You look down and you’re not too pleased with what you see. No, it’s not that there’s something wrong with your feet, it’s that your belly is in the way!
You’ve got stubborn belly fat and want to do something about it. Belly fat gain is common but you can always work to lose it.
If you want to get rid of stubborn belly fat, these tips will help you. As always, you should also consult with your physician on what are the best tips from this list that they recommend.
Weight Loss Program
You should consider this weight loss program if you find it difficult to reduce any of your belly fat. A prepared weight loss program has experts supervising you at all times.
They will help you with your diet and exercise routine. They keep track of every aspect of your activity. As a result, they can help you change course if there are any issues. This is often the best method to take if all other options have failed.
Fiber helps you digest your food much better. Poor digestion is what causes fat to develop in your stomach. Fiber also helps you feel full which causes you to control your eating habits.
Fiber also shreds more calories from what you consume. So if you eat something that’s high in calories, you can count on fiber to balance out the number of calories digested. You can find fiber in foods such as avocados, legumes, blackberries, and flax seeds. You can also take fiber supplements and probiotics.
Cut Down On Alcohol
Alcohol is one of the biggest culprits in creating stubborn belly fat. “Beer belly” isn’t simply a phrase, but drinking beer on a regular basis can lead you to gain fat.
Heavy alcohol consumption can also lead to obesity and is very difficult to reverse. You want to consume as little alcohol as possible. At most you should have less than one full drink per day.
The better options are to either drink alcohol only for social occasions with others or to become teetotal.
Eat High Levels of Protein
Part of fighting stubborn belly fat is not just weight loss but also weight management. You have to eat and build muscle, but you want to make sure you do this without gaining more fat. Fasting or dieting isn’t always the best way for everyone.
With your diet, you want to eat high levels of protein. In fact, people with higher levels of fat or even obesity tend to have diets with low levels of protein. Good protein foods include meat, fish, eggs, poultry, beans, dairy, and whey protein.
It’s imperative that you have a good protein source at every meal. As a general rule, you should have 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight that you have.
If you are unable to get all of your protein from food sources, consider having 1 or 2 protein shakes per day. However, the majority of your protein should always come from whole foods.
Cut Down On Sugar
You want to consume as little sugar as possible. Avoid foods that are high in artificial sugar such as chocolate or other candy. Other desserts such as ice cream, cakes, or pies should also be avoided as much as possible.
You can also find alternatives for sugar. For example, you can choose turbinado sugar which is healthier than white sugar. If you crave sugar in your tea, consider using cardamom or honey instead.
One should also avoid soda as much as possible. Something as simple as one can of Coke per day can be the major reason why you are getting belly fat. If possible, cut these out from your diet entirely.
Sugar also contains fructose which is another culprit that leads to belly fat. You want to make sure you eat foods that are lower in fructose as well.
Cut Down On Carbs
One of the easiest ways that you can reduce fat is to cut down on your carb intake. Belly fat is caused mostly by excessive carb intake over other macronutrients. You want to have no more than 50 grams of carbs each day.
You can replace refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs. If you find this doesn’t work you can find a diet plan that focuses on low carb intake. Carbs often come from bread and meat.
Whole grains are also a better option than consuming refined grains.
Exercise is important no matter what, but you want to make sure you get a lot of cardio exercises. This helps you burn fat at a much faster rate. This is also a great method for burning calories.
Cardio exercise includes running and swimming. You should try to go for at least a 10 minute run each day, either outside or on a treadmill. Weightlifting at a faster pace can also work as cardio.
Weighlifting is part of resistance training and can also help with reducing belly fat. Think of performing squats, bench press, and other exercises for gaining muscle mass.
If you find that you have difficulty losing belly fat, you should consider hiring a personal trainer or getting into an exercise class. Every weight loss exercise routine will prioritize cardio exercises.
Give Coconut Oil A Try
Coconut oil is one of the best items you can consume. It’s high in calories but low in fats. This can help you feel full without the burden of contributing to belly fat. Coconut oil is a healthy fat and one of the best ones you can consume.
You should also consider cooking with coconut oil. Instead of using olive oil or vegetable oil next time you cook, replace it with coconut oil. There has been much research to show that regular intake of coconut oil can reduce waist size over a 3 month period. This, in turn, can help reduce belly fat.
Get Rid of Stubborn Belly Fat
Now you know the steps to get rid of stubborn belly fat. Make sure you incorporate all these elements in your life. Eat a healthier diet, exercise more often, and consider a professional program.
Make sure to share this guide with anyone else wishing to fight stubborn belly fat. You can also find more great health tips on our website.
Learn about the science of fat loss and find out how you can maximize weight loss where it matters most
When it comes to losing weight, experts often cite one hard and fast rule: You can’t spot reduce. As much as you’d like to drop inches from just your belly or slim down your thighs, your body draws from fat stores located throughout the body when it needs energy. But lately, new research shows that there may indeed be an exception to this tenet-one that can help you whittle down your waist, hips and thighs, while still helping you drop pounds and look leaner all over.
The Science of Fat Loss
Before getting into how your body sheds excess weight, it can help to understand how fat is stored in the first place. Whenever you eat, whether it’s a bag of chips or a big green salad, the presence of carbs (glucose), protein (amino acids) or fat (fatty acids) digested into the intestine alerts the pancreas to secrete the hormone insulin. This important hormone then signals your body to break down and absorb these nutrients, where they can be reassembled as glycogen, protein and fatty acids (triglycerides). Glycogen is primarily stored in muscles and the liver, with excess levels also stored in fat tissue. The same is true for amino acids. Fatty acids are absorbed from the blood and stored in fat cells.
As food is digested, blood glucose rises, causing a corresponding release in insulin levels. When a food causes this blood glucose (and therefore insulin levels) to rise quickly, it is considered to be high on the glycemic index. Foods like white bread or pasta are generally classified as high glycemic foods. Lower glycemic foods, such as oatmeal or brown rice, cause a lower spike in the release of blood glucose.
The sharp spike in the release of blood sugar that corresponds with eating a high-glycemic food is usually followed by a sudden crash, and within a relatively short time, you start to feel hungry again, as the body releases the hunger hormone gherlin. These dietary ups and downs not only mean you take in more calories. Research shows that gherlin seems to encourage the body to store excess fat around the belly, or midsection, as well as the hips and thighs.
Fighting Fat, Fast
So how can you get off the weight loss/gain roller coaster for good? Keeping your calories in check and following a healthy diet are important, of course. But as most frequent dieters know, sometimes that’s just not enough. If you’ve been frustrated by the failure of keeping pounds off for good, there’s encouraging news in the form of new weight-loss aids that help to reduce glucose response after you eat, as well as suppressing the huger hormone gherlin, so you’re less likely to raid the pantry later in the day. One of the best-researched of these remedies is a product called Vysera-CLS. In a recent randomized, double-blinded study, subjects who took Vysera for 30 days before eating a meal rich in complex carbohydrates lost upwards of 8 times more weight and 15 times more body fat than those who took a placebo drug.
The key ingredient in Vysera comes from plant foods, which have a lower glycemic index (and less calories) along with more fiber and water. These plant compounds help to slow down digestion and block the absorption of glucose and fat, so you end up eating fewer calories. In effect, when subjects took the weight-loss pill with their meals, it reduced the foods’ glycemic index, not only helping to blunt the corresponding insulin and glucose response, but also reducing hunger for hours afterward.
The calories-in, calories-out factor isn’t the only equation to consider in weight loss. In the study, the subjects who took Vysera also had lower levels of the hunger hormone gherlin. Since gherlin is often associated with fat storage around the waist, hip and thighs, those who took the medication also lost inches off those key trouble zones-including more than an inch off the circumference of the waist, a half-inch off the hips and nearly a half-inch off the thighs!
Dieters often complain of feeling an energy lull that comes with shrinking portion sizes. Natural energy boosters (like the caffeine in coffee) can help, when taken in the appropriate amount. The chemical compounds found in substances like caffeine can also help to boost resting metabolism, which further helps in the battle against body fat. Vysera, for one, was engineered to contain the ideal amount of these energy builders, to help dieters feel less lethargic and more invigorated without the subsequent crash that can often follow.
