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Too much bellycan increase your risk of certain chronic conditions. Drinking less alcohol, eating more protein, and lifting weights are just a few steps you can take to lose belly

Bellyis more than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight

It’s seriously harmful

One type of belly— referred to as visceral— is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions (
Many health organizations use body mass index (BMI) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease

However, this is misleading, as people with excess bellyare at an increased risk even if they look thin (
Though losingfrom this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal

Here are 19 effective tips to lose bellybacked by scientific studies

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system

Studies show that this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full, so you naturallyless. It may also decrease the number of calories your body absorbs from food (
What’s more, soluble fiber may help fight belly

An observational study in over 1,100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, bellygain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period (
Make an effort to consume high fiber foods every day. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include:
- flax seeds
- shirataki noodles
- Brussels sprouts
- avocados
- legumes
- blackberries
SUMMARY
Soluble fiber may help you to lose weight by increasing fullness and reducing calorie absorption. Try to include plenty of high fiber foods in your weight loss diet

Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil


They’re found in some margarines and spreads and also often added to packaged foods, but many food producers have stopped using them

These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominalgain in observational and animal studies (
A 6-year study found thatwho ate a high transdiet gained 33% more abdominalthan those eating a diet high in monounsaturated(
To help reduce bellyand protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated fats

SUMMARY
Some studies have linked a high intake of transto increased bellygain. Regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, limiting your intake of transis a good idea

Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it’s seriously harmful if you drink too much

Research suggests that too much alcohol can also make you gain belly

Observational studies link heavy alcohol consumption to a significantly increased risk of developing central obesity — that is, excessstorage around the waist (
Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don’t need to give it up altogether, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help

One study on alcohol use involved more than 2,000 people

Results showed those who drank alcohol daily but averaged less than one drink per day had less bellythan those who drank less frequently but consumed more alcohol on the days they drank (
SUMMARY
Excessive alcohol intake has been associated with increased belly. If you need to reduce your waistline, consider drinking alcohol in moderation or abstaining completely

Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight management

High protein intake increases the release of the fullness hormone PYY, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness

Protein also raises your metabolic rate and helps you to retain muscle mass during weight loss (
Many observational studies show that people whomore protein tend to have less abdominalthan those whoa lower protein diet (
Be sure to include a good protein source at every meal, such as:
SUMMARY
High protein foods, such as fish, lean meat, and beans, are ideal if you’re trying to shed some extra pounds around your waist

Stress can make you gain bellyby triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone

Research shows that high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominalstorage (

What’s more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds togain around the middle (
To help reduce bellyengage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods

SUMMARY
Stress may promotegain around your waist. Minimizing stress should be one of your priorities if you’re trying to lose weight

Sugar contains fructose, which has been linked to several chronic diseases when consumed in excess

These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, andliver disease (
Observational studies show a relationship between high sugar intake and increased abdominal(
It’s important to realize that more than just refined sugar can lead to bellygain. Even healthier sugars, such as real honey, should be used sparingly

SUMMARY
Excessive sugar intake is a major cause of weight gain in many people. Limit your intake of candy and processed foods high in added sugar

Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an effective way to improve your health and burn calories

Studies also show that it’s one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly. However, results are mixed as to whether moderate or high intensity exercise is more beneficial (
In any case, the frequency and duration of your exercise program are more important than its intensity

One study found that postmenopausal women lost morefrom all areas when they did aerobic exercise for 300 minutes per week, compared with those who exercised 150 minutes per week (
SUMMARY
Aerobic exercise is an effective weight loss method. Studies suggest it’s particularly effective at slimming your waistline

Reducing your carb intake can be very beneficial for losingincluding abdominal

Diets with under 50 grams of carbs per day cause bellyloss in people who arethose at risk for type 2 diabetes, and women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (
You don’t have to follow a strict low carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly(
In the famous Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest consumption of whole grains were 17% less likely to have excess abdominalthan those who consumed diets high in refined grains (
SUMMARY
A high intake of refined carbs is associated with excessive belly. Consider reducing your carb intake or replacing refined carbs in your diet with healthy carb sources, such as whole grains, legumes, or vegetables

Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass


Based on studies involving people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, andliver disease, resistance training may also be beneficial for bellyloss (
In fact, one study involving teenagers withshowed that a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise led to the greatest decrease in visceral(
If you decide to start lifting weights, it’s a good idea to get advice from a certified personal trainer

SUMMARY
Strength training can be an important weight loss strategy and may help reduce belly. Studies suggest it’s even more effective in combination with aerobic exercise

Sugar-sweetened beverages are loaded with liquid fructose, which can make you gain belly

Studies show that sugary drinks lead to increasedin the liver. One 10-week study found significant abdominalgain in people who consumed high fructose beverages (
Sugary beverages appear to be even worse than high sugar foods

Since yourdoesn’t process liquid calories the same way it does solid ones, you’re likely to end up consuming too many calories later on and storing them as(
To lose bellyit’s best to completely avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as:
- soda
- punch
- sweet tea
- alcoholic mixers containing sugar
SUMMARY
Avoiding all liquid forms of sugar, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, is very important if you’re trying to shed some extra pounds

