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Belly fat, also known as visceral fat or abdominal, can be a bit of a bummer for anyone, physically, mentally and even emotionally.
Not many people like looking down and seeing a flab of flesh staring back at them. More so, it doesn’t exactly seem to be one of the easiest things to just do nowadays. It’s not like you could just abracadabra the fat away just like that.
But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a hard or even impossible task to get rid of the excess fat. Not at all.
Although there are several ways to burn off the excess flab, we’ve gathered the simplest and yet most effective ways you can use to get rid of excess belly fat quickly.
But before we dive in, let’s take a general overview of what we’re dealing with to better understand how it works and how to tackle it.
Belly Fat – a general overview
Excess fat of any kind is usually never a good thing, and the one that happens to be around your stomach is no exception.
But here’s the thing. Not all fats are created equal. There are 2 main types of belly fat which you need to understand. We have;
- Subcutaneous fat – this is the type that sits just below the skin and doesn’t pose much of a health risk.
- Visceral fat – this type surrounds the organs and poses certain health risks. It is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat.
Here’s the thing about visceral fat. It doesn’t just sit there. As a matter of fact, it acts as an “organ” of its own by producing certain hormones and chemicals that are dangerous to your body. The health risks associated with this include;
- Increased risk of coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- Development of metabolic syndrome and more
But it’s not just the health issues that bothers people. Having a big flab around your stomach isn’t exactly how anyone would describe their “dream body”. Basically, having excess belly fat can have psychological effects on certain people.
Then again, it’s important to know when your abdominal fat is termed low, moderate and even excess.
How Much Abdominal Fat Is Too Much?
It’s important to know how much is too much, and how it can affect you. This can be easily determined by measuring your waist circumference with a measuring tape.
According to Harvard health, men with 37 inches and below and women with 31.5 inches and below are at low risk of the health effects associated with excess visceral fat.
Men with 37 to 40 inches and women with 31.5 to 35 inches are at moderate risk while men with 40 inches and above and women with 35 inches and above are at high risk.
Now that we have a better knowledge on abdominal fat, and how it works, let us dive into the simplest and most effective ways to burn it.
Simple And Effective Ways To Burn Belly Fat
Here are 8 simple and effective ways that will help you get rid of belly fat quickly.
1) Changing your habit where necessary
This is the simplest, and most straightforward solution to burning excess belly fat. For example, if factor A causes event B to occur, the first step you need to take to fix event, B is to stop factor A.
Put simply, there are certain things we do or certain habits of ours that are associated with having a big belly. In order to burn off the stomach flab, we need to first identify, and then control or stop the habits responsible for it.
So what common habits or activities contribute to excess abdominal fat?
a) Excess alcohol intake
The link between frequent, excessive alcohol intake and obesity is very much clear. Have you ever heard of the term “beer belly”? There’s a reason it is called that.
Alcohol interrupts your body’s natural metabolism, because when you drink alcohol, your body focuses on metabolizing and breaking it down first before anything else.
And surprise, since alcohol contains calories as well, frequent excessive intake is only a recipe for obesity and an increase in waist size.
The solution here is very simple, which is to reduce your alcohol intake. Reducing your alcohol intake will allow your metabolism to run more smoothly and also let you skip out on those extra calories that could lead to weight gain.
So if you are the type that loves consuming large cans of beer or bottles of whiskey, cutting back on them will definitely help you get rid of the “beer belly”.
b) Excessive snacking
Snacks are a great thing to have every now and then, but overdoing it is sure to have its consequences. Excessive snacking, especially on sugary foods will only help you expand your waist size and lead to weight gain.
Snacks contain their own calories as well which can add up pretty quickly, especially the sugar-filled ones. Cutting back on excess and unnecessary snacking can help you reduce abdominal fat.
c) Eating too much fast food / junk food
You might want to think twice before you order your next double-sized chicken burger with extra cheese. Fast food options might taste great in your mouth, but your stomach would beg to differ.
They are usually high in calories, sugar, and trans fat. All of which contribute to weight gain and obesity when consumed in large amounts. Cutting back on fast food will definitely help to reduce waist size.
Plus, there are now a lot of healthier ways you could enjoy that double-size chicken burger without all the unhealthy components the fast food drive through has to offer.
These are the three most common habits that people engage in that usually contribute to a bigger belly. Controlling and cutting back on these will definitely help you when it comes to reducing your waist size.
2) Eat more protein and also fiber
Eating more protein can help you get rid of belly fat quickly through several mechanisms. Firstly, protein helps to boosts your metabolism, and a faster metabolism leads to better weight loss.
Secondly, protein improves satiety, which is the feeling of fullness. Eating foods high in protein will keep you fuller for longer, which will help you eat less and help you lose weight.
