One of the most popular objectives of weight loss is to reduce abdominal fat, sometimes known as belly fat. Your body utilizes fat for a variety of things, including the storage of energy and the control of hormones. It’s okay to have a little bit of fat on your body.
The abdominal region stores mostly two different kinds of fat. The sort of fat known as subcutaneous fat is the one that is found immediately below the surface of the skin. This fat is stored throughout your body, including your abdominal region, and may be accessed at any time.
Visceral fat is the second kind of fat that may be seen in the area around your abdominal organs. This fat may be found deeper in your body, where it serves as a cushion for the organs in your abdominal cavity. According to research, excessive levels of this fat are associated with a number of diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Because of this, reducing the amount of visceral fat that you have can have major positive effects on your health.
You may get a rough idea of the amount of abdominal fat you have by using a tape measure to determine the circumference of your waist. Abdominal obesity is defined as having a circumference that is greater than 35 inches (88 cm) for women and 40 inches (102 cm) for males (2).
It’s a common misconception that some approaches to losing weight might target visceral fat, often known as belly fat. There is no method that has been shown to effectively “spot reduce” fat in specific places using diet or exercise at this time.
The exact regions of your body that are most likely to experience change first are different for each individual, even though weight gain and reduction typically affect the entirety of your body. Your genes most certainly have a role in determining your one-of-a-kind pattern.
The healthiest approaches to weight reduction are your best chance if you want to reduce the amount of fat stored in your abdominal region. Here are six techniques to reduce fat, particularly abdominal fat, that are supported by scientific research.
1. Limit sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks
A diet that is heavy in added sugars may increase the amount of belly fat that a person has.
Researchers have shown that additional sugar has distinct negative impacts on the metabolic health of individuals (4Reliable Source).
According to the findings of a number of studies, consuming an excessive quantity of sugar, which is mostly caused by the high levels of fructose, can cause fat to accumulate around your belly and liver (5).
Sugar is composed of glucose and fructose in equal amounts. When a person consumes a diet high in added sugar, their liver is compelled to convert the excess fructose into fat because it is unable to process any more of it (6, 7).
Some people feel that this is the primary mechanism responsible for the negative impact that sugar has on health. It leads to a rise in belly fat as well as fat in the liver, which can cause insulin resistance as well as a variety of metabolic disorders (8 Trusted Source).
If you’re aiming to cut back on the number of calories you consume, you should probably cut back on liquid sugar in particular. Because the brain does not appear to register liquid calories in the same way that it processes solid calories, drinking drinks that are sweetened with sugar results in the consumption of a greater number of total calories (9 Trusted Sources, 10 Trusted Sources).
According to the findings of a study, the likelihood of childhood obesity increases by a factor of sixty percent for each additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened drinks consumed by children (11).
Think about reducing the quantity of sugar you eat and cutting back on your use of sugary beverages as a way to improve your health. This includes beverages that are sweetened with sugar, sugary sodas, fruit juices, and numerous sports drinks that have a high sugar content.
Check the ingredient lists to ensure that the items you buy do not include any processed sugars. Even products presented to consumers as being healthy might have considerable levels of sugar hidden inside them.
Remember that none of this applies to whole fruit, which are very nutritious and contain a lot of fiber, which helps to offset the bad effects of fructose. Whole fruit are exempt from all of this.
2. Eat more protein
When it comes to shedding pounds, protein may be the single most essential macronutrient.
According to research, it can cut cravings by up to 60%, enhance metabolism by 80–100 calories per day, and help you consume up to 441 less calories per day (12Trustworthy Sources, 13Trustworthy Sources, 14Trustworthy Sources, 15Trustworthy Sources).
Including more protein in your diet is likely to be one of the most helpful modifications you can make if your objective is to reduce the amount of body fat you now carry.
Protein may not only assist you in shedding extra pounds, but it also has the potential to prevent you from putting on those extra pounds again (16).
There is some evidence to show that lower amounts of belly fat may be connected with higher protein intake. According to the findings of one study (17), those who consumed a greater quantity and higher quality of protein had lower levels of belly fat.
According to the findings of yet another study (18Reliable Source), women who consumed a greater quantity of protein over a period of five years had a lesser increase in their waist circumference.
The consumption of refined carbohydrates and oils was also shown to be associated with increased abdominal fat, whereas the consumption of fruit and vegetables was found to be associated with decreased fat.
In the majority of the studies that found that eating protein helped people lose weight, the participants consumed between 25 and 30 percent of their total calories from protein. As a result, giving this range a shot would be a smart idea.
Increasing your consumption of foods that are high in protein, such as whole eggs, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy products, will help you obtain more protein in your diet.
If you have trouble receiving the amount of protein you need from your diet, you should think about taking a high-quality protein supplement to increase your overall consumption. However, before including any new dietary supplements in your regimen, you should discuss the matter with your primary care physician.
Check read this post for more information on how to improve your protein consumption while adhering to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
3. Consider a low carb diet
A diet that is very low in carbohydrates or a ketogenic diet might be quite helpful when trying to reduce fat. These diets, on the other hand, come with a number of possible dangers, which means that not everyone can follow them.
