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How to Lose Belly Fat Fast: Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle Tips

Beach season is almost here! If you spoiled yourself this winter, you’re probably looking for the best way to lose belly fat urgently. Luckily, there are a number of different ways to get rid of belly fat fast. Here are some practical tips, supported by scientific studies.
A woman measuring her waist

How to get rid of belly fat: Focus on your diet

Unfortunately, there’s no magic food that can help you get rid of belly fat overnight. However, studies suggest that consuming more veggies, healthy fats, and protein can make it easier to lose inches in your midsection. If you’re eager to know how to lose belly fat fast, follow these tips and tricks:

  • Avoid sugar and sugary drinks. Sugar might just be the main culprit for your belly fat. Studies show that sugar can lead to increased accumulation of belly fat, and sugar-sweetened drinks like juices and sodas contain large amounts of fructose that has the same effect on your waistline. 
  • Eat more protein. A great way to lose belly fat is to incorporate more protein into your diet. Protein reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which means you’ll feel more full with less food. Studies have found that people who consume a protein-rich diet have less abdominal fat than those who don’t include enough protein in their diets. So, the next time you’re cooking, make sure you include a good protein source like chicken, eggs, or beans. 
  • Avoid refined carbs. Avoiding carbs might be the fastest way to lose belly fat. Several studies have found that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs can improve your metabolic health and help you get rid of belly fat. 
  • Consume more fiber-rich foods. Try to include lots of high-fiber foods in your diet if you want to get rid of belly fat. Studies have discovered that soluble fiber can help you lose weight by making you feel full.
  • Drink enough water. Staying well hydrated is important to keep your metabolism properly functioning and lose weight.

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Exercises to lose belly fat 

Getting rid of belly fat is nearly impossible without engaging in workouts on a regular basis. Exercise is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long and healthy life. Here are the best exercises to lose belly fat.

A woman doing cardio workout to lose belly fat
  • Cardio. Cardio is an effective way to get rid of belly fat as it promotes health and helps you burn calories. Studies have shown that exercises like walking, running, or swimming can significantly reduce belly fat. The National Institute of Health recommends at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, three to five days every week. Part of this can be cardiorespiratory training.
  • Resistance training. Resistance training is among the best exercises to lose belly fat. It helps you build muscle mass, which, in turn, helps your body to burn more calories while at rest. A study of overweight teenagers discovered that a combination of resistance training and cardio exercise led to decreased visceral fat. 
  • High-intensity interval training. Commonly known as HIIT, this type of exercise has been found to reduce belly fat — and some studies even say that it’s more efficient than steady-state cardio exercise. It combines short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by longer but less intense recovery intervals.

How to burn belly fat: Lifestyle tips

A healthy diet and regular exercise will certainly help, but your lifestyle also plays a big role in whether or not you can lose that stubborn belly fat. Managing your stress, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol are equally important. 

Stress

Research shows that high cortisol levels increase your appetite by boosting levels of ghrelin (a hormone that increases appetite) in your blood and promoting abdominal fat storage. To lower your stress levels and get rid of belly fat, practice stress-relieving exercises such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing. 

Sleep

If you’re doing everything else right and are still stumped about how to get rid of stomach fat, look at your sleep habits. It’s important to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. What’s more, you want to make sure you’re getting good quality sleep. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight due to the hormonal imbalances that sleep deprivation causes. 

Alcohol 

Alcohol can be enjoyable in small amounts. However, drinking lots of it can be seriously harmful. Studies have observed that heavy alcohol consumption can lead to excess fat storage around the waistline. For women, the NIAAA guidelines are no more than three standard drinks a day. For men, it’s four or fewer standard drinks on any one day. Remember that alcoholic drinks are often just empty calories — so make them treats rather than habits.

Other lifestyle tips

Here are some additional lifestyle tips to help you get rid of belly fat and feel healthy.

  • Replace your vegetable oils with coconut, avocado, or olive oil 
  • Track your food intake
  • Eat more fatty fish
  • Include apple cider vinegar in your diet
  • Eat probiotic foods
  • Try intermittent fasting
  • Drink green tea, particularly first thing in the morning

How to lose belly fat in a week

While one week is generally not enough time to lose belly fat, it’s enough to make some healthy changes to your lifestyle and perhaps lose some water weight. It’s important to remember, as well, that there is no guaranteed way to lose fat in a specific part of the body. So you probably won’t just lose belly fat, but will lose fat proportionally. Here’s what you can do to help it along:

  • Eat smaller portions more often
  • Don’t eat too many sugary fruits (e.g. pineapple, bananas, etc.)
  • Cut back on dairy products
  • Eat more nuts
  • Stay hydrated
  • Start your day with a healthy smoothie
  • Drink ginger tea
  • Avoid carbonated drinks
  • Eat the right types of fat (monounsaturated fats)
  • Eat lean proteins
  • Choose whole-grain foods
  • Cut out sugar
  • Engage in cardio and weight lifting exercises

The reality is that there is no magic pill that will make your belly fat disappear. The fastest way to lose belly fat is a combination of a healthy diet, proper exercise, and lifestyle changes. If you invest effort, commitment, and perseverance into the process, you’ll be able to lose that belly fat around your waistline and feel healthier in your own skin.

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