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How to Lose Belly Fat Effectively

Abdominal exercises cannot reduce abdominal fat. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise has some effect, but HIIT and SIT exercises are best for reducing abdominal fat. Any diet that reduces calories can reduce belly fat, but cutting back on snacks and eating healthier without a diet can be equally effective in reducing belly fat.

Abdominal fat is divided into subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. As the name suggests, subcutaneous fat is the fatty tissue that covers the whole body between the skin and muscles. A simple understanding is that if you pinch your belly, the thickness you can intuitively feel is your subcutaneous fat. Although subcutaneous fat is found all over the body, it is The most common ones are the belly, buttocks, thighs, etc. You can pinch your belly and then the back of your hands to compare. Because there is not much subcutaneous fat accumulation on the back of your hands, the thickness you pinch will be very small, but All you can pinch in your belly is your abdominal subcutaneous fat. As fat cells stored under the skin expand, your body needs other fat cells to store excess calories, and some of these become visceral fat. [1]

Online videos teach everyone how to reduce belly fat, how to reduce abdominal fat in 7 minutes a day, and then we continue to do abdominal exercises and buy fitness equipment that specializes in the abdomen… These are all in vain. In a control group clinical study published in 2011, [2] 24 subjects aged 18 to 40 (average around 25 years old) who lacked exercise but had normal weight were used as the research subjects. One group of subjects underwent 6 weeks of continuous 5 days a week, 7 abdominal exercises every day, each one (including simple sit-ups, bent-knee sit-ups, trunk lateral flexion, side leg raise crunch, side oblique abdominal crunch, resistance ball crunch, resistance Ball rotation) for 2 groups of 10 times, each exercise lasted about 15 minutes, while the control group did not do any exercise, and subjects in both groups did not need to control their diet. As a result, after the experimental period, the weight, waist circumference, and Abdominal fat, etc. did not change, and there was no significant difference from the control group. Only muscle endurance improved. After the trial period, the number of abdominal crunches that the intervention group could do increased by 30%. So if you don’t need to lose belly fat and just want to strengthen or tone your abdominal muscles, abdominal exercises may still be effective. But the study concluded that abdominal exercises without diet do not reduce abdominal fat or other body markers.

So what exercise is best for reducing waist circumference and belly fat? Research has found that at least moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or HIIT and SIT, may be most effective. High intensity interval training (HIIT) uses short periods of high-intensity exercise alternately with short periods of low-intensity (or rest) exercise. The high intensity is at least 70% of the maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), while the sprint interval Sprint interval training or SIT is simply an enhanced version of HIIT, with higher intensity and shorter rest periods. A meta-analysis published in 2019 compared the fat loss effects of HIIT, SIT and moderate-intensity continuous exercise (MOD),[3] including 41 clinical studies and found that SIT and HIIT were more significant than MOD in reducing fat mass. . The average times for SIT, HIIT, and MOD in these studies were 23 minutes, 25 minutes, and 41 minutes, respectively. But if you compare the improvement in fat percentage, the effects of the three types of exercise are comparable. Of course, HIIT and SIT are more efficient and may be more suitable for people with limited time.

Dieting can reduce waist circumference and abdominal fat in diets with different macronutrient combinations, but the effects of low-carb diets are faster than low-fat diets. In a randomized parallel controlled clinical trial published in 2014, [4] 148 healthy but obese subjects were included in the study and ate a low-fat diet or a low-carbohydrate diet for one year. The low-carb diet group needed to limit their daily carbohydrate intake. Less than 40g, while the low-fat group needs to limit energy from fat to less than 30%. In addition, there is no need to pay special attention to calorie intake. The baseline waist circumference of both groups of subjects is around 110cm. The researchers found that the subjects on the low-carb diet, compared with the subjects on the low-fat diet, were ahead of the low-fat diet group in reducing their waist circumference in the first 3 to 6 months of the trial. However, by the end of the trial 12 months later, both groups had lost weight. The difference in waist circumference reduction is no longer obvious, with low-carb and low-fat diets losing 6.7cm and 5.0cm respectively.

