[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Very often, wanting a flat stomach comes from a desire to have a beautiful body. But what many people don’t know is that a big belly involves a much bigger problem than physical appearance. Indeed, fats at this level pose a real danger to health. Knowing that there are two types of fat on the stomach: subcutaneous and visceral. It is the second which is the most dangerous, because it surrounds the organs and can cause serious illnesses such as diabetes, but also heart problems… Losing belly fat is therefore crucial and not only for the physical. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to lose weight from your stomach. In this article, I’ll show you how to do it.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Lose weight in the stomach: identify the causes
Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is important to first identify the root of the problem to know the approaches to adopt. Fat can accumulate in the belly for many reasons:
- Bad nutrition
- Physical inactivity
- Lack of sleep
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- The genes
Pizza, hamburger, fries, cakes, cookies, soda, candy, fruit juice… Excessive consumption of all these foods or drinks is the main reason for the accumulation of fats all over the body. These foods contain added sugar, lots of calories and carbohydrates which can lead you directly to obesity. But they also block your metabolism and thus reduce your ability to eliminate fat.
In addition to diet, prolonged inactivity of the body such as sitting eight hours a day at the office, watching TV throughout the day, playing video games, etc. greatly promotes weight gain. So if you consume more than you eat, fat will gradually accumulate and getting rid of it will be more and more difficult.
Stress stimulates the secretion of the hormone cortisol. A high level of cortisol in the blood promotes weight gain and other diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc. Cortisol also influences an individual’s reaction when stressed. And when faced with stress, many people turn to food for comfort, especially fatty foods with lots of calories and sugar. Which will obviously become bad fats for the body.
Lack of sleep
No need to explain how much sleep is necessary for our bodies to function properly. When you’re sleep deprived, you naturally lack energy, and your body will demand something else to fill the void. The other thing consists mainly of foods that promote weight gain, in other words fatty foods with a lot of calories. Additionally, not getting enough sleep doesn’t motivate you to exercise because you’re tired. Which means you consume a lot, but you don’t move much either.
Excessive consumption of alcohol
Alcohol is not good for the body when consumed in excess. Already, it contains a lot of calories and many alcoholic drinks are high in added sugars. The presence of alcohol in the body can also increase appetite.
But also, a person with a hangover will not be inclined to move around too much. So if you often have a hangover, that equates to one less day of not moving and therefore weight gain. Alcohol can also affect the quality of your sleep. Not to mention the many health problems it can cause such as inflammation, liver disease and various cancers.
As you can see, excessive alcohol consumption does nothing good for the body. You should naturally limit alcohol to just one drink per day.
Upon arrival at menopause, estrogen levels decrease. Instead of the hip and thighs as during adolescence, fat accumulates on the stomach. The effects of menopause are inevitable. Advancing age doesn’t help either, over time muscle mass and metabolism decrease, which means that the body is no longer able to burn a lot of fat as before.
If you don’t fit into any of the categories mentioned above, but your big belly persists and doesn’t want to leave you, then it’s probably because of the genes you inherited. Genes control almost everything without you having a say. They decide how your body eliminates fat, your appetite and where fat is stored: on the hips, buttocks, thighs, stomach or elsewhere…
How to lose belly weight through diet?
Losing belly fat through diet is not only a possibility, it is the basis, an obligation. Even though diet is the root of the problem, it is also the solution. It all depends on how and what you consume. The key is to divide foods into two main parts: foods to avoid and foods to favor.
What foods should you avoid?
There are a multitude of foods that promote weight gain and are just bad for your health. It is better to avoid them to lose belly fat.
Foods containing unsaturated fatty acids
Unsaturated fatty acids are often found in processed foods such as industrial pastries, pre-cooked pizzas, etc. Trans fatty acids are created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils. This process is called hydrogenation and it aims to extend the life of the food and its taste. Its presence in the body causes many diseases and promotes weight gain in the abdomen.
Sweet foods and drinks
Sugar is bad for your health. It contains fructose which is linked to many chronic diseases when consumed excessively. Studies have also shown that high sugar levels increase belly fat.
