7 Home Remedies to Help You Lose Belly Fat
These home remedies can help you lose belly fat without any fad diets or fitness crazes.
Beyond weight loss: The many benefits of banishing belly fat
iStock/Manuel Faba Ortega
Does losing belly fat feel like an endless struggle? While we all want to look and feel our best, getting rid of extra belly fat is also beneficial to our long-term health and reduces our risk of serious illnesses. Excess belly fat can lead to heart disease, raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, boost the odds of developing high blood pressure, and more. And Teresa Kelly, a chiropractor and director of NJ Center for Health & Healing, explains the tough thing about belly fat is it’s all about insulin resistance, which she refers to as a “fat fertilizer, especially in the abdominal region” adding that “simply decreasing calories or doing sit-ups will not lead to the loss of abdominal fat.” To do so, you actually have to decrease the overproduction of the hormone insulin. “The best way to decrease insulin is to eat a low carb diet while consuming the adequate amount of fats and proteins, reduce stress, sleep more, eat green leafy veggies and use certain supplements,” Kelly explains. “The short answer is that losing belly fat requires a lifestyle change, there is no quick fix. Keep reading to find out how the following home remedies can help you reduce unwanted belly fat quickly—minus fad diets or latest fitness trends.
Increase your protein intake
You don’t have to hop on the Paleo train and ride it all the way to the station, but increasing your intake of protein and reducing your intake of carbs is one of the fastest ways to lose belly fat without additional exercise. “Protein’s function in the body is to build and maintain muscle mass,” explains celebrity fitness expert Eric Fleishman, (aka Eric the Trainer). “The more muscle your body has, the more fat it’s able to burn off. So by increasing protein and decreasing carbohydrates, body fat is used as fuel.” Protein also helps to balance blood sugar and lower levels of insulin, a hormone that signals your body to store fat, especially around your midsection. For healthier carb alternatives, skip the white bread and pasta in favor of whole-grain complex carbs, seasonal fruits, root vegetables, and squashes. Need ideas on what to stock your fridge with? Here are 15 foods that are proven to flatten your belly.
Add coconut oil to your diet
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), whereas many vegetable and seed oils are comprised of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). And virgin coconut oil has increased levels of lauric acid contributing to medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). “Consumption of virgin coconut oil can reduce waist circumference and abdominal fat,” explains Sameera Khan, RDN, a physician’s assistant in the field of obesity. “Even though it is metabolized in the body to benefit us, care has to be taken to watch portion sizes. 2 Tbsp. or 30 ml of virgin coconut oil /day is suggested.”
Find a go-to stress reliever
Whether you’re overworked or overwhelmed, chronic stress may be one factor contributing to resistant belly fat. “Chronic stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol—and cortisol increases insulin production which causes weight gain, especially belly fat gain,” explains Kelly. Prolonged levels of cortisol tend to spark your appetite, increase your cravings for comfort foods, slow down your metabolism, and promote abdominal fat storage. Finding calming activities, such as meditation, deep breathing, or a soothing bath, will help you manage and reduce your day-to-day stress and help you lose belly fat to boot. And if you want a jump start, explore these ways to blast belly fat in just one day.
Drink green tea daily
Thanks to its waist-trimming compounds called catechins, green tea is the perfect detox drink to help in losing belly fat. Catechins speed up your metabolism and aid your liver in burning fat. Consider swapping out your regular coffee intake with green tea; studies have shown four to five cups of the tea is what’s needed to see the benefits. Also, beware of store-bought bottles of green tea that often contain extra sugar, which can override any health benefits. For maximum results, it’s best if you brew your own and ditch the sugar altogether, or replace it with a natural sweetener like stevia that won’t spike your blood sugar.
Give yourself a bedtime (and stick with it)
A surprising way to lose belly fat without exercise is by catching more sleep as obesity and belly fat are intimately related to sleep apnea. “Belly fat is present in people suffering from sleep apnea,” explains Khan. “A measure that prompts further investigation of sleep apnea is a neck circumference of over 17 inches or a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.” The good news is when you get on the right path, discover these ways to lose belly fat while you sleep!
Spice up your meals
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory component extracted from the herb turmeric and as Khan explains, “a powerful polyphenol that’s a fat blocking nutrient.” Obesity is an inflammatory disease and curcumin has the potential powers to treat this inflammation. “In addition to increasing the flow of bile in the belly to break down fat, it also fights insulin resistance in the body,” says Khan. And note that turmeric extracts should contain 95% or more of curcumin in them.
Be a water guzzler
Drinking eight glasses of water each day aids your digestion, reduces bloating, and keeps your metabolism functioning at its best. Plus, replacing your sugary drinks with water throughout the day is a quick fix to decrease your daily caloric intake, which leads to overall weight loss and a trimmer belly. A 2014 study in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine found that when 50 overweight female participants drank 500 mL of water, three times a day (30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for 8 consecutive weeks, their weight and body fat were reduced—and they found their appetite to be suppressed. Add a splash of lemon or lime to make a bland glass of water more exciting, and you’ll be well on your way to a trimmer tummy. Next, check out these ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
- Teresa Kelly, DC, DICCP, Director of NJ Center for Health & Healing, Clifton, NJ
Sameera Khan, RDN, a physician’s assistant, Commack, NY
Eric P. Fleishman, “Eric the Trainer,” celebrity fitness expert, Los Angeles, CA
- Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine: “Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants”