Belly Fat: How to Get Rid of It

How to Get Rid of Belly Fat

How to get rid of belly fat. So many of us have it but can’t seem to lose it. It is frustrating because you might think you are doing the right things to get rid of it, but you don’t see any change.

I know I have some lower belly fat I would love to lose! I hate seeing the bulge through my shirt and that my once great fitting jeans are now snug.

I am on a mission to lose this belly fat. It is not a New Years Resolution. It is a goal I plan to succeed at no matter how long it takes.

If you are at this point, then this post is going to be your guide to finally get rid of that unwanted belly fat!

About Belly Fat

Squirrel with Belly Fat

Belly or stomach fat is the fat tissue that accumulates around the midsection of the body.

Many people want to get rid of belly fat because they don’t like the way it looks, want clothes to fit better, or for better health.

Studies have shown that increases amounts of belly fat can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.

Unfortunately, belly fat can be very difficult to get rid of. It is one of the hardest places to lose fat on your body. But don’t let that scare you because we are just getting started.

What Causes Belly Fat

Danger Sign for Causes of Belly Fat

There are several common causes of belly fat. All of which I think are vital for you to know before going any farther.

As you go through this list, be honest with yourself and ask if you have any of these causes in your life.

Knowing where your problems lie is going to be a great help to you, because you will have an idea on where you need to improve. It helps open your eyes to some of the reasons why you might be having such difficulty losing your belly fat.

Poor Diet Including Alcohol

Alcohol Cause of Belly Fat

Now this is a tricky cause for most people because most people don’t realize how they really should be eating.

Most people do not know why nutrition is so important other than it is good for you. People struggle with what correct portion sizes are. They do not know how to actually read a nutrition fact label, or that eating healthy doesn’t have to be so hard.

If you have difficulty in any of these areas, or want a refresher, which I highly suggest, then read these posts before you go any farther.

Why You Need To Focus on Nutrition

How to Read a Nutrition Label the Right Way

6 Ways to Make Eating Healthy Easy

Part of your diet is not just what you eat, but what you drink as well. Alcohol has many empty calories and, depending on what you are drinking, unnecessary sugars.

On tops of that, drinking too much alcohol can lead to an alcoholic fatty liver. This condition not only damages your liver, but also affects the way your body metabolizes and stores carbs and fats.

These changes make it very difficult to lose weight.

Stress

Stress Causes Belly Fat

Everyone has stress so don’t think just because it is on the list you are doomed. The stress that really matters is chronic stress and poorly managed stress.

This stress can cause increased levels of cortisol, which stimulates your appetite.

When you are eating more, it causes weight gain and makes it very difficult to lose weight.

If you struggle with stress, read How to Manage Stress .

Genetics

Strands of DNA Genetics can Cause Belly Fat

Having certain genetics can play a role in your weight. Studies have shown that modifications in several genes may contribute to weight gain how body fat is distributed.

So, having certain genes may cause fat to accumulate around your belly.

Unfortunately, genetics are genetics and you can’t change them. But you can work on the causes of weight gain to help.

Lack of Sleep

Lack of Sleep can Cause Belly Fat

Poor sleep and short duration of sleep can also be a cause of belly fat.

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has found links between weight gain and short sleep duration. This contributes not just to weight gain, but belly fat as well.

To combat this, wind down early. Get rid of distractions in your bedroom like the TV and your phone. Make sure your room if dark and try a sound machine if need be.

Lack of Exercise

Lack of Exercise Causes Belly Fat

I know this one is mostly a no brainer, but it is important to mention.

We all know that exercise is important for our bodies, especially if you want to lose weight. But what most people fail to realize its significance it has to calories.

When your calories in equal more than your calories out, you gain weight. So, if you are eating a bunch of food and never working out to burn any of those calories off, they get stored as fat.

Carve out time to make exercise part of your routine. Even if it is just 30-60 minutes a few times a week. Every little bit helps and can help push you towards more changes.

How to Get Rid of Belly Fat

Measuring Belly Fat

How to get rid of belly fat is the question we are here to answer. And in researching the best information for you I realized that there are a lot of different thing you can do to help reduce your belly fat.

