Several medical studies note the importance of losing inches around the waist over just losing weight. They’ve found it’s far more unhealthy to carry belly fat than it is to have fat deposited just under the skin.
Risk of Weight around the Waist
Visceral fat — body fat stored within the abdominal cavity and around internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines — increases risks of several health problems, including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and sleep problems.
This kind of fat within the abdominal cavity also provokes inflammation, which leads to additional health problems and makes it even more troublesome.
What is a Healthy Waist Circumference?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one way to estimate your potential disease risk is to measure your waist circumference rather than overall weight.
- A man’s waist circumference to be below 40 inches.
- A non-pregnant woman’s waist circumference to be under 35 inches.
If your waist measurements are above the CDC recommendations, you may be at greater risk for obesity-related conditions, such as high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
How to Measure Waist Circumference
- Stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones
- Make sure tape is horizontal around the waist
- Keep the tape snug around the waist, but not compressing the skin
- Measure your waist just after you breathe out
Though it can be difficult to target fat loss to one specific area of your body, certain habits, foods, and exercises have been shown to help people shrink their waistlines, reduce visceral belly fat, flatten their stomachs, debloat, and tone their abs.
Best Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
Aerobic exercises, such as walking and swimming, and exercises that target the stomach are best for reducing belly fat. Do a combination of both for quicker results, variety, and more fun!
Target the stomach. Pilates, yoga, and chair exercises are low impact and target the core. Try aquatic pilates and yoga in a pool to add water resistance and for a cool activity during the summer.
Aerobics and cardio. Endurance exercises that get the heart rate up, whether walking, cycling, swimming, or aquatic classes, burn fat and trim the stomach. The CDC recommends at least 2 ½ hours of moderately intense aerobic activity per week for older adults.
Another great way to start exercising is by joining a fitness center. Ask a friend to join you or expand your social circle by meeting new friends in a fitness class!
What to Eat to Lose Inches Off Your Stomach
1. Avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks.
Studies have shown that excess sugar, mostly due to large amounts of fructose, can lead to increased fat around the belly. Swap sugary treats and drinks for whole fruits, which are naturally sweet and high in fiber without the added fructose. Source: Visceral Adiposity and Lipids study.
2. Cut carbs.
Studies comparing low-carb diets and low-fat diets show low-carb diets more effectively target fat around the belly, organs, and liver. Limit refined carbs, such as bread and pasta, and instead, enjoy healthier carbs like whole-wheat pasta, barley, oatmeal, and quinoa. Source: Nutrition and Metabolism study.
3. Eat more protein.
Protein not only fills you up and boosts metabolism, but it’s also effective against belly fat. People who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat, while one study specifically linked protein to a reduced risk of belly fat gain over a five-year period. Add more high-protein foods, such as eggs, fish, seafood, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy products, into your diet. Source: NCBI Waist Circumference study.
4. Add fiber-rich foods.
A study linked eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day to a 3.7% reduction of fat in the abdominal cavity. Add fiber to your diet by eating a lot of plant foods likes fruits, vegetables, legumes, and oats. You could also add a fiber supplement to your diet. Always consult with your doctor before taking supplements. Source: Lifestyle and Abdominal Fat study.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep has various health benefits for your entire body, and the belly is no exception. According to Wake Forest researchers, dieters who sleep five hours or less put on two and a half times more belly fat, while those.
Put Your Fork Down Between Bites
It requires twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough, so if you eat gradually risks are you will consume less and see your belly shrink. An investigation in BMJ Open tracked down that sluggish and ordinary speed eaters were less inclined to be corpulent than fast eaters! A simple trick to moderate your speed: Place your fork down on the plate after each bite.
At the point when you’re continually worried, it’s terrible information for your belly. Stress triggers the arrival of a hormone called cortisol, and on the grounds that cortisol is evolutionarily linked to alerting your body to outer perils (like that wild ox went directly toward you) and low blood-glucose levels, it powers your body to store fat and causes you to feel hungry. All in all, if you’re focused, you’ll begin craving that afternoon candy bar regardless of whether your stomach is in reality full. To avoid pressure, attempt simple things like taking full breaths and meditating for a couple of moments every day.