We’re not contesting that reducing belly fat in 7 days is possible. However, this article will focus on what we deem to be more realistic, i.e. How to reduce belly fat in 3 months.
There are no magic solutions to reducing belly fat; Aladdin or any other character from Disney World exists only in books and movies. Indeed, reducing belly fat always requires effort, commitment, and perseverance.
So, who or what is the Chief Motivating Factor (CMF) behind your desire to flatten your tummy? That your favourite shirt you can no longer button from top to bottom? Those comments about your delivery date, despite being a traditional Nigerian man? Those nagging feelings of insecurity about losing your figure-eight as a woman or seeing a six-packed male counterpart?
Here are ten science-backed ways to reduce that belly fat that’s fast becoming a butt for jokes among your friends who say it in your presence and your frenemies who giggle behind your back.
Make up your mind
Everything starts and ends in the mind. Know that your eating behaviours will have to change with your decision to reduce your belly fat. Let’s assume you are hanging out with friends at Ikeja Shopping Mall. The “new you” may lose track of how much you are eating or drinking, but subsequent encounters would be different if you take a split second to notice that fact.
Reducing belly fat is a conscious effort and must be intentional. Awareness and planning for what you can do while not alienating your friends is the beginning of wisdom!
Burn more calories than you consume
This point should have been the first, but we are happy to do a micro-level Steve Harvey! Here is a fundamental approach to weight loss, which invariably reduces belly fat, and it’s easy to calculate. Since 3,480 calories equal one pound of fat, a weight loss app you can easily download from your phone can help you decide how many calories to burn at the gym or cut from your diet to meet your objectives.
For example, if you burn 500 more calories per day seven days a week, that would lead to 3,480 calories in a week and one pound of weight loss. Your tummy has no choice but to align.
If you and numbers are strange bedfellows, you can use another approach. Let’s say you eat two meat pies for breakfast. You can decide to eat one for breakfast and then eat the other lunch or eat something else entirely.
Deal with your stress
Your belly fat regime will suffer a setback if you don’t know how to deal with stress. It is still open to debate, but it seems most of the effect of stress is behavioural rather than neurochemical. It makes us eat more because most of us use food as a substitute for dealing with stress. Stress-eating can only contribute to growing your belly rather than reducing it.
To stop your stress eating, take a step back and ask yourself: What’s causing my stress, and what can I do about it? Remedy the situation. Talk it through with a therapist rather than turning yourself into a glutton.
Take a walk
We are not saying you should walk from CMS Grammar School, Bariga (in Lagos Mainland) to Saint Gregory’s College, Obalende (in Lagos Island) every day, but you should have an established exercise routine. You can start by going for a quick, 10-minute walk after dinner. Then slowly increase the time as you become more comfortable with daily movement.
For example, you can have a walking programme for 50 to 70 minutes three days per week for 12 weeks. It should significantly slash your visceral fat compared with someone who lives a sedentary life.
Add fibre to your meal
Eat fibrous foods, for example, whole-grain bread, fruits, oats, vegetables, beans, and legumes. They fill you up more and slow your digestion. You should avoid foods high in refined carbs and sugar. They don’t diminish your hunger, but only make you ask for more like Oliver Twist.
Commit to strength training
There’s no escaping full-body strength training if you want to reduce belly fat. Consider making strength training part of your exercise routine because it helps you build muscle, which will replace body and belly fats. Since your muscle is metabolically active, you will continue to burn calories after working out, thus reducing overall body fat.
It may be challenging, but remember those frenemies laughing at the huge one-dimensional locus of points beneath your chest. That’s the motivation to lift those weights at least two days per week and work up from there. You must consider doing specific movements, like a deadlift or bench press, and like weight lifting, work your way up to more of those exercises.
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P is for Protein
Loading up on protein helps keep you full and also aids in repairing the tiny tears caused by strength training in your muscles. Protein helps them grow bigger and stronger while removing body fat. Just aim at getting at least 70 grams of protein throughout the day.
You don’t need an app to do this, but in moderation, consume eggs, beans, peas, almonds, milk, beef, avocado, oats, turkey, peanuts, and shrimp.
We are not talking about sleeping position here but prioritising quality sleep. Sleep is essential in reducing your belly fat. And it works both ways – if you sleep too much or too little.
If you’re only getting a negligible amount of sleep each night, it leaves more time for you to snack and make unhealthy choices that could affect your belly loss. The ideal number of sleep you need is typically seven or eight hours, but it varies from person to person.
Consume less alcohol
To reduce belly fat, drink responsibly! Consuming alcohol in excess can overload the liver, making the organ prioritise processing alcohol over other nutrients. It then stores the protein and carbs as fat, most living in the belly. Also, most alcoholic beverages are sugar-rich beverages, so drinking more than moderate amounts can cause calories to add up quickly.
Excess alcohol, however, is relative. But then having five or more bottles for men and four or more for women in two hours is heavy drinking. If you must drink, stick to one bottle per day for women and up to two for men.
Embrace fats while hoping to lose belly fat? We deliberately omitted the word ‘healthy’ from the sub-title out of, erm, mischief! Adding healthy fats to your meals can help you feel more satisfied. Good examples are diluted fatty acids in foods like olive oil, nuts, avocados, fatty fish, and eggs. They help increase satiety while providing various health benefits when consumed in moderation.
Remember to enjoy them in moderation as they are still very calorie-concentrated.
Combatting belly fat can help put to bay critical health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes and high blood sugar. We know it is tempting to grab that ice-chilled bottle of Heineken accompanied with steaming hot and an eye-catching bowl of Nkwobi, but if you can successfully adopt some or all of the strategies and lifestyle goals, we discussed in this article, then you are on a journey to reducing your belly fat in 90 days.