10 Best Tips to Lose Belly Fat Fast (From a Nutritionist)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: June 14, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
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More than the trouble of dealing with a muffin top when wearing your favorite pair of jeans, having belly fat also leads to health risks such as heart diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancers.

To help my patients trim the waistline, I spent hours digging into journals and articles on ways to lose belly fat fast.

I found that it’s impossible to target your belly fat specifically, but there are effective ways to lose your overall weight and shrink your waistline.

Here’s how.

Quick Summary

  • Reducing sugar and artificial sweetener intake, increasing protein consumption, eating fewer carbs, including fiber and healthy fats in the diet, cutting back on processed foods, reducing sodium intake, drinking more water, exercising regularly, trying high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and managing stress effectively are key strategies to lose belly fat fast.
  • Regular exercise, including both aerobic and strength training, is a proven method for effectively reducing belly fat.
  • Studies published in Nutrition & Metabolism have shown that consuming more protein is associated with less abdominal fat, highlighting protein's role in weight management and belly fat reduction.
  • In my opinion, combining dietary changes with consistent exercise and stress management is the most effective strategy for losing belly fat.
  • Burn your belly fat with these supplements and get the abdominal muscles you’ve always wanted with these waistline-trimming tips, and don't forget to share with us your belly-fat-loss journey.

10 Ways to Lose Belly Fat Fast

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1. Reduce Sugar and Artificial-Sweetener Consumption

Close up image of a sugar

Eating certain foods and consuming beverages high in sugar or artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain and health problems.

In my practice, I've seen patients who cut out sugary drinks and snacks significantly reduce their belly fat.

Several studies suggest that added sugar causes the build-up of abdominal fat and liver fat, decreasing insulin sensitivity and increasing metabolic problems, which causes diabetes and heart disease [1] [2].

It’s because when you consume lots of sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose (a type of sugar) and is forced to convert them to fat.

Sugary drinks also contribute to large amounts of calories, increasing weight gain, according to the study published in PubMed Central [3].

So, try to cut back your sugar intake by eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages altogether and replacing them with whole fruits rich in fiber that are a much healthier option.

2. Increase Protein Intake

Protein is the key nutrient when trying to lose weight. Protein helps:

  • Boost your metabolism to burn more calories
  • Decrease your appetite so you can eat less
  • Lower the amount of calories you consume

One study published in Nutrition & Metabolism suggests that people who consume more lean protein and high-quality protein have less abdominal fat [4].

High-proteins sources you may want to include in your diet are: 

  • Whole eggs
  • Chicken breasts
  • Oats
  • Almonds
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Greek yogurt

Eating a high-protein breakfast for losing belly fat also helps kick-start your day because it turns your metabolism up and boosts your energy.

3. Consume Fewer Carbs

Rice and pasta

Excess carbohydrates in the diet are stored and converted into fat, contributing to fat in the belly area.

So, a low-carb diet may help reduce belly fat. I've observed that patients who switch from refined carbs to whole grains often see a noticeable reduction in their abdominal fat.

Research also suggests that those who consume fewer carbs experienced decreased appetite and achieved the weight loss goals [5].

It is further said that low-carb diets help reduce fat around the liver and other organs and in the abdomen.

It may also promote less visceral fat – harmful fat in the abdominal cavity wrapping around the organs.

Instead of cutting out carbs entirely, switch refined carbs like white bread and pasta with healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

A balanced approach to weight loss, targeting visceral fat, involves reducing overall calorie intake and combining diet with regular exercise.

This creates a calorie deficit, helping your body burn stored fat more effectively.

4. Include Fiber and Healthy Fat in Your Diet

Several studies show that consuming fiber and healthy fats may help you lose belly fat because these nutrients can increase satiety or feeling of fullness and reduce appetite.

In my experience, patients who add more fiber-rich foods like oats and beans to their diet tend to feel fuller and lose belly fat more effectively.

Research published in PubMed Central shows that increasing fiber intake may help in reducing abdominal fat [6].

Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in water, slowing digestion and prolonging satiety.

Contrary to common belief, not all fats are bad for weight loss. Unsaturated fats, the healthy kind, can aid in weight loss by digesting slowly, thus reducing the urge to snack or overeat.

Try to add more soluble fiber to lose belly fat in your diet; these include:

  • Oats
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Citrus fruits
  • Barley
  • Psyllium

And consider replacing saturated fats, unhealthy fats, with unsaturated fat sources, such as:

  • Avocados
  • Olive, peanut, and canola oils
  • Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans

And consider replacing saturated fats, unhealthy fats, with unsaturated fat sources, such as:

  • Avocados
  • Olive, peanut, and canola oils
  • Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans

5. Cut Back Processed Foods

Processed fast foods

Processed foods, high in refined grains, sugars, and unhealthy fats, can lead to belly fat and are detrimental to overall health. They not only encourage overeating but also lack essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and vitamins.

I've seen remarkable improvements in patients who replaced processed snacks with whole foods, leading to reduced belly fat.

Research indicates that a diet high in processed foods results in consuming about 500 extra calories daily, leading to quicker weight gain [7].

These foods are also linked to health risks such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Experts recommend cutting back these ultra-processed food sources and switching to healthy eating choices, including high-fiber fruit and leafy greens.

Read More: How Long Does it Take to Lose Belly Fat?

6. Reduce Sodium Intake

Higher salt intake is linked to higher body fat, particularly fat accumulation around the belly. Many of my patients who reduced their salt intake not only saw a decrease in bloating but also a significant reduction in belly fat.

These high-sodium foods are high in calories and are easy to overeat. It can also lead to bloating and increased body weight since these salty foods cause water retention.

