Belly fat, called visceral fat, releases the stress hormone cortisol as well as inflammatory substances. When we experience stress, cortisol not only breaks down our lean muscle but it holds onto belly fat.
When visceral fat builds in your belly area, it can be dangerous. People with high amounts of belly fat may be at risk of diabetes, heart disease and in some cases, cancer.
Here are 10 ways to get rid of belly fat:
Exercise that pumps up your heart rate is ideal to rid the body of belly fat, according to Prevention.com. Try aerobic exercises like biking, running and swimming. Brisk walking works, as well.
2) Eat a lot of fiber
According to research, people who consume 10 grams of soluble fiber every day are in line to developing less visceral fat. Here’s what 10 grams of soluble looks like: a cup of green peas, two small apples, or a half-cup of pinto beans, wrote WebMD.com.
3) Eat more protein
Our bodies start producing more insulin as we age. This isn’t good, because insulin helps build up belly fat. Some researchers believe a diet high in protein may protect against this insulin increase, said Prevention.com.
4) Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats “include foods rich in Omega 3′s, like salmon, avocados & walnuts,” wrote Forbes.com. Another benefit: these types of healthy fats help keep you full during the day.
5) Drink enriched green tea
Catechins are antioxidants that help burn fat cells. Add them to green tea and the mixture can help get rid of belly fat. In a 2012 study, researchers studied people who drank a cup and a half of this enriched green tea every day for three months. They found that these people lost nearly 16 times as much belly fat as those who drank regular green tea, wrote Huffington Post.
6) Drink a bit of vinegar every day
A 2009 Japanese study looked at obese people and the intake of vinegar. Researchers found that those who drank one or two tablespoons of vinegar every day for eight weeks showed a substantial decrease in body fat, most particularly belly fat, stated Prevention.com.
7) Up your Vitamin C
People who experience extreme stress release more cortisol. Vitamin C helps balance these high levels of cortisol. Forbes.com said that Vitamin C also plays a role in producing carnitine. The body uses carnitine to turn fat into fuel.
8) Manage stress
Relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation or even deep breathing can help manage stress. The goal is to lower the levels of cortisol said Prevention.com.
9) Get the right amount of sleep
WebMD.com reported on one study where “people who got six to seven hours of sleep each night gained less visceral fat over five years compared to those who slept five or fewer hours a night or eight or more hours per night.” Many experts say that seven hours of sleep is ideal.
10) Maintain your sleep habits
Changing your sleep habits messes up your internal clock. When your body system is out of whack, it can produce more cortisol, which can lead to more belly fat.
Cohen, Jennifer. "6 Ways to Burn Your Belly Fat Fast." Forbes. Forbes Magazine. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
Dr. Oz, Mehmet. "Lose Belly Fat: Dr. Oz's 5 Tips For A Flatter Stomach." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
"How to Lose Belly Fat: Tips for a Flatter Stomach." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
Levine, Hallie. "9 Proven Ways To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat." Prevention. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.
Reviewed September 9, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith