Belly fat is particularly known for being unhealthy. This fat produces hormones and pro-inflammatory messenger substances that encourage chronic diseases. Here we present six natural ways to lose belly fat or at least noticeably reduce it.
Lose belly fat: Natural remedies help!
Those who have too much belly fat live with an increased risk of heart attack. In fact, the risk is up to 20 percent higher than for people whose fat is not located primarily on the abdomen but is spread throughout the body.
Moreover, even individuals with a normal BMI, i.e., those who are not considered overweight but still carry abdominal fat in the form of a so-called “life ring,” have a risk of death that is twice as high and a lower life expectancy than individuals who are overweight but have a more benign fat distribution.
Such a life preserver is present even in some endurance athletes. Thus, in almost everyone it would be important to reduce abdominal fat. We are going to present the appropriate natural remedies that can help you if you want to lose belly fat or to lose it continuously.
Why belly fat is so dangerous
Belly fat is also known as visceral fat. This fat is so dangerous because it also covers internal organs, promotes chronic inflammation processes (which are regarded as an important cause of almost every disease) and may contribute to metabolic disorders. Usually, those affected suffer from insulin resistance and high blood sugar (or already have type 2 diabetes), and also from elevated blood lipid levels and thus an overall increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, like hypertension and arteriosclerosis.
However, belly fat can be reduced and, how could it be otherwise, with dietary changes combined with sports/exercise. In one 2019 study, dietary changes alone resulted in a 6.1 percent weight reduction during 4 months. Combined with exercise, the weight decreased slightly more, by 6.9 percent. Belly fat decreased by 12 percent in the diet group and by 14.6 percent in the diet-plus-sport group (1).
Natural ways to lose belly fat
Now in addition to exercise (especially weight training) as well as a healthy diet, you can take certain foods and supplements that have been shown to reduce belly fat. Therefore, this is not about remedies that help you lose weight in general, but only about those that help you lose belly fat.
Selecting the right dietary fat can make a big difference. You should use a high-quality virgin coconut oil, particularly for frying. In fact, its medium-chain fatty acids can help break down belly fat and lifeblood. In a 2011 study, for example, the waist size of 20 overweight volunteers decreased by an average of 2.86 centimeters over 4 weeks because they included coconut oil in their diets. Volunteers did not change anything else about their diet or exercise levels.
There was another study with coconut oil two years earlier. Forty women aged 20 to 40 maintained a diet and walked for 50 minutes daily. Additionally, they received either soybean oil or coconut oil as a dietary supplement. Both groups had a lower BMI after 12 weeks, although only the coconut oil group also had a lower waist size, which is an indication that abdominal fat was being reduced. The soybean oil group also had worsened cholesterol levels, which was not the case in the coconut oil group (5).
Because the fatty acids in coconut oil have a high smoke point, i.e. they are highly resistant to heat, coconut oil is an ideal fat for frying and baking. However, coconut oil is not suitable for raw foods. It is best to use olive oil or hemp oil for salads. We recommend the native organic coconut oil from effective nature or the organic coconut oil.
Curcumin is the active ingredient complex of turmeric, this yellow spice, which is now also known as a dietary supplement because of its many positive effects on health. It is also a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory qualities, so it can counteract the pro-inflammatory belly fat in this way.
In addition, curcumin is known to increase basal metabolic rate, leading to increased energy consumption and therefore optimization of body weight and metabolic health. Researchers in a 2019 meta-analysis examined 21 studies and concluded that regular curcumin intake not only significantly reduced BMI, but also waist circumference, which indicates a reduction in abdominal fat.
Daily curcumin dose was up to 2400 mg, usually 500 mg; the duration of the studies ranged from 4 to 36 weeks. We recommend Curcuperin by effective nature as a curcumin supplement, which provides 2100 mg of curcumin daily.
Grapefruits are known to be very healthy fruits. Not being too sweet, they provide bitter compounds and antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties. You can read many details about grapefruit and its effects and possible applications in the internet.
Grapefruit can also help with belly fat loss. In a 2012 study, participants were asked to eat half a pink grapefruit three times a day – with every main meal for 6 weeks. By the end of the study, the grapefruit group had significantly reduced their waist circumference (by an average of 2.45 cm) when compared to the control group (which did not eat grapefruit). As a welcome side effect, grapefruit also decreased blood pressure (systolic) by about 3.2 mmHg (compared to the original blood pressure values of this group of subjects).
Keep in mind that grapefruits can enhance the effects of medications (and therefore their side effects). So if you need to take medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if they are among those that interact with grapefruits.
Even grapefruit essential oil mixed with the oils of cypress, juniper berry, sweet orange and sage – when massaged into the skin – may help lose belly fat, a 2007 study showed. Participants received daily aromatherapy with full-body massage for six weeks. They were also asked to massage the oil into their abdomen twice a day for five days a week. As a result, the participants were able to significantly reduce their abdominal fat and waist circumference (which was not the case in the control group that simply used grapefruit seed oil).
To make the oil, you can simply mix 4 drops of each of the essential oils mentioned (of the sage oil, only 1 – 2 drops) with 30 ml of a basic massage oil (e.g. almond oil).
Green tea is rich in plant compounds from the group of polyphenols (catechins). These are the substances that are responsible for the numerous health pros that regular green tea drinkers enjoy. For example, the catechins typical of green tea are supposed to protect against cancer, to help with arthritis, to boost memory and to be used as a therapy for fibroids – to name just a small selection.
However, green tea also helