Okay, you get the point: belly fat = bad. But how do you lose it? You have to think beyond crunches and planks and adopt a well-rounded approach. “It’s got to be more losing fat as a whole,” agrees Chris Gagliardi, a certified personal trainer at the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Without further ado, here are the best ways to lose belly fat once and for all.
You've heard of fat burners, those pills that can make fat melt off your body like ice cream on a hot summer day, right? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but even the best fat burners aren't magic. They're just supplements. That means that even though they're designed with ingredients that can really give you an extra boost to help burn fat, they can't replace a solid diet and exercise plan.
LeanBean is the self-described supplement ‘exclusively formulated for women’. Said to ‘harness the power of nature’ to complement your healthy lifestyle. As is common with this type of supplement, the effects on men and women are theoretically the same, so you can both use it. The LeanBean formula contains 12 ingredients and we’ve rounded them up for you to see how well researched and developed it really is.
Resolve to do more prying. Oysters are one of the best food sources of zinc, a mineral that works with the hormone leptin to regulate appetite. Research shows that overweight people tend to have higher levels of leptin and lower levels of zinc than slimmer folk. A study published in the journal Life Sciences found that taking zinc supplements could increase leptin production in obese men by 142 percent! A half-dozen oysters only have 43 calories but provides 21 percent of your RDA of iron—deficiencies of which have been linked to a significant increase in fat gene expression.
How could the “fatty” foods mentioned above that contain CLA be good for reducing body fat? The jury is still out regarding the effects of CLA on promoting weight loss, but results from certain studies suggest that CLA (taken either alone or along with supplements like creatine and whey protein) can help increase strength, reduce appetite and cause other beneficial changes in body composition.
Performance Lab Sport contains several quality ingredients including coleus forskohlii, cayenne pepper extract, black pepper extract and the ‘featured nutrient’ beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB). HMB is purported to neutralize enzymes that cause muscle damage when in the gym, boost hypertrophy and improve strength gains. All combined, these ingredients could help you acheive your training goals. Though you need to make sure you’re exercising regularly or eating well, as no supplement is a remedy for a bad diet and inactivity.
Sure, ketchup is tasty, but it's also a serious saboteur when it comes your weight loss efforts. Ketchup is loaded with sugar — up to four grams per tablespoon — and bears little nutritional resemblance to the fruit from which it's derived. Luckily, swapping out your ketchup for salsa can help you shave off that belly fat at home without a diet. Fresh tomatoes, like those used in salsa, are loaded with lycopene, which a study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan links to reductions in both overall fat and waist circumference. If you like your salsa spicy, all the better; the capsaicin in hot peppers, like jalapeños and chipotles, can boost your metabolism, too.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Some cheat meals are better than others. And a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein meal, however "naughty," can help you stay on track. The reason: Carbohydrates have the greatest influence on leptin levels, which help you burn fat and feel satisfied. And protein has the greatest influence on satiety because of its influence on appetite-regulating hormones and high thermic effect—the process of digesting protein requires more energy of your body than any other macronutrient. So, go ahead and grab a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Contrary to popular belief, pasta is actually a fairly low-glycemic food, meaning it won't drastically spike your blood sugar levels.
A scoop of guacamole is one of the most effective fat-burning, hunger-squashing snacks known to man. Not only are avocados rich in vitamin B6—which directly counteracts the belly-fat-building stress hormone, cortisol—they're also full of monounsaturated fat. This healthy fat may actually prevent body fat distribution around the belly by down-regulating the expression of certain fat genes, according to research in the journal Diabetes Care. These same satiating fats may also be the reason behind another study that found people who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward.
Spending more time in the kitchen can help you shed belly fat, as long as you’re cooking with the right foods, according to a 2017 study. After analyzing data from more than 11,000 men and women, U.K. researchers found that people who ate more than five homemade meals per week were 28 percent less likely to have a high body mass index, and 24 percent less likely to carry too much body fat than those whole only downed three meals at home.
Additionally, when applied topically to the skin in small amounts, grapefruit essential oil is an excellent diuretic and lymphatic stimulant — one reason why it’s included in many cellulite creams and blends for dry brushing. All of these benefits can be obtained from using several drops of pure grapefruit essential oil either diffused in your office/home, added to shower or bath, or massaged with a carrier oil onto your chest and wrists. Try this when a craving strikes, and you might just find you’re able to pass on the snacks.
