Prioritize Getting Good Sleep
Just as a bad nights sleep can ruin your whole day, a track record of bad sleep can mess with a lot of other aspects of your lifeand one of those might just be belly fat.
A study in Sleep found routinely logging less than five hours of sleep a night to be associated with a significant increase in both visceral and subcutaneous fat accumulation among adults younger than 40Hairston KG, Bryer-Ash M, Norris JM, Haffner S, Bowden DW, Wagenknecht LE. Sleep duration and five-year abdominal fat accumulation in a minority cohort: the IRAS family study. Sleep. 2010 33:289-295. .
Poor sleep has been linked to the accumulation of body fat, as well as insulin resistance, says Dr. Kroll. Better sleep hygiene and stress reduction can help with fat loss.
Have trouble getting consistent sleep? Check out these expert sleep tips from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.
View Of Two Belly Fat Types
All belly fat is not created equal. Subcutaneous fat, located just beneath your skin, is a somewhat innocuous substance that produces cellulite. This somewhat helpful fat also streamlines your glucose metabolism. Dangerous visceral fat is located beneath your abdominal muscle and around several vital organs. Through several systemic reactions, visceral fat can contribute to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea.
This harmful fat has also been linked to additional chronic medical conditions. In women, visceral fat has been connected to breast cancer and a higher incidence of gallbladder surgery.
There’s also a demonstrated connection between dietary habits and visceral fat. An April 2017 study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, tracked the relationship between 2,218 subjects’ eating habits and visceral fat. Researchers found that unhealthy eating habits strongly contributed to visceral fat development.
You’re Feeling Stressed Or Anxious
Feeling stressed can wreak havoc on your body, according to Dr Luke. “It can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. Short-term bursts of cortisol are necessary to help us cope with immediate danger, but our body will also release this hormone if we’re feeling stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high for a long amount of time, it can increase the amount of fat you hold in your belly,” explains Dr Luke.
So, what does Clarissa think? She agrees, adding that by calming your stress levels, you are much less likely to crave energy dense foods.
“Try and notice if you reach for foods when you are stressed,” she advises. “Spot this habit and ask yourself, ‘Am I actually hungry, or am I eating for another reason, like stress, boredom or excitement?'”. If your answer is the latter, try a non-food related habit, instead. Why not go for a walk, call a friend or make a cup of tea? Simple.
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What Are The Health Risks Of Belly Fat
Belly fat is among the most dangerous types of fat. It increases the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and premature death. The drop in estrogen levels at menopause can increase your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that results in buildup of belly fat. Moreover, stress caused by dieting can also increase cortisol levels, resulting in no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction!
Add Vinegar To Your Diet
If youre trying to lose weight, vinegar is an excellent addition to your diet. Whether white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, vinegar is one of the most versatile condiments regarding health benefits. One study found that a mere 15 to 30 ml of vinegar daily reduced body weight, belly fat and waist circumference over a three-month period.
According to one study, adding vinegar to your diet will reduce your daily caloric intake by 275 calories. Considering there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, you can lose over half a pound of fat per week with this one simple change. To increase your metabolism and satiety, try adding white vinegar to refreshing, hydrating salads and tangy barbecue sauces.
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You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
From scrolling through social media to having a late-night coffee, there are plenty of ways we unknowingly keep ourselves awake at night. Aside from feeling tired and groggy the next day, not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night can affect weight loss, explains Dr Luke.
“When we’re lacking in sleep, our bodys hormones get thrown off balance which can impact our hunger levels the next day. We all have two hormones that affect our appetite: ghrelin and leptin. When we dont get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels rise, and our leptin levels drop. This means that when we’re awake, we tend to eat more but feel less satisfied. Try going to bed a little earlier than usual to avoid this imbalance and remember to remove any distractions that might prevent you from nodding off,” he continues.
Reduce Water Retention And Bloating
Water retention occurs when the body holds excess fluid.
Water retention can make you heavier and bigger. And it can sometimes cause swelling in the legs, ankles, and hands.
Most times people with water retention are also bloated. Bloating makes the belly look bigger.
Some of the things you can do to reduce water retention and bloating include:
- Reduce salt intake
- Increase intake of vitamin B6
- Reduce intake of refined carbs
- And drink plenty of water
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Tighten The Loose Saggy Lower Belly Skin
If the skin on your lower belly is flappy and loose after losing a lot of weight then there are some natural solutions you can use to tighten it back up. Now your skin is the biggest organ on your entire body and its biggest protein is collagen .
Collagen is like the structural support for your skin. It holds everything together nice and tight. Without collagen, your skin will slowly lose its firmness and strength . As we age our collagen production naturally goes down which is why we start to get more wrinkles, saggy skin, and age spots .
If youve been overweight for a long time then your collagen fibers were most likely damaged. This is why your lower belly is remaining loose and saggy. Your skin has lost its ability to snap back and retract. This is why losing the weight when youre younger gives you better results with losing the belly overhang.
But the good news is studies have found supplementing with collagen is very effective for improving skin elasticity . Taking collagen will help to plump and perk back up your loose saggy skin making it appear smoother and tighter .
I use and recommend Ageless Collagen since it contains all 5 of the right types of collagen you need for maximal results. I just toss a scoop in my daily protein shake and cant even taste that its in there.
You Need Physical Activity
Weight loss in older individuals is complicated because when weight loss does occur, there is a lot more muscle and bone loss than in younger individuals. Caloric and dietary restrictions can lead to a significant loss in muscle mass and bone density. This further increases the risk of fractures and injuries from falls. Staying physical activity is one of the best ways for seniors to maintain muscle and bone strength during a weight loss protocol. Indeed, its crucial to maintaining a healthy weight.
As age sets in, all the systems in our body inevitably start their slow decline, and physical activity helps preserve almost all aspects of our health, from the heart to brain to immune health. It is completely understandable that muscle and joint pains prevent you from doing too much. However, any physical activity you can feasibly tolerate is a good start. Working with a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist is a good idea if you suffer from muscle and joint pain, especially from surgeries and fractures in the past.
Doing activities such as water aerobics, chair yoga, Tai chi, or everyday physical things such as walking the dog and gardening are all excellent ideas. This is why we use the term physical activity rather than exercise. Anything that will move your muscles and body is good. If you have suffered from some injury or disability, start with simple physical movements that you can do within your limits and aim to do it consistently.
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The Best Way To Burn Belly Fat If You’re Over 40
One thing to note if you’re a 40+ woman: losing belly fat naturally might be harder than before. Let us introduce you to a new word: somatopause. It refers to the time in your life when the growth hormone somatotropin begins to decline, something that happens once you hit your 40s.
Combined with declining levels of oestrogen and progesterone, fat storage will also tend to move from your hips and thighs to your stomach. But, this isn’t the time to go HAM on HIIT workouts. Kate Rowe-Ham, personal trainer and founder of the Fit Hut in Sussex advises focussing on resistance training to build muscle tissue that’ll support your metabolism as you age.
‘You cant spot-reduce fat,’ says Rowe-Ham, referring to the myth of removing fat from specific parts of your body. ‘Increasing lean body mass by building muscle is the most sustainable way forward if healthy weight loss is the goal.’
You’re Doing The Wrong Type Of Workout
Listen up here. “Only doing abdominal-focused workouts, like crunches, won’t help,” Luke emphasises Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to take a whole-body approach to tackle it, he reckons. Try HIIT training he says it’s “a great way to burn fat and get your heart rate up”, with squats, burpees and treadmill sprints all being examples of moves to try.
Emily agrees, saying that, in its simplest form, training abs alone, won’t get you abs. “Focus on the staple movements and progressively getting stronger at them over time. I’m talking about your planks, crunches, twists, holds and v-ups.”
She also points out that compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, overhead press and pull-ups are all effective at activating and working your core. Her final two cents on it? “Moving your body in a way that feels good, and keeps you moving consistently.” Hear, hear.
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Including Physical Activity To Reduce Belly Fat
Understand Why You Gain Belly Fat
As you age, you can’t avoid gaining some belly fat and you won’t be able to lose all of it, but you can minimize its appearance and its negative health effects with lifestyle and dietary interventions.
Starting at age 30, you begin to experience sarcopenia, which is the natural loss of muscle mass that naturally occurs with aging. The American Association of Retired Persons states that this loss is approximately a pound a year after 30 — if you don’t engage in strength training to preserve your muscle tissue. By 60 — with no exercise — you may have lost about 30 pounds of muscle mass, replacing the muscle mostly with fat. Fat is less efficient at burning calories than muscle is, which means that your body’s resting metabolism also declines. So, even if you eat the same amount of food as you did when you were younger, you will likely gain weight.
To prevent weight gain with your slowing metabolism, you need to reduce your daily caloric intake by about 100 calories every 10 years after age 40. So, at 60 or older, you should consume at least 200 fewer calories every day than when you were in your 30s.
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Focus On The Way Your Clothes Fit More Than Reading A Scale
As you add muscle mass and lose fat, the reading on your bathroom scale maynot change much, but your pants will be looser. Thats a better mark ofprogress. Measured around, your waistline should be less than 35 inches ifyoure a woman or less than 40 inches if youre a man to reduce heart anddiabetes risks.
What Should I Eat To Lose Belly Fat
Get the Recipe:Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach
There’s no one exact diet that blasts belly fat more than others. Rather, to fight belly fat, you need to consider the timing, size and nutritional quality of your meals in order to maintain a healthy weight, reduce visceral fat and avoid uncomfortable bloating. Start with these tips to begin your journey to losing belly fat, the healthy way.
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Find Movement That You Like
You cant burn away belly fat with abdominal exercises or vibrating waist belts.
And while you might have read that high-intensity interval training has been shown to boost visceral fat loss,22 theres an important caveat:
Exercise only works if you do it consistentlyand long term.23
In other words, one exercise-until-you-hurl session isnt gonna flatten your belly. Neither will two. Or three. Or seven. Or fifteen.
It takes session after session after sessionweek after week, month after monthto see and maintain results.
So if you love HIIT workouts more than ice cream, great. Keep it up.
On the other hand, if the idea of sprints and burpees makes you want to hide in your closet, know that youve got optionslots and lots and lots of options.
Ideally, to lose belly fat, youd combine some form of resistance training with some form of cardio.
But you ultimately want to exercise in a way thats doable, pain-free, and enjoyablebecause thats the exercise youll do regularly.
If you just read this list and felt a big womp woommp of let-down, we dont blame you.
Through clever marketing campaigns and dramatic anecdotal success stories, were constantly being sold on the miracle pill.
Sadly, it just doesnt exist.
The good news:
Now that you know this, you can stop wasting your money, and empower yourself to practice the daily nutrition, movement, and lifestyle habits that do work.
How To Lose Belly Fat In 6 Steps
If theres a trick to incredible results, its this: the ability to practice basic health behaviors over and over again.
Hear us out.
What were about to share will probably trigger your inner I know this already voice. You might roll your eyes and think theres nothing new here. Nothing cutting edge or sparkly.
But, if you use these steps, youll see results.
Results you can actually sustain.
And hey, that would be pretty thrilling.
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How Quickly Will You Lose Weight
The volunteers reduced their waist sizes by an average of 1 inch for every 4lb they lost.
So if you lose 1lb a week you could hope to reduce your waistline by an inch after four weeks.
Dieticians advise that if you eat 500 calories less than your daily requirement you will lose about 1lb every seven days .
This chart shows you how many pounds you can hope to lose per week based on how many calories you cut out of your daily diet.
Consume A Combo Of Calcium And Vitamin D
Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium and vitamin D to your diet could be the best way to get the flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
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Take Caffeine Supplements Or Drink Tea And Coffee
Caffeine and beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee and tea, have diuretic effects and may help reduce your water weight.
It has been shown to increase short-term urine output and decrease water weight slightly .
In one study, a glass of water with or without caffeine was provided to participants in doses of 2 mg per pound of body weight.
When combining caffeine with water, participants urine volume significantly increased .
That being said, even though caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, it doesnt lead to dehydration in habitual consumers.
Summary Moderate amounts of caffeine from coffee, tea or caffeine supplements may help you drop excess water.