For the average guy or gal in their late 20s, 30s, and older adults, abdominal fat is a major problem. Now, if the only inconvenience is that your clothes are tighter around the mid-section, that wouldn’t be a problem per se.
The major problem lies in the associated and lingering conditions caused by the pile up of visceral or belly fat. An increase in belly fat has been directly linked to health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, increased oxidative stress and damage, increased amounts of bad cholesterol, and obesity. In the past, this used to be associated with aging.
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But scientific research and modern medicine have shown that this isn’t the case. If anything, belly fat has been linked to significant health risks and hormonal imbalance. The problem with visceral fat is that it is deeply embedded in between the abdominal layers, and tends to pile up around the mid-section.
The good news is that you can easily lose that fat through working out and eating right. Now before we move forward, the one thing we’d like to do first is to help you manage your expectations. Having realistic expectations about your results is just as important as the process itself.
You know how some “miracle pills” or weight loss programs promise to help you shed your belly fat in 10 days or less? Well, that’s not usually true. Eliminating your belly fat is a process; a lifestyle if you will.
How To Eliminate Belly Fat?
You’ll have to adopt certain habits and stick to them to get the long term results you need. In his proven guide to getting rid of belly fat, you’ll find everything you need to start melting off visceral fat and go on to have that flat tummy you’ve always wanted.
1. Eliminate Or Reduce Sugar Consumption
Sugary drinks and foods are very popular in the US and around the globe. The average American consumes about 10 ounces of sugar daily (that’s 5 times the required amount of daily sugar intake).
These are usually in the form of refined sugar added to drinks like coffee and tea, sprinkled on snacks, included in soda pop, candies, lollypops, and slurpies to mention a few. Apart from being converted to belly fat, refined sugar consumed in such excessive quantities has incredibly dangerous effects. Some of these include insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, heart disease, pile, lower back ache and sexual problems.
Since the harmful effects of excessive sugar consumption aren’t just limited to belly fat, you should do everything possible to cut back on your daily sugar consumption.
Instead, switch from refined sugars and creamers, to natural sweeteners like honey and stevia. Add these to your coffee as they are not only healthier, but only need small quantities to sweeten your coffee or tea.
Only do this if it’s completely impossible to cut out sugars from your drinks. We understand that most coffee drinkers want the sweeteners to mask the bitter coffee taste. If you really want to avoid all forms of sweeteners in your coffee, here’s what you should do:
- Get some egg shells and grind them
- Put the ground egg shells on a filter
- Brew your coffee and pour it over the egg shells in the filter
- Drink your coffee
The egg shells helps eliminate the bitter taste, leaving your coffee without the bitterness. You can read more about that here.
Another popular source of sugars is your fruit juice. This is primarily made from concentrates and loads of sugars. A small cup of fruit juice for instance, contains just as much sugar as you’ll find in a can of soda. So, avoid fruit juice –even the seemingly sugar-free ones. These tend to have other artificial sweeteners that can be just as harmful. The FDA has approved just five artificial sweeteners. These are:
If you must take sugary drinks, look for those containing this. Otherwise, we strongly recommend only taking drinks with natural sweeteners. If you’re thirsty and don’t like the “bland” taste of water, you can either opt for flavored water or just go for iced or herbal teas.
Cutting down on your sugar intake is about forty percent of the entire process. Once you can get a handle on your sugar consumption, you’re almost halfway home.
2. Reduce Your Intake of Refined or Processed Foods
Refined foods are a significant source of sugars, particularly when they are carbs. These sugars are often converted into fat which is then stored around your mid-riff.
Please understand that unlike predominantly carb free diets where they tell you to eat and drink everything but carbohydrates, melting your belly fat requires the need for moderate amounts of whole grain, natural and non-refined carbs.
These carbs play a very significant role in keeping up your energy levels. Eat more organically sourced carbohydrates like brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain rice, whole grain wheat, millet, sorghum and so on.
If you need to eat bread, go for those made from whole grains. Refined carbohydrates often contain empty calories, which your body often struggles to convert quickly to fatty deposits. Also, make sure to avoid foods made from white flour.
These are very capable of causing you to put on so much weight. So, no white bread, white rice, and pasta. If you don’t know where to get whole grain foods, check out your local farmer’s market.
3. Improve Your Gut Health by Taking Probiotics
Your digestive health also plays a role in determining whether you have a big belly or not. This is why you should start taking more probiotics and adding them to your daily meals.
Probiotics are known to aid your digestive system, improve digestion, boost gut health, minimize leaky gut syndrome and enhance your immune system. A healthy gut plays a huge role in the state of your immune system.
If you’re healthy, chances are your stomach may not be as big. Some of the more common sources of probiotics include kefir, sauerkraut, microalgae, pickles, miso soup, kimchi, tempeh, and yoghurt as well as other fermented foods.