Some data even suggest that salty foods may cause you to drink less water and feel more hungry, resulting in overeating and gaining more pounds.

So, if you’re diet consists of chips, snacks, fried foods, fast food, and processed food, it’s time to consider cutting them back; instead, you can:

  • Choose healthier options such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains
  • Check labels of products and choose the less-salty options
  • Reduce added salt or salty sauces on your meals
  • Avoid eating heavily processed foods

7. Drink More Water

Drinking water helps in a variety of ways in your overall fat-loss plan, which could result in a slimmer waist. I advise my patients to drink water before meals, which has consistently helped them eat less and reduce belly fat.

Water is a non-caloric drink that helps suppress hunger, helping you to stop eating. It is backed by research that suggests that those who drank water before meals ate less than those who didn’t, based on the study published in PubMed [8].

“Drinking water also fills you up because water passes through your digestive tract pretty quickly, stretching your stomach and sending your brain the signal of fullness.”

– Dr. Melina Jampolis, Internist & Board-certified Physician Nutrition Specialist

Research shows that downing water also increases your metabolism that may help in burning calories [9].

Another study published in PubMed supports that drinking half a liter of water increases resting metabolic rate, the number of calories you consume while at rest, by 10-30% [10].

Drinking more water can also help in losing belly fat by lowering calorie intake, supporting exercise performance, and aiding in toxin removal by the kidneys.

Opt for water over high-calorie beverages like soda, and drink it before snacking to help curb overeating.

Related: What Are The Best Drinks to Burn Belly Fat?

8. Exercise Regularly

Woman holding a small dumb bell

Regular, whole-body exercises help in losing weight and eventually help in beating belly fat to get those flat abs. From my experience, patients who combine aerobic exercises with strength training see the fastest reduction in belly fat.

That means doing crunches every day does not help reduce that abdominal fat gain unless you include aerobic exercise and intensity training, too.

Exercising speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn calories.

It’s also said that aerobic exercise may help burn harmful visceral fat, and weight lifting may help build muscle mass, resulting in a toned stomach and body.

Related articleThe Best Exercises to Do Before Bed to Lose Belly Fat

Best Exercises to Melt Belly Fat

Here are a few of the best exercises to burn belly fat storage:

Cardio exercises such as:

  • Walking (especially quick-paced walking)
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming

Strength training exercises like:

  • Lifting weights
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups

9. Try HIIT Exercises

Research shows that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) significantly reduces total, abdominal, and visceral fat mass [11], which means it could help you lose belly fat. I've recommended HIIT to many patients, and those who stick with it often report rapid improvements in belly fat loss.

High-intensity interval training is training that alternates between quick and intense exercises with less-intense exercises or short-term rests.

It helps lose fat because it results in an afterburn or Exercise-induced Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). It means you burn extra calories even after your workout.

Some examples of HIIT workouts are:

  • Tabata workout
  • Burpees
  • Jump squats
  • Sprints
  • Stationary biking

Heads-up: Avoid doing vigorous exercise every day because the pretty challenging workouts may lead to burnout and fatigue.

So, if you’re a beginner, start slow and increase intensity as you develop more endurance.

10. Manage Stress

Calm woman and stress free doing a yoga pose

Prolonged stress could be contributing to an increase in fat around the abdominals. In my practice, patients who have adopted stress-reduction techniques like yoga and meditation have shown a notable decrease in belly fat.

A review study published in Psychological Issues reports that high cortisol levels (stress hormone) are linked to abdominal obesity [12].

Cortisol is an important hormone for survival; it helps our body get through threatening situations.

However, excess cortisol, because of prolonged stress, has negative effects on mental and physical health.

High levels of cortisol cause you to overeat, like when you’re binge-eating when stressed at work, and it also causes the brain to make poor food choices or increase cravings.

Stress may also cause people to be less active or sedentary, resulting in lowered energy consumption.

It's crucial to acknowledge the psychological aspects of belly fat loss, including the importance of stress management, maintaining motivation, and understanding the psychological impact of body image, as these factors play a key role in the success of any weight loss journey.

Also, the correlation between sleep patterns and belly fat is often underestimated; inadequate sleep can disrupt hormonal balances leading to weight gain, emphasizing the need for good sleep hygiene as a part of an effective belly fat reduction strategy.

So, how do you combat stress? Here are things you can do:

  • Do mindful activities such as yoga, breathing, and meditation
  • Eat and drink healthy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Assess what triggers your stress and try to manage it
  • Go on long walks to relax and improve your mood

Related Articles:

FAQs

What exercise burns the most belly fat?

Some exercises to burn fat around your belly area are cardio aerobic workout exercises such as walking, running, swimming, rowing, and cycling. Also, do high-intensity interval exercises such as Tabata workout, burpees, and jump squats, and perform weight training exercises.

How can I get skinny in a week without exercise?

There are ways you can do to drop some pounds and achieve your fitness goals without exercise:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink more water
  • Limit your sugar intake
  • Eat plenty of protein and more fiber
  • Avoid unhealthy snacking

How much time does it take to get a flat stomach?

It is possible to see a noticeable difference in your waist circumference in as little as two weeks; however, it may depend upon your activity level and calorie intake. It takes hard work and discipline to stick to a balanced diet and regular exercise regimen to achieve a flat stomach.


References:

  1. https://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409674/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3840121/
  4. https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-9-5
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2007.516
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856431/
  7. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/eating-highly-processed-foods-linked-weight-gain
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25893719/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24179891/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14671205/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28116314/
  12. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13679-018-0306-y
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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