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How to lose belly fat

Losing fat from around the belly is a common fitness goal everyone particularly women strive to have. Nothing looks prettier than putting on a dress…

Losing fat from around the belly is a common fitness goal everyone particularly women strive to have.

Nothing looks prettier than putting on a dress that sits well without a stomach bulging out.

Belly fat or abdominal fat is the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that sits around the waist and provides a store of energy, and also protection and heat, for the organs.

Small amounts of fat below the skin is normal and healthy, it is the visceral fat, which surrounds the organs that can be the most dangerous type of fat – leading to heart attacks and diabetes.

A range of exercises and lifestyle changes can help people address this.

There are four keys to controlling belly fat: exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management.

Exercise
Vigorous exercise trims all your fat, including visceral fat. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at 5 days a week.

Walking counts, as long as it’s brisk enough that you work up a sweat and breathe harder, with your heart rate faster than usual.

10/20 Sit-ups daily can also help trim these fat.

Moderate activity, raising the heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week — also helps. It slows down how much visceral fat is gained.

Diet
There is no magic diet for belly fat. But when you lose weight on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.

Even small changes to your diet can make a difference when you’re trying to lose weight, so don’t feel like you have to follow a strict regimen or cut out entire food groups.

Cooking at home more often can help you lose weight, especially if you look for ways to reduce fat and calories in your meals. As you make changes like these, you may even find that you enjoy healthy eating habits.

Sleep
Getting the right amount of shut-eye helps. In one study, people who got 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night gained less visceral fat over 5 years compared to those who slept 5 or fewer hours per night or 8 or more hours per night.

Sleep may not have been the only thing that mattered — but it was part of the picture.

Stress
Everyone has stress. How you handle it matters. The best things you can do include relaxing with friends and family, meditating, exercising to blow off steam, and getting counselings.

This leaves you healthier and better prepared to make good choices for yourself.

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