Everyone has some belly fat, but to different degrees. It’s essential for survival, at least it was when food used to be scarce at times, but now it’s become a health risk for lots of people.
While belly fat serves a purpose, it’s often not that useful now, and can hurt our self-esteem as well as energy and vitality.
Everyone puts weight on differently based on their genes. We all have that one friend who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. Whereas some of us may have to keep an eye on what we eat.
That’s ok, because healthy living comes with a huge amount of other benefits besides just less belly fat, such as higher life energy and better mood.
If you’re someone that wants to lose a few extra pounds, then we’re going to go through the top ways you can reduce your belly fat.
By following these tips you can start to lose belly fat within as little as 2 weeks
Worst Foods For Belly Fat
First, let’s start by talking about what we need to get rid of in our diets and lifestyles when it comes to belly fat.
This all starts by changing what we put into our bodies. The idea is simple. Processed foods are generally pretty strong drivers of belly fat. Whole foods (in the right amounts) are usually pretty good for keeping weight off.
Conceptually, this is an easy switch. But in practice, it’s harder to achieve since lot’s of processed food is engineered to be super addictive.
We’re going to list a few food ingredients, and where they are found, just so you can be aware of them. This is the first step, then you can go about slowly and gradually phasing them out of your diet. We’ll cover some of the top foods to avoid to lose belly fat so you know what to look out for.
Start to work to avoid these foods to lose belly fat.
Sugar and Belly Fat
You’ll also see sugar labeled under these ingredients too; High Fructose Corn Syrup, Glucose: Fructose Syrup
Sugars are found in Sodas, Energy Drinks, Pastries, Cakes, Biscuits/Cookies to name a few.
Sugar is everywhere, and a good way to tell is that if you are ever buying packaged food always check the labels.
Sugar is a strong driver of belly fat accumulation as it’s high in calories and contains no other nutrients. It’s pure carbohydrate, which is a strong signal for the body to launch hormones that tell it to store a lot of that energy as fat.
It also causes a lot of inflammation as well, which throws an extra spanner in the works of metabolism.
How much sugar should you eat per day to lose belly fat?
The SACN recommends no more than 5% of your total daily energy come from free sugars such as those found in sodas and other drinks. So for a 2000 calorie diet that’s 100 calories of sugar. This equates to no more than 25g of sugar per day.
But, if you really want to move the needle, aim for less than 25g. If you are eating just wholefoods and no processed foods at all then you will be taking on almost no free sugars, which will significantly improve your chances of losing belly fat.
Sugars are highly refined carbs. These are the carbs you should avoid if you want to lose belly fat.
What carbs should you eat to lose belly fat?
If you want to eat carbs then shoot for highly complex carbs such as whole grains, and root vegetables like parsnips and potatoes. Cutting down carbs to the minimal amount will yield the best results for most people, but include moderate amounts of these carbs if you like.
Trans Fats and Belly Fat
These are found in cakes, biscuits, hard margarines, takeaways, pastry, pies and fried foods
Trans fats are super inflammatory, and also create insulin resistance in the body, which is how belly fat accumulates easily.
They also contain lots of calories with no other nutrients, so are simply empty calories. When there are calories and no nutrients to help process them, it can lead to easy storage in the belly as fat.
Vegetable Oils and Belly Fat
These are found in crisps, roasted nuts, cookies, crackers
They are highly inflammatory, which causes cellular damage which can interfere with the process by which cells communicate, and how hormones and messengers control metabolism. They are one of the foods that make it easiest to accumulate belly fat.
Alcohol and Belly Fat
Alcohol is high in calories and contains no real other nutritional properties. It’s ok to have in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle, but in excess it can lead to extra calories that can easily add up.
The liver also has to process alcohol, so it may become less efficient at clearing toxicity, which can cause problems with inflammation, which is a big driver of belly fat.
If you want to lose weight fast, say in as little as 2 weeks, then cutting out alcohol is an easy win
Best Foods For Losing Belly Fat
There's lots of slimming eats and tasty foods which can help reduce belly fat. Generally, foods that are seriously low carb offer the fastest and most effective way to lose belly fat. But, this doesn’t have to be the case, as many people still find they can lose belly fat whilst eating whole grains and other sources of complex carbohydrates. Eating good foods will make it easier to lose belly fat, as you get into new habits and tastes. There’s lots of foods to eat to lose weight in stomach but we’re just going to outline a few here.
This is a great food to add to meals, as it’s high in healthy fats that help reduce inflammation and supports healthy insulin signalling. Belly fat is driven by insulin resistance, but olive oil helps to increase insulin sensitivity.
It also helps to reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness too.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines, are some of the best foods to reduce belly fat, as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for reducing belly fat.
