8 Things You Must Know Before Trying to Lose Belly Fat, Say Dietitians — Eat This Not That

If you are on a weight loss journey, you may notice that it is very difficult to lose belly fat. While the pounds may be dropping off your face, arms, and other body parts, the weight around your belly may remain constant. Why is losing belly fat so hard?! There are four specific reasons.

First, your stomach has a higher concentration of ‘beta’ fat cells, which don’t respond easily to the process of breaking down fats. Corey Roth, MS, RDN, registered dietitian, women’s health expert, and CEO of The Women’s Dietitian. “Second, the stress hormone cortisol (pandemic, I’m looking at you) is linked to fat storage around your midsection. Third, high levels of insulin tell your body to pack pounds around your stomach. Finally, genes can play a role where you store fat in your body, which may It means more belly fat.”

If you’re struggling to lose belly fat, or looking to start a journey to lose more belly fat, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help you shed those pounds, according to nutritionists. Here are 8 tips they hope to follow. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss the 15 underrated tips for weight loss that actually work.

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“Crunches and sit-ups are great for strengthening the abdominal muscles and building strength, but these exercises do not necessarily burn belly fat,” Amber Pankonin, MS, RDShe is a registered dietitian and owner of the food blog Stirlist. “Instead, focus on reducing your overall calorie intake and increasing your physical activity.”

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“High levels of insulin (which can come from a diet rich in carbohydrates, protein, and fiber) encourage more fat to accumulate around your belly,” Roth says. “Including more protein and fiber in your diet (including complex carbohydrates in moderation) can help alter the insulin pathway for fat gain.”

RELATED: Sure Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar, Nutritionists Say

High-fiber breakfast wholemeal oatmeal with fresh berries, nuts and seeds
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“Eating a diet rich in fiber is essential to our overall health, and is often the missing piece when it comes to losing weight. Dietary fiber helps people maintain and even lose weight,” Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, registered dietitian and National Media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Fiber keeps you full for longer, adds mass to your digestive system so you can have a bowel movement regularly and feel full, and provides you with a steady release of energy over time (it is digested at a slower rate than foods low in dietary fiber). You don’t need to take a fiber supplement or eat foods fortified with fiber. It’s best to get fiber from real foods that are naturally rich in dietary fiber. These foods are fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread.”

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“Alcoholic drinks can increase belly fat or make it harder to reduce belly fat if you’re consuming too much,” Pankonen says. “It’s also important to consider foods that are often paired with alcohol, such as fried foods. So being more careful with your beverage choices may influence food choices as well.”

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“If you eat healthy food, exercise regularly, and control your stress well, but don’t make time to get enough sleep, you may be putting your health (and belly fat) at risk more than you think,” says Ehsani.

“Getting enough sleep every night – at least seven hours a day – is essential for overall health and can help you lose unwanted weight. The problem is that when we don’t sleep enough, the hormones that regulate hunger are thrown off, and we crave energy. The simple things that come in the form of sweets, treats and sugary drinks.We’re likely to crave sweetened latte, crackers or chips quickly.We know that these foods are usually high in calories, sugars, and fats and don’t provide us with much nutrition, which makes it difficult Belly fat loss.

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“It works because often inflammation and stress go hand in hand. When stress levels are high, this can lead to increased cortisol levels which can increase your appetite,” Pankonen says. “By learning to manage stress levels, it can help you manage multiple areas in your life including food and beverage choices.”

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“Protein is an essential food group that we need every day, yet many people tend to eat small amounts of protein at breakfast and lunch, and then a large portion at dinner time. It is best to space out protein and get high-quality sources throughout the day. Protein takes longer. It helps in digestion, keeps blood sugar stable, and gives you a feeling of satiety (fullness) making you less likely to overeat at every meal,” says Ehsani.

“You also don’t need to eat an animal source of protein at every meal to get enough protein. You can get protein from plant sources too. Good sources of protein are Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, seeds, nut butter, eggs. Tofu, Seitan, tempeh, beans, legumes, whole grains such as quinoa, wild rice, buckwheat, barley, oats.”

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“Water is essential to our health, and making sure we drink enough of it each day can be a challenge for some people. Aim for at least 64 ounces, or 8 cups, a day,” says Ehsani. “If you forget to drink, set alarms on your phone to remind you or calendar notifications. Drinking enough water every day is a simple habit that can greatly help those struggling to lose belly fat. If we don’t drink enough water to compensate by eating more, At meals, the belief that hunger is thirst.”

Although there is no single answer to why belly fat is so hard to lose, you may feel frustrated if you’re having a hard time losing it.

“Everyone is very unique. So if you need some extra support, working with a dietitian who specializes in nutrition to figure out which healthy and nutritional habits to tackle will help you lose unwanted belly fat,” says Ehsani.

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