We are going to talk about general ways to lose belly fat, then look at foods that help burn belly fat, and finish with great exercises to slim that stomach.

I feel the best approach is to use a bunch of these in combination. Adding in some of the foods to your meals as well as some of the workouts to your routine.

So, let’s get to it!

Sugar

Sugar- Cut it Out to Reduce Belly Fat

A huge thing you can do to help get rid of belly fat is to cut sugar and sugary drinks out of your diet.

Sugar is a carbohydrate and affects your blood sugar levels. This can increase your hunger, especially for sugar and carbs, which causes you to gain weight.

By just doing this simple thing, you can see some great results. You would be amazed at how many of your food items contain sugar.

For example, most bread you buy from the store contains some sugar.

Make sure to check out the nutrition fact label if you are ever questioning how much sugar is in your food.

Food Journal

Knowing what you eat and how much you eat can be half the battle for some people. By actually writing down what you are eating, and how much of it you are eating, you will have a much better understanding of your eating habits.

You will be surprised by some of the patterns you see. For example, when people feel stressed out, they tend to eat more and make worse food choices.

Knowing these patterns exist is going to help you make better choice and get rid of your belly fat.

Read How to Keep a Food Journal to learn how to track what you are eating and how much.

Exercise

Exercise to Lose Belly Fat

Add exercise to your routine. We will get into the best exercises for burning belly fat in a little bit.

Protein

Eat more protein and fiber to help keep you fuller longer. This will help ensure you cut down in other areas, such as carbs and calories.

Protein also reduces your hunger hormone, which means you don’t get hungry as fast.

It is important to make sure that you don’t get too much protein. Getting too much protein all the time can cause kidney damage.

Reduce Carbs

Keto is the big diet craze everyone is trying these days. It consists of a low-carb high-fat diet.

You know from earlier that sugars are carbs, carbs raise your blood sugar levels, and cause fat storage.

Cut down on the carbs you eat can be a great help with getting rid of your belly fat.

If you want to learn more about the Keto diet, read The Beginners Guide to the Ketogenic Diet.

Reduce Stress

Reduce Stress to Reduce Belly Fat

We talked about stress earlier in the causes of belly fat section, so I will only briefly reiterate it.

Surprisingly, just working on your stress can help you get rid of belly fat.

Go reread that section and the addition post. It will help you to learn how reduce your stress by use things like meditation.

Eat Certain Foods

Eating certain foods can help burn belly fat. We will get into those in the next section.

Think About Food

I found this information while researching the best ways to burn belly fat and I thought it was fascinating.

They say you should think about foods you love an visualize them several times throughout the day. Research has shown if you do that, you tend to want it less.

According to the article on redbook, when scientists put this theory to the test, they found that people who imagined their guilty-pleasure several times a day reduced their calorie consumption of that food by as much as 50%. 

They determined that, because they thought about it all day already, when given the option to have it, they no longer felt like it.

Water

Drink Water to Burn Belly Fat

Water should be your best friend, especially when you are trying to burn that stubborn belly fat.

Water is not only sugar free and calorie free, but it is vital for your body to function properly.

Many people tend confuse thirst with hunger as well. So, if you are feeling hungry, try drinking a glass of water first. You might just find that satisfies you.

If this happens to be one of your issues, it is easy to see how cutting out those extra calories can help get rid of some belly fat.

Diets

I want to mention that diets aren’t a cure all and do not always work as you hope. If you are going to pick a diet to try to lose belly fat, make sure you thoroughly research it.

There are a lot of contradictory statements out there about diets.

And how a diet works for you really depends on your body. Diets work differently for everyone. Someone might see amazing results and a person doing the exact same thing might see very little results.

Many people when wanting to shed extra weight tend to limit their calories. This can help, but you need to be sure not to overdo it.

If you cut too many calories, your body will go into starvation mode and start storing everything you eat as fat to burn later.

Sleep

Baby Sleeping- Sleep Enough to Burn Belly Fat

This is another cause of belly fat we spoke about earlier so I will be brief.