Of course, no weight loss aid can work if the rest of your diet is out of whack. For best results, you need to stay within a healthy range of calories (no more than about 2,200 calories a day). Dieters with the best results while taking Vysera consumed a light breakfast (such as coffee and a yogurt with fruit), a lunch rich in complex carbohydrates (think: pasta with marinara sauce and a little olive oil), and a protein-focused dinner (grilled chicken and vegetables), as well as healthy snacks like fruit or mixed nuts. Regular exercise is also important to help increase energy and burn calories. After following this program for four weeks, you should see a noticeable difference in your body-especially where you want to slim down most.
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- Exercises to Help Belly Fat
- Safety Considerations
As people get older, it’s common to see an increase of belly fat collect along the waistline. This is usually because muscle mass decreases with age as fat increases. Belly fat can make you feel self-conscious or can cause difficulty fitting into your favorite pair of pants.
However, there are also some health risks associated with excess belly fat, including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Breathing problems
- Heart disease
Because of these risks, it’s a good idea to try to control your belly fat. There are three types of belly fat: subcutaneous, intramuscular, and visceral. Visceral fat is the type that sits between your organs and is known as belly fat. Even if you have a normal weight and body mass index (BMI), too much visceral belly fat can still lead to a variety of health problems.
Exercises to Help Belly Fat
There are many exercises out there, but not all are created equal when it comes to banishing belly fat. However, scientists and doctors alike agree that incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is a great way to burn off unwanted belly fat. Here are some exercises for belly fat that you can try to help you slim down your waistline.
Aerobic or Cardio Exercise
Your first step in burning off visceral fat is including at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise or cardio into your daily routine. Studies show that aerobic exercises for belly fat help to reduce belly fat and liver fat.
Some great cardio of aerobic exercises for belly fat include:
- Walking, especially at a quick pace
- Group fitness classes
When choosing a cardio activity, make sure it’s something that you enjoy doing. This way, you’re more motivated and will look forward to your exercise routine.
HIIT or Interval Training
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and interval training are exercise routines that incorporate short bursts of intense exercise mixed in with lower intensity moves and rest periods. Research shows that HIIT exercises for belly fat help control weight and improve your overall physical condition.
These routines aren’t very time-consuming but still get your heart pumping and work your entire body. Each routine has a selection of activities that include the following movements:
- Loaded carries
Typically, a HIIT routine pairs 30 seconds of intense activity with 30 seconds of rest right after before moving on to the next activity. The sequence can be repeated a few times to get the maximum benefit.
Some HIIT exercises that people of all fitness levels and ages can try are:
- Jumping jacks
- Jump squats
- High knees
To get started, choose a handful of HIIT exercises for belly fat. Perform one activity for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Do the next activity, and then rest. When you finish all the activities, you can repeat the cycle a few more times.
Because belly fat sticks to the waistline and stomach region, doing some abdominal exercises can help to combat it. They can help to tone and flatten the stomach while providing you with a good source of exercise.
These exercises are great for men and women of any age. Some abdominal exercises for belly fat that you can try at home include:
- 60-second planks
- Bicycle crunches
- Abdominal crunches
- Leg lifts
Weight and Resistance Training
Weight training is also an important component of burning off belly fat. Since muscles burn off more calories than fat does when the body is at rest, having more muscle tone can help you to burn off more fat. Researchers have also found that resistance training, which includes weight training, can increase lean weight while decreasing fat, and it can boost metabolism at the same time.
Some weight training exercises for belly fat to include in your routine are:
- Bicep curls
- Tricep kick-backs
With these exercises, you can do 12 repetitions with lighter weights, between five and eight pounds. Another option is to use heavier weights with fewer repetitions and rest time between sets.
While it’s important to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, you don’t want to overtrain and push yourself too hard. Sometimes when you overtrain, your body can produce too much cortisol. This is a stress hormone that is associated with belly fat, so overtraining may actually make it more difficult to burn off belly fat. Just keep in mind the recommendations for moderate regular exercise, and talk with your doctor if you have questions about how else your exercise routine can benefit your waistline.
Current sports medicine reports: “Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.”
For Care, Education, and Research: “The 12 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat for Men and Women.”
Journal of hepatology: “Effect of aerobic exercise training dose on liver fat and visceral adiposity.”
Mayo Clinic: “Belly fat in women: Taking — and keeping — it off.”
