One of the frequently asked questions by dieters is a variation on the theme of “the fastest way to lose belly fat”. It is totally understandable that people want to lose the flab they see when looking at their toes. This is a painful reality to face, especially during summer, aka bikini-season.
Belly fat is not just a visual nuisance. It also increases the chances of diabetes and heart disease. Scientifically known as visceral fat, it is found wrapped around internal organs such as the liver and intestines. Everyone has a bit of visceral fat, but when your belly starts protruding, you know it’s too much.
A common misconception is that belly-fat can be burned off simply through ab crunches and other core exercises. While these will tone the muscle layer, the fat underneath won’t necessarily disappear. As with general weight-loss, dietary changes are a more effective means to reduce belly fat than exercise on its own.
The recommendations, as usual, are to focus on lifestyle change, a slow and deliberate weight reduction that can be sustained for years. This includes:
- More home cooked meals
- Smaller portions
- More lean protein and less refined carbs
- More healthy fats from nuts and seeds
- No soft drinks or fruit juices
- Lots and lots of leafy greens
- Fruits, not smoothies
- Fiber rich foods such as whole grains and legumes
- Less alcohol
- More sleep