There are also lots of probiotics supplements from which you can choose. Many of these probiotics supplements often include many probiotic strains including the main ones like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium bifidium, Bacillus coagulans, and Lactobacillus fermentum.
4. Rest And Sleep Well
Insomnia, sleep apnea and sleep deprivation can also trigger the production of visceral fat which in turn, adds to your waistline. This is possible because a lack of sleep triggers stress which in turn dumps the cortisol hormone aka stress hormone in your blood stream.
When this happens, the brain goes into a survival mode, thinking the body is under attack, and it needs to store up as much energy as possible. As a result of the presence of cortisol in high quantities, carbs are converted faster into fat and stored away for “emergencies”. And the major area of storage is your waistline and abdomen.
This is why you need ample rest, and not just sleep. Most people tend to think all they need is sleep to feel rejuvenated. This is not the case. You need to be able to take some time to unwind. Resting and relaxation helps release anti-stress hormones like endorphins into your bloodstream, which counters the presence of cortisol.
When you sleep, your body doesn’t necessarily release endorphins. You should get yourself into a state where the “feel good” hormones are released for a sustained period –we’re talking 30mins to 1hr- before falling asleep.
Get rid of anything that distracts you and interrupts your sleep. This includes getting rid of all screens from your bedroom, turning off all appliances, reducing the amount of noise filtering into your room and turning off the light.
5. Hit The Gym
Most people don’t want to hear this, but it’s a necessity. While all the aforementioned tips can help start the process, and given time, drastically reduce your girth, going to the gym and working out even torches belly fat faster.
If you want to get your body in shape real quick, this is the quickest way to do it. Will it involve some effort and slight pain? Definitely. There’s no gain without some form of pain. But, it will pay off in the end. If you have ever seen people who have lost weight, but still have some flabby, slack skin around their lower bellies, then you know how unsightly it looks.
Working out in the gym will help you add some muscle mass while you’re melting off the fat. This means firm skin, all around and the fact that you will improve your physical appearance. So, endeavor to go to the gym a minimum of four days a week.
Get your heart rate up, this will help you burn off whole body fat, lift weights, do some planking and ab workouts, as well as some resistance training. Another great thing about working out frequently is the spillover effect it has on your overall sense of well-being as well as other parts of your life.
Working out makes you feel in control of your body, your life and your mind. It provides you with a sense of fulfillment, achievement and growth, particularly when you incrementally increase your reps, sets and weights.
6. Reduce Alcohol Intake –Beer in Particular
Studies have linked excessive alcohol consumption –beer particularly- to an increased girth size. This is not surprising seeing as beer is often made from barley, wheat, refined sugar and other ingredients.
Breweries often have to add loads of sugar to beers to mask the bitter taste that comes from the addition of husks during the fermentation/beer making process. So, when you consume too much alcohol, you are essentially flooding your body with all that sugar and calories, which end up getting stored around your belly and abdomen among other places in your body. It’s the reason pot belly is also called beer gut.
So, even though alcohol can be fun and exciting, you might want to limit your intake. Avoid binge drinking and prolonged beer consumption. If you must drink alcohol, we recommend red wines which are very rich in antioxidants –courtesy of their tannins- and spirits like whisky, cognac, vodka, scotch and brandy.
The latter do not add to your waistline because you can only take a few shots before getting tipsy. And even if you’re a seasoned drinker with pretty solid alcohol tolerance, the quantity you’ll drink will be nowhere near the amount of beer bottles you can drink.
There’s a reason people who drink wines don’t have pot bellies. It’s because there’s no sugar to store and convert. As with all things though, drink responsibly.
7. Eat More Lean Protein
There’s an episode of Mike and Molly where they were both watching a movie about vampires, and Mike asked why vampires are never fat, and Molly answered it was probably because vampires drank blood which is pure protein.
While this may not be true –seeing as vampires don’t actually exist- there’s a valid thought there and it underlies the point we’re trying to make here: proteins never make you fat; only carbs do. This is why many diets, workouts and bodybuilding programs often encourage the consumption of more proteins and less carbs.
Here’s the simple truth: if you eat less carbohydrates and more proteins while working out, you will lose weight. Eating more proteins means less fatty deposits around your mid-section, and increased lean muscle development –an equally important part of the weight loss process.
You can get your proteins from lean or white meat like chicken and turkey, fish, beans, steak, whey protein supplements, nuts and other sources of proteins. Fish for instance, is not just an excellent source of protein, it is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which is effective as an anti-inflammation compound, aids the heart’s health, helps improve brain power and accelerates fat burning in the body and around the waist line.
Proteins typically keep you feeling fuller for longer, thus reducing instances of food cravings that can often result in the consumption of junk foods that add to your waistline.
7 Tips To Shed Belly Fat Conclusion
Finally, do something about limiting your exposure to stress, avoid bad fats as they can result in clogged arteries and bad fat (LDL) deposits, become more active, include more soluble fiber in your diet and drink more healthy fluids like water, apple cider vinegar, and smoothies.