Some people who want to lose weight quickly cut their daily carbohydrate consumption down to 50 grams, which is much less than the amount of carbohydrate that is included in the standard diet in the United States. This puts your body into a condition known as ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which fat is used as the primary fuel (19 Trusted Sources).
When people eliminate carbohydrates from their diet, they often experience a reduction in hunger, which leads to weight loss (19).
greater than 20 randomized controlled trials have now demonstrated that very low carbohydrate diets can often lead to 2–3 times greater weight reduction than low fat diets (20Trusted Source, 21, 22). This is the conclusion that has been drawn from these research.
This is true even when participants in the low carb group are permitted to consume an unlimited number of calories whereas those in the low fat group are required to adhere to a calorie restriction.
This weight loss is not entirely attributable to a decrease in fat mass; rather, some of it can be attributed to a fall in water weight. On the other hand, research that contrasted diets low in carbohydrates and fat found that consuming a diet low in carbohydrates particularly reduced fat in the abdominal region (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
This indicates that it is possible that part of the fat shed on a low carb diet would include visceral fat. Visceral fat is a form of abdominal fat that has been related to health concerns when present in large levels.
Diets that are low in carbohydrates may have numerous other health benefits in addition to the obvious one of causing weight reduction. For instance, they have been shown to considerably enhance health in persons who suffer from type 2 diabetes (25).
However, before beginning a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician. This is of utmost significance if you have any pre-existing medical issues.
Consultation with a certified dietitian is recommended in order to make certain that you are taking in all of the essential nutrients while adhering to a diet as stringent as this one.
4. Eat fiber-rich foods
The majority of the plant matter that makes up dietary fiber is indigestible.
Consuming a diet that is high in fiber might facilitate weight reduction. However, the kind of fiber that is used is significant.
It would appear that the soluble and viscous fibers are the ones most responsible for affecting your weight. These are fibers that are capable of binding water and forming a dense gel that “sits” in your digestive tract (26Trustworthy Source).
The transit of food through your digestive system may be significantly slowed down with the use of this gel. In addition to this, it may make digestion and the absorption of nutrients more difficult. The ultimate outcome is an increased sensation of fullness that lasts longer and a decreased desire to eat (27 Trusted Source).
An additional 14 grams of fiber per day was associated with a 10% reduction in calorie intake and a weight loss of around 4.5 pounds (2 kg) over the course of four months, according to the findings of a review research (28Trusted Source).
According to the findings of a study that lasted for five years, consuming 10 grams of soluble fiber on a daily basis was associated with a reduction of visceral fat in the abdominal cavity by 3.7% (29Trustworthy Source).
This suggests that soluble fiber may be more efficient in reducing the deeper fat that surrounds the organs in your abdomen, which suggests that it may help prevent obesity.
Consuming a diet that is high in plant foods, such as vegetables and fruit, is the most effective strategy to increase one’s fiber intake. In addition to grains, such as oats in their whole form, legumes are an excellent source of this nutrient.
You may also try supplementing your diet with fiber by taking glucomannan or another similar substance. According to some research (30 Trusted Sources and 31 Trusted Sources), this is one of the most viscous dietary fibers, and it may have a role in assisting with weight reduction.
Before beginning to use any kind of dietary supplement, including this one, it is essential to discuss the decision with your primary care physician.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is one of the most effective measures one can do to improve their chances of living a long and disease-free life and decrease their risk of developing illness.
One of the many remarkable positive effects that exercise has on one’s health is the reduction of belly fat.
This does not suggest that one should focus on spot reduction by performing abdominal workouts, as it is impossible to lose fat from only one area of the body. One study found that strengthening the abdominal muscles alone for a period of six weeks had no detectable effect on either the participant’s waist circumference or the amount of fat that was located in the abdominal area (32Trustworthy Source).
Both resistance training and aerobics can help reduce body fat. Weight training is very effective.
Aerobic activity, which includes things like walking, jogging, and swimming, can lead to significant decreases in visceral fat (33Trustworthy Sources, 34Trustworthy Sources).
Another research indicated that persons who exercised entirely protected themselves from regaining visceral fat following weight reduction. This finding suggests that exercise is particularly beneficial during the maintenance phase of weight loss (35Trusted Source).
Inflammation may be decreased by exercise, which can also result in lower blood sugar levels and improvements in other metabolic issues (36Trusted Source).
6. Track your food intake
The majority of people are aware that what you put in your body has an effect on your health, but many of them are unaware of the specifics of their own diet.
A person could believe that they are following a diet that is high in protein or low in carbohydrates, but if they are not keeping track of their food intake, it is simple to overestimate or underestimate how much food they are taking in.
It is not necessary to weigh and measure every single thing you consume in order to keep track of your food consumption. If you wish to lose weight by making adjustments to your diet, recording your consumption on a regular basis for a few days in a row might help you identify the most significant aspects of your diet that need to be altered.
Having a plan can assist you in accomplishing particular objectives, such as increasing the proportion of calories you get from protein to between 25 and 30 percent or reducing the amount of added sugars you consume.
You can keep track of what you eat by consulting the calorie calculator and the list of free online tools and applications that are provided in the following paragraphs.