Top 9 Tips To Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat


So you’ve been hearing how belly fat isn’t the thing to have. And you’ve been trying to get rid of it. But maybe you’ve been trying too hard, with super-difficult, un-fun, and unsustainable methods. Or maybe it just hasn’t felt that urgent, because really, who’s perfect?

We can help you with all of that. First off, you might need some tweaks and strategies to what you’re doing now, not a total revamp. Read on to see exactly how they can take off belly fat.

And second, it’s worth knowing that stubborn belly fat is more than just an annoyance, it can be dangerous. That’s because fat around your middle can signify a greater risk for chronic diseases like heart disease. Excess belly fat is a marker for the type of fat that surrounds vital organs such as the pancreas, the intestines, and your heart, liver, and kidneys. And those organs don’t care for it much. The type of fat that does this, visceral fat, is different. It’s biologically active, meaning this type of fat changes the normal balance of hormones and can cause metabolic problems. And it can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic issues. When you have this type of fat around your heart, liver and kidneys, “you are that much closer to developing diabetes,” says endocrinologist Rasa Kazlauskaite, M.D. at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

So how much belly fat is too much? Guys who have a waist circumference greater than 40 inches (interestingly, that’s true no matter how tall you are) are at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to the National Institute of Health. To figure out what yours is, you need to measure at the right place. Place a tape measure around the middle of your waist, just above the hipbones, advises the NIH.

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Ok, so what should you do if your waist is above that 40-inch mark? Use these lifestyle tweaks to trim down belly fat and help your overall health improve, as well.

Reduce calories

You can’t force fat reduction in one area of your body. Instead, you’ll want to focus on reducing overall calories. Weight loss in general should lead to a decrease in belly fat. Instead of following some draconian calorie-slashing program, simply work on increasing the proportion of nutritious, low-calorie foods that fill your plate and decreasing foods that contain lots of calories and less nutrition. You know what that means: Pile on more fresh fruits and veggies (especially green, non-starchy ones—see more below), as well as lean protein and good fats, like chicken, fish, beans and legumes. This can help you feel satisfied while also losing belly fat.

Eat more protein

Protein increases hormones that make you feel satiated, so you feel fuller for longer periods of time than you might with other foods. That means you’ll go back to the fridge less frequently, and your stubborn belly fat will start melting.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

They’re nutrient dense and provide plenty of fiber, meaning you’ll get full on fewer calories. Load up half of your plate with vegetables, or begin every meal with a salad.

Try loading up half your plate with vegetables, or begin every meal with a salad. (No boring lettuce and tomato deal needed—keep it interesting with all kinds of colors and textures, like roasted peppers or artichokes from a can, olives, bell peppers, carrots, sliced grapes, and the like. The options are limitless.) Take your vegetable game up a notch by eating ones that are high in water content, like cucumbers, celery, bok choy, and zucchini, which help fill you up.

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Drink less alcohol

Kazlauskaite says guys who want to reduce belly fat should watch how much alcohol they consume. Aside from the obvious empty calories, alcohol can lower inhibitions and make you reach for more empty calories. Not what you’re going for.

Move more

Even being active in daily life, all that stuff about getting up from your chair more frequently, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking the car far away from the store can help burn calories. To really shed fat like you want to, recent research suggests that 300 minutes a week of moderate activity (that’s activity that gets your heart rate up a little bit, not just getting-up-from-your-chair activity) may help with weight loss. That’s twice as much as the standard 150 minutes a week that’s recommended by the CDC for a serious number of health benefits, and it might take some planning. But brisk walks count toward it.

Also consider incorporating HIIT training, which focuses on bouts of high intensity work, followed by brief rest, to get that heart rate up fast and to blast calories in a shorter amount of time.

Add resistance training/Exercise

Clinically, Butsch says many of his patients notice a decrease in belly fat when they incorporate strength training. In fact, obese adolescents who incorporated both aerobic and strength training into their workouts lost the highest amounts of visceral fat, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.

Limit sugary drinks

Sugar from juice and sodas are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, which spikes insulin. And studies show that frequent drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, the leading source of sugar in the American diet is linked to weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Get your sugar from whole foods

Eating an apple is different from a drinking a glass of apple juice. That’s because you consume more nutrients like fiber when you consume the food in its natural form. Plus, the process of chewing and consuming the food more slowly can help keep you full. When you eat an apple, you eat slower. your body has more time to digest it.

Limit stress

Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is linked to a higher percent of belly fat and weight gain. In fact, people who have high levels of cortisol for long periods of time are more likely to develop abdominal obesity, according to a 2018 review of studies published in Current Obesity Reports.

Butsch says simple activities like yoga, meditation, or simply avoiding conflict can help keep your waistline where your health benefits. Whatever route you take, focus on reducing overall stress in your life. It might not only help your waistline; it could benefit the rest of your life as well.