Caffeine: Studies show possible modest effects on body weight or decreased weight gain over time when consuming caffeine. Caffeine is usually OK in small to moderate amounts for most people but can also cause side effects like heart palpitations and restlessness. There’s no sound evidence that caffeine alone will help you lose weight, and the cons of taking too much caffeine definitely seem to outweigh the pros.
This classic lunchbox sandwich condiment is teeming with flat-belly nutrients such as cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats and is a great source of plant-based protein. According to a recent study presented at the annual Society for Endocrinology conference, researchers found that when protein is digested and broken down into amino acids in your body, one of those amino acids—phenylalanine—triggers hormones that help reduce appetite and ultimately leads to fat burn and weight loss. Go for brands that have an ingredient list of just two items: nuts and a little salt, or look to our guide: Best and Worst Peanut Butters.
The amount of a fat burner supplement that you should take depends based on what ingredients are in your supplement. It is generally best to follow the instructions on the label so that you are not taking too much each day. It is often good practice to start off at the lower range of the suggested dose, especially at the beginning. This will allow you to make sure your body responds well to the supplement.
You can acquire CLA from supplements as opposed to natural foods, but it might not be as beneficial, considering CLA found in supplements is not the most effective type for stopping fat storage. Whole foods are made of CLA isomers called c9, t11, while many supplements are high in the types of CLA called t10, c12, which have less drastic effects. Your best bet is to eat foods that supply relatively high doses: real butter from grass-fed cows (ideally organic), full-fat dairy (preferably raw and possibly fermented, such as yogurt), grass-fed beef, and to a lesser degree grass-fed lamb, veal, turkey and wild-caught seafood.
One thing a fat burner won't do, however, is fix a broken diet. If you're eating for healthy fat loss, the way Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., explains in the comprehensive guide "How to Lose Weight," then a thermogenic fat burner can help with the other stuff: boosting energy, helping to curb appetite, promoting fat to be used for energy, and even increasing your metabolism and core temperature—what is known as "thermogenesis"—so you burn more calories throughout the day.
The idea that men need supplements to burn fat is a complete myth, according to dietitian Dr. Chris Mohr. Supplements can give you a tiny boost when combined with the right diet and an intense training routine, but no supplement, pill or powder will magically burn belly fat, notes Mohr. Additionally, where you lose fat on your body is determined by genetics, so to lose belly fat, you have to concentrate on losing fat from every area 2.
If you don’t have an established exercise routine, “walking is a pretty good entry point for people,” says Gagliardi. One small study published in The Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry found that obese women who did a walking program for 50 to 70 minutes three days per week for 12 weeks significantly slashed their visceral fat compared to a sedentary control group.
Caffeine tolerance is lower – In the past fat burners with high stimulants made women feel worse not better. Now, the best female fat burners use natural alternatives to help you burn more calories. This means you can give your metabolic rate the boost it needs, improving your energy levels in the gym and avoiding problematic palpitations or nausea which can halt your progress.
Research also finds that drinking frequently—even if it’s a moderate amount—can set you up for excess pudge. Not only do the beverages themselves contain unnecessary calories, but once you start sipping too much, your inhibition also plummets, according to one 2016 study. The result? You’ll have a hard time resisting that late-night slice of pizza. So if you're going to imbibe, stick to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men. (Order one of these lowest-calorie alcoholic drinks.)
This Asian veggie dish is made by fermenting a blend of cabbage, radishes, and scallions with a seasoned paste of red pepper, salted shrimp, or kelp (koji) powder. Fermented foods are great for healing your gut thanks to the high levels of probiotics, but the unique strains found in kimchi may also help you stay slim: Researchers at Kyung Hee University in Korea induced obesity in lab rats by feeding them a high-fat diet. The group that got a Lactobacillus brevis supplement— the culture strain found in kimchi—was able to suppress the diet-induced increase in weight gain by 28 percent! If kimchi isn't your thing, also consider adding one of these probiotic foods for a healthier gut to your diet.