20 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)

Belly fat is more than just a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight.

Fat inside the belly area is also termed visceral fat, and it is seriously harmful.

This type of fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, to name a few .

Many health organizations use BMI (body mass index) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease. However, this is misleading.

People with excess belly fat are at an increased risk, even if they look thin on the outside .

Although losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.

Here are 20 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.

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44 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat

Fat: It’s the stuff that gives ice cream its creaminess, pizza its dreaminess, and Nicki Minaj her twerkiness. In the right places and in the right amounts, fat is the stuff that makes life worth living.

But when your curves start crashing over the bulwark of your beltline, it’s time to start thinking seriously about reducing body fat. Not losing weight per se, but burning off the soft, jiggly stuff and replacing it with firm, lean muscle. Too much fat isn’t just an aesthetic issue, it’s a health issue: belly fat in particular is linked to everything from heart disease and diabetes to liver failure, depression and dementia.

So to help you be less large and more in charge, the team at Eat This, Not That! surveyed some of the most sought-after fitness, nutrition and health experts in America to find out what’s happening on the cutting edge of weight loss.

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29 Weight Loss Tips From Women Who Have Lost 100 Pounds

It’s hard work to lose weight, for sure. Sometimes you need a little inspiration. Get it from these women have each lost almost 100 pounds — or much, much more:

Shanna Fichera, 28, from Camarillo, California

1. Start small. “I began walking or jogging for 15 minutes a day. I worked up to 30 minutes, and then increased it again. It was a very gradual process.”

2. Don’t give up when your weight loss plateaus. “I remember hitting the first plateau and feeling so defeated, but you have to push through and keep putting in the effort for your plan to work. You can’t get discouraged.”

3. Be realistic about which habits need to go. “When I was heavy, I’d eat French fries every single day, plus carbs at almost every meal — like a sandwich for lunch or bread with pasta for dinner. A diet so heavy in fried food and carbs just isn’t conducive to weight loss. To lose the weight, I went from three large meals a day to six small meals, mostly made of fresh vegetable salads with lean meats and nuts. And no more bread!”

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23 Tricks to Flatten Your Belly—Without a Lick of Exercise (Part 03)

Take a chill pill

Stress skyrockets your levels of cortisol, often called “the belly fat” hormone because it signals to the body to store fat around your waist. Add the daily stressors of living our modern lifestyle and you can see how cortisol can be constantly coursing through your veins. This perma-stress mode isn’t good for a lot of healthy reasons, your tummy being just one of them, so it’s important to take time every day to de-stress. Yoga, meditation, walking, journaling, doing a hands-on hobby, or playing a musical instrument are all great time-tested methods. (Hint: Know what isn’t? Watching television. The boob tube actually increases your levels of cortisol!)

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23 Tricks to Flatten Your Belly—Without a Lick of Exercise (Part 02)

Channel a toddler and refuse to eat your broccoli

Cruciferous veggies are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, but unfortunately they’re also the ones most likely to cause your tummy to inflate. Thanks to raffinose, a compound that produces extra gas as it breaks down, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and the like can seriously increase your waistline. But don’t ditch them forever. Just save them for meals where you can wear loose pants. Here are other surprising foods that cause gas.

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