Fiber also helps to boost your metabolism and control cravings by keeping you full.
So it is important to eat sufficient protein and fiber. You can determine your required daily protein intake based on your activity levels and lean body mass.
3) Cut back on carbs and refined sugar
For centuries, we were taught to demonize fats and encouraged to eat more carbs and less fats. But in reality, eating too much carbs is just as bad, especially when it comes to refined carbs.
Chips, donuts, churros, sodas, energy drinks etc. are very high in carbs and are a good source of refined sugar. Eating too many carbs leads to weight gain and reducing your carb intake can lead to weight loss.
A good way to cut back on carbs is to adopt a low carb diet or a keto diet. On a ketogenic diet, you limit your daily carb intake to a certain point, usually less than 35g of net carbs per day to allow your body enter a metabolic state known as ketosis.
There are certain health benefits associated with it such as improved weight loss, better mental clarity, less cravings and much more. For more on the keto diet, check out our complete beginner’s guide to keto.
A regular low carb diet cuts out all forms of refined carbs as well, but doesn’t go as low as the keto diet and doesn’t emphasize ketosis. Usually on a standard low carb diet, your daily carb intake is reduced to less than 100g of carbs per day.
Both ways are effective for weight loss and reducing your sugar intake and will definitely help you burn off excess belly fat.
4) Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is undoubtedly one of the best ways to burn fat effectively, regardless of what diet you are on. How does it work?
It involves limiting all food intake for the day to a specific time window and fasting for the remaining hours. By fasting, I mean abstaining from any foods or drinks with caloric value.
The most common form of intermittent fasting is called the 16:8 where you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour time window. It’s actually easier than it seems and the time you spend asleep is also considered “fasting period” too.
There are other types of intermittent fasting like the 20:4 (20 hours fasting with 4 hours eating window) or even the full day interval fasting.
Either ways, intermittent fasting helps to burn off stubborn fat and can be a very useful tool in getting rid of excess abdominal fat.
5) Don’t forget exercise
All the other tips discussed earlier take more of a passive approach, while exercise is a more active approach. When it comes to the “eat less move more” theory, one of the best ways to “move more” is through exercise.
Exercising is a good way to burn off extra fat and calories and can effectively burn belly fat fast. There are different types of exercises that you can do
- Aerobic exercises – running, walking, and cycling are good exercises in this category. They are the easiest to start with even if you’re not the exercise type. A 30 minute walk is a good way to burn calories.
- HIIT exercises – High intensity interval training exercises (HIIT) are another type of exercise that is very effective for burning fat an also building muscle. Trying these at least once a week is a good way to start.
- Strength/Resistance training – strength training is a good way to build muscle. Building muscle helps your metabolism and in turn helps you to burn more fat, since muscles are more metabolically active than fat.
Exercising at least one or twice a week is a good way to burn off abdominal fat quickly.
6) Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is one hell of a bummer and can really mess with your body when it comes to weight loss. You’re probably familiar with the term “stress eating”.
High levels of stress increases more cortisol, which increases appetite and causes you to eat more, which can slow down weight loss. Also, your body finds it harder to let go of fat when you’re stressed, so too much stress will make it harder to burn that belly flab.
Managing your stress levels is key here. Meditation is a good way to start. Just 5 minutes of calm and controlled breathing per day can change a lot. Also, yoga is another effective way to reduce stress.
Reducing stress will help your body function more properly, making weight loss from all parts of your body, especially your stomach, easier.
7) Get Enough Sleep
Quality sleep is very important for healthy weight loss. Sleeping too little (less than 5 hours per day) can lead to slower fat loss and possibly even weight gain. It is important to sleep at least 7 hours per day.
Too much sleeping isn’t such a good thing either and can affect your overall health, but too little sleep is worse. So a proper sleep schedule is important of you want to get rid of excess belly fat too.
8) Tracking your food intake
Keeping track of what you eat is another sure-fire way to help you stay on track and lose weight. Eating less calories than you need to maintain your weight can lead to weight loss and eating way more than you need can lead to weight gain.
One way to track your food intake is by keeping a food journal, which lets you note down what you eat over time and their caloric values. Another way is to use a food tracking app like Myfitnesspal or Cronometer which helps you count the calories in your food.
Tracking your food intake can help you control your eating and prevent you from going overboard, which will in turn lead to better weight loss and a smaller waist size.
Summing it all up
Excess abdominal fat is a big problem for a lot of people today and can negatively affect our health as well as our body image. Luckily, with these 8 simple tips, you can get rid of the excess belly fat quickly and effectively.
Always remember that for anything to work efficiently, consistence is key. With these 8 easy steps, you can watch the excess flab melt away.