If your anything like me, your belly is your biggest trouble spot, meaning that I am looking for the best ways for girls to lose belly fat. Whether you're a teenage girl looking how to reduce belly fat, or a young adult wanting to get rid of belly fat quickly, there are several things that can be done to get the slim midriff we all desire. Did you know that too much belly fat cuts your life expectancy in half? Statistics show that more than half of Americans are overweight or obese. To be exact, for Caucasians it is 66%, for Blacks it is 50% and among the Hispanic population, 3 out of 4 people are obese or at risk of obesity. Alarmingly, 33% of American children are overweight. It's not always going to be easy and it will require some effort and life changes, but the end result is something we will all be so proud of. Adding belly fat loss to your routine can help whittle our middle, get healthier and create the lean look we crave.
Ready to get started? Here are some fantastic ways for girls to blast belly fat fast and create the silhouette you've always dreamed of having.
⭐ Avoid sugary drinks - soda, sports drinks, frozen cocktails, etc.
⭐ Eat more lean protein like chicken, fish and beans
⭐Choose healthy fats
⭐ Choose complex carbs instead of simple carbs (yes, you can eat carbs when losing weight as long as you choose good carbs!)
⭐ Eat more fiber from whole grains, fruits, and veggies
⭐ Get in some cardio every day
⭐ Track your calorie intake so you can make cuts where necessary
⭐ Avoid sleeping too much since this slows down your metabolism
⭐ Eat more berries including blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries - they are all high in antioxidants
⭐ Avoid hydrogenated fats
⭐ Eat sprouted bread (it's also known as Ezekiel bread). Recipe here
⭐ Include weight lifting in your exercise routine
⭐ Avoid foods that contain artificial sweeteners
⭐ Get outside to top up your vitamin D
⭐ Enjoy moderate portions of nuts for a snack
⭐ Use garlic to flavor food instead of salt
⭐ Eat fish at least twice per week
⭐ Switch to whole grains instead of refined ones
⭐ Eat veggies at snack time (prep in advance to save time)
⭐ Get more calcium from low-fat cheese and yogurt
⭐ Add tart cherries to your meal plan
⭐ Go for a run to burn calories
⭐ Get enough sleep to control appetite hormones
⭐ Try not to snack after dinner (or choose a healthy snack (like these)
⭐ Drink dandelion tea
⭐ Eat more spicy foods, which boosts metabolism
⭐ Add chia seeds to your diet to bulk up your food
⭐ Swap your regular cooking oil for coconut oil
⭐ Cook with herbs
⭐ Take a fish oil supplement
⭐ Add lemon to your water (find out why here)
⭐ Drink more water - make it flavored for more benefits and variety
⭐ Choose lean meats over fattier cuts
⭐ Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your diet to help burn fat - interesting, but it works!
⭐ Try yoga
⭐ Drink more green tea
⭐ Find ways to relieve stress - stress causes the release of cortisol which traps fat in the midsection
⭐ Stay active by taking the stairs, parking further from the store and standing during phone calls
⭐ Ride your bike instead of driving
⭐ Go for a walk every day
Now you know how to get rid of belly fat, let's take a look at the science behind fat and weight loss, and delve deeper into why we need to adopt certain behaviors to lose belly fat.
Types of Belly Fat
There are two main types of fat that can be found in your midsection. The first is subcutaneous fat which is the type that is directly beneath the skin and can be seen in the form of rolls around your stomach. This type of fat, while not good for your health, is more of an appearance issue.
The other type of fat, called visceral fat is the kind you have to be worried about. This type of fat can be found between your internal organs and is the kind that raises your risk of many health problems. You can't see visceral fat from the outside, but its presence contributes to issues that affect your liver, kidneys, digestive tract, hormones, metabolism and stress levels, among other problems. This is also the belly fat that is stubborn and takes a bit of effort to lose.
Most women have both types of fat when they carry excess flab in the stomach area. Fortunately, you can control your risk of health issues by eliminating that fat. The tried and true methods of cutting calories and staying active are the best ways to accomplish this, but there is a variety of other habits and lifestyle changes you can add to your routine that will also help.
Dangers of Belly Fat
There is plenty of research that proves that carrying weight around your middle is not good for your health. That extra fat makes you more sensitive to insulin, which increases your risk of diabetes It also raises the risk of heart disease.
In addition, having excess belly fat, in general, raises the risk of dying early and having to deal with other life-threatening conditions. Cancer of the colon kidney and digestive tract is at an increased risk in women with excess fat around their midsection. Being overweight in general raises the risk of breast and ovarian cancer as well.
Other risks to your health that may occur with too much belly fat include high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, and a variety of degenerative conditions. By eliminating that belly fat you improve your health and help ward off complications that go with it.
Causes of Belly Fat
Often, finding out what's causing your belly fat makes it simpler to figure out how to get rid of it. The obvious answer is that you eat more calories than you burn. When you take in too many calories, your body stores the excess as fat, which often settles around your middle.
There are certain foods and drinks that are linked to belly fat. Sugar is one of the biggest ones. Besides the obvious sources of sugar, like soda, cake, and cookies, it's also hiding in other foods. That includes pasta sauce, salad dressings, bread and much more. Reading labels helps you figure out where you can make some cuts.
Alcohol is another big contributor to belly fat. Many women fail to account for liquid calories, so even if you're eating a healthy diet, you could be overdoing it if you have a couple of cocktails at happy hour. The worst offenders are frozen fruity drinks, margaritas and creamy drinks like mudslides or White Russians.
Fat contains 9 calories per gram, so a diet high in fat naturally causes belly fat to accumulate. It's best to stay away from fast food, fried food, desserts and other fatty items if you're trying to blast away some belly fat.
Finally, inactivity and stress can also cause belly fat When you sit around all the time, you aren't burning any calories, which will get in the way of fat loss on your body. Being under too much stress increases your body's levels of cortisol a hormone that increases appetite and causes you to overeat, which also causes excess belly fat.
Foods to Choose to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Clearly, the foods you eat and don't eat are going to play a big role in how much belly fat you have. If you want to get rid of the flab around your middle, it's important to pay close attention to what you put into your mouth. It's not only important to count your calories, but also to choose the right foods. In general, you want to eat a variety of foods from each food group, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. This ensures adequate nutrient intake and calorie control. Let's take a closer look at some important nutrients.
Why You Need Fiber
The great thing about fiber is that fills you up for longer periods of time than low-fiber foods, which means better appetite control and less reaching for unhealthy snacks between meals. Fiber tends to show up in foods that should be a part of your diet and are naturally low in fat and calories. Your best sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating more them will help you prevent hunger between meals and keep your total calorie intake under control.
Protein Plays an Important Role
Protein gives your body energy and supports virtually every function in your body. Skimping on protein often means eating a lot of junk food, leading to belly fat. If you're ready to say goodbye to the flab around your middle, eat more protein. You need to be sure you're getting it from healthy sources though. Choose lean beef, chicken breast, fish, beans, nuts, eggs and low-fat dairy foods. Be sure to add protein to every meal to help you regulate your metabolism and to fuel your workouts.
Carbs Aren't the Enemy
You might think that carbs are a bad word when it comes to losing belly fat, but that's simply not true. Your body needs carbs for fuel, but you have to choose the right ones. Carbs will give you the energy you need to work out and blast that belly fat for good. You want complex carbs from foods like vegetables and whole grains. You want to stay away from foods that contain simple carbs like cookies, white bread, and white rice. Choosing the right carbs also means boosting your fiber intake, which you already know is important for fat loss.
Fat is Good in Moderation**
Fat is the dreaded word here, but there is a place for it in your diet. No, you don't want to hit the drive-thru every day, but there are healthy fats that offer up plenty of benefits when you're trying to slim down. Healthy fats include omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. These can be found in tasty foods like avocados, salmon, nuts and olive oil.
The fats you want to stay away from include trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats are found in foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils. You'll see them in processed baked goods, frozen pizza and much more. Saturated fat is found in fatty cuts of meat and full-fat dairy foods. You want to limit saturated fats and eliminate trans fats.
You Can't Get By Without Exercise
Another vital component to any fat loss routine is exercise This is how you'll burn additional calories so your body can burn off the excess fat hanging around your middle. There are two types of important exercise to include in your fat loss plan.
The first is cardio. This is any kind of exercise that gets your heart rate going That includes biking, running, walking, hiking, swimming, jogging, playing sports and dancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting at least 30 minutes of cardio most days of the week. This will help you burn the calories you need to create a deficit that is conducive to losing fat.
The second important type of exercise is strength training This type of exercise builds lean muscle mass, which boosts your metabolism, helping you optimize your calorie burn. You should be doing two or three 20- to 30-minute strength training sessions each week. Good choices include yoga poses lifting weights, using resistance bands or doing body weight moves, such as push-ups or planks.
Specific Moves for the Belly
You can't spot treat your body in terms of fat loss. When you exercise, you'll lose fat all over. Cardio will help burn off the fat in your belly and uncover the muscles beneath. Certain exercises will help tone and slim those belly muscles so you can get the physique you want. You'll want to incorporate these moves into your sessions each week for the best results.
The best exercises for blasting away fat and toning muscle in your midsection include crunches, bicycles, planks, sit-ups, reaches, donkey kickbacks, scale pose, boat pose, V-holds, body weight squats, V-ups and anything that engages your core. Of course, there are loads of other great moves that you can add. Keeping things fresh and new ensures that you reach your goals without getting tired of your routine.
Stress plays a huge role in the accumulation of belly fat. Too much stress increases your levels of cortisol, which increases appetite and leads you to overeat. You can't get rid of stress completely, but you can ease it by building time into your day for a warm bath, a phone call with a friend, a hot mug of tea or time to read before bed. This will go a long way toward helping you achieve your fat loss goals.
A Word About Genetics
Experts say there are five genes that play a role in belly fat. So in some sense, you are stuck with what you were born with. However, genetics is only part of the puzzle. Your lifestyle plays a much bigger role in the size of your waist so don't give up just because your genes make it hard. Commit to a healthy lifestyle and rest should follow!
What are your favorite tips and tricks for losing belly fat? Please do share in the comments!