Rush University: “Losing Belly Fat.”
Texas Health: “Fit After 40: How to Fight Stubborn Belly Fat.”
Q: What’s the best way to lose belly fat: diet or exercise?
A: You really need both, and here’s why: Losing fat (all kinds of fat, not just the belly fat that covers your lower abs) requires an energy deficit. At the end of the day, you need your body to realize that it didn’t take in enough caloric currency to pay for your daily efforts, forcing it to tap into its energy savings account (stored fat). The greater this deficit, the more weight you will lose.
Diet and exercise can both help you create an energy deficit and lose weight, but I’m assuming you don’t just want what works, you want what works best. What gives you the biggest return for the time you invest
Why Just Dieting Doesn’t Work in the Long Run
There are numerous hormones that impact weight loss, but for the sake of brevity we’re going to focus on two: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone released by your fat cells that signals you to eat less and burn more calories. Scientists have called leptin a “fat loss thermostat.” The more active leptin in your system, the more fat you are going to burn. Drastically cutting calories decreases leptin release and its ability to signal the brain, making weight loss harder and eventually slower. This forces you to keep eating fewer and fewer calories to get the same weight-loss results.
If cutting calories is your only weight-loss strategy, you’ll need to keep your calories low for a very long time to ensure that you don’t gain the weight back. Many people justify this, telling themselves “it’s worth it and I’ll just adjust to eating less.” Unfortunately, research shows that you don’t adjust to eating less and that even after a year of calorie restriction, one of your hunger hormones, grehlin, is as high as ever, making you as hungry as the first day you set out on your lean body journey.
If cutting calories yields such unfavorable changes in fat loss hormones, why don’t we just forget cutting calories and hit the gym to burn belly fat?
Why Just Exercising Doesn’t Work in the Long Run
The health benefits of regular exercise are too many to count. But as anyone who has lost a lot of weight can attest, burning off your extra flab at the gym is a long and arduous process. And if you aren’t using a modestly calorie-restricted diet to support your efforts, it’s even longer. This is primarily because eating extra calories takes no time at all (I’ll just have one more heaping tablespoon of peanut butter), while burning off those calories can take more than an hour, depending on your preferred mode of exercise. There just isn’t enough time in the day! What’s more, numerous studies show that exercise (especially aerobic exercise) alone does not cause significant and long-term weight loss.
The combination of diet and exercise works best for weight loss. Why? Because optimal weight loss isn’t just about creating an energy deficit. Optimal weight loss is about creating an energy deficit and optimizing weight-loss hormones that will allow for sustained and permanent weight loss.
An optimal weight-loss approach calls for you to reduce your calories enough that you begin to lose weight but not so aggressively that you disrupt your fat-loss hormonal balance. Then, add in exercise to support your diet-induced calorie deficit. This creates a even larger deficit while manipulating hormones that allow for faster fat burning. This is the best way to lose belly fat.
Dr. Mike Roussell, PhD, is a nutritional consultant known for his ability to transform complex nutritional concepts into practical habits and strategies for his clientele, which includes professional athletes, executives, food companies, and top fitness facilities. Dr. Mike is the author of Dr. Mike’s 7 Step Weight Loss Plan and the upcoming 6 Pillars of Nutrition.
Connect with Dr. Mike to get more simple diet and nutrition tips by following @mikeroussell on Twitter or becoming a fan of his Facebook page .
Just a few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle can help you burn fat to lose weight.
So you want to slim down and you want to do it, stat. While fast weight loss isn’t really the best strategy (it’s not always safe or sustainable) and focusing on how you feel (vs. the number of the scale) is typically more effective for reaching your goal, sometimes you have a fast-approaching deadline, such as your BFF’s wedding, that’s fueling your determination to get after it. Hey, you’re not alone—plenty of people would like to know how to lose belly fat in two weeks. Spoiler alert: I was one of those people.
I struggled with an extra 25 pounds during my childhood, and I figured it was my genetic destiny to have a fixed amount of belly fat—that was, however, until I set out to learn more. Over the 20+ years in health journalism, I’ve been on a mission to learn everything there is to know about, yup, belly fat. But nothing I learned intrigued me quite as much as the recent research showing how we can override our fat genes to lose weight. Using what I’ve learned over the years and from these findings, I began to formulate my own advice on how to shed belly fat in 2 weeks.
