This Is the 1 Surprising Secret You Need to Know to Burn Belly Fat Fast

When it comes to burning belly fat, we will literally try any weight loss method out there, no matter how ridiculous and unproductive it sounds. But really, there aren’t any secret exercises or miracle foods that are going to pulverize your paunch. All you need to know is this one secret, and you will be able to kiss your belly fat goodbye.

For starters — the simple science behind body fat

Woman struggles to button her pant button.

Belly fat is often hereditary. | Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images Plus

One of the best ways to get rid of your spare tire is to know how it got there in the first place. And, believe it or not, it takes more than a junk food habit to produce a gut. Harvard Health explains that visceral fat, aka belly bulge, is considered biologically active and functions like its own endocrine organ. This means that abdominal fat can alter the chemistry of your body, and excess belly fat can lead to a plethora of health issues.

On the bright side, there are many factors that can contribute to getting rid of a belly pooch once and for all.

The impact of exercise

A group of people doing Pilates.

Mix Pilates with a spin class for better results. | Andres Rodriguez/Hemera/Getty Images Plus

Yes, exercise helps you get rid of belly fat — but not how you think it does. Far too many people think that crunches and other abdominal exercises will make their flabby middles disappear, but that simply isn’t true. There is no exercise out there that targets your midsection and zaps the fat away. If you want to exercise your way to a flatter stomach, you need to do plenty of cardio to burn the fat cells, then add abdominal exercises to strengthen your core muscles.

Stress and sleep

A stressed out woman cannot sleep.

Get some sleep … your waistline will thank you for it. | Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images Plus

People are often surprised to learn how much stress and sleep can contribute to a flabby midsection. Heightened stress encourages your body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for visceral weight gain. Additionally, it has been found that sleep deprivation makes your body crave anything that makes it feel good, especially unhealthy foods. So if you are chronically stressed and¬†sleep-deprived, there’s a chance you are gaining fat around your midsection.

What about ‘fat-burning’ foods?

A yogurt bowl packed with fruits and healthy fats.

Eat healthy without buying into superfood trends. | Sarsmis/iStock/Getty Images Plus

You have probably heard that certain foods supposedly help rev up your metabolism and burn more fat. Unfortunately, there isn’t any scientific proof to back these claims. Yes, it’s true that eating food in general increases your metabolism so you can digest. However, there is no miracle food that cranks up this process. The best you can do is eat foods that your body will take fewer calories from, like fiber and protein. Which brings us to …

The secret

A plate full of grilled chicken, veggies and steamed rice.

Eating well rounded meals will make a huge difference. | Veranika Smirnaya/iStock/Getty Images Plus

So what’s the secret? Eat a menu containing lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, and good sugars such as fruits. Combine that with an exercise regimen consisting of both sweat-inducing cardio and muscle-toning abdominal exercises. Additionally, make sure to get plenty of sleep, and take time to relax and breathe in deep so you can reduce your stress levels.

Stick to this and you will be well on your way to a flat tummy.

Whether it’s OK to take a supplement for fat loss …

A woman holds a couple of pills.

Don’t take weight loss supplements without checking with your doctor. | Blackzheep/iStock/Getty Images Plus

OK, so some of us need some extra help ridding ourselves of belly bulge. But are diet pills the way to go? Mayo Clinic explains that many diet pills are just tools for weight loss, and not a one-stop-shop for burning fat. Additionally, limited research — especially for non-prescription supplements — raises many safety concerns. (Supplements not checked by the FDA can contain harmful ingredients.) It is best to consult a doctor before wading through the wide world of dietary supplements.

… and why liposuction should be an absolute last resort

A plastic surgeon prepping a patient for liposuction.

Liposuction isn’t just an easy way out. | Ronstik/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Here’s the deal with liposuction: It may get rid of your belly fat, but you will gain it back in other places. WebMD reveals a study showing that fat can return within a year of getting liposuction, and that it returns in different places. So while you might have gotten rid of your gut, you could end up with thunder thighs or a flabby neck a year later.

Additionally, undergoing liposuction comes with a long list of risks, including infection and scarring. If surgery is your only option for removing belly fat — for health reasons, of course — it is imperative to adopt a healthy lifestyle afterwards.