Losing belly fat is important for your heart health and there are some simple changes you can make in your diet to help you do that.
Most of us would love to have a trim waistline, not just because it looks good but also because it is good for health. Larger waistlines can be linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer, according to John Hopkins Medicine. Losing the fat around our waist can improve blood vessel functioning and sleep quality. The visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity, is the one that increases risks to our health, said Dr. Kerry Stewart, director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
It's hard to target belly fat with just dieting but when we lose weight overall, our waistlines also shrink. If you're wondering what you can do while staying at home to cut some inches from your abdomen area, here are five daily habits to aid you:
Piperine, found in black pepper, is effective in burning fat away. As per a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, "piperine can be used for potential treatment for obesity-related diseases." It has the ability to reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of new fat cells—a reaction known as adipogenesis. This can lead to a decrease in waist size, body fat, and cholesterol levels.
Many people who are dieting opt for a diet soda thinking that it has no calories but these drinks are full of artificial sweeteners that increase blood sugar levels. A study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio revealed that people who drink diet soda are likely to gain, not lose, weight. When people consumed an increased amount of diet soda they faced more abdominal obesity, which can cause high cardiometabolic risk in the aging population, a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society observed. So instead of consuming diet soda, opt for just plain water or any non-carbonated drink like freshly squeezed lemon juice, cold-brewed tea, etc.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins studied those who were on a low-carbohydrate diet versus those on a low-fat diet for six months. Both groups consumed the same amount of calories. They found that those on a low-carb diet lost an average of 10 pounds more than those on a low-fat diet. The low carb diet also produced a higher quality of weight loss, Stewart said. When people lose weight, they are going to lose fat and lean tissue (muscle), which is not ideal. On both diets, people lost about two to three pounds of good lean tissue and fat. Those on the low-carb diet had a higher fat loss percentage. So in your daily diet, limit the intake of carbs and switch to healthier alternatives while eating a healthy amount of fat.
When we work out, we burn belly fat. "One of the biggest benefits of exercise is that you get a lot of bang for your buck on body composition," Stewart said. Working out helps with belly fat especially because it decreases the circulating levels of insulin. This otherwise tells our body to keep the fat and instead tells the liver to use up fatty acids, especially those nearby visceral fat deposits, he says. How much exercise we want to do depends on our weight loss goals. On average, most people can benefit from 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise almost every day.
It smells amazing and would add a new flavor to food apart from helping to reduce belly fat. A study published in the journal ISRN Pharmacology showed that using coconut oil can be great for shaving off inches from the waistline. For the purpose of the study, 30 men had just two tablespoons per day of coconut oil over the course of a month and found that they had reduced waist circumference by an average of 1.1 inches.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides as opposed to the long-chain fatty acids found in animal sources of saturated fat. Virgin coconut oil also is unlikely to increase your cholesterol and is more likely to be burned as energy. It contains roughly 117 calories per tablespoon and is almost like the caloric swap for olive oil. It also has a high smoke point making it great for cooking anything you want, from eggs to stir-fries.
If you want to effectively burn belly fat, it is also important to know what type of belly fat you have. Once you have a better understanding of your body, you can take steps to treat it in a healthier way.