That stubborn belly fat. With the New Year officially here, there is nothing more frustrating than that pudgy bread basket and love handles that won’t go away despite working out. Belly fat is very bad for your health and makes you feel less confident. This kind of white, visceral fat, makes you produce more cortisol—the stress hormone—and experience inflammation. Belly fat also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Here are 5 ways to burn belly fat so you can look and feel great.
Follow These Ways to Burn Belly Fat
Eat More Protein
Your flat abs are created in the kitchen. A diet high in protein helps protect against insulin resistance. As you age, you body starts to produce more insulin as your fat and muscle cells stop responding to it properly. Insulin promotes fat storage, especially around your middle. Aim for a diet that provides 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fat.
Protein has been shown to reduce cravings, boost the calories you burn each day, and help you eat fewer calories per day. Aim for eggs, fish, seafood, poultry, meats, dairy products, and whey protein supplements (for smoothies, which should contain vegetables and not a lot of fruit or juice)
Avoid Sugar and Cut Carbs
Restricting carbohydrates is an effective way to lose fat, especially belly fat around the organs. Avoid processed and refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Sugar is bad for your belly fat, metabolic health and your brain health, and it should be limited for a number of health reasons. When you eat too much refined sugar (which is half glucose and half fructose) the liver cannot metabolize all of it and it gets forced to turn the excess fructose into stored fat. Avoid sugary drinks and foods, but you can still continue eat whole fruits, which are lower in fructose than refined sugars and are rich in fiber. Studies have found that fiber is effective at reducing belly fat.
Get More Sleep
Getting by with just five hours of sleep per night increases visceral fat. Aim for 8 hours of sleep and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time very day. This keeps your internal clock consistent and leads to lower cortisol levels and a lower amount of belly fat. Read more tips on getting better sleep.
Do Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardiovascular exercise is particularly helpful in reducing belly fat. That includes aerobics, walking, running, cycling, and swimming. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a fast way to burn body fat in a short amount of time. It also gives you a metabolic boost that lasts 24 to 48 hours after you finish your workout. Doing HIIT involves doing short bursts of intense activity with short recovery periods. Think burpees, jumping jacks, sprinting, etc. for a short period. You can get a lot of benefit from a short HIIT workout. You can get a lot of ideas about these and other fat-burning exercises when you follow the BeFit 30-Day Fat Burner program.
While you can’t lose fat in one spot simply by doing crunches all day, once you follow a fat burning program and burn off that soft layer of fat, you’ll want to improve the appearance of that flatter tummy. You can get more definition and tone to your newly exposed abdominal muscles with a 30-Day 6 Pack Abs Fitness Program.
As mentioned, cortisol is your flat belly’s nemesis. You want to reduce stress to reduce your cortisol level. Find natural ways to relieve stress like exercise, massage, meditation, or doing yoga. A 2012 study on postmenopausal women who tried yoga for 16 weeks reported significant reductions in visceral fat.
Remember that the most successful ways to burn belly fat includes doing HIIT, other forms of cardio, strength training, getting the right amount of sleep, managing stress and following the right diet. Following a fat burning program that keeps you on track with diet and exercise can help you in developing these lifestyle changes. Getting the right guidance (and even the right recipes) can help you to stick with these changes long-term so you can keep that belly fat off and enjoy your new look and the health benefits that come with reducing dangerous visceral fat.