Thinking about donating your favorite jeans? Wondering if you should buy a bigger size to hide your belly fat? I’ll stop you there.
I know the feeling of spending a good amount of money on a great pair of jeans only to find out that they don’t fit anymore. I’ve tried sucking in my stomach or even unbuttoning the first button just so I can fit in them one last time. The overbearing chore of having to hide my belly fat was exhausting and mentally draining.
But what if I told you that you can keep your favorite pair of jeans and no longer have to wear baggy clothes to hide your belly fat?
We all know that losing belly fat doesn’t happen overnight. However, there are ways to incorporate good lifestyle choices that’ll help you lose belly fat in no time!
Wondering how to achieve this? Here are 14 tips on diet to lose belly fat:
1. Follow a Whole Foods Diet to Lose Belly Fat
Whole foods provide the nutrients your body needs to maintain itself without adding extra processed sugar or fat into your diet.
Rather than focusing on specific foods that “burn” your belly fat, it’s best to think of your diet as a whole. There is no one magical food that can burn belly fat. It’s the collective amount of foods you eat and the lifestyle you live that determines this.
The truth is that losing your belly fat happens when your whole body loses weight. Spot reduction barely has any backed-up evidence to claim that you can pick and choose exactly where to lose weight.
With that being said, focusing on a whole foods diet will help you reach your flat belly goals as it reduces the consumption of excess fat and sugar.
What Does a Whole Foods Diet Look Like?
A whole foods diet consists of food that is minimally processed and focuses on grains, fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods. Generally, whole foods are not highly packaged, canned, or frozen, and are as natural as possible.
If you ever find yourself craving a snack or desiring fast food, check your fridge or run to the grocery store to find healthy foods that can promote weight loss. These are much better alternatives than buying fast food and quick-fix meals when hungry.
2. Reduce the High-Sugar Snacks
Reducing sugary foods is one of the hardest things for me to do. I love a good apple turnover and some ice cream. I mean, who doesn’t?
Unfortunately, these high-calorie sugary snacks are converted into fat and become a part of what makes belly fat. These stubborn rolls are a result of the accumulation of snacks that we eat which contain high calories and little nutrition.
By avoiding sugary snacks, you’ll have a steadier glucose level that will keep your energy fairly consistent and won’t tempt you to grab another high-sugar snack. However, don’t forget to be kind to yourself and to allow this every once in a while. Remember, moderation is key.
3. Avoid Highly Processed Foods If You Can
I’ll be honest with you. There are times when I am a sucker for pre-made and processed foods. They just save me so much time and are very convenient.
The problem with this is that it comes with a price. Take your pick: convenience or weight gain?
Processed foods contain “hidden” fat, sodium, and sugar. It’s hidden because we don’t notice it’s there. Since the goal of processed foods is to prolong shelf life and preserve the food, sugar, fat, and sodium are some of the many ingredients that they use to accomplish this.
By consuming a diet mainly of processed foods, over time, you’ll notice the changes in your body and all the sugar, fat, and sodium built up. This makes it harder for you to lose belly fat.
Remember that the goal here is to lessen the number of processed foods you eat as much as you can.
4. Add Green Tea to Your Morning and Evening Routine
This tip is one of my favorites because it’s a simple and relaxing way to boost your metabolism. Green tea contains phenolic compounds and has antioxidant capabilities that exceed other tea types. These compounds in green tea make a great contribution to losing belly fat.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate it into your lifestyle, try swapping out sugary fruit juices and soda with a cup of warm green tea. It’s perfect as a morning drink or a calming wind-down beverage in the evening.
5. Drink Water
Most of the time, when we feel hungry, it’s just our thirst speaking.
Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is beneficial for our hydration and metabolism. If you’re active, then make sure you’re drinking more!
Tip: Carry around a water bottle and create timed reminders so that you don’t forget!
6. Eat When You’re Hungry
Just as I’ve mentioned before, our thirst cues are often mistaken for hunger cues. Aside from that, there are times when we feel like snacking because we’re in front of the TV or a friend opens a bag of chips.
It’s important to recognize when you’re actually hungry versus times when you are just socially eating. By following this practice, you can achieve that calorie deficit that will help you lose belly fat.
7. Google Your Snacks
With the wide availability of the internet, there’s no excuse for lacking creativity with your snack choices. There are plenty of healthier options that are delicious and easy to make.
If you’re the type of person who gets bored with your meals easily, simply search the web to find some healthy and delicious snack recipes that our friends around the world have come up with. There are plenty of websites that offer recipes with nutrition information and are catered to those looking for healthier alternatives.
8. Soda Doesn’t Help
As great as soda sounds, you’ll want to reduce it if your goal is to lose belly fat. Soda, like many processed beverages, contains large amounts of sugar.
