Whether you're getting ready for summer and swimsuit season or simply looking to fit into that jacket you've been eyeing up for a while, there are plenty of reasons to want to get rid of weight. From too much junk in the trunk to chubby cheeks (and everything in between), there are many different kinds of fat, but fat around your abdomen is one of the peskiest types to lose.
Head to pretty much any website, and you'll probably notice quite a few ads telling you how to get rid of belly fat. Don't worry, though: this isn't that. As you might know, we've talked about belly fat before (specifically, the mistakes you make trying to get rid of it). Now, with an assist from science, here are a few dieting tricks to help you get rid of the gut, once and for all.
1. Avoid sugar
I know that with cakes, ice cream and donuts everywhere you look, this is easier said than done, but added sugar is one of the biggest factors in your accumulation of belly fat. Studies have shown that added sugar can have an adverse effect on your metabolic health, and that's due to the amount of fructose present in sugar. When you have too much sugar, your liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat, rather than any useful energy. For sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, this effect is even worse. A study published on Science Direct says that sugary drinks could be responsible for increasing the risk of obesity in children by as much as 60 percent and cutting out sweet drinks is key to getting rid of your belly fat.
2. Eat more protein
For any kind of weight loss, protein is vital for shedding some serious pounds, but it applies especially when you're looking to lose belly fat. Not only is it great for losing the weight, protein is also awesome for helping you to keep the weight off once you hit your #bodygoals. Studies have shown that protein helps to reduce cravings by as much as 60 percent, boost your metabolism by up to 100 calories a day, and with enough protein in your diet, you'll eat as many as 441 fewer calories a day. Not too shabby.
3. Lay down some ground rules with carbs
Now, I'm not suggesting you cut out carbs completely from your diet; it's a complicated relationship, sure, but definitely one worth sticking with. As with any relationship, however, communication with carbs is key, and in order to effectively lose belly fat, you're going to have to seriously limit the number of times you see carbs a week. Here's the thing: over 20 randomized controlled trials say that a low-carb diet is way more effective than a low-fat diet at helping you lose weight, seeing two to three times the weight loss. The effect still stands when those low-carb diets are allowed to eat however much they want! Luckily, sticking to a low-carb diet is usually as simple as cutting out refined carbs (like sugar, potatoes or white bread), especially if you're getting enough protein.
4. Get plenty of (the right kind of) fiber
Abundant in plant foods like berries and beans, fiber is generally the indigestible plant matter that's usually known for helping you poop good. It's often claimed that fiber is good for losing weight, but that's only true of certain types of fiber. To banish your belly, you're looking for viscous or soluble types of fiber, the kind you'll find in cereals or whole oats. These fibers bind with water to form a gloopy "gel" that sits in your gut, slowing the movement of food through your digestive system. This reduces your appetite and helps you to feel full more easily.
5. Keep track
In the endless pursuit of bodily perfection, one thing that's very important is the idea of staying on top of your meals. Meal planning and calorie counting are all well and good, but if you're not aware of what you're actually putting in your body, then all of that hard work is kind of lost. How "low-calorie" is that lunch you're making for yourself? What constitutes "high-protein"? People tend to underestimate or even overestimate is how much carbs, fat or protein is in whatever they're eating. Having a good idea of that is vital to shedding belly fat. You don't have to do it for every meal, every day (that would be exhausting), but keeping an eye on what's going in your body on a regular basis will help you to make the necessary changes, and realize how far you have to go in your weight loss quest.
Of course, getting those perfect abs is far from the be-all and end-all when it comes to weight loss, but if you're looking to get rid of belly fat, then these dieting tips should put you well on the way. Of course, all of this advice is best when supplemented by some exercises, but stay strong and positive, and you'll lose that belly in no time!