Foods rich in carbohydrates
Consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice should be limited. If you want to lose fat, your carbohydrate intake per day should not exceed 50 grams. On the other hand, refined carbohydrates (white bread, cereals, sodas, etc.) should be avoided completely.
Calories should not be avoided completely, too few calories can cause other health problems, but consumption should still be limited. For example, to lose 500g to 1kg per week, you must reduce between 500 to 750 calories.
What are the fat-burning foods for a flat stomach?
Soluble fiber helps with weight loss by causing a feeling of fullness, which suppresses your appetite. Foods rich in fiber are avocados, vegetables, blackberries, flax seeds, shirataki noodles, Brussels sprouts.
Foods rich in protein
Protein is surely the most important nutrient for weight management. Protein promotes the secretion of the hormone peptide YY, which will reduce your appetite. Meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, whey are among the foods rich in protein.
Probiotics play an important role in weight regulation and digestive well-being. Having the necessary amount of probiotics in the body helps in weight loss. Probiotics are found in certain foods such as cider vinegar, kimchi, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, miso. It is also possible to take probiotic supplements.
Green tea and coffee without sugar
Green tea and coffee without sugar helps you moderate your weight and also contributes to digestive well-being. They contain caffeine which can temporarily speed up your metabolism and therefore increase the number of calories burned.
The best exercises to lose belly weight effectively
Diet alone is not enough to lose weight, it must be accompanied by regular physical activities. Here are some ideas for exercises that are effective for losing belly fat quickly.
Aerobic or cardio exercises to lose stomach weight
You must first start by eliminating visceral fats, and for this cardio or aerobic exercises are best. If you want to get rid of your belly, devote at least 30 minutes of your time a day to lose weight from the stomach. You have the choice between walking, jogging, cycling, rowing, swimming, and many others.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT involves doing several exercises in a short period of time, with a short break between two exercises. For example, you do a push-up for 30 seconds, then take a 30-second break before continuing with a 30-second squat and so on. An idea for an exercise order:
- Jumping jacks
- Knee raises
You can repeat the cycle as many times as you want.
Since the fats are on the stomach, it is therefore normal to do abs. Additionally, abs exercises can be done at home. Among the abdominal exercises, we cite: the plank, the crunch, the flexion…
Bodyweight exercise and muscle strengthening
Not only do these exercises help burn fat, but it also boosts your metabolism. You can do biceps curls, lunges, squats, pull-ups…
How to get a flat stomach in a week without dieting?
Certainly, 7 days is very short to get rid of fat, but it is possible to reduce the belly and see a change during this short period of time. You still need to prepare yourself, because it will be a very intense 7 days. Here’s what to do.
Do circuit training
Better known by its English name circuit training, circuit training is like HIIT, but a more intense version. To achieve results quickly, choose exercises that will have an impact on the body from day one such as lunges, skipping rope, push-ups or even pull-ups. Each exercise must be repeated at least fifteen times. And during the 7 days, you must train at least three times.
To work one’s abs
Abs are essential when you want a flat stomach. Do crunches and leg raises 20 times each and a plank for at least 30 seconds, and repeat this cycle 4 times. Exercise at least 3 times a week.
To drink a lot of water
Drinking water is important for overall health and it also helps burn calories. I also recommend that you drink hot water with lemon when you wake up, this boosts your metabolism to the maximum and your digestive system.
Limit salt consumption
Sodium promotes water accumulation. Water retention causes belly bloating. Therefore, limit the salt you add to your food, if you want more flavor, add spices and herbs to satisfy your taste buds without actually consuming salt.
It’s easy said than done, but seriously, you shouldn’t be stressed. The effects of stress on weight have already been explained above. So, at least for 1 week, stay away from any situation that could stress you out. Always stay calm and be optimistic.
Cryotherapy: an alternative solution for losing belly weight
Cryotherapy means “cold therapy”. Its principle is therefore to destroy fat cells by exposing it to a low temperature. It is a non-invasive technique and does not require any surgery.
Cryotherapy comes in several forms, but the one suitable for removing belly fat is cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis is done in sections. That is to say, if you want to eliminate belly fat, then the cold will only be applied to that part. It is advisable to accompany the treatment with an adequate diet and regular physical activities. Please note that obese people should not follow this therapy.