In a study conducted in Mexico, it was found that there is an association between weight gain and soda intake. It was also found that for every serving of soda you drink a day, 60 minutes worth of exercise may not burn those calories due to the complex mechanisms of liquid calories.
Aside from its sugar content, soda is a carbonated beverage. That means extra gas in your stomach, which could lead to bloating!
9. Don’t Be Lazy
If you’re lazy, this tip might take some effort: Packed snacks from home are one of the easiest ways to be in control of what you eat when you leave the house.
I know this may sound intimidating, but trust me, you’ll thank me later. One of the reasons why people end up eating out or buying snacks from vending machines is because of unexpected hunger.
With this tip, it’s important to be ahead of the game and to anticipate this hunger. Something as simple as packing an egg sandwich, a granola bar, or baby carrots can be done in a matter of minutes. Not only do you save money, but you also get to control what you eat, its nutritional value, and the quantity.
Packing your snacks gives you control over the type of food you eat and is a perfect diet tip to lose belly fat.
10. Reduce or Avoid Alcohol
Like most drinks out there, alcohol contains calories. And any overconsumption of calories can lead to weight gain or that big belly.
Don’t believe me?
Alcohol contains seven calories for every one gram of ethanol. To top it off, most popular drinks contain a lot of sugar. A lot of sugar means a lot of calories. And although you can find sugar-free drinks, all alcoholic drinks contain calories.
If you’re an avid drinker or an occasional drinker, reducing or avoiding alcohol is a great way to modify your diet to lose belly fat.
11. Meal Timing Makes a Difference
In a recent study, it was found that meal timing may be a factor in fat accumulation and the effectiveness of weight loss.
We all know the importance of breakfast and that skipping it could lead to weight gain. However, in the research paper mentioned above, it was found that having late lunch (past 3 pm) and late dinner is a possible factor in weight gain as well.
We all have a biological clock time that regulates our metabolism and digestion. This means that the timing of our meals can potentially impact how much fat we accumulate and our ability to lose weight.
If you have no choice but to have a late dinner, do so at least two hours before your bedtime.
12. Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
I bet you’re tired of hearing this one.
The truth behind this tip is that fruits and vegetables have the nutrients needed for a healthy body. Not only that, but they also contain fiber that will help keep you full. If you’re full and satisfied, you’re less likely to go off looking for a high-calorie snack.
Fruits and vegetables generally also have a low-calorie count. An apple or banana would have fewer calories than your chocolate bar or a bag of chips. So, don’t forget to grab an apple or two at the grocery store!
13. Nibble Your Snacks
I know this sounds like something straight out of a princess movie—and no, I am not telling you to eat like a mouse. Rather than chomping down all your food in one go, take some time to thoroughly chew your food.
Sounds silly? It’s not.
There was research conducted on overweight youth showing that people who nibble their food and consume higher calories have less visceral fat (a part of what makes belly fat) compared to gobblers who consume lower calorie foods. They also found that it is more likely to happen in males than females.
A part of this is the awareness and fullness you feel when chewing your food. It’s possible to overeat when you don’t give your body enough time to recognize that it’s full. So, the next time you’re chowing down during a movie, pay attention to how much and how fast you’re eating.
14. Be in Tune With Your Emotions
Emotional eating is a common thing. The classic movie breakup and a tub of ice cream combo aren’t too far from the truth. Most people eat when they’re sad, angry, or depressed. The opposite is true as well. Some people don’t eat when they feel these things.
Self-awareness of your emotions can help you channel those feelings into more productive tasks or tasks that serve you.
Rather than reaching for a bag of cookies, try to take a walk and process your emotions instead. This practice will help you with your diet to lose belly fat because it stops you from overconsuming calories when you don’t need them.
The diet to lose belly fat isn’t a magical group of foods that can make your belly disappear. However, it isn’t a complicated process either. If you really want to see results, you need to practice consistency and moderation.
Once you start applying these lifestyle changes, you will not only notice your belly shrink but also how much better you feel overall!
Featured photo credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya via unsplash.com
|University of Minnesota: Excess sugar linked to dangerous heart and abdominal fat
|Healthline: 8 Ways Food Companies Hide the Sugar Content of Foods
|National Library of Medicine: A Review on the Weight-Loss Effects of Oxidized Tea Polyphenols
|Healthline: Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day: Fact or Fiction?
|International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity: Soft drink intake is associated with weight gain, regardless of physical activity levels: the health workers cohort study
|NHS: Calories in alcohol
|National Library of Medicine: Timing of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Effects on Obesity and Metabolic Risk
|BetterHealth: Fruit and vegetables
|National Library of Medicine: Why Do Men Accumulate Abdominal Visceral Fat?