Do you have excess belly fat? Are you in search of what to eat to lose belly fat? Belly fat is a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that increases the risk of health issues, especially in overweight and obese individuals. It can also occur in slim individuals.
Belly fat is usually a thing of concern, especially amongst female folks because they seem to have more interest in their looks and physique than males.
Maintaining a good stature or physique does more for you than just looking good. It can increase your lifespan and quality of life.
Excess belly fat is usually associated with common chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Losing belly fat reduces the risk of developing this chronic disease. It also improves sleep, sexual function and overall well-being.
You can look slim and still have excess belly fat with an increased risk of health issues. Thus the information herein is also beneficial to health-conscious slim individuals.
Belly fat loss may not be easily achieved alone, however, losing general body weight will also lead to loss of belly fat. Belly fat loss usually requires a combination of increased physical activity, reduced calorie intake and lifestyle modification.
How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally
The following are tips on how to lose belly fat naturally.
High protein diet
Protein is a necessary food nutrient, especially for those who want to stay healthy. A high-protein diet aids the loss of belly fat because it leads to the release of a satiety hormone. This hormone makes you feel full and may reduce your overall daily food intake.
A high-protein diet also increases your metabolic rate, which is, the rate at which the food is broken down in the body.
The following are some examples of high-protein foods; Beans, Fish, Meat and Dairy products such as eggs.
Low carbohydrate diet
Most people get about half of their calories from carbohydrates, which makes carbohydrates an important source of energy. There are different types of carbohydrates which include unprocessed or minimally processed whole carbohydrates and refined carbohydrates.
It is recommended that we get our calories from high-fibre or whole carbohydrates such as Vegetables, Barlèy, Legumes, Potatoes and Oats.
Refined carbohydrates such as sugary drinks, pasta, pastries and so on should be avoided or consumed in very little quantity because high consumption can aid the development of excess belly fat.
In other words, to lose belly fat naturally, it is better to consume unprocessed or minimally processed high-fibre carbohydrates while consumption of highly refined carbohydrates should be restricted.
Dietary fibres otherwise known as soluble fibres or roughages are mostly plant-based foods, that are not
easily broken down by enzymes in our digestive system.
Consuming foods that burn belly fat such as soluble fibre can help you lose belly fat and prevent belly fat gain. The following are soluble fibre avocados, Legumes, Blackberries, oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, psyllium and so on.
Reduced Stress Level
High levels of stress have been shown to trigger the production of a stress hormone called cortisol by
the adrenal gland. This hormone is known to increase appetite and favour belly fat storage.
To effectively lose belly fat, you need to keep your stress level at the bearest minimum. Meditation, Yoga and other pleasurable activities can help reduce stress.
Adequate Rest and Sleep
Sleep helps the human brain and body to function optimally. It has been shown that poor night sleep is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and accumulation of excess belly fat.
Poor sleep may increase an individual stress level and may also lead to the consumption of more calories and snacking during the awake period.
Adequate sleep is good for the health and general well-being of any individual and may help lose excess belly fat naturally.
Explore: How to practice good sleep hygiene, Health Benefits of Good Sleep
It has been proved that regular cardio or aerobic exercises are effective ways to burn calories, lose belly fat and
maintaining good health.
The World Health Organisation recommends at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week for the maintenance of good health and physique in adults.
The following are some examples of cardio exercises; power Walking, Jogging, Jump rope, Dancing, Swimming, Boxing, Cycling, Hiking and Stair climbing
Increase intake of Fatty Fish
It has been shown that foods rich in Omega 3 fats have some protective functions and also may aid the loss of belly fat.
The following fishes are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids: Sardines, Mackerel, and Salmon.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to reduce excess belly fat. Taking about 1-2 spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar per day is good and safe but it has to be diluted with water
before consumption because concentrated apple cider vinegar can damage your tooth enamel.
Individuals who are prone to allergies should consult their GP before using apple cider vinegar. Those already using the product should discontinue and see their doctor if any unexpected reaction is noticed.
Intermittent fasting entails not eating for a specific period of time each day or week. It is an effective way to lose belly fat naturally.
It has certain side effects such as headache, and hunger which are transient. Intermittent fasting is not an ideal way to lose belly fat for every individual and consultation with your family doctor is advised before practising intermittent fasting.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are loaded with bad fat, extra sugar, salt and sodium. These foods are not healthy and their consumption should be limited, this will prevent the accumulation of abdominal fat.
Avoid Excess Alcohol Consumption
The term ‘pot belly’ is usually used to describe adult males who have big bellies as a result of excess alcohol consumption. Excess alcohol intake can predispose to more belly fat.
Cutting down alcohol consumption to the recommended level or abstaining completely can prevent the accumulation of unhealthy belly fat.
A big belly is not a sign of health or affluence but strongly predisposes one to certain diseases and ill health. Every individual whether slim or plumpy needs to take active measures to lose belly fat and prevent the accumulation of unhealthy belly fat.
Note: This article on ways to lose belly fat is for information/educational purposes, it does not in any way replace appropriate medical advice or therapy.