Losing belly fat or abdominal fat is a common weight loss goal especially for men. Abdominal fat in particular is a harmful type of fat. Research suggests strong connections with diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Because of this, losing belly fat can have major benefits for your health and well-being.
You can measure your abdominal fat by measuring the circumference around your waist with a tape measure. Measures of above 40 inches or centimeters in men and 35 inches or 88 centimeters in women are known as abdominal obesity.
The problem with belly fat is that it is not limited to the extra layer of fat located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat (Intra-abdominal fat) which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs. Whatever your overall weight is, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and premature death from any cause.
Weight loss for men is the same as weight loss for women, especially in losing belly fat. You must consume fewer calories than your body requires to maintain its current weight. To make it simple, there are only two things you have to consider. First, you must consider how many calories you consume. Second, you must consider how many calories you burn.
Some specific weight-loss strategies can target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body. Whether you’re trying to lose belly fat to be healthier, improve your aesthetic, or for some other reason, we can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Here are the 10 easy, effective, and evidence-based ways to lose belly fat for men.
1. Avoid Sugar and Sugar-sweetened Beverages
Foods that have added sugars are bad for your health. Eating a lot of these kinds of food can cause weight gain and obesity. Studies show that added sugar has particularly harmful effects on metabolic health. A lot of studies have indicated that excess sugar, mostly because of the large amounts of fructose, can lead to fat building up around your abdomen and liver. Sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. When you eat a large amount of added sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat. Many believe that this is the main process behind sugar’s harmful and dangerous effects on health. It increases abdominal fat and liver fat, which results in insulin resistance and several metabolic problems. Liquid sugar is worse in this regard. The brain does not seem to register liquid calories in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you end up eating more total calories.
Do your best in minimizing the amount of sugar in your diet and consider completely removing sugary drinks. This includes sugar-sweetened drinks, fruit juices, sugary sodas, and different kinds of high sugar sports drinks. Make sure to read the labels of the products and check if it does not contain refined sugars. Even foods marketed as healthy foods can contain a large amount of sugar. Remember that none of this applies to whole fruit, which is super healthy and has a lot of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose. Too much sugar consumption may be the primary driver of excess fat in the abdomen and liver. This is definitely true of sugary beverages like soft drinks.
2. Eat More Protein
Protein may be the most important macronutrient for losing weight. Research shows that it can cut cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80 to100 calories per day, and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day. If losing weight is your goal, adding protein to your diet may be the single most effective change. Protein helps you to lose weight and helps you to avoid regaining weight.
Protein may be particularly effective in reducing abdominal or belly fat. One study said that people who ate more and better protein have lesser abdominal fat. Another study indicated that protein was linked to a significantly reduced chance of abdominal fat gain over five years. This study also linked refined oils and carbohydrates to more abdominal/belly fat and linked fruit and vegetables to reduced fat. A lot of the studies observing that protein helps with weight loss had people getting 25 to 30% of their calories from protein. Therefore, this may be a good range to try incorporating more protein in your diet.
Do your best in increasing your intake of high protein foods such as whole eggs, legumes, fish, nuts, meat, and dairy products. These are the best sources of protein for your diet. If you are struggling with getting enough protein in your diet, a good quality protein supplement like whey protein is a healthy and easy way to boost your total intake.
Eating a lot of good quality protein can boost your metabolism and reduce hunger levels, making it a very effective way to lose weight. Several studies indicated that protein is particularly effective against abdominal or belly fat.
3. Eat Fewer Carbohydrates
Eating fewer carbohydrates is a very effective way to lose fat. This is supported by several studies. When people cut carbohydrates, their appetite declines, and they lose weight. Studies have shown that low carb diets sometimes lead to 2 to 3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets. This is true even when those in the low carbohydrate diet groups are allowed to eat as much as they want to eat, while those in the low-fat diet groups are calorie restricted. Low carb diets also result in quick reductions in water weight, which gives people fast results. People often see a difference on the scale within 1 to 2 days.
Several studies comparing low carb and low-fat diets show that low carb eating specifically reduces fat in the abdomen (belly fat) and around the organs and liver. This means that a portion of the fat lost on a low carb diet is harmful abdominal fat. Avoiding refined carbs like sugar, candy, and white bread should be enough, especially if you keep your protein intake high.
If the goal is to lose weight fast, some people lower their carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day. This leads your body into ketosis, a state in which your body starts burning fats as its main fuel, and appetite is much reduced. Low carbohydrate diets have many other health benefits besides just weight loss. For example, they can particularly improve health in people with type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that cutting carbohydrates is particularly effective at getting rid of the fat in the belly area, around the internal organs, and in the liver.
