How This Helps

Anyone who has fought the hard battle of getting rid of stubborn belly fat knows just how difficult a task it is to find an effective belly fat cure. Apart from just being a nuisance, belly fat can also prove to be very harmful to your health since this type of fat in the body is considered to be a significant risk for many chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others. Here are some practical ways to lose belly fat that are proven by science.

What is belly fat?

What does your waist say about your wellbeing? An expanding waistline may be considered the cost of getting older. For women, this may be particularly true after menopause, when body fat tends to change to the abdomen. However, an increase in belly fat does more than making it inconvenient to fit into your favorite clothes from a few months ago. Research demonstrates that belly fat also carries serious health risks. The great news? The threats posed by stomach fat can be reduced.

What is behind belly fat? Your weight is mainly determined by factors such as your age, how many calories you eat throughout the day, and how many calories you burn through exercise. If you eat too much but exercise too little, you are most likely to carry extra weight such as belly fat.

Additionally, your muscle mass may diminish slightly with age, while fat raises. Loss of muscle mass also reduces the speed at which your body uses calories, which may make it more challenging to keep a healthy weight. Many women also start to notice an increase in belly fat because they get older, even when they are not gaining weight. This is probably due to a diminishing amount of estrogen, which seems to affect where fat is distributed in the body. The propensity to gain or carry weight around the waist, and also have an apple rather than a pear shape, may have a genetic component too.


See: How to lose visceral fat vs subcutaneous fat

Why is belly fat dangerous for your health?

Why is belly fat harmful? The trouble with belly fat is that it is not restricted to the excess layer of cushioning found just under the skin (subcutaneous fat). The proper term for belly fat is visceral fat, and this layer of fat is stored in the abdominal cavity. Visceral fat also shares space with many of your important organs like stomach, liver, intestines, and kidneys. This deeper level of fat becomes a problem if you have too much of it. Additionally, it has visceral fat - that lies deep within your stomach, surrounding your inner organs. Although subcutaneous fat presents cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with much more harmful health problems. Not all the fat in your body is created the same. Everyone has some amount of belly fat. You need a certain amount of belly fat to provide cushioning around your organs. If you have too much belly fat, then you are at a higher risk of developing many chronic diseases including [1, 2, 3]

- Heart disease

- Type 2 diabetes

- High blood pressure

- Breathing problems

- Breast Cancer

- Colon Cancer

- Dementia

Research also associates belly fat with a greater risk of premature death regardless of the overall weight. Some studies have found that when women were considered a normal weight according to standard body mass index (BMI) values, a large waist raised the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

When you have excessive belly fat, it will start pumping out many types of inflammatory substances. These substances end up disrupting the functioning of hormones that control your weight, appetite, mood, and other brain functions. They also start increasing your cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, increasing the risk of developing many different health conditions. 

See: Best Foods For Diabetics & Shopping List

Belly fat cure

Now that we know the harmful effects of belly fat let us look at some ways for how to lose it for good.

1. Avoid Sugary Drinks and Sugar

Nearly everyone knows by now that added sugar is very unhealthy for your health. There have been numerous studies that have shown the unique harmful effects of added sugar on the body's metabolic health.[4]

Sugar is typically made from half fructose and half glucose. Your liver can only metabolize the fructose present in sugar in large amounts, and when you consume a lot of added sugar, your liver gets flooded with fructose, forcing it to convert the fructose into fat.[5, 6]

Several studies have discovered that the excess consumption of added sugar, due to the enormous amounts of fructose present, can eventually lead to an increased buildup of fat in the belly area and the liver, not just causing belly fat, but also causing a fatty liver.[7, 8]  Not just added sugar, but when you consume sugary beverages, that proves to be even worse for belly fat and your health. This is because the calories in liquid sugar do not get recognized by the brain in the same manner in which it acknowledges solid calories. So when you drink a sugary beverage such as sodas or fruit juices, you are only consuming more total calories. [9]  In fact, many studies have shown that sugary drinks are directly associated with a 50 percent higher risk of obesity in children.[10]

With all these harmful effects of sugar, the most natural belly fat cure then is simply to cut out the sugar in your diet. At a minimum, you should at least make an attempt to reduce the amount of added sugar in your daily diet and try to cut out sugary drinks entirely from your routine. 

2. Exercise and exercise some more

Vigorous exercise helps in cutting down on all types of fat, including belly fat. This belly fat remedy will not only help you get rid of visceral fat but also improve your health in many different ways. 

It would be best if you aimed at getting at least half an hour of moderate exercise for at least five days a week. Walking is perhaps one of the best possible exercises you can do, but only as long as you are walking brisk enough to work up a sweat. Your heart rate should be faster than usual when you are brisk walking - only then will you get the same results as jogging or swimming will provide. 

You can even opt for using a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical or rowing machines if you do not fancy going out of the house or if the weather is cold at your place. 

It may be important to remember is that you don't need to limit yourself to going to the gym or lifting weights. There are all sorts of physical activities you can do, such as gardening, raking leaves, playing soccer with your kids, aerobic dancing, and many others. 

However, if you are presently leading a sedentary lifestyle, then it is a better idea to first consult your primary physician about what type of activities and how much intensity will be ideal for you before you jump right into a fitness routine. 