Omega-3 fats are another type of super healthy fat which helps to support metabolism, first by boosting the process of metabolism that burns fat to make energy. Second, they also help the body to become sensitive to insulin, helping to reduce belly fat storage.
Omega-3 fats are also highly anti-inflammatory, so can help prevent the effects that inflammation has on metabolic processes that increase belly fat.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula and lettuce are some of the best belly fat burning foods. They are super high in nutrients like B Vitamins and Magnesium. These are essential for driving the processes of metabolism that help keep belly fat off.
They’re also super low carb, high in fibre (which helps promote feeling full) as well as super low in calories.
Foods like leafy greens are considered nutrient dense, as they contain so many nutrients whilst containing such low calories.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, are great for reducing belly fat.
They are low in calories, low carb and high in fibre. They also contain a high density of nutrients, such as glucosinolates, which have been shown to have anti-obesity effects. Studies have found that consuming cruciferous vegetables can help reduce body weight, including belly fat, and improve insulin resistance.
Berries are some of the best fruits for reducing belly fat as they are super high in plant compounds called polyphenols, specifically anthocyanins. These are super anti-inflammatory, as well as being potent antioxidants which help support healthy metabolism, and keep belly fat off.
They are also some of the lowest sugar fruits, with high fibre contents as well as being very low calorie.
Some of the best berries are blueberries, raspberries and even pomegranate can be good.
Proteins, especially lean ones like chicken and turkey are essential for reducing belly fat. Protein is a really efficient macronutrient. It takes more energy to digest it, so is metabolically more expensive for the body, which is good if we want to burn belly fat.
It also tells hunger hormones to dial down, as well as fullness hormones to ramp up after eating it. It’s why high protein diets are generally pretty successful for weight loss, and keeping belly fat off.
Diets that are low in protein and low in calories are a sure fire way of losing weight but not belly fat, which is the least ideal situation to be in. Protein is important for muscle mass. You need it to be metabolically healthy.
Here are some healthy Chicken meals to lose belly fat from our marketplace of meals, ready for you to tuck in anytime anywhere.
Parmesan Chicken & Romesco with Quinoa
Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowl
Piri Piri Chicken
Probiotic foods, like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt all contain beneficial bacteria which helps support the gut ecosystem.
The gut is where the majority of the immune system lies, and having enough supportive bacteria there is essential for keeping levels of inflammation in check.
With a disrupted gut bacterial ecosystem comes a lot of inflammation. An imbalance in the gut lining can also cause invaders to set off the immune system, and cause something called metabolic endotoxemia. This can interfere with metabolism, and cause the accumulation of belly fat.
In the long term, probiotics are some of the best foods that burn belly fat.
Bonus Tips for Reducing Belly Fat
How To Lose Belly Fat With Exercise
Going to the gym or committing an hour to exercise each day can be daunting. So instead, a good way to burn more calories and get metabolic rate up throughout the day is through exercise snacking. Just bust out 5 minutes of stair climbs in your office block, 5 minutes of squats at home, 5 minutes of press-ups, or do 5 minutes of dynamic stretches. It’s a great way to break up the day, especially during working hours.
Compound exercises such as squats are some of the best exercises to lose belly fat, because you can use them as an exercise snack during the day. They also release a lot of testosterone, which is a belly fat burning hormone.
Squats are a great way for a man losing belly fat, as well as for the ladies too. Use your body creatively throughout the day.
With enough exercise, you can be losing belly fat in as little as 1 week
Prepare Meals in Advance
Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep - falling off the wagon is most likely when we’re tired or time starved, so in the moments where we have time, it's always worth prepping a few batch items like a green leafy salad, a coleslaw, a bean salad, and a cooked whole chicken - this way it's easy to do a mix and match onto a plate at home, or to take to work in a lunchbox. Prepare your slimmingeats in advance!
Green Tea for Belly Fat
Drink green tea regularly - not only does it suppress appetite through increasing the release of a hunger suppressive hormone called CCK (Cholecystokinin), reducing food intake, it also contains plant compounds (polyphenols) like EGCG that actually boosts the metabolic burning of fat.
Drink More Water
Always have water around, preferably in your own non-plastic water bottle (because plastics can interfere with hormonal control of metabolism). Drinking enough water is satiating, helps prevent overeating, and keeps bowel movements healthy (helping to regulate metabolism).
Reducing belly fat requires a combination of healthy eating, regular exercise, and lifestyle changes. Incorporating more high-fiber, protein-rich, and nutrient-dense foods into your diet, while reducing your intake of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol can help. In addition, adopting healthy habits, such as getting enough sleep, managing stress, and staying active, can also contribute to a reduction in belly fat.