Is there any way to reduce belly fat without going on a diet? You can reduce your waistline and belly fat simply by cutting out unhealthy snacks. In a 2017 intervention study on adolescents aged 12-14 years old, [5] 1,430 adolescents were studied. Researchers formulated intervention methods and goals based on the children’s conditions, including educating parents and snack shop clerks to help children reduce the unhealthy behaviors of high sugar. snacks and increased intake of fruits and vegetables. As a result, after the first phase of the 17-month trial period, the average waist circumference of the children in the intervention group was 1.68cm less than that of the control group, reflecting a reduction in abdominal fat. Unfortunately, in the second phase of the trial period, After 11 months, the waist circumference rebounded and finally shrunk by only 0.84cm. The researchers believe that the failure of parents and schools to provide the same support to the children in the second phase of the study was the reason for the waist circumference rebound.

The Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can reduce waist circumference and abdominal fat. A 2016 meta-analysis[6] included 12 prospective and cross-sectional studies with a total of 33,847 subject samples and found that the Mediterranean diet is associated with waist circumference. There is a significant inverse relationship with abnormalities in multiple metabolic indicators. This study believes that the Mediterranean diet can reduce inflammation, and the fruits and vegetables emphasized in the Mediterranean diet are rich in vitamins and bioflavonoids, as well as omega 3 fats in fish. Whole grains are also helpful in improving various metabolic indicators.

The DASH diet, which also emphasizes fruits, vegetables and white meat instead of red meat, can also reduce abdominal fat and shrink waist circumference. A meta-analysis published in 2016 [7] included 13 clinical intervention studies and found that following the DASH diet with the same calories for 24 weeks, On average, waist circumference is reduced by 1cm.

Eating more fish rich in omega 3, including salmon and mackerel, can also reduce abdominal fat and shrink waist circumference. A 2014 meta-analysis, [8] found that increasing omega 3 can reduce waist circumference by an average of 0.81cm.

To reduce abdominal fat, you cannot be quick and quick and only exercise your abdomen. Aerobic exercise with at least moderate emphasis can be effective, and exercises such as HIIT and SIT have the best effect. You can reduce abdominal fat by eating less. The effect of a low-carb diet is faster than that of a low-fat diet, but persistence is victory. Both can reduce abdominal fat. Just not dieting, reducing snacks and sugary drinks, increasing the proportion of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and eating more omega 3 fish can also reduce belly fat.

refer to


[2] Vispute, S. S., Smith, J. D., LeCheminant, J. D., & Hurley, K. S. (2011). The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 25(9), 2559–2564. https: //

[3] Viana, R. B., Naves, J., Coswig, V. S., de Lira, C., Steele, J., Fisher, J. P., & Gentil, P. (2019). Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). British journal of sports medicine, 53(10), 655–664.

[4] Bazzano, L. A., Hu, T., Reynolds, K., Yao, L., Bunol, C., Liu, Y., Chen, C. S., Klag, M. J., Whelton, P. K., & He, J. ( 2014). Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 161(5), 309–318.

[5] Ochoa-Avilés, A., Verstraeten, R., Huybregts, L., Andrade, S., Van Camp, J., Donoso, S., Ramírez, P. L., Lachat, C., Maes, L., & Kolsteren, P. (2017). A school-based intervention improved dietary intake outcomes and reduced waist circumference in adolescents: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Nutrition journal, 16(1), 79. /s12937-

[6] Godoś, Justyna & Zappalà, Gaetano & Bernardini, Sergio & Giambini, Ilio & Bes-Rastrollo, Maira & Martínez-González, Miguel. (2016). Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with metabolic syndrome occurrence: a meta -analysis of observational studies. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 68. 1-11. 10.1080/09637486.2016.1221900.

[7] Soltani, S., Shirani, F., Chitsazi, M. J., & Salehi-Abargouei, A. (2016). The effect of dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 17(5), 442–454.

[8] Bender, N., Portmann, M., Heg, Z., Hofmann, K., Zwahlen, M., & Egger, M. (2014). Fish or n3-PUFA intake and body composition: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 15(8), 657–665.