-carb diets are so effective that people on unrestricted-calorie low-carb diets still lost more weight than people on a significantly restricted-calorie and low-fat diet. This shows how much carbohydrates contribute to weight gain.
Water weight adds to the size of one’s belly. Going on a low-carb diet reduces the amount of water weight. You can see significant weight loss due to a reduction in water weight within a few days.
This means that most of the fat lost by people on low-carb diets is belly fat.
The best way to go about reducing carbs is to eliminate refined carbs, such as white bread, pasta, other pastry foods, etc., from your diet while increasing protein intake. Doing this alone will lead to significant belly fat loss over time.
Those in a hurry to lose weight fast should aim for 50 grams or less of carbs intake per day. Doing this sends your body into a fat burning mode known as ketosis. In this state, the body converts fats into ketones to be used as energy. Any unused ketones are removed from the body through the kidneys and urinary system.
Apart from helping you get rid of belly fats, low-carb diets provide other health benefits as well. Research indicates diets with low carb content can have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes (c1, d1).
Conclusion: There have been numerous studies that show that making a significant reduction of carbs in the diet can lead to significant fat loss around the abdomen, liver and other organs.
4. Consume Fiber-Rich Foods, Particularly Foods Rich in Viscous Fiber
Dietary fiber is mainly made up of plant matter that cannot be digested.
We are told consuming lots of fiber helps people lose weight.
While this is generally true, you must remember that there are different types of fiber with different effects.
As far as weight loss is concerned, the right type of fiber is the soluble, viscous fiber.
This type of fiber can absorb and bind with water to form a thick gelatin in the gut (e1).
The gel slows down the rate at which food moves through the digestive system and, therefore, prolong the feeling of being full. This lowers appetite and consequently, the number of calories one consumes (f1).
There was a review study that concluded one could lose as much as 2 kg or weight in 4 months by simply consuming about 14 grams of extra fiber daily (g1).
There was another study that showed the amount of belly fat could decrease by as much as 3.7% by consuming 10 grams of soluble fiber daily. However, this fat loss does not apply to fat under the skin (h1).
This makes soluble fiber a great asset in the fight against belly fat.
Good sources of soluble fiber include plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables and legumes. You’ll also get fiber from some cereals like oats.
If you can’t get fiber from traditional foods, you can try fiber supplements such as glucomannan. It is a great source of viscous fiber, and some studies have proven it to help with weight loss (i1, j1).
Conclusion: Soluble, viscous dietary fiber promotes the feeling of being full and helps get rid of fat around the belly.
5. Be active and exercise
There are many benefits of exercise.
Exercising promotes a long and healthy life free of diseases.
I am not going to go into details about all the health benefits of exercise in this article. I’m going to focus on the impact exercise has on belly fat.
Exercising to lose belly fat does not involve “stomach exercise.” Contrary to what you might have heard, no single exercise targets weight loss around the abdomen. Exercises targeting the abdomen (such as crunches) are only useful for toning the skin and muscles around the abdomen but will not lead to belly fat loss.
There was a study involving subjects performing exercises targeting the abdominal area. After six weeks, there was no significant impact on belly fat and waist size (k1).
The most effective exercise for weight loss is a “HIIT” (high-intensity interval training). This type of exercise burns a lot of calories in a short period. You’ll continue to burn calories long after the workout.
Unfortunately, this is a difficult exercise, and not everyone can do it. If you cannot do HIIT exercises, there are other types of workouts for getting rid of belly fat.
Some of the best workouts that have a significant impact on belly fat are aerobic exercises. Exercises such as swimming, fast walking, and running are known to lead to significant reduction in belly fat (l1, m1).
Exercise is not only crucial in getting rid of fat around the abdomen, but also in keeping it away after. Exercise is important in maintaining your new weight (n1).
In general, an exercise is an excellent tool in combating obesity. It helps decrease blood sugar levels, inflammation and other issues associated with the metabolic process (o1).
Conclusion: To lose belly fat, it is important to incorporate exercise into your day. It doesn’t have to be every day. 3 to 4 times a week will suffice. Exercising also gives you many other health benefits.
6. Use Tracking Tools to Monitor Your Food Intake
The food you consume matters a lot. And most people are aware of this.
Yet, it might not come as a surprise to know that most people are unaware of the makeup of the food they eat.
How do you know if the food you are eating is really “low-carb,” “high-protein,” or “low-fat?”
If you want to go on a diet and really know what’s in your diet, it is important to use some kind of tracking tool.
At least for a couple of weeks, you should practice measuring, weighing and analyzing nutrients of the food you eat. Once you do it this a few times, you’ll get used to these factors without having to track ingredients daily. Then it’s just a matter of doing this occasionally.
Tracking of the food you consume also allows you to make the appropriate adjustments needed.
For example, you may want to increase the amount of protein to 20 – 30% of the total calories in your meal. You may be tempted to simply raise the amount of protein you eat. But this is not the way to do it. You must measure and be sure you are actually increasing your protein intake by the desired amount.
There are a set of tools that can help you do this. You can use a calorie calculator or one of the many free calorie counting and nutrition apps to keep track of the nutrition makeup and calorie content of the food you eat.
My suggestion is to use these tools for about 2 weeks to get an idea of the nutrition and calorie makeup of food you eat. Then use it once a month to make sure you are on track. Most of these tools not only help you track your food but also your exercise.
Conclusion: It is important to track the food you eat if you are serious about getting rid of belly fat. This gives you an idea of what your nutrition intake looks like. You can then make adjustments to meet your goals.
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