Belly folds are not only unsightly, but can lead to diabetes and heart disease. We tell you how to remove belly fat.
We list the most effective methods. Try them all.
Unlike hips or shoulders, waist circumference depends not only on subcutaneous, but also on visceral fat. This is a special type of deposits that are located in the abdominal cavity behind the abdominal muscles and surround the internal organs.
Visceral fat not only adds centimeters to the waist, but also increases the risk of dangerous diseases. For example, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and problems with the heart and blood vessels.
To reduce the risks and regain a toned stomach, you need to get rid of both subcutaneous and visceral fat. Below we present seven scientifically proven ways to do this, and to keep the result for a long time.
The main way to get rid of belly fat is still a diet with a calorie deficit. In other words, a diet in which you consume less energy than you expend.
According to a meta-analysis of 89 scientific papers, 4-8 months of eating with a deficit of 500-1,000 kcal per day helps to lose about 4.2 kg of subcutaneous fat and 1 kg of visceral fat, as well as reduce the waist circumference by 6 cm.
However, despite the effectiveness in the short term, few manage to maintain the results for a long time. During the first two years after the diet, many people gain back more than half of the lost kilograms, and after five years, 80% of the weight is returned.
To avoid such "swings", choose soft regimes with a deficit of no more than 500 kcal per day and use effective strategies to maintain weight. Below we will list what, in addition to reducing calorie intake, you should do in order not to lose progress and maintain a flat stomach even after the diet.
Numerous studies support the benefits of high-protein diets for weight loss, waist circumference, and overall body fat percentage.
Protein provides a feeling of satiety and helps to consume fewer calories even without calculations and restrictions. It also increases energy expenditure for food absorption, protects against loss of muscle mass on a diet and promotes its growth in the presence of strength training.
Moreover, a high percentage of protein in the diet helps to lose weight even without a calorie deficit. For example, in one experiment, participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, but were told to limit fat to 30% of total energy and consume 25% of calories from protein. After six months, people lost weight by 7.6 kg.
A five-year cohort study also confirmed that a high percentage of protein in the diet protects against the build-up of belly fat without any dieting.
Consume 1.2 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight per day and give preference to animal sources: milk, eggs, cheese, meat. The protein from them is well absorbed and contains many essential amino acids, useful for muscle growth and reduction of the fat layer.
Physical exercises without food control are ineffective for weight loss. But a combination of diet and exercise helps to lose excess weight twice as well as calorie restriction.
At once, several scientific papers confirmed that moderate and high-intensity aerobic training is best for reducing visceral fat.
These exercises include running, cycling, swimming and other cardio exercises. To determine the appropriate intensity of training, use percentages of maximum heart rate (HRmax).
To begin with, calculate your indicator by taking 220 from the year. For example, for a 30-year-old person, it will be 190 beats per minute. Then determine the required intensity, focusing on the percentages: medium — 64–76% of HRmax, high — 77–93%. That is, a 30-year-old person will need to work at a pulse of 120-144 beats per minute, or 146-176 beats per minute.
Aerobic and strength exercises are also good for maintaining weight. In one experiment, women who lost about 12 kg on a diet, due to cardio and strength training, gained half as much weight the following year (3.1–3.9 kg vs. 6.2 kg) and practically did not accumulate visceral fat (0. 8% vs. 25–38%) compared to those who did not exercise or missed classes.
Table sugar consists of glucose and fructose. An excessive amount of the latter increases the synthesis of fats in the liver, impairs insulin sensitivity, increases inflammation, and contributes to the accumulation of subcutaneous and visceral fat.
"Liquid sugar" - sweet drinks like lemonades, energy drinks or fruit juices - has an even worse effect on the figure. Unlike solid food, they do not cause satiety, but at the same time contain many calories and can increase daily energy intake.
According to a cross-sectional analysis of more than 2,500 American adults, people who consume sugary drinks daily have 10% more visceral fat than those who don't.
And although it's really better to avoid sweetened drinks, you still shouldn't demonize desserts, especially if you're a sweet tooth.
One meta-analysis noted that if sugary foods were replaced with the same number of calories from other carbohydrates, no weight loss would occur. In other words, sweets are bad mainly because they are easier to overdo with calories.
On the other hand, completely giving up your favorite desserts can cause stress and breakdowns. So stick to the golden mean — limit health / World Health Organization the amount of sugar in the diet to 5% of the total number of calories, as recommended by the WHO.
For example, if you consume 1500 kcal per day, it should be no more than 75 kcal. In terms of products, about three spoons of table sugar or 30-35 g of milk chocolate.
Refined carbohydrates are products made from wheat flour (bread, pastries), pasta, white rice.
Such food provides less satiety than similar calorie-dense whole grain counterparts, and increases the chance of eating more than you can spend.
In the already mentioned five-year cohort study, it was confirmed that the percentage of refined carbohydrates and potatoes in the diet is directly related to waist circumference: the more often a person chooses such products, the higher the risk of accumulating belly fat.
If you like bread and pasta, replace processed flour products with whole grain counterparts and try to consume them in moderation.
Fiber is dietary fiber found in fruits and vegetables, cereals and whole grains. It is soluble and insoluble.
The first, upon contact with liquid, forms a gel in the stomach, which slows down the digestion of food, ensures satiety and serves as food for beneficial intestinal bacteria. The second absorbs liquid, serves as a material for defecation and ensures its regularity.
As a rule, when talking about weight loss, the benefits of soluble fiber are noted. It helps reduce appetite, improve bowel function and sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that is extremely important for weight loss and maintenance.
One study found that an additional 14 g of fiber per day over two days helped to reduce calorie intake by 10% without any calculations, and after 4 months of such a regime - to lose 1.9 kg.
What's more, soluble fiber helps fight visceral fat. By increasing the amount of fiber by 6-10 g per day, it is possible to reduce the amount in the abdominal cavity by 3.7-4% without other changes in nutrition.
To consume more healthy dietary fiber, add the following foods to your diet:
Lack of sleep disrupts the production of hunger and satiety hormones, reduces sensitivity to insulin, and increases the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that contributes to the accumulation of fat, including visceral fat.
A hectic schedule and regular lack of sleep can prevent you from losing fat, even with a calorie deficit and a healthy diet. In one small study, over 14 days of a low-calorie diet, participants who slept 5.5 hours a night lost 55% less fat and 60% more muscle than those who got a full 8 hours of rest.
Similar data were obtained in a cohort study with data on more than a thousand people over five years. Scientists deduced a regularity: young people (up to 40 years old), who sleep 6-7 hours a night, accumulated much less subcutaneous and visceral fat than those who rested less than 5 hours and more than 8.
The quality of sleep is also important for a good figure. In one experiment, they found that frequent awakenings, a long time to fall asleep, disruption of the regime and other signs of a bad night's rest are associated with the amount of visceral fat.
To prevent belly fat and get the most out of your diet, use a few tips:
If nothing helps, see a doctor. A good night's sleep is important both for a good figure and for health in general.