Healthy Living

Effective Tips To Eliminate Belly Fat

Belly fat may be normal even to those with flat abs and slim bodies but too much of it will not only affect your vital organs, but may even lead to early death. Called visceral fat, this metabolically active fat unleashes both stress hormones such as cortisol and inflammatory substances called cytokines, which affect your body's insulin production. Compared to subcutaneous fat, it is impossible to reach by hand.

Sports medicine guru and fitness expert Dr. Gabe Mirkin said that more than three inches of belly fat will put you at risk of premature death, adding that "even people who are not overweight are at a high risk for a heart attack and diabetes if they store most of their fat in the belly instead of the buttocks, hips, and thighs." 

Excess belly fat is also "associated with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, inflammation, and arteriosclerosis," as per Mirkin, with research showing that it is "also associated with many diseases including diabetes, dementia, impotence, heart disease, strokes, kidney damage, and even some types of cancer."

For a longer and healthier life, Dr. Mirkin has listed effective and drug-free tips that you can follow to eliminate (or at least reduce) belly fat:

Lose Weight Via Diet

A clean diet should help you shed unwanted weight. Even a seven percent decrease in your overall body weight is enough to reduce risk of diabetes. Mirkin advised against consuming red meat, fried food, processed food and food with added sugar as part of your diet, instead concentrating on whole grains like oatmeal, barley, wild rice, brown rice and quinoa, along with plant-based foods. 

Burn Off Fat 

Since visceral fat responds quickly to exercise, it is best to trim off all excess fat on your belly just by doing an aerobic workout, whether it is in the form of running, biking, swimming or just a simple daily walk, as long as it increases your heart rate. 

Eat High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet 

One way to reduce belly fat is through a keto diet, which is recommended by nutritionist Jonny Bowden for effectively helping the body burn more fat. Basically, a keto diet is "when you don't give your body sugar or excess carbs to burn for energy," turning to fat stores as an alternative source of fuel.

Reduce Stress 

Stress affects every part of your body, not only leading to joint pain and headaches, but even to excess body fat. That is because as a result of stress, your body pumps out extra cortisol, affecting your appetite and redistributing body fat to your belly area, according to a review published in the journal Obesity. 

One way to reduce stress is by finding time to relax during the day, especially if you are feeling on edge. Exercise of any type also helps, but yoga and meditation are more effective in stress reduction.

Increase Fiber Intake 

When combined with other fat-reducing tips, enough fiber will eliminate fat on your belly. 

A study published in Obesity found that an increase in soluble fiber intake by 10 grams, equivalent to a small apple or half a cup of black beans, resulted in a decrease in visceral fat by four percent. Aside from these findings, fiber helps slow down your digestive system and requires more chewing, keeping your hunger at bay daily.

Cook Your Own Meals

Researchers said that if you are cooking the right food, spending time in the kitchen can lead to reduced belly fat. Scientists in the U.K. found that people who eat more than five homemade meals weekly decreases their likelihood of having a high body mass index by 28 percent, adding that they also practice healthy habits such as exercising more and made healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables as part of their diet.

Belly Fat A man with a large belly eats junk food on May 23, 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty Images