There is so much more to belly fat than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel a bit too snug. Fat inside of your belly is referred to as visceral fat and can be extremely harmful to your health. This type of fat is a major risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and several more health conditions.
Natural Ways to Lose Belly Fat Quickly
Many of the health organizations use BMI to predict an individual’s risk for developing certain conditions- but this can be misleading. Even people who appear to be thin can have excess belly fat. Though it can be a bit difficult to do, there are some natural ways to lose belly fat quickly that won’t harm your overall health in the process.
Get Adequate Sleep
Getting adequate rest/sleep isn’t just great advice when you want to lose unwanted belly fat- it’s also great advice in general and research has proven that it can also help you lose weight in other areas of your body. Sure, it’s easy to find excuses why you don’t have time to get 8 hours of sleep every night, or how you can function just fine on less- but the truth is, you really do need it.
After all, not getting adequate rest will leave you exhausted and can diminish your physical performance. You may not realize this, but your metabolism, production of hormones, and functionality of your nervous system are all affected when you don’t get enough quality sleep. When your nervous system is not functioning properly, you end up getting more stressed, eating things that you shouldn’t, and not making time to work out.
Keep in mind that a complete adult sleep cycle ranges from 90 to 110 minutes and you really want to get at least 7 ½ hours but no more than 9 hours of sleep every night. This allows you about 5 full sleep cycles. This will ensure that your body and brain are able to perform at their best and you can burn that belly fat more efficiently.
Make Room for Exercise in Your Day
The truth is, we don’t all have time to spend 2 hours at the gym every single day. However, it is possible to get in enough daily physical activity to combat belly fat. Try to get at least 3 five-minute sessions of vigorous exercise each day, 5 days a week. Here are a few great examples of exercises that will get your heart rate up:
- Run in place
- Jog around office/parking lot
- Jump rope/jumping jacks
- Chair squats
- Dance to favorite song
If certain conditions keep you from being able to perform cardio, try to get in at least 30 minutes of light exercise 5 days/week. Some examples of low-intensity workouts to shed belly fat include:
- Fast walking
- NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
Again, if you have medical conditions that could be complicated with vigorous exercises, you’ll want to talk it over with your physician before you start any program. In addition, you should be aware that spot exercises, such as sit-ups, don’t decrease belly fat and actually accentuate it because it increases the lean muscle underneath.
Increase Your Metabolism
The higher your metabolism, the more calories you’ll end up burning in your daily activities, regardless of what those are.
Eat the Proper Foods
Depending on who you talk to, the list of foods that will shrink your waistline is long and varied. However, most of those items are questionable. Following are a few of the foods that are truly effective for melting away belly fat and should be included in your healthy, balanced diet.
- Chia Seeds: this is one of the healthiest foods you can eat to help your body melt away those unwanted pounds. Since they don’t really have a flavor of their own, you can add them to just about anything.
- Dark Leafy Greens: greens such as collard greens, spinach, and kale will do wonders for turning your body into a fat-burning machine.
- Lean Meats: meats such as buffalo, chicken, fish, turkey breast, and wild game help you build muscle mass and force your body to work harder to break down during the digestion process. Plus, lean protein is less likely to be stored as fat and more likely to be immediately turned into energy.
- Cayenne Pepper: cayenne contains capsaicin, which is what brings the heat and also causes blood flow to your stomach to increase, which increases absorption of nutrients and improves digestion.
Drink the Proper Beverages
The list of weight loss drinks is just as long and varied- and some of them are definitely not tasty! Here is a few of the ones that are actually effective, and don’t taste all that bad:
- Matcha Green Tea
- Ginger Tea
- Fruit Juices
Always Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
You know that simple carbs such as corn syrup and white sugar are one of the most common causes of weight gain, especially around your waistline. However, what most people don’t realize is that many of the sugar substitutes are actually stored in and preserve fat cells within your body.
Add Some Healthy Fats to Your Diet
In order to effectively synthesize the hormones that metabolize your fat stores, you need to provide some essential fatty acids. Try some of the following to facilitate burning of belly fat.
- Coconut Oil
- Cold-water Fish
- Nuts & Seeds
When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone known as cortisol, which causes you to store and retain fat in the abdominal region. If you’ve tried everything, but still can’t lose that extra weight, learn to relax. It could be that stress is to blame. Instead of obsessing/worrying about your weight, take some time to do something you love. Figure out what brings you pleasure and find some way to include that as part of your daily routine.