The many benefits of exercise are well documented and proven by numerous research studies as well.[11, 12, 13]

3. Consume a High Protein Diet

Protein is one of the essential nutrients you need for managing your weight. When you increase the intake of proteins, the body increases the release of PYY, which is a hormone associated with appetite and fullness. This not only helps in decreasing your appetite but, at the same time, promotes a feeling of fullness.[14]

Foods high in protein also increases the body's metabolic rate, helping you retain the muscle mass you gain during weight loss and exercise.[15] Many studies have shown how people who have a diet rich in proteins have lesser abdominal fat as compared to those to have a low protein diet.[16]

Here are some good protein sources to include in your diet:

• Beans

• Whey protein

• Dairy

• Meat

• Fish

• Eggs

4. Add fiber in your diet

Research studies have noted a belly fat cure in the correlation of eating more fiber-rich food that makes more belly fat reduction. Research on obese Latino/American boys and girls ages 11 to 17 found that increasing their consumption of dietary fiber on a two-year interval resulted in significant decreases in the quantity of fat around their waists. By comparison, adolescents whose fiber consumption dropped saw their bellies expand.[17]

The good news for belly fat cure that is simple and effective is that only a small fiber is effective in reducing belly fat. Foods that are naturally rich in fiber include:

- Hot whole-grain cereal, like oatmeal (1 cup, cooked, equals 5 grams of fiber)

- Fresh fruit (1 cup tallies up about 5 grams of fiber)

- Baked potato (5 g of fiber)

- Cooked beans, eg black beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans (one-half-cup provides you 5 to 6 grams of fiber)

- Big green salad (with about 5 grams of fiber)

- 100% whole-wheat bread (with about 3 grams of fiber)

- Eating a half cup of cooked beans every day can be an effective belly fat cure. 

- Baked sweet potato (5 g of fiber)

See: How Adding Fiber in your Diet Helps Type 2 Diabetes

Summary

Remember that there is no magic belly fat cure that will help you get rid of your stomach in just one or two days. Weight loss requires a lot of effort and perseverance to follow a healthy diet and exercise schedule. By successfully adopting healthy lifestyle practices and setting realistic goals for getting rid of your belly fat, you will be able to find a belly fat cure that helps you lose the pounds slowly, but surely. And remember, if you have any medical condition, it is always better to first consult your primary healthcare physician before you make any dramatic changes to your lifestyle.

See: High Protein Low Carb Diet for Diabetes

References

1. Jordan, J., and Grassi, G., 2010. Belly fat and resistant hypertension. Journal of hypertension, 28(6), pp.1131-1133.

2. Fackelmann, K., 2008. Belly Fat Linked to an Increased Risk of Dementia. USA Today, 27.

3. Staff, K. and Heard, LYVB, Can Belly Fat Cause Cancer?.

4. Jensen, T., Abdelmalek, M.F., Sullivan, S., Nadeau, K.J., Green, M., Roncal, C., Nakagawa, T., Kuwabara, M., Sato, Y., Kang, D.H. and Tolan, D.R., 2018. Fructose and sugar: A major mediator of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Journal of hepatology, 68(5), pp.1063-1075.

5. Bray, G.A., 2007. How bad is fructose?. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 86(4), pp.895-896.

6. Faeh, D., Minehira, K., Periasamy, R., Schwarz, J.M., Park, S. & Tappy, L., 2005. Effect of fructose overfeeding and fish oil administration on hepatic de novo lipogenesis & insulin sensitivity in healthy men. Diabetes, 54(7), pp.1907-1913.

7. Stanhope, K.L., Schwarz, N.L., Griffen, S.C., J.M., Keim, Bremer, Hatcher, B., Cox, C.L., A.A., Graham, J.L., Dyachenko, A., Zhang, W. and McGahan, J.P., 2009. Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity & lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans. The Journal of clinical investigation, 119(5), pp.1322-1334.

8. Zhang, D.M., Jiao, R.Q. and Kong, LD, 2017. High dietary fructose: direct or indirect dangerous factors disturbing tissue and organ functions. Nutrients, 9(4), p.335.

9. Appelhans, B.M., Bleil, M.E., Waring, M.E., Schneider, K.L., Nackers, L.M., Busch, A.M., Whited, M.C. and Pagoto, S.L., 2013. Beverages contribute extra calories to meals & daily energy intake in overweight and obese women. Physiology & behavior, 122, pp.129-133.

10. Ludwig, D.S., Peterson, K.E. and Gortmaker, S.L., 2001. Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks & childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. The Lancet, 357(9255), pp.505-508.

11. Shu-Kun, ZHANG, 2009. Exercise For The Fitness of The Belly And The Waist. Journal of Simao Teacher's College, (3), p.32.

12. Rigby, B., How To Get Rid Of Belly Fat.

13. Galbraith, J.K., How To Lose Belly Fat: 6 Key Secrets.

14. Batterham, R.L., Heffron, H., Kapoor, S., Chivers, J.E., Chandarana, K., Herzog, H., Le Roux, C.W., Thomas, E.L., Bell, JD and Withers, D.J., 2006. Critical role for peptide YY in protein-mediated satiation and body-weight regulation. Cell metabolism, 4(3), pp.223-233.

15. Halton, T.L., and Hu, F.B., 2004. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety & weight loss: a critical review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(5), pp.373-385.

16. Halkjaer J, e. (2020). Intake of macronutrients as predictors of 5-y changes in waist circumference. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17023705/ [Accessed 8 Mar. 2020].

17. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2009

See: Modified Sun Salutations as a Suitable Yoga Practice for Obesity

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