Unless you’re playing the role of Santa Claus, gaining a “jelly belly” before the festive season is likely the last thing on your wish list. Besides potentially affecting how you feel and look, carrying excess weight around your stomach is also associated with significant health risks.

Having extra weight around your waistline can seriously jeopardize your health, increasing the likelihood of issues such as high blood pressure, problems with your liver and kidneys, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer, as highlighted by research. It’s important to take charge by educating yourself on the necessary exercise routines, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes to prevent adding unwanted inches to your belly. Thankfully, Eat This, Not That! offers guidance to help you sidestep the unwanted flab.

6 Expert Tips To Avoid Belly Fat

We reached out to Ronny Garcia, CPT from Blink Fitness, who supplied some valuable insights on how to keep belly fat at bay. Continue reading to discover Garcia’s advice on avoiding belly fat, and after that, don’t miss the chance to explore the 20 Best Weight Loss Secrets, as shared by experts.

woman brisk stair climbing walking every daywoman brisk stair climbing walking every day

Cardio works wonders for burning calories, which will lower your overall body fat. Garcia recommends getting in 75 to 150 minutes of cardio on a weekly basis. You can accomplish this by running, walking, swimming, cycling, or even plogging! Not only will you torch fat, but it can be lots of fun. And if you’re ever in need of some inspiration, TikTok is an excellent resource, as the platform is always serving up new fitness trends and challenges, like the “50-mile-month” walking challenge, which is a seamless way to get fit.

older woman doing chicken wings workout with dumbbells to tone arm flabolder woman doing chicken wings workout with dumbbells to tone arm flab

When you work on building muscle, you beef up your resting metabolic rate, which helps you burn calories. There’s a common misconception that strength training and lifting weights will make you look bulky, and when you’re looking to lose weight, you probably don’t want to feel (or look) bigger. But that is simply not the case, as strength training is a crucial part of any successful weight loss journey. According to Garcia, you should do strength training two to three times each week. You’ve got this!

healthy foodshealthy foods

An effective strategy to lose belly fat requires a focus on both diet and exercise. Sticking with a nutritious, well-balanced diet can be quite challenging, but it’s crucial to eliminate or keep your intake of sugar-packed drinks and ultra-processed foods super low. Garcia recommends replacing these not-so-healthy items with whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, veggies, and fruit.

portioned plate with chicken, rice, fruit, and saladportioned plate with chicken, rice, fruit, and salad

You absolutely don’t want to eat too little (which can lead to cravings and overeating later in the day), but if you’re not practicing portion control, there’s a chance you’re actually feeding your body way more than it needs to convert into energy. A few helpful tricks for portion control include using a smaller plate and getting into the habit of waiting a little while after a smaller meal to see if you still feel hungry. It’s also important to make sure that every meal has a good amount of protein and fiber to keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.

man drinking a gallon of water from a bottleman drinking a gallon of water from a bottle

“Did you know that sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger?” asks Garcia. It’s true: Sometimes when you think you’re feeling hungry, you’re really just thirsty. So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day, as this is another important step in any attempt to lose belly fat. If you’re someone who usually forgets to fill up your glass, consider investing in a water bottle that reminds you when you need a refill.

mature woman sleepingmature woman sleeping

This tip may seem pretty anticlimactic. After all, aren’t you supposed to boost your activity level? Well, yes, but you also want to carve out enough time to get a restful sleep each night so your body can recover and repair. Shoot for seven to nine hours of shuteye each night so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. “Poor sleep patterns can result in increased cravings for unhealthy foods,” says Garcia.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What causes belly fat?

There are several factors that contribute to the accumulation of belly fat, including:

  • Poor diet: High intake of sugary foods, saturated fats, and processed foods can lead to increased belly fat.
  • Lack of exercise: Physical inactivity is a key factor in gaining excess weight, including belly fat.
  • Stress: Chronic stress can lead to an increase in cortisol levels, which is associated with added abdominal fat.
  • Genetics: Your genes can play a role in where your body stores fat.
  • Poor sleep: Not getting enough sleep or having disturbed sleep can contribute to weight gain, specifically around the belly.
  • Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol intake can cause various health issues, including increased belly fat.

How can I effectively reduce my belly fat?

To reduce belly fat, consider implementing the following tips:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: Focus on whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  2. Increase physical activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days a week.
  3. Reduce stress: Engaging in stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or even deep-breathing exercises can help manage cortisol levels.
  4. Improve your sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of good-quality sleep per night.
  5. Lay off the alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption to reduce calorie intake and the risk of storing excess fat around your abdomen.
  6. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can aid with weight management and reduce hunger.

Are there any specific foods that help fight belly fat?

Yes, adding certain foods to your diet can help target and reduce belly fat. These include:

  • High-fiber foods: Foods like legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help keep you full longer and reduce cravings.
  • Proteins: Lean meats, fish, legumes, and nuts are great for building muscle and reducing hunger.
  • Healthy fats: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, avocado, and walnuts can help improve your metabolism and reduce fat storage.
  • Polyphenols: Consuming foods high in polyphenols, such as green tea and dark chocolate, can also aid in weight loss and fat reduction.

How long does it take to see results from diet and exercise changes?

The time it takes to see results from changes in diet and exercise varies from person to person and depends on various factors, including initial weight, metabolism, the extent of the lifestyle changes, and consistency. Generally, tangible results can be seen within a few weeks to a few months of consistent healthy eating and regular exercise. However, it’s important to stay patient and committed to your plan for long-term health benefits.


Comments are closed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Stay updated with our intriguing content on regular