How to Lose Unwanted Belly Fat

How to Lose Unwanted Belly Fat

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Lose belly fat through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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Of all the places to carry excess fat, the belly is the worst. Belly fat increases your risk of heart disease, hypertension, Type II diabetes and some forms of cancer, according to Harvard Medical School. The tendency is to perform ab exercises, such as crunches, to lose fat; however, spot reducing is not effective at losing unwanted belly fat. Instead, you need to develop lifestyle habits that include healthy eating, along with regular cardiovascular and muscle-toning exercises.


Switch to a diet that is loaded with fresh, whole, lean foods, such as chicken or fish, green vegetables and whole grains. Cook with monounsaturated oils such as olive, canola, safflower and soybean oils, which can help reduce visceral belly fat, according to a study in "Diabetologia."


Eliminate or reduce sugar and processed food consumption. These foods have little to no nutritional value and lead to increased body fat. Learn to cook your favorite foods from scratch using healthy alternatives. For example, make whole wheat dough and use fresh vegetables for pizza. For a sweet treat, have 70 percent or higher dark chocolate, which has heart-healthy monounsaturated oils.


Perform 150 minutes of intense or 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To be considered aerobic, the activity needs to increase your heart and breathing rate. Choose an activity that you enjoy and will stick to, such as cardio dance classes, biking, recreational sports or brisk walking.


Lift weights twice a week to build fat-burning muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns. Perform weight-bearing exercises using your body weight, dumbbells, machines or resistance bands. Target all major muscle groups including legs, abs, back, chest and arms.


  • Talk with your doctor before changing your diet or exercise plans.