Summer used to fill me with dread because the idea of showing my belly rolls on the beach was painfully embarrassing. I used to torture myself doing endless crunches. I got so frustrated when my belly fat just wouldn’t go away.
Now I know there’s a better way to burn belly fat fast, but it’s not crunches, starvation, or endless hours sweating and miserable on the treadmill.
I don’t remember the last time I did a sit-up!
Now I look forward to having fun with my family and I even played beach volleyball last summer!
I was jumping and spiking the volleyball in front of dozens of people and I didn’t worry about my arms and belly jiggling. Without even thinking about it; I just enjoyed the moment. It was so freeing!
You really can slim and tighten your belly, too. Here are 3 ways to burn belly fat fast. In this article I will share:
- What you can do more of
- What you can get more of
- And what you can reduce/eliminate
to burn belly fat fast. Let’s get started.
1. Do More: Exercises and Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast
Eat More Protein to Keep Cravings Away
Healthline talks about several studies showing that people who eat more protein have consistently less belly fat than people who don’t eat as much. (1)
This is partly because protein triggers a hormone called PYY, it’s your “fullness hormone.” It lets your body know it’s safe to stop eating because you’ve had enough to nourish yourself. (2)
It also increases your metabolism and helps you maintain trim healthy muscle tone while you lose the fat layer.
Some of the best high-protein foods are fish, lentils, eggs (get my lean, green turmeric frittata or egg muffins recipe here), and avocados. Find more filling high-protein fat-burning foods here (What to Eat to Lose Belly Fat coming soon!).
Eat More Fiber To Beat Bloating
Adding fiber to your diet is incredibly important for your overall health and it’s one of the biggest parts of getting a trim tummy.
There are actually two kinds of fiber, soluble (or viscous) and insoluble. Both are important, but the soluble is especially helpful in ensuring you have regular bowel movements.
Get this bulky fiber from flax seeds, chia seeds, legumes and lentils. People who ate 10 grams (0.01 kilograms) of soluble fiber per day in a 5-year study had a 3.7% decrease in deep abdominal fat. (3)
This is one of the many reasons doctors believe soluble fiber helps the body target belly fat in particular. Insoluble fiber is in veggies and fruits, which helps lubricate the digestive tract, too. (4) Women should try to eat 25 grams of fiber a day and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water.
Do These Exercises To Tighten and Tone
Exercise in general is great for belly fat reduction.(5) But the two best kinds of exercise for getting rid of belly fat are interval training – short bursts of intense exercise – and strength training. (6)
These two combined reduce fat from all over the body. When you build muscle, your body keeps burning calories, even when you’re resting.
This means you slim down faster than if you’re only doing interval training. The stomach fat often comes off the fastest as we gain muscle all over. Strength training burns belly fat faster than aerobic exercise by itself. (6)
If you’re part of a gym, join a bootcamp class or a HIIT class, or focus on lifting weights while also getting your heart rate up in between sets.
2. Get More: Healthy Habits to Burn Belly Fat Fast
Get More Sleep to Replenish and Balance Your System
Too much cortisol causes extra fat to accumulate around your vital organs in the belly. This is because your body is responding to stress and protecting itself.
It doesn’t know it’s also protecting you from wearing a cute tube top! So make it a priority to get the 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night your body needs.
Eat Healthy Food More Often
When you go long stretches without anything to eat, your body reacts by storing everything as fat on your belly when you finally do eat. (9) This is another built-in defense mechanism by nature. It’s a way to ensure you don’t starve.
Eating healthy snacks, especially with protein and fiber, will keep you sustained and let your body know it’s safe to burn that extra layer of fat around your belly button. Here are 10 light and healthy afternoon snacks by my friend Helen at Health Ambition.
Try adding cumin and other spices to your food. Cumin increases the fat you burn to 3 times what you normally burn!
3. Reduce/Eliminate This: Unhealthy Habits to Avoid To Burn Belly Fat Fast
Reduce and Eliminate Sugar and Sugary Drinks
Sugar puts a strain on the metabolism, so when you have too much sugar, it overloads the liver which turns it all into fat. (10)
Sugary drinks are one of the worst things because it’s so easy to suck down way more sugar than you even realize. Your brain doesn’t register how much sweet stuff you ingested until it’s too late and you feel a “sugar crash”. (10)
Reduce and Eliminate Simple Carbs and Trans Fats
This doesn’t mean you can’t have any carbs. Replace refined carbs like bread and pasta with complex carbs like beans, sweet potatoes, and lentils. Remember, they have all the good bulky fiber that keeps you satisfied and keeps your body digesting. Plus they’re packed with nutrients.
Another food to stay away from is trans fat. It’s found in a lot of packaged food and margarine. Studies link trans fats to high inflammation, insulin resistance, heart disease and also visceral belly fat. (13)
Sometimes food companies label trans fats as “partially hydrogenated fats.” Read the ingredients and if you see either of these listed, put the package down and walk away. Your belly will thank you.
Reduce Stress to Minimize Your Belly Circumference
When you’re stressed out, your adrenal glands release cortisol into your bloodstream. Too much cortisol can spike your appetite and increase belly fat storage. This is especially true for women who already have excess fat around the waist. (14)
When you feel that rush of overwhelm, take a minute to close your eyes or just take 5 deep breaths in and out slowly. Adding calming practices like doing yoga regularly or going for little walks will also help. Just doing these little things to combat stress can help counteract the effects of cortisol. (15)
Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol and Watch Your Waistline Shrink
Drinking in excess doesn’t just give you a hangover. Research connects it to increasing abdominal fat.(15)
Not drinking altogether would be the fastest way to slim down, but if you enjoy the taste of wine or want a cocktail here or there, keep it to one drink a couple of times a week, or better yet, a month or so.
Having too many drinks all at once (even if you only drink occasionally) has been shown to cause more belly fat gain than people who drink only a small amount more frequently. (15)
Which things from this post are you going to try this week to burn your belly fat? Let me know in the comments below and let me know how you feel after trying it!