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I regularly get asked how to lose the dreaded belly fat--it can be the most difficult to shed but there are some solutions. It’s not just a one-strategy approach though. There are several ways one must attack the midsection and the majority of them are based more on what goes on in the kitchen, as opposed to what goes on in the gym.
Although losing abdominal fat is a common vanity-based goal, weight loss in this specific area can have significant benefits to your overall well-being. Research points to strong correlations between amount of belly fat with the incidence of heart disease and type II diabetes. When using a tape measure around the circumference of the waist, measures over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women are labeled as abdominal obesity. Fortunately, there are many strategies to target the fat in the mid-region, and below you will find five evidence-based ways to get rid of this pesky fat.
1. Don’t Try to Spot-Train it Away
I’m starting with what not to do because this tactic is the most-used faulty one which results in frustration and disappointment. Spot-training is doing a targeted exercise on part of the body, so many think they can do a ridiculous amount of crunches and voila, the problem will be solved. While some sit-ups may help a little in conjunction with some other full-body exercises, the most effective way to get rid of belly fat is through proper nutrition so keep reading on.
2. Avoid Sugar
I know this is an obvious one but it’s worth talking about in detail since when we know why and how something is harmful, it may be easier to avoid. The most simplistic way to look at is the fact that sugar turns into fat if not burned, and it will cause weight gain. More specifically, numerous studies have shown that excessive amounts of sugar will lead to fat build up around the liver and abdomen. When the liver gets overloaded with fructose (sugar is half glucose and half fructose), it is forced to turn it into fat. If you have ever heard of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, this is exactly how one who doesn’t drink alcohol can still get cirrhosis of the liver. Essentially, sugar can increase abdominal fat and liver fat, which may also lead to insulin resistance.
3. Eat More Protein
Many nutritionists argue that protein is the most important macronutrient for weight loss. Studies do show that it can reduce cravings by 60 percent, boost metabolism, and help you consume up to 440 fewer calories per day due to its satiating effects. Adding more protein to your diet can be one the easiest ways to reduce belly fat and overall weight, and it can help to avoid regaining lost weight. Try increasing protein foods such as fish, chicken, steak, eggs, nuts, beans, spinach, and cheese. If you struggle with finding protein foods, check out our Protiwise products here!
4. Eat Fewer Carbs
Carbohydrates are part of the sugar family so just like sugar, they too, can turn to fat if not burned! Of course some carbohydrates are far lower-glycemic than others--my favorite carb sources are green vegetables since they are lowest in sugar and highest in fiber. More than 20 randomized studies have indicated that diets low in carbohydrates can lead to two to three times more weight loss than low-fat diets. Research documenting low-carbohydrate and low-fat nutrition plans show that the low-carb regimen specifically reduces fat in the mid-section, as well as around the liver and organs.
5. Eat Foods High in Fiber
Since dietary fiber cannot be digested, soluble fiber binds with water and forms a thick paste which sits in your stomach. This matter can dramatically slow the movement of food through your digestive system. This results in feeling fuller for longer, reducing the overall appetite. Studies link extra consumption of 10 to 14 grams of fiber per day with a 10 percent decrease in calorie intake, as well as a 3.7 percent reduction of abdominal fat. If you have a hard time fitting fiber-rich green vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and seeds in your diet, check out our delicious fiber drinks here!
The bottom line is that belly fat is linked to increased risk of certain nutrition-related ailments such as type II diabetes and heart disease. The good news is making the above simple changes to a nutrition plan can do wonders in a relatively short amount of time. Our products at Doctor’s Weight Loss follow these belly-fat reduction guidelines as they are high in protein and fiber, while remaining low in carbohydrates and sugar. Check out our BestMed line of medical grade weight loss products here!