Excess fat in the belly area increases your risk of several chronic health conditions. There are two types of fat that can be located in the lower belly area: visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is the type of fat that can entangle itself in major bodily organs and inhibit their functioning, which makes it more dangerous. Excess visceral fat increases the risk of diabetes type II and heart disease, just to name a few. The type of fat known as subcutaneous is the type that you can pinch or that jiggles when you move.
If you are looking for the best way to lose lower belly fat, you may have to use more than one strategy because this area is typically harder to trim down. Today, we are going to discuss some science-based strategies that can help you reduce the concentration of visceral fat and help you lose lower belly fat fast.
Include Soluble Fiber In Your Diet
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, and both are essential to a healthy, well-balanced diet. Soluble fiber helps slow down the digestive process and enables you to stay full longer because it absorbs moisture and becomes gel-like in consistency. Eating a diet rich in soluble fiber has been shown to help reduce visceral fat and help patients lose lower belly fat.
Some good sources of soluble fiber include:
- Kidney beans;
- Flax seed.
Stay Away From Trans Fats
Trans fats were once thought to be a healthier alternative to other types of fats, but it was later discovered they were associated with an increase in heart disease, inflammation, insulin resistance, and the accumulation of abdominal and lower belly fat. A study that spanned six years reported that monkeys eating a diet high in trans fat gained 33% more fat in their bellies than those eating a diet high in monounsaturated fat.
Read labels as you shop and avoid products that contain partially hydrogenated fats, which means trans fat.
Limit Your Intake Of Alcohol
Drinking certain types of alcohol may have some minor health benefits when done in moderation, but it can lead to excess belly fat if it is done in excess.
When we consume beverages such as beer, the liver works to process the alcohol instead of fat. These calories from the beer accumulate as abdominal fat and eventually turn into a “beer gut.”
Interestingly, how you consume alcohol plays into how much fat you retain in your belly as well. A study of 2,000 individuals concluded that those who drank only one drink a day had less belly fat than those who drank intermittently but drank more alcohol on their drinking days.
If you are trying to lose weight, keep in mind that drinking introduces calories into your diet that have no nutritional value. You would be better off spending those calories on a snack that will give you energy and satisfy your hunger.
Ensure You Eat Enough Protein
Consuming enough protein is very important to our health, especially when we are trying to lose lower belly fat. Often, when we lose weight, some of what we lose is muscle mass, which decreases our strength and also slows our metabolism. Muscle mass burns more calories even while we are sitting still or sleeping.
High-protein foods also stimulate the release of the natural peptide YY into our systems, which helps us feel fuller for longer and eat less. Research has also shown that individuals who consume more protein have less fat accumulation in the abdominal and lower belly regions.
Some good sources of protein include meat, fish, dairy, eggs, whey protein, beans, etc.
Avoid Added Sugars & Fructose
Many ready-to-eat snacks and foods contain fructose (HFCS) and added sugar. In addition to being high in calories, these ingredients are also associated with many chronic health conditions, including fatty liver disease, coronary disease, and diabetes type 2. Studies confirm that consuming too much sugar increases the risk of accumulating visceral belly fat, even in younger individuals. While alternatives such as honey are better sweetener choices, they too should be used in moderation.
Watch Your Intake Of Carbohydrates
Monitoring and cutting back on your intake of carbohydrates can help you lose abdominal and lower belly fat. It also helps decrease the risks of developing diabetes type 2. While carbohydrates often get a bad rap, it is important to understand that there are two different types of carbohydrates.
- Refined carbs (these are the ones who deserve the bad reputation) include items like white bread, white rice, and white flour, as well as processed sugary foods such as store-bought cookies, cakes, and baked goods. These foods have been processed, and most of the fiber and essential nutrients have been removed;
- Unrefined carbohydrates are foods such as brown rice, quinoa, bran, oatmeal, whole wheat, bread made with whole wheat, etc. Cutting out refined carbohydrates and replacing them with unprocessed carb sources can help boost your metabolic health and reduce belly fat.
Take Care Not To Drink Your Daily Calories
Many individuals who are trying to lose lower belly fat forget that downing a few Cokes every day is counterproductive to their weight loss goals.
Many beverages that we consume without thinking contain significant amounts of added sugar and fructose, both of which are major contributors to abdominal fat. The results of one research study concluded that individuals with type 2 diabetes who drank at least one sugar-laden beverage a week had higher concentrations of belly fat than those who rarely drank these types of beverages. If one sugary beverage a week makes that big of a difference, imagine what consuming even one each day would do.