The result? Zero Belly Diet, a plan dedicated to delivering readers with the best ways to lose stomach fat in 2 weeks. I created the Zero Belly Diet around the science of nutritional genetics, the study of how our genes are turned on and off by the foods we eat. Simply making a handful of tweaks to your diet and lifestyle can help improve your gut health, dampen inflammation, and turn off your fat genes. If you ask me, it’s this is the ideal plan for people who want to know how to lose belly fat in 2 weeks.
Before scrolling straight to my tips on how to lose belly fat in 2 weeks, a quick reminder: It’s pretty hard to spot reduce—some might say impossible—so no singular food or abs workout will help you magically “melt away” belly fat and belly fat only. What you can do, however, is lose belly fat while simultaneously reducing fat in other parts of your body as well. How? Below are some of my tips for how to lose belly (and other) fat.
Take a Brisk Walk Before Breakfast
Before sharing the Zero Belly Diet with the world, I used a 500-person test panel to field-test my plan. Panelist Martha Chesler incorporated morning walks as part of her Zero Belly program and saw results right away. “I saw changes immediately,” she reports. In less than six weeks on the program, Martha dropped reached her weight loss goals (and then some) by combining the Zero Belly Foods with a pre-breakfast walk.
Though women all over the world have been struggling to lose belly fat for decades, it is still one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to getting in shape. And even if you have already gotten yourself together and found the perfect training program, suddenly chocolate starts looking irresistible or your best friend brings you a cupcake for no reason.
Bright Side knows how challenging it might be to find time for yourself in this fast-paced world, so we came up with some exercises that do not require any special equipment or years of practice. And it takes only about 5 minutes to complete each of them!
How to perform:
- Start by lying on a mat. Keep your legs together, then extend them forward in front of you.
- Tighten the abs, lift your feet off the ground, and begin moving your legs up and down.
- Repeat 15 times, pause, repeat 15 times again.
Flutter kicks will help you to:
- burn calories
- get a great cardio workout
- improve your endurance
- shed belly fat
- strengthen your core
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to perform:
- Start by lying flat on your back and putting your leg up at a 90 degree angle.
- Place your hands flat on the ground.
- Pull your legs and hips up toward the ceiling while bringing your knees toward your chest.
- Repeat 15 times, pause, do 15 more.
Reverse crunches will help you to:
- activate the major abdominal muscles
- improve your posture
- tone your lower ab muscles
Time needed: 5 minutes
Lunges with front kicks
How to perform:
- Begin with your feet together.
- Step back with one foot to complete a lunge.
- Step back to the starting position, swing your leg through, and complete a kick.
- Return to starting position.
- Repeat 15 times, pause, go for 15 more.
Lunges with front kicks will help you to:
- get a great cardio boost
- improve your core stability
- increase your flexibility
- tone your glute muscles
Time needed: 5-7 minutes
How to perform:
- Start in high plank position.
- Place your hands under your shoulders and extend your legs behind you.
- Tuck your tailbone in as you engage your core muscles.
- Your body should be in a straight line.
- Bend one knee and draw it to your chest, then straighten it behind you, and switch sides.
- Repeat 15 times, pause, repeat again.
Mountain climbers will help you to:
- get a full-body workout
- improve your mobility
- get a calorie burn
- engage your upper arms muscles
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to perform:
- Start by lying on the mat and keep your hands either by your sides or behind the head
- Lift both legs off the ground and bend them at the knees
- Bring your right knee close to your chest, keeping your left leg away
- Then take your right leg away and bring your left leg close to your chest
- Keep doing it as if you are paddling a bicycle
- Repeat 15 times on each side, pause, then repeat again
Bicycles will help you to:
- firm the hip muscles
- activate the upper abdominal muscles
- tone your thighs
A good strategy to lose belly fat fast is to run for 25 minutes every day and follow a diet that’s low in calories, fats, and sugars so that the body can burn fat more easily.
It is also recommended to do abdominal exercises, because they help strengthen the abdomen, improving its appearance.
