It’s no secret that over half of America is overweight.3 From our busy lifestyles to our preoccupation with convenience foods to support our busy lives, many of us struggle to lose weight. However, even with diet and exercise, it can seem that some areas of fat are so stubborn they are going to remain a permanent fixture on your body.
The worst area on the body for hard-to-drop fat? The fat that accumulates around your midsection. Busting belly fat can be tough, but you really don’t have to take any extreme steps to truly see results. Check out these simple, actionable steps you can take to lose stubborn belly fat and keep it off.
Kick the Sugar to the Curb
Whether it is sweetened beverages, sugary snacks, or hidden sugars in the foods that you eat regularly, this stuff can make that belly fat really stick. Several studies have shown that high sugar intake leads to excess belly fat.2 When the liver can’t process all the sugar you consume, that sugar turns into fat stores, and you can guess where a lot of that fat lands: around your midsection.
The thing about kicking sugar is, sugar is sneaky. It shows up under a lot of different names and sometimes even natural sugar is not good. For example, if you eat a lot of fruit or drink unsweetened fruit juice, that is still sugar that your body will convert to fat if you take in too much.
Scale back on carbohydrates
You don’t necessarily have to go full keto (less than 50 grams of carbs per day) to see a difference in belly fat, but research has proven that a low-carb diet specifically helps burn the fat that accumulates around your belly.3 So, if you want to see some of the fat around your midsection melt away, do what you can to get rid of refined carbs in your diet. A few things to avoid:
- White bread
- Sugary foods and sweets
- White rice
- Most breakfast cereals
- Starchy grains and vegetables
- Bagels and waffles
If eliminating carbs leaves you feeling drained of energy and hungry, remember, good protein sources can help with that. Snack on nuts, cheeses, meats, and other protein-rich foods that are low in carbs.
Go for a brisk 10-minute walk every day
You don’t have to go into full core-crunching workout mode to get rid of belly fat. In fact, abdominal workouts don’t necessarily lead to a reduction in belly fat. One study over six weeks found that five-day-a-week abdominal training didn’t offer measurable differences in belly fat.4 What you can do is get in some good cardio every day, which is as simple as taking a 10-minute brisk walk to get your heart rate up.
Focus on resistance training a few times a week
Resistance training to help strengthen muscles may offer a measurable difference in belly fat, especially when combined with cardio. If you don’t have weights at home, use your own bodyweight to do some resistance training by picking up some resistance bands. You can use these bands to work out pretty much any area of your body. When you have more muscle, your body burns fatter, which may lead to less belly fat.
Add apple cider vinegar to your daily regimen
If you’re looking for a super simple — no real effort involved — tip, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is something to consider to lose belly fat. ACV may lower blood sugar levels, but most importantly, it has also been shown to reduce belly fat in quite a few studies. One study, in particular, found that obese men lost a half-inch of belly fat after 12 weeks of consuming 1 tablespoon of ACV every day.5
Simple Changes Can Have Big Results on Belly Fat
That extra flab you carry around your midsection can really get in the way of your self-esteem, but it can also mean you are at a higher risk for several health conditions. Diabetes, heart disease, and several other conditions are linked with belly fat. So doing what you can to target it with simple changes in your usual routines can be a major benefit for your health and make you feel better about your appearance.