Sleep is so important for your mental and physical well being, yet most people do not get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Chronic lack of sleep causes a change in your hormones that help to regulate hunger and appetite.

Interestingly, a lack of sleep can also cause you to eat more of your overall calories at night, which leads to weight gain.

Improve your sleep and get rid of that belly fat.

Meal Plan

I want to start off by saying that meal planning is awesome and if you haven’t tried it, you NEED to!

Meal planning is so helpful. By planning your meals, you can make sure that you are planning healthy options.

And if you go grocery shopping and get the items for those meals as well, you will be sure to make them, so you do not waste what you bought.

Plus, it helps stop you from choosing fast food because you don’t know what to make.

To learn how to become a master at meal planning, read How to Weekly Meal Plan.

Nutrition Labels

Nutrition Label- Read them to Burn Belly Fat

If you are looking to get rid of belly fat, this is going to be a must. You will want to start to routinely read your nutrition fact labels on what you buy.

This will help you determine the best foods to buy. And if you are looking to cut down in certain areas, like carbs or sugars, the nutrition label if going to be your go to, to figure out if you should purchase something.

Now, I know nutrition fact labels can be confusing and you might not know what everything on the label means. If this sounds like you, check out my post, How to Read a Nutrition Label the Right Way. It will help you to understand what it is you are looking at.

Add Spice

This is an easy trick to help you lose some of that belly fat. Add spice to your foods.

Studies have shown that capsaicin, which is found in peppers like jalapeños and cayenne, can give a small boost to your metabolism.

They may also reduce hunger, which can help you lost weight as well.

Sit Straight and Stand Tall

Sit Tall to Burn Belly Fat

It might sound strange that sitting up straight and standing can help you lose weight. However, studies have proved it.

By sitting up straight, you engage more muscles and work your core more than if you were to slouch.

And by standing, you burn even more calories than if you were to sit.

I always keep this in the back of my mind, and actually as I sit her and type this I am sitting straight. I have a job where I sit half my day at a desk, so whenever I feel myself slouching, I always remind myself to sit up straight. I also try to stand more as well, whenever possible.

Belly Fat Burning Foods

Belly Fat Burning Foods

Now that we have gone over several ways that you can burn belly fat, it is now time to talk about the foods that are best at burning belly fat.

This is a pretty long list and most of these foods are easy to add to a meal or have as a snack. I recommend adding several of them to your diet.

You can use meal planning to help ensure you add these foods into your meals too.

Avocados

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated heart-healthy fat, and studies show eating just half of one with lunch can curb your appetite.

They also help turn off your fat storage hormone and when you are trying to lose fat, this is important.

And as an added bonus, a carb found in avocados encourages and increases calcium absorption.

Walnuts

They contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, which help reduce muscle inflammation and increase metabolism.

By increasing your metabolism, you will be able to burn more calories and lose that belly fat.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Burns Belly Fat

I love that dark chocolate is on the list and can help get rid of belly fat. This is great for a couple reasons. First, it helps to reduce your cravings for sweet and salty treats. It is also a much healthier option that any other treat.

And second, it has inflammation-fighting chemicals and healthy fats that can boost your metabolism.

Just be sure to read the label and make sure the percent of cacao is high. High cacao means it is high in antioxidants and low in sugar.

Salmon

Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and protein.

These are all great things for fat loss and a healthy diet. Keep in mind that protein fills you up and makes you feel fuller for longer.

Whole Grains

Bowl of Rice

Despite what many might say about carbohydrates, there are some good carbs out there, like whole grains.

They are full of fiber and take a longer period of time for the body to digest, so you feel fuller for longer.

Whole grains are not necessarily a belly fat burning food, but it has been shown that those who have whole grains as part of their diet have lower fat mass in the abdominal region.

They also help to lower you blood pressure and cholesterol. And are packed with Vitamin B and Iron.

Some great examples of whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa.

Soybeans

They contain lecithin, which builds muscle, breaks down fat, and prevents fat deposits.

Soybeans can also make you feel fuller for longer because they take the body a longer time to digest.

On top of being full of protein and a low carb food option, they can also reduce inflammation, increase your good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol.

