You don’t have to be in pursuit of the perfect beach body—or obsessed with counting calories—to be bothered by your belly fat. Nobody likes to have an unsightly spare tire hanging around his or her middle.
But the truth is belly fat is far more than just unsightly, it’s dangerous too.
Doctors and scientists call it visceral fat. And it’s more hazardous to your health than the extra pounds you might be carrying in your face, arms, thighs or hips.
Because belly fat doesn’t just hang right below the surface of your skin. It gets stored in spaces in and around your vital organs instead. And excess belly fat is associated with a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and several different types of cancer.
Lose belly fat fast with these tricks
Carrying around a few extra pounds probably isn’t much of a big deal for most folks. But if those pounds are stored primarily around your waistline, it’s time to come up with a plan to lose that spare tire.
Don’t worry; I can help you do it. Following are the top five ways experts agree are the most effective to lose belly fat.
1. Move the RIGHT way:
It probably comes as no surprise that exercise is on this list. But here’s the thing, when you’re targeting belly fat the TYPE of activity you do is critical.
All exercise is good for you, of course. And no matter what you do as long as you commit to doing it regularly, it can l help you shed some weight.
But if you really want to blast away belly fat skip the sit-ups and crunches. Because contrary to popular opinion, studies show they don’t have much or any measurable impact on belly fat.
What will work, though, is simple full-body aerobic exercises such as fast walking, dancing, water aerobics or lap swimming. To take things up a notch you can try high-intensity interval training or HIIT.
And don’t worry, while that may sound intimidating it doesn’t have to be.
To do your own version of HIIT simply move at your normal speed for three minutes then increase your pace to near full capacity for just 30 seconds. Drop back to your normal pace and repeat the cycle until your workout is done. Make it a regular habit and the belly fat will practically melt away.
2. Drink green tea:
Sipping on green tea after your workouts is a great way to rehydrate. But it turns out it could also help you lose belly fat.
Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins. Researchers say catechins can help burn belly fat in folks who exercise regularly. For best results, get your workout in and then sip on three cups of green tea over the course of the day.
3. Pile on the protein:
Plus researchers say protein fans are less likely to gain additional belly fat after five years than folks who eat a more traditional Western diet with more carbs and bad fats.
4. Eat the RIGHT fats:
By now, you probably know that saturated fats aren’t the bogeyman we’ve been told they are. In fact, having a reasonable amount of saturated fats from healthy sources such as grass-fed organic beef is fine. (Remember moderation, as always, is the key.)
But when it comes to belly fat, polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are the better bet.
In a Swedish study, researchers divided volunteer up into two groups. Both groups had their daily calorie intake increased by 750 calories a day. But group one got their extra calories from saturated fats. And group two got their calorie bump from PUFAS.
The group which ate significantly more saturated fats gained a great deal of belly fat. The group eating the extra PUFAs gained some weight too. But it was considerably less, and it wasn’t belly fat. And just as importantly, the PUFAs eaters also gained three times more fat-burning muscle mass than the saturated fat group.
5. Pull the plug on stress:
It turns out it isn’t just the snack food aisle and your couch that can cause you to gain weight around your middle. Experts say stress contributes to belly fat too.
When you’re feeling stressed your cortisol levels climb. And higher levels of the stress hormone are associated with bigger waistlines.
But reduce your cortisol levels, and you’ll find it far easier to lose belly fat. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga and even catching up on lost sleep can all do the trick.