Let’s face it; belly fat can be extremely frustrating.
No matter what you try, it seems impossible to lose. On top of this, carrying too much belly fat is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain cancers.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to lose belly fat and take back your health.
Here are 5 simple ways to lose belly fat.
1. Cut back on alcohol
If you want to lose belly fat, you should cut back on alcohol.
Research suggests people who drink the most tend to carry the most belly fat (1).
Lastly, alcoholic drinks contain calories and can quickly put you over your daily calorie limits. For example, a standard glass of wine (148-ml or 5-ounce) contains 120 calories.
If you’re trying to lose belly fat, consider cutting back on alcohol. Drinking too often can put you over your daily calorie limits and make you feel hungrier.
2. Find healthy ways to manage stress
These days, more people are stressed than ever before.
Unfortunately, when the body is stressed, it makes more cortisol — the stress hormone — affecting your health in several unfortunate ways, like adding to your waistline.
If you’re always stressed, try exercises like yoga and meditation, which help fight stress.
Stress can increase cortisol production, which may increase appetite and fat storage in the belly area. Try exercises like yoga and meditation to help relieve stress.
3. Get plenty of rest
A lack of sleep can affect your health and even your waistline.
Like stress, getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep can increase your cortisol levels (6).
Many studies have shown that sleep-deprived people tend to have more belly fat than those that do. They also have a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease (7, 8, 9).
If you struggle to fall asleep, try taking a bath before bed and limiting electronics at night.
A lack of sleep can raise your cortisol levels — the stress hormone — making you feel hungrier and increasing fat storage. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
4. Get active
Exercise is great for losing fat, especially belly fat.
Some research has found that just exercising a few times a week can help you lose fat — especially around the belly area — without dieting (10).
However, combining exercise with a healthy diet is better than just doing one or the other.
If you don’t have an exercise routine, start walking or jogging two to three times per week.
Having a regular exercise routine can help you lose belly fat. If you don’t have an exercise routine, start simply walking or jogging a few times per week.
5. Eat more protein
Protein is an essential nutrient for fat loss.
Research has also shown that protein can help boost your metabolism, which means you will burn more calories when you eat protein than other nutrients (13, 14).
Aim to eat a few protein-rich foods each day, like meats, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, and tofu.
Protein can help curb your appetite and boost your metabolism, helping you lose belly fat. Try eating a few protein-rich foods daily to help lose belly fat.
Blog written by Ryan Raman MHSC, RD