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10 Best Ways to Lose Belly Fat Fast
From a Nutritionist

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 12, 2021

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 clients 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.

10 Ways to Lose Belly Fat Fast

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.

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 [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 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 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.

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.

You don't have to eliminate carbs completely; instead, try to replace refined carbs – white bread, white rice, pasta, and sweets, with unprocessed carbs.

Unprocessed starchy carb sources include fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

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.

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

Fiber, specifically soluble fiber, binds with water and turns into a thick gel that slows down digestion and absorption of nutrients, helping you feel fuller longer.

And while we're often told to avoid fats to lose weight, certain fats may be good for you. Unsaturated fats, healthy fats, may promote weight loss.

Fats leave the digestive tract slowly compared to carbs and proteins, so they can promote satiety, too – keeping you from excessive snacking or overeating.

Try to add more soluble fiber 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 food may not only contribute to belly fat, but they are also harmful to your health.

These foods often contain unhealthy amounts of refined grains, added sugars, and fats that appeal to the taste and make people overeat easily.

They are also poor food choices because they lack important nutrients such as fiber, protein, and vitamins.

A study found that people on a highly processed diet consume 500 calories more than those who don't and tend to gain weight faster [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.

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.

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 [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 and Board-certified Physician Nutrition Specialist

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

Another study 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].

Other benefits of drinking more water for losing belly fat include: reducing your overall calorie intake, aiding you during exercise, and helping your kidneys remove waste and toxins.

So, try to drink more water instead of high-calorie drinks such as soda and when you feel like snacking or binge-eating, try to drink water first to fill you up.

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.

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.

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
  • Sit-ups
  • Crunches
  • Leg squats
  • Core muscles workout

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.

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.

A review study 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.

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

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.

Ready to Lose That Belly Fat?

Losing stubborn belly fat can be tricky and can’t be done overnight.

But if you're persistent enough – exercising regularly, cutting back on junk food, and adopting more healthy habits, then achieving that slimmer waistline is not impossible.

So, get ready to burn fat 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.


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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