6 Ways to Get Rid of Excess Belly Fat That Actually Work

If there’s one spot that people complain most about gaining weight, it’s their belly. No one wants to deal with stubborn belly fat! While we all know that cardio is an essential part of trimming down on the extra fat around our abs, it’s not always enough. To find out how we can supplement our cardio work for a lean and toned stomach, we turned to Brooke Alpert, RD and founder of B Nutritious.

1. Fat burns fat

whole and halved avocado in a wooden bowl

Bowl filled with avocados | iStock.com

It might sound counter-intuitive, but eating healthy fats like dairy and coconut oil can help you burn off that belly fat faster. “Recent research has found that consuming medium chain fatty acids help the fat burning process called thermogenesis,” said Alpert. “Additionally, medium chain fatty acids are more rapidly absorbed by the body and can therefore be used as energy instead of stored as fat.” Alpert recommends loading up on healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts, which she says are all beneficial for slimming down belly fat.

2. Pack in the protein

chicken cutlets

Chicken cutlets | iStock.com

“Lean sources of protein like eggs, chicken, tofu, fish, shellfish, Greek yogurt, lean cuts of meat can help restore muscle and burn fat. Protein also keeps you well satiated between meals so that you are not reaching for any high-sugar snacks because you’re too ravenous to make it to lunch,” explained Alpert. “All those higher sugar foods actually increase belly fat, like white bread, pasta, rice, cookies, cakes, etc. Starch particularly loves to sit in our middle section… exactly where we do not want it! So pack in the protein to help you ward off those hunger pangs and over-indulging.”

3. Spice it up

Source: iStock

Spicy chili pepper on a wooden table | iStock.com

If you like it spicy hot, then you’re in luck. “Chili peppers contain a unique substance called capsaicin, which can actually reduce your appetite,” said Alpert. “It reduced appetite meaning you won’t need to take in as many calories.”

4. Green tea

pouring a cup of green tea

Green tea | iStock.com

You may want to ditch your morning cup of coffee and substitute with a cup of green tea. Alpert says a study published in Clinical Nutrition found that a high-dose of green tea extract can significantly reduce waist circumference. Researchers believe that the active substance in green tea extract, may inhibit the hunger hormone, ghrelin.

5. Weight training

muscular man resting with a medicine ball in his hand

Fit man holding a medicine ball | iStock.com

It has been found that weight training is the most effective type of exercise in reducing belly fat. “A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that healthy men who did twenty minutes of daily weight training had less age-related abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities,” Alpert said. “Weight training helps build lean body tissue, which helps burn fat. The more you train with weights, the more muscle you build and the more fat you burn throughout the day.”

6. Relax

Source: iStock

Take a break now and then | iStock.com

Believe it or not, stress not only affects our mood and brain but it is also a major cause of weight gain. “Stress causes our body to release cortisol, which in turn causes inflammation and weight gain around the abdomen,” Alpert said. So, an easy way to cut down on your belly fat without messing with your diet or breaking a sweat is to cut down on your stress levels. “Managing your stress levels takes hard training. Start by taking a five-minute break mid-day to take a walk in the office or get some fresh air and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep is a huge contributor to increased levels of stress.”