4. Eat Fiber-rich Foods
Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter. Eating a lot of fiber can help you lose weight. But take note that the type of fiber is important. It appears that mostly the soluble and viscous fibers have an effect on your weight. These kinds of fibers bind water and form a thick gel that sits in your gut. This gel can dramatically slow down the movement of food through your digestive system. It can also slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. This leads to a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite. One review study found that an extra 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of around 4.5 pounds or 2 kg over 4 months.
A 5-year study reported that eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. This implies that soluble fiber may be especially effective at reducing harmful belly fat. The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant-based foods, including vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source of fiber, as well as some cereals, such as whole oats. You can also try including a fiber supplement like glucomannan in your diet. This is one of the most viscous dietary fibers, and studies pointed out that it can help with weight loss. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before introducing this or any other supplement to your dietary regimen.
There is some evidence that soluble dietary fiber can lead to reduced amounts of belly or abdominal fat. This should result in major improvements in metabolic health and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is among the best things you can do to improve your chances of living a long healthy life and avoiding disease. Helping to reduce abdominal or belly fat is among the amazing health benefits of exercise. This does not mean doing abdominal exercises, as spot reduction. Losing fat in one spot is not possible. In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no significant effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
Weight training and cardiovascular exercise will reduce fat all over the body. Aerobic exercise like walking, running, and swimming can allow significant reductions in abdominal or belly fat. Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from regaining their abdominal fat after weight loss, this means that exercise is particularly vital during weight maintenance.
Exercise also resulted in reduced inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and improvements in other metabolic problems that come with excess abdominal or belly fat. Exercise can be extremely effective in reducing abdominal fat and providing many other health benefits.
6. Track Your Food Intake
The majority of people know that what you eat is important, but many do not know specifically what they are eating. A person might think they are eating a high protein or low carbohydrate diet, but without keeping track, it is easy to overestimate or underestimate food intake. Tracking your food intake does not mean you need to weigh and measure everything you eat.
Tracking food intake every now and then for a few days in a row can help you understand the most important areas for change. Planning ahead of time can help you meet specific weight loss goals, such as boosting your protein intake to 25 to 30% of calories or cutting down on unhealthy carbohydrates food.
7. Drink More Water
There is nothing wrong with drinking a reasonable amount of whole milk or homemade fruit juice. But most of your liquid consumption should come from calorie-free beverages. Green tea and black coffee are high in polyphenols, antioxidants, and other micronutrients that are beneficial for your health. If you’re not sensitive to caffeine, green tea and black are good choices.
But drinking water is the best thing you can do to help you lose weight. Many times, we mistake our thirst for hunger. Because of that we instinctively eat high-sodium foods to help our body retain what little water it has left. But our body does not actually need the calories for fuel, so we gain weight. Water can effectively boost your metabolism, does not confuse your hunger signals, and has no calories.
8. Add Vinegar to Your Diet
If you are trying to lose weight, vinegar is a very good addition to your diet. Whether apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, vinegar is one of the most versatile condiments when it comes to health benefits. One study found that a mere one to two tablespoons of vinegar every day reduced body weight, belly fat, and waist circumference over a three-month period.
According to one study, adding vinegar to your daily diet will cut your caloric intake by 275 calories. Considering there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, you can lose over half a pound of fat per week with this one simple and easy change. To increase your metabolism and satiety, try adding white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to refreshing, hydrating salads and tangy barbecue sauces.
9. Eat More Healthy Fats
When you are trying to burn belly fat, dietary fat is not your enemy. While it may seem counterintuitive, eating healthy fats can increase your satiety, which lessens the risk of future weight gain. It also makes weight loss easier because you will be less tempted to overeat. Try incorporating fatty foods into your diet such as fatty tuna, salmon, almonds, whole milk, and olive oil.
However, you should make a conscious effort to limit your intake of unhealthy fats. Do not consume processed food that includes trans fats. Eat foods with saturated fat in moderation. The best foods to eat consist only of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat unless the food is natural. For instance, a cup of milk contains 1.5 grams of saturated fat, but this occurs naturally.
10. Try Intermittent Fasting
Research indicates that intermittent fasting is an extremely useful technique for weight loss for men. Intermittent fasting is no more complex than cycling through periods of eating and not eating (fasting). By not eating, we mean not consuming more than 50 calories during the fasting period. This means you may have a shot of milk in your coffee during your fasting window.
The idea behind strictly limiting caloric intake during your fasting window is that you don’t want to raise your glycemic index. The most well-known intermittent fasting method is the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting. Following this protocol, you fast for 16 hours and eat for only eight hours. So, you may eat lunch at noon, eat dinner at 5 p.m. and eat a snack at 8 p.m. Then, you would go to bed and not eat breakfast.
Abdominal fat, or belly fat, is linked to an increased risk of certain chronic diseases. Most people can lose their abdominal or belly fat by taking on key lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet packed with lean protein, vegetables and fruit, and legumes, exercising regularly among other things mentioned in our list. We hope that you find this article useful and good luck in losing your belly fat.