Although one week is a very short period of time to get rid of all the accumulated fat, it is possible to see some weight loss and reduce abdominal bloating. See what’s your ideal weight by inserting your data below:
Exercises to lose belly fat in 1 week
Running is the best way to lose belly fat fast because it burns a great number of calories in a short period of time – in just 25 minutes of running, you can burn up to 300 calories. If you’re just starting out doing physical activity, then remember to slowly, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
You can also add some abdominal exercises to complete your daily workout to lose belly fat in one week, which in addition to strengthening your core, decreases the amount of fat accumulated in the area, helping you to lose belly fat.
Best 5 exercises to lose belly fat
The best exercises for localized fat are those that burn the most calories in just one hour of activity, such as the following aerobic exercises:
Running is an aerobic activity that is very efficient for weight loss and belly fat burning, because as well as activating several muscles, promoting muscle resistance and improving your physical condition and cardiorespiratory endurance, it accelerates metabolism, stimulating fat burning.
One strategy to accelerate the weight loss process and belly fat burning is to do some interval training, which should be done in high intensity. This consists of alternating between times of effort and rest, which can be active or passive, as this increases metabolism even further. It’s important that this type of training be supervised by a physical education professional to avoid lesions and to make sure that the activity is being carried out in high intensity.
2. Aerobic class
Aerobic classes like jump, body combat, and Zumba, for instance, are also good options for losing belly fat as they are usually done in high intensity. In addition, aerobic classes are normally done in groups, which is good because the participants encourage each other in doing the activity correctly.
3. Jumping rope
Jumping rope is a complete exercise as it stimulates the muscles and improves the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, accelerating metabolism, and encouraging calorie and fat burning.
Jumping rope is also considered a very complete exercise, since it has lots of different health benefits.
Cycling is another great way of stimulating weight loss and belly fat burning, since it promotes muscle mass buildup and increases strength and muscle resistance, and the bigger the number of muscles, the bigger the capacity of the body to burn fat.
5. Speed walking
When a walk is done quickly and constantly, it’s possible to accelerate metabolism and promote weight loss and fat burning. For this to be possible, however, you need to do a regular walk that lasts at least 30 minutes, and in high intensity. It’s also important that you do the right diet alongside this physical activity.
Swimming is also an excellent exercise that can be practiced for weight loss, as it improves physical condition and strengthens the muscles, which helps with burning fat faster.
Diet for losing belly fat in 1 week
The trick of this diet is to provide the maximum nutrients with minimal calories, fats and sugars. The following is recommended for this diet:
- Eating six meals a day, one every 3 hours;
- Drinking at least two liters of water or green tea a day;
- Eating a different salad every day and a piece of meat, fish or chicken that fits in the palm of your hand;
- Eating two pieces of fruit a day, every day, preferably low-sugar fruit such as berries, kiwi or orange;
- Eating two yogurts with live lactobacilli a day, such as Yakult, as this will encourage your body’s bowel movements, and thus reduce abdominal bloating
- Eating less salt, by using more herbs and seasoning salads with lemon, for example;
- Drinking one cup of boldo tea half an hour before lunch and dinner because boldo fights flatulence, and so decreases bloating.
Weight loss programs that have lasting effects are those that include regular physical activity and dietary changes, however, it is possible to see visible results in just one week if you follow the above guidelines. You can also do aesthetic treatments such as ultrasonic cavitation, radio frequency, and lymphatic drainage massage to eliminate excess fluid, and fat and promote skin firmness as these treatments can complement this weight loss program.
Last Updated: June 28, 2020 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Laura Flinn. Laura Flinn is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, USA Olympic Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach and Certified Fitness Nutritionist, with an additional qualification as a TRX Suspension Trainer. Laura runs her own personal training program based in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in topics such as weight loss, muscle growth, cardiovascular training, and strength training.
There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 91 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.
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Contrary to popular belief, getting a flat stomach doesn’t depend solely on exercise – in fact, eating healthy and practicing good lifestyle habits might have an even bigger effect on your stomach! If your goal is to get tighter abs and a stronger core, try spending some time toning your stomach with a few key exercises, then supplement your workout with healthy eating to reduce some of the fat around your middle. Just keep in mind that the most important thing is to be healthy and happy with the way you look!
