Getting rid of belly fat is a goal that many people have. No magical exercise or food will get rid of belly fat. The idea of spot reduction or targeting a specific body part to reduce fat is a myth as well.
Understanding belly fat is important. There are two different types of belly fat.
This fat lies deep within our abdomen and surrounds our organs. This is the typical “beer belly” look.
This is the softer fat that you can pinch and lies beneath the skin surface.
As we get older and our hormones change, our bodies tend to have more visceral fat, which is very pro-inflammatory and more dangerous to our health. Thankfully visceral fat tends to break down more easily by the body for fuel so that type of fat will be lost first. This is positive from a health perspective but not as motivational as seeing the subcutaneous fat melt away from your hips, thighs or waist.
If you are patient and willing to play the long game there are a number of things you can do to achieve your goal. Check these out:
High-intensity interval training is effective in reducing abdominal fat. Research has shown that people who practice HIIT lost more inches around the waist and more body fat overall as well as gained more lean muscle mass than those engaged in moderate-intensity exercises including walking and cycling.
Eat a Mediterranean Diet:
Avoiding saturated fats and focusing on unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts is a key aspect of being healthy. Putting the focus on whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables is also a key element to the Mediterranean Diet.
Eat More Fibre:
Eating more fibre can help you feel fuller while eating less food. That equals to fewer calories. Increasing soluble fibre (most veggies, flax seeds, oranges, beans, and oats) can play a key role in reducing belly fat.
There is a link between belly fat and sleep. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night can result in less belly fat than people who sleep too little or too much. Getting too little sleep will cause your body to release a stress hormone, which encourages your body to store fat and increase your level of hunger.
High level of cortisol (the stress hormone) increases the amount of fat that clings to your body and increases the growth the fat cells. Although it is impossible to eliminate stress, learning to manage it and your response to it will help keep you healthier.
As mentioned, there is not one magic tool to eliminating belly fat. There are many components involved. Patience and commitment is key.