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5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Lose Belly Fat

5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Lose Belly Fat
Just about everyone wants to lose their stubborn belly fat, but focusing on exercise to lose belly fat isn't nearly as effective as dieting. Science is proven that diet has much more to do with obesity than exercise, and so your belly weight loss efforts are best spent on improving your diet and eliminating foods that can lead to weight gain [1].

Losing belly fat is a matter of making long term changes in your diet, and there's no way to spot reduce belly fat. You have to lose weight overall, and the more weight that you lose and the lower that your body fat percentage is, the more that you'll see a reduction in your midsection. Below are 9 ways to lose belly fat for some inspiration, but all of these methods have to do with losing weight in general.

Method #1 - Avoid soda

Soda is one of the leading causes of belly fat because the high fructose corn syrup or sugar. HFCS has been linked specifically to obesity in animal studies, and epidemiological evidence suggests the same in humans. One can of regular soda usually has about 130 calories, and drinking just one can per day can add 1000 extra calories to your diet per week. Natural sugar is almost as bad as high fructose corn syrup and it really isn't a viable option if you're trying to lose weight. If you're trying to lose belly fat you're definitely going to have to give up the soda habit, but it's all for the better.

Diet soda isn't a good alternative either, as a study by the American Diabetes Association found that it is also linked to weight gain, and that adults who drank diet soda had a 70% greater increase in their waist circumference over a decade compared to adults who didn't [3].

That's not a minor difference, and the participants in the study who showed the most weight gain were the ones who drank more than two servings of diet soda per day. Diet soda can trigger you to eat more, as it spikes your insulin levels without providing you with nutrition, which in turn triggers your appetite.

Method #2 - Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential to lowering your weight, and there are several reasons why. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who got fewer than five hours of sleep per night were over 30 percent more likely to gain weight over a 16 year period of time than women who got sufficient sleep. Another study found that women who got 4 hours of sleep per night ate an extra 300 calories per day from fatty foods compared to women who got 8 hours of sleep.

It's pretty straightforward why: when you don't get enough sleep your body compensates the fatigue by eating more high energy foods. You won't necessarily lose weight just by sleeping, but you are much more likely to gain weight and have belly fat as a result of not getting enough sleep. If you are getting under 7.5 hours of sleep per night, and you have some weight to lose, one of the easiest ways to start losing weight again is to start getting enough sleep each night.

You can get back to a normal sleep schedule by avoiding consuming caffeine after 5 p.m., and if you're trying to lose belly fat you definitely don't want to eat a late night high calorie meal right before bed. Increasing your sleep won't automatically make you lose weight, but it can definitely reduce your appetite and improve your energy levels which can go a long way at helping you avoid overeating.

Method #3 - Avoid being sedentary

Although the primary cause of weight gain is a poor diet, having a sedentary lifestyle certainly doesn't help you stay thin, and it can be a major contributor to your weight. Take advantage of any opportunity to get up and get exercise.

Getting about 60 minutes of exercise at least four times per week is very helpful at keeping the belly fat off, and you don't have to overdo it. The key is to not sit around and do crunches but to do high intensity interval training exercises or similar full body workouts; you can't target belly fat just by doing crunches or abdominal exercises.

Method #4 - Cut grains from your diet

Cutting out grains is always a good idea, but it's especially important when you're trying to lose belly fat. Grains can lead to inflammation which in turn can make it easier to put on weight, and research has shown that grains, especially refined grains, can lead to weight gain.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that lowering your consumption of white grains can result in weight loss around the midsection [5]. Cutting grains out of your diet can result in significant weight loss in a short period of time, and switching to whole grains isn't going to cut it. If you're trying to lose belly fat you really need to lower your consumption of all grains for the fastest weight loss, and this one reason why grains are prohibited on the HCG diet.

Method #5 - Drink more water

Drinking more water can help to curb your appetite and it is one of the easiest ways to lose weight in general as well as belly fat. Studies have found that drinking water can result in an average calorie reduction of 75 calories per meal [6]. Drinking just a glass over water per meal can result in a calorie reduction of around 27,000 calories per year, so the effect is not insignificant.

The chances are that you aren't drinking enough water, so be sure to increase your intake of water if you are struggling with weight gain, and as previously mentioned you'll want to completely avoid any beverages that have sugar in them as well. If you find that you are dehydrated throughout the day you may need to increase your water intake even more.

The HCG diet is also one of the fastest ways to safely lose weight, and it can lead to a significant reduction in belly fat. Just three weeks on the diet is enough to lose 10 to 15 pounds and six weeks on the diet can lead to much more weight loss. For more information about the weight loss benefits of the HCG diet, click here to speak to a medical provider at Nu Image Medical today

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read