List: fifteen ways to lose belly fat

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Fifteen easy ways to banish your belly fat

Five very obese fat men on the beach

Five obesely fat men on the beach

No one wants more ugly disgusting belly fat.  Belly fat is not just a problem because of its appearance.  More belly fat leads to more than just being fat.  Losing belly fat has benefits for your health and can help you live longer because it lowers your risk of diseases such as diabetes type 2 and heart disease.  Because of this risk, you should consider taking some steps to lose some weight.  The good news is that I have created this list of fifteen tips to help with your endeavor.

  1. Focus on waist circumference:  If you focus too much on the number on the scale, you might be focusing on the wrong number.  Abdominal fat is what you want to lose, and that scaler is a very poor measure of how much of it you are shedding.  A better method is to measure your waistline.  The magic number is 35 inches or less in women and 40 inches or less in men.  The lower the number (to an extent), the lower your risk of diabetes type 2, heart disease, and stroke.  Although a tape measure determines your level of visceral fat, it is the best measure you can get from home, and the central obesity of visceral fat is what raises your risk.  You should still use the scale, but only in conjunction with the tape measure.  
  2. Stop trying to exercise away poor decisions:  We have all done it.  You overeat, and now you are in the gym trying to melt away a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts.  The sad fact is that you cannot make up for a poor diet with excess exercise.  I commend you for trying to add some exercise and that is probably better for your heart, but it will not get rid of the pound of cheese you added to the pizza you has for dinner.  You ate, live with it, and strive to be healthier next time.  
  3. Get More Fiber: Fiber is a form of free carbohydrates because it will fill you up without adding any calories.  No, you don’t have to eat a bunch of prunes.  In fact, prunes are not the best choice.  Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, celery, leafy greens, and peppers are good sources of fiber, and they will fill you up quick.  Also, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all good for slowing down digestion and filling you up for hours.  If you keep your belly full, you will help reduce grazing for snacks that will pack the pounds around your midsection. 
  4. Lift some weights: Lifting weight or resistance training burns calories for hours after you complete the exercise routine.  I suggest that you mix cardio with resistance training because it will build both strength and heart health.  Strength training will build more muscle so that you burn more calories in the future.  More muscle means a higher metabolism.  Although spot loss is impossible, resistance training will help you lose fat and prevent it all over your body.  
  5. Watch your fats: Before the naysayers start, I know fat will not make you fat, but the calories from fat can add up quickly.  You can still have fat in your diet.  Face it, fat will make your food taste better.  The fundamental fact is to get you fat from food and not cooking oil and to limit the saturated fats. If you keep the portions of fatty foods smaller, weight loss will be easier.  I suggest that you choose foods that are higher in mono and polyunsaturated fats.  
  6. Avoid processed and simple carbohydrates: Simple carbohydrates and sugars spike your insulin level and cause fat storage.  They do no keep you full as long and often result in you feeling hungry in as little as a few hours.  Whole, unprocessed foods will prevent grazing and will contain more of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need to be healthy.
  7. Get more sleep: Weight gain is directly tied to poor or too little sleep.  Quality sleep results in lower stress levels, lower stress hormones, and less fat storage.  I suggest that you get 6-8 hours a night.  Plan to go to bed a little earlier, but start by preparing with some relaxation time before bedtime and give up the electronics, music, and TV for about an hour before bedtime.
  8. Fat loss takes time: There is no such thing as rapid or instant weight loss.  I know the throwaway magazine in the checkout line makes vast profits from promising something different.  This time, throw them away.  Cosmetic surgery such as liposuction will not fix your pooch belly.  Crash or fad diets will not do it either.  Slower, life long changes are the only way to create a healthy lifestyle that you will be able to continue.
  9. Just say no to the bottle: Alcohol is full of calories.  It has over 7 Calories per gram, and the worse part is that it is all empty Calories and that is before you add more empty Calories from the mixers.  You can do better than adding booze Calories to your waistline.  The worst part is the munchies that will follow.  Drinking lowers you will power, and you end up eating foods you should avoid.  
  10. Stop drinking your calories: Sugar drinks and designer coffees are horrible for your belly fat.  Even fruit juice should be avoided.  All of these drinks are full of empty calories with limited to no nutritional values.  You would be better off eating the bottle or carton they were carried within.  
  11. Relax to lose belly fat:  Stress causes elevated cortisol and cortisol causes belly fat.  If you have too much stress, relaxing through meditation or any other relaxation technique can lower your cortisol, and this reduces belly fat.   Actually, exercise can also have a negative (reduction) effect on stress.  
  12. Stop smoking or vaping: Need another reason to quit?  Stopping nicotine may reduce fat storage in the short term, but in the long term, it will not only be better for your health but also for your waistline.   Then again, cancer will make you slim by itself.  
  13. Superfoods do not exist: There are no magic foods or super supplements to create weight loss.  Nothing will help you burn off belly fat. Upgrade your diet with healthier choices, and the weight will come off.  Eating only one type of food or adding single foods to your diet will fail.  
  14. Don’t eat if your not hungry: Nothing can come from eating when you are not hungry.  Hunger is your switch to put cause food to enter your mouth.  If the switch or signal is not on, you do not need food.  You should only eat if you are hungry.   
  15. Drink coffee or green tea: Regularly drinking coffee or green tea has been linked to weight loss.  It is more than just caffeine.  Although, it better if you do not add sugar or cream because these are just another way to add empty calories.  

The bottom line:  Weight loss from your belly will make you feel better and improve your health.  Check nutrition and ingredient labels and know what you are eating.  As you start to take those pounds off, it will help your whole body, including belly fat that’s hidden out of your sight. 

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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