Green Tea

Cup of Green Tea

Green tea has been shown to raise your metabolism and is also a great source of antioxidants.

A study has shown that those who drank green tea before working out can lose twice as much as those who did not drink the tea.

I have not tried this myself, but I do plan on it to see what kind of results I get.

Hot Peppers

Jalapenos and chili peppers contain capsaicin. We talked about this earlier when I mentioned you should spice up your food.

Capsaicin heats up your body and help you to burn more calories.

Hot peppers can also reduce your appetite by decreasing ghrelin, the hunger hormone, in your body.

Some also believe that it increases your resting metabolic rate. That means it ups your metabolism helping you to burn even more calories.

Broccoli

This is one of the best belly fat burning vegetables. It is full of fiber, making you feel fuller for longer.

It contains what is called, phytonutrients, which can increase fat loss. And it stimulates fat cells to get the body to burn fat quicker.

The best part is, you can get this nutrient whether the broccoli is cooked or raw.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit Cut in Half

Studies have shown that citric fruits help the body drastically lose weight and even helps to prevent fat storage in the first place.

By eating half of a grapefruit before meals, you could lose between 1-4 pounds per week.

Bananas

Bananas are a belly fat burning food because they contain starch, which turns into fatty acid in the stomach, blocking carbs and fat build-up over time.

They also help to speed up your metabolism and contain a lot of fiber and potassium, which makes you feel full and helps build muscle.

Peanut Butter

It is important to first note that peanut butter should be had in moderation. No more than 2 tablespoons a day.

This food is packed with protein and fiber. Peanuts also contain l-arginine-amino acid, which improves blood flow. Improving that blood flow can help to diminish fluid retention, making you lighter and look less bloated.

Berries

Bowl of Strawberries and a Tape Measure

Berries are full of fiber and antioxidants. They also contain less sugar than other fruits, making them a great option.

Berries contain what is called polyphenol antioxidants, which help prevent fat from forming.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become big as a substitute for butter and vegetable oil. It has appetite suppressing and fat burning properties that will help you burn that belly fat.

Eggs

Egg and Avocado on Toast

Eggs have some many great benefits no matter what way you eat them. They are high in protein and are great for portion.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of eating eggs, besides it helping to burn your fat, check out 16 Great Health Benefits of Eating Eggs Daily.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has also become more popular. It is a healthier cooking alternative with omega-3s.

Belly Fat Burning Exercises

Woman Exercising

Now most exercises will burn belly, at least a little bit. Here I want to give you a good size list that you can choose the best exercises for you. Including more simple workouts and more difficult ones.

I like to give a variety because everyone is at a different point. If you are just starting off, you might not be able to do many of the more difficult exercises.

And if I only gave you the hard ones, you would get discouraged and quit. It is similar for those who routinely workout. If I only posted the simpler exercises, they wouldn’t get anything out of this.

So, look through the list and determine where you are at. Don’t be afraid to give new exercises a chance.

Walking

Walking is a fantastic starting point for anyone. You don’t have to start off with something extremely intense to lose that belly fat.

Get out there and take a brisk walk 30-60 minutes a few times a week and you can work your way to more intense exercises.

Plus, walking is a great workout to do with a partner. It gives you the opportunity to catch up and clear your mind.

To learn more about how helpful walking can be, go to Healthy Benefits for You from Walking Daily.

Yoga

Learn About Yoga

Yoga is another great fat burning exercise. If you have never tried yoga, you might not be aware just how much it works your muscles.

If you tighten your core, stomach muscles, during each pose, you can strengthen your core and reduce your belly fat.

If you would like to learn more about yoga, read Improve Your Health and Fitness with Yoga.

Running on an Incline

Running in general can help you lose weight but running on an incline causes you to burn even more calories because the resistance is greater.

Just think about the last time you ran or walked up a hill. It is harder and takes more energy than on a flat surface.

An incline also makes you tighten your muscles more, which strengthens them and reduces fat.

Rows

Now there are many different ways to do the row exercise, but what we are talking about here is using the row machine.

Check out this video to learn more about the rowing machine and how to use it.

A rowing machine is much like if you were rowing an actual boat. It is a great way to strengthen your core and burn calories, which reduces belly fat.

It is also a low-impact cardio workout so basically anyone can do it.

Elliptical

The elliptical machine is also a low-impact workout. It requires you to use both your arms and your legs.

Using it routinely, along with eating right, will help you burn that belly fat in no time.

Crunches with Medicine Ball

This is one of my favorite workouts. The medicine ball adds more resistance so you can really feel it working your abs.

It targets your core, thus melting that fat.

Reverse Crunches

This exercise uses your lowest abdominal muscles. If you have stubborn lower belly fat, this is going to help with that.

This video shows you how to properly do a reverse crunch.

Russian Twists

Russian twists are another exercise I enjoy because you can feel it work your whole abdomen. You can do it with or without added weight, such as a medicine ball.

Check out this video to learn how to do a Russian Twist.

Burpees

Burpees are a full body strength training exercise. I do want to point out that they are difficult, and you will feel it after just doing a few.

They burn a lot of calories and strengthen a lot of muscles.

Keep in mind the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

Watch this quick video to see how to properly perform a burpee from beginner to advanced.

Mountain Climbers

This is another full body workout.

If you have never done mountain climbers before, I suggest watching this video to learn how.

HIIT Workout

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I highly suggest if you have never done a HIIT workout, that you give it a try.

It is extremely tiring, but it is a great workout that burns a lot of calories.

To learn more about HIIT workouts and get a beginner HIIT workout, check out my post, Beginner HIIT Workout to Help You Slim Down.

Turkish Get Ups

Turkish get ups are another full body workout. I want to warn you that they are complex and difficult. It requires you to be able to hold a weight over your head.

This is not a beginner workout for sure, but if you get to this level, it can greatly improve your overall strength.

As I stated this is a very complex and complicated exercise, so please watch the video and if you do not feel comfortable with this exercise, there are plenty of other belly fat burning exercises.

Lateral Medicine Ball Slams

Overhead Medicine Ball Slams

I am grouping both of these medicine ball slams together because you preform them just like how they sound.

Both of these fat burning exercised burn a bunch of calories and they work your shoulders, abdomen, triceps, quads, and glutes just to name a few.

The video below is how to properly do medicine ball slams and apply to each. Doing them properly is vital for seeing results and avoiding injury.

BOSU Ball Plank

This is a next level plank exercise. It adds more difficulty to the traditional plank. There are different variations to this exercise.

No matter how you preform it, you will be engaging your core.

Get Blasting the Belly Fat

Person Holding a Salad with a Tape Measure Around Their Stomach

We covered a lot of information in this post. This is going to be something where you will want to reread this post or copy and print sections of it. There is just that much information.

Keep in mind the common causes of belly fat, such as poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, genetic, and stress. Question whether any of these may be a factor for you, so you can better combat your belly fat.

We also went over things you can do to help lose belly fat, such as cutting out sugar, adding in exercise, spicing up your food, meal planning, and reading nutrition labels, to name a few.

Pick a few or use them all in conjunction to really see some results.

I also shared numerous fat burning foods with you. Some of these foods included avocados, dark chocolate, eggs, salmon, hot peppers, green tea, and grapefruit. Again, these are all easy to either have as a snack or use in your meals.

Finally, we talked about many belly fat burning exercises. These included more beginner exercises, such as walking, using an elliptical or row machine, and yoga. Then going into intermediate workouts, like running on an incline, Russian twists, medicine ball crunches, and HIIT workouts. After that, you have your more advanced exercises which included, Turkish get ups, medicine ball slams, burpees, and BOSU ball planks.

By implementing what we have talked about here and making it part of your routine, you will no doubt burn that stubborn belly fat.

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Published by Amy

I have always had a strong passion for health and fitness, as well as helping others. So much so, that I went on to receive my Level 1 Precision Nutrition Certification. My goal is to help others feel at their best! I know it can be a struggle to reach your fitness goals, whether it is losing weight, getting in shape, or improving your overall health. I want to help you reach your goals and find what works best for you so you can stick to it! Let's work on making you Happy Healthy and Strong!

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