Certified Fitness Trainer
Michele Dolan, a licensed personal trainer, explains: “If you want to lose weight without exercise, consume fewer calories than you burn. For women, it is safe to consume as few as 1,200 calories a day, and for men, 1,600 calories a day.”
NASM Certified Personal Trainer Expert Interview. 18 November 2019. However, it’s not recommended that you go cold turkey — try to ease into a healthy diet by slowly, but consistently replacing the bad with the good. Here are some simple changes you can make:
- Eat lots of lean protein. Beans, nuts, and lean meat are good for you.
- Eat whole grains. Look for labels that say “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” and not just “wheat flour.” Whole grains keep you fuller longer, which can help with weight loss and getting a flat tummy.
- Eat low-fat dairy products. Good dairy options include milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Avoid products high in fat like ice cream and hard cheeses.
- Eat healthy fats. Not all fat is bad you know! The monounsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, olive oil, and fish oil are actually very good for you, as are the polyunsaturated fats found in seed oils. These can help you to lose weight. Just stay away from the trans fats found in processed foods and baked goods.  X Expert Source
NASM Certified Personal Trainer Expert Interview. 18 November 2019.
Maintaining a trim midsection does more than make you look great—it can help you live longer. Larger waistlines are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Losing weight, especially belly fat, also improves blood vessel functioning and also improves sleep quality.
It’s impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline; more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you can’t see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D. , director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
Here’s how to whittle down where it matters most.
Try curbing carbs instead of fats.
When Johns Hopkins researchers compared the effects on the heart of losing weight through a low-carbohydrate diet versus a low-fat diet for six months—each containing the same amount of calories—those on a low-carb diet lost an average of 10 pounds more than those on a low-fat diet—28.9 pounds versus 18.7 pounds. An extra benefit of the low-carb diet is that it produced a higher quality of weight loss, Stewart says. With weight loss, fat is reduced, but there is also often a loss of lean tissue (muscle), which is not desirable. On both diets, there was a loss of about 2 to 3 pounds of good lean tissue along with the fat, which means that the fat loss percentage was much higher on the low-carb diet.
Think eating plan, not diet.
Ultimately, you need to pick a healthy eating plan you can stick to, Stewart says. The benefit of a low-carb approach is that it simply involves learning better food choices—no calorie-counting is necessary. In general, a low-carb way of eating shifts your intake away from problem foods—those high in carbs and sugar and without much fiber, like bread, bagels and sodas—and toward high-fiber or high-protein choices, like vegetables, beans and healthy meats.
Physical activity helps burn abdominal fat. “One of the biggest benefits of exercise is that you get a lot of bang for your buck on body composition,” Stewart says. Exercise seems to work off belly fat in particular because it reduces circulating levels of insulin —which would otherwise signal the body to hang on to fat—and causes the liver to use up fatty acids, especially those nearby visceral fat deposits, he says.
The amount of exercise you need for weight loss depends on your goals. For most people, this can mean 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise nearly every day.
Adding even moderate strength training to aerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass, which causes you to burn more calories throughout the entire day, both at rest and during exercise.
Become a label reader.
Compare and contrast brands. Some yogurts, for example, boast that they’re low in fat, but they’re higher in carbs and added sugars than others, Stewart says. Foods like gravy, mayonnaise, sauces and salad dressings often contain high amounts of fat and lots of calories.
Move away from processed foods.
The ingredients in packaged goods and snack foods are often heavy on trans fats, added sugar and added salt or sodium—three things that make it difficult to lose weight.
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 may not change much, but your pants will be looser. That’s a better mark of progress. Measured around, your waistline should be less than 35 inches if you’re a woman or less than 40 inches if you’re a man to reduce heart and diabetes risks.
Hang out with health-focused friends.
Research shows that you’re more apt to eat better and exercise more if your friends and family are doing the same.
Losing Weight Leads to Heart Health
A diet that’s low in fat and carbohydrates can improve artery function, according to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins researchers. After six months, those on the low-carb diet had lost more weight, and at a faster pace. But in both groups, when weight was lost—and especially when belly fat shrank—the arteries were able to expand better, allowing blood to travel more freely. The study shows that you don’t have to cut out all dietary fat to shrink belly fat. For heart health, simply losing weight and exercising seems to be key.