Nobody wants excess belly fat. Most people are upset with their excess belly fat because of its appearance; however, belly fat can cause numerous health concerns, and losing it can be beneficial to more than aesthetics. Here, you’ll find all the tips you need to lose belly fat and love handles naturally, including a two-week guide to blasting belly fat fast.
How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally
Losing belly fat requires determination and self control, but if you can follow these simple tips, you can zap belly fat without using unhealthy or unnatural diet methods.
Stop Consuming Sugar
Added sugar often turns into belly fat, that’s because the liver can only metabolize fructose in certain amounts. When you consume too much added sugar, the liver can’t keep up, and much of that fructose is turned into fat. This excess sugar can cause an accumulation of fat specifically in the liver and belly areas.
Sure, that pasta dish on the menu sounds appetizing, but choosing pasta and other carbs time and time again won’t help you lose belly fat. In fact, studies have shown that low-carb diets result in 2 to 3 times more weight loss than diets that are low in fat.
Consume More Fiber
Dietary fiber binds with water to form a gel that tends to fill the stomach. This means, when you consume more viscous and soluble fibers, you feel full longer than if you consume foods low in fiber. One 5-year study showed that consuming 10 grams of soluble fiber each day resulted in a 3.7-percent reduction in abdominal fat.
You probably knew this was coming. Exercise is an essential part of weight loss, and the health benefits of exercising regularly far surpass a reduction in belly fat. Numerous studies have shown that running, brisk walking, swimming and other aerobic exercises are proven to reduce belly fat. And once you’ve lost that unwanted belly fat, exercise can prevent you from gaining it back (source).
Getting Rid of Love Handles
The “love handles,” or the areas of fat on either side of your stomach, tend to be a particularly difficult area to shed. That’s partly because there is no particular way to target solely the love handles when you want to reduce fat, and this area doesn’t respond as quickly when you make changes to your diet and exercise.
Gunnar Peterson, a long time trainer of professional athletes and Hollywood actors, stresses that complete lifestyle changes must be made to eliminate love handles. He stresses the importance of getting enough sleep, eating clean, managing stress, staying hydrated and a mixture of cardio training and sprint work. Peterson also stresses that working the obliques alone won’t zap love handles. It’s essential to train all of abdominal muscles with exercises like medicine ball slams, medicine ball rotations, wood chops and more (source).
Exercise or Diet?
This is probably an answer you don’t want to hear. There’s no and/or when it comes to exercise and diet. Both are extremely important in the fat loss process, and diet or exercise alone won’t get you the results you’re seeking. According to Dr. Michele Olson, professor of physical education and exercise science at Auburn University, exercise is an essential component of burning fat. Olson states that when you’re solely using your diet to lose weight, you’re also harming your bone and muscle density. Exercise enhances the growth of metabolic tissues, allowing you to burn fat and gain strength. Fat takes up more space than muscle, so while the scale may look similar, your bikini will fit better (source).
Do’s and Don’ts of Belly Fat Loss
When you’re tired of looking at your belly fat in the mirror or squeezing into jeans that are way too tight, you may feel willing to do anything to zap that belly fat quickly. However, there are certain methods of reducing fat and losing weight that are more effective than others, and it’s always important to lose fat in a manner that’s safe for your overall health.
According to Dr. Deborah Wexler, Harvard Medical School associate professor and Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center, suggests that intermittent fating is an effective way to lose weight, especially when combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet.
“There is evidence to suggest that the circadian rhythm fasting approach, where meals are restricted to an eight to 10-hour period of the daytime, is effective,” she confirmed, though generally she recommends that people “use an eating approach that works for them and is sustainable to them (source).”
Don’t: A major don’t with this fasting method is not to attempt it if you have advanced diabetes, have a history of eating disorders, are on medication for diabetes or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Alternate-day fasting is an increasingly popular way to lose weight, and ultimately, belly fat. This method of fasting involves eating normally one day and fasting the next, and continuing the same pattern throughout the week. According to a clinical study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, which included 90 participants, alternate-day fasting reduced caloric intake by 37-percent on average.
According to New York-based RDN Keri Gans, “If someone was eating anything they wanted seven days a week and now they’re [doing that] 50%” of the time, it could help them lose weight.”
Don’t: While Gans stated that alternate-day fasting could help someone lose weight, she recommends portion control, as opposed to complete deprivation, as a superior method of cutting calories. Alternate-day fasting is not typically recommended by health professionals, as it can cause serious problems for unhealthy individuals.
“First, [you’re] missing out on important nutrients your body needs—this is even for healthy individuals,” Gans added (source).
The Two-Week Plan to Bust Belly Fat Fast
If you’re trying to bust belly fat in two weeks, here a strategy by Andra Picincu at Livestrong:
- Avoid trans fats
- Limit refined carbs and sugar
- Add high-intensity interval training to your workouts
- Fill your belly with good fats
- Cut down on sodium to reduce bloating and fluid retention
It’s time to get to work and start losing that unwanted belly fat!