Sleep is important for many aspects of your health, including weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which may include belly(
A 16-year study involving more than 68,000 women found that those who slept less than 5 hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept 7 hours or more per night (
The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral(
In addition to sleeping at least 7 hours per night, make sure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, speak to a doctor and get treated

SUMMARY
Sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of weight gain. Getting enough high quality sleep should be one of your main priorities if you plan to lose weight and improve your health

Many things can help you lose weight and bellybut consuming fewer calories than your body needs for weight maintenance is key (
Keeping a food diary or using an online food tracker or app can help you monitor your calorie intake. This strategy has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss (
In addition, food-tracking tools help you to see your intake of protein, carbs, fiber, and micronutrients. Many also allow you to record your exercise and physical activity

You can find five free apps/websites to track nutrient and calorie intake on this page

SUMMARY
As a general weight loss advice, it’s always a good idea to keep track of what you’re eating. Keeping a food diary or using an online food tracker are two of the most popular ways to do this

fish are incredibly healthy

They’re rich in high quality protein and omega-3 fats that protect you from disease (
Some evidence suggests that these omega-3 fats may also help reduce visceral

Studies in adults and children withliver disease show that fish oil supplements can significantly reduce liver and abdominal(
Aim to get 2–3 servings offish per week. Good choices include:
- salmon
- herring
- sardines
- mackerel
- anchovies
SUMMARY
Eatingfish or taking omega-3 supplements may improve your overall health. Some evidence also suggests it may reduce bellyin people withliver disease

Although fruit juice provides vitamins and minerals, it’s just as high in sugar as soda and other sweetened beverages

Drinking large amounts may carry the same risk for abdominalgain (
An 8-ounce (240-mL) serving of unsweetened apple juice contains 24 grams of sugar, half of which is fructose (58)

To help reduce excess bellyreplace fruit juice with water, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling water with a wedge of lemon or lime

SUMMARY
When it comes togain, fruit juice can be just as bad as sugary soda. Consider avoiding all sources of liquid sugar to increase your chance of successfully losing weight

Drinking apple cider vinegar has impressive health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels (
It contains acetic acid, which has been shown to reduce abdominalstorage in several animal studies (
In a 12-week controlled study in men diagnosed with obesity, those who took 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of apple cider vinegar per day lost half an inch (1.4 cm) from their waists (
Taking 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) of apple cider vinegar per day is safe for most people and may lead to modestloss

However, be sure to dilute it with water, as undiluted vinegar can erode the enamel on your teeth

If you want to try apple cider vinegar, there’s a good selection to choose from online

SUMMARY
Apple cider vinegar may help you to lose some weight. Animal studies suggest it may help to reduce belly

Probiotics are bacteria found in some foods and supplements. They have many health benefits, including helping improve gut health and enhancing immune function (

Researchers have found that different types of bacteria play a role in weight regulation and that having the right balance can help with weight loss, including loss of belly

Those shown to reduce bellyinclude members of the
*Lactobacillus* family, such as *Lactobacillus fermentum*, *Lactobacillus amylovorus* and especially *Lactobacillus gasseri* (
Probiotic supplements typically contain several types of bacteria, so make sure you purchase one that provides one or more of these bacterial strains

SUMMARY
Taking probiotic supplements may help promote a healthy digestive system. Studies also suggest that beneficial gut bacteria may help promote weight loss

Intermittent fasting has recently become very popular as a weight loss method

It’s an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting (
One popular method involves 24-hour fasts once or twice a week. Another consists of fasting every day for 16 hours and eating all your food within an 8-hour period

In a review of studies on intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting, people experienced a 4–7% decrease in abdominalwithin 6–24 weeks (70)

There’s some evidence that intermittent fasting, and fasting in general, may not be as beneficial for women as for men

Although certain modified intermittent fasting methods appear to be better options, stop fasting immediately if you experience any negative effects

SUMMARY
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting. Studies suggest that it may be one of the most effective ways to lose weight and belly

Green tea is an exceptionally healthy beverage

It contains caffeine and the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), both of which appear to boost metabolism (
EGCG is a catechin, which several studies suggest may help you lose belly. The effect may be strengthened when green tea consumption is combined with exercise (
SUMMARY
Regularly drinking green tea has been linked to weight loss, though it’s probably not as effective on its own and best combined with exercise

Just doing one of the items on this list won’t have a big effect on its own

If you want good results, you need to combine different methods that have been shown to be effective

Interestingly, many of these methods are things generally associated with healthy eating and an overall healthy lifestyle

Therefore, changing your lifestyle for the long term is the key to losing your bellyand keeping it off

When you have healthy habits andreal food,loss tends to follow as a natural side effect

SUMMARY

Losing weight and keeping it off is difficult unless you permanently change your dietary habits and lifestyle

There are no magic solutions to losing belly

Weight loss always requires some effort, commitment, and perseverance on your behalf

Successfully adopting some or all of the strategies and lifestyle goals discussed in this article will definitely help you lose the extra pounds around your waist.