Also, even though drinking real fruit juice is a healthier choice than grabbing a soda, these also contain significant amounts of sugar. Check the label on the juice for the sugar content. Drinking home-made, cold-pressed juice is the best choice if you want to drink juice. There are no added sugars, and they contain vitamins, minerals, and important antioxidants.
If you want to lose lower belly fat, drink more water and avoid soda, punch, sweet tea, etc.
Include Omega 3 In Your Weekly Diet
Certain types of fish contain omega-3 fats which have been associated with lowering the risk of many diseases and reducing visceral fat. Omega 3 supplements are also available if you are not a seafood lover.
Omega 3 has been shown in studies involving both children and adults to help significantly reduce fat in both the liver and the abdomen.
Omega 3 fatty acid-rich foods include mackerel, salmon, herring, anchovies, and sardines, while non-fish sources include flax seed, chia seed, walnuts, and more.
Include Probiotics In Your Diet
Our bodies naturally produce bacteria that help maintain a natural balance to keep our bodies healthy and functioning properly. Including probiotics in our diet can assist our bodies with maintaining this balance.
Some research has pointed to a link between this internal balance and maintaining a healthy weight. Some food sources that contain probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, sourdough bread, and kimchi.
Pay special attention to the group of bacteria that is known to help lose abdominal and lower belly fat and is part of the Lactobacillus family.
Try Green Tea
For centuries, green tea has been used for all types of purposes but is known best for its health benefits. It contains caffeine and EGCG, which is an antioxidant that helps boost the metabolism.
Studies have shown that green tea can help reduce visceral fat concentrations in the belly, and when combined with daily exercise, it is even more powerful. One study showed that individuals who consumed under 500 milligrams of green tea extract a day increased the amount of weight they lost over the group who did not use the green tea.
If you need your caffeine in the morning to get going, try swapping your cup of java for some hot green tea to help lose lower belly fat.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Making permanent changes to your lifestyle is the best way to lose lower belly fat and improve your health and wellbeing in the long run. Some changes that will help promote weight loss and help you lose lower belly fat include
Getting Your Stress Levels Under Control
It’s sometimes easier said than done, but it’s critical to your overall health and well-being. Stress causes our bodies to hold on to fat, and it increases our appetite.
High amounts of unmanaged stress increase the level of cortisol (a hormone that our body creates in response to stress) that is found in our body, which increases the storage of fat in the abdominal region. Finding ways to decompress and relieve stress will help you lose belly fat and provide many other health benefits.
Exercise is often beneficial in reducing stress levels, as are activities such as yoga, meditation, gardening, and other activities you enjoy.
Incorporate Different Types Of Exercise Into Your Weekly Routine
Research has shown that aerobic exercise can help reduce visceral fat and lower belly fat. The type and intensity of cardio that are best can vary by individual and other factors.
Weight training can increase your strength, help build and preserve muscle mass, and reduce lower belly fat as well as accumulation locations.
- Patients with chronic health conditions showed significant improvements in their percentage of belly fat during strength training studies when their activity was combined with a protein-rich diet;
- Another study looked at overweight teens and how a program combining strength training and aerobic activity yielded a significant decrease in visceral fat.
Always Get A Good Night’s Sleep
This sounds like an easy thing to do, but many people are not incorporating this very important staple into their lives. Getting enough sleep is critical to your health and maintaining a healthy weight.
Research has demonstrated that there is a link between obesity and higher concentrations of belly fat in individuals who consistently do not get enough sleep. Another study that spanned 16 years concluded that women who slept fewer than seven hours a night were more susceptible to weight gain.
Some individuals suffer from a condition called sleep apnea, where breathing is interrupted intermittently during the night. This condition has been associated with excess visceral fat and can become serious. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is important that you consult with your doctor.
Getting Help To Lose Lower Belly Fat
Getting rid of lower belly fat, whether male or female, will improve your health and longevity while decreasing your risk of a variety of serious health conditions.
The truth is that overweight and obesity are chronic conditions that most often develop as a result of lifestyle choices. To overcome them, we must make changes and do things differently than we have in the past.
Making many changes all at once may be challenging, but Simmons MD Advanced Weight Loss Solutions is here to help. We can assist you on your weight loss journey, providing you with not only practical information but also effective strategies that really work.
Losing weight with a managed weight loss program can give you access to non-surgical weight loss tools, medications, and a team of highly qualified professionals who will support you every step of the way. Implementing lifestyle changes that will help you lose dangerous fat can be accomplished, and we can help you do it and achieve your weight loss goals. Reach out to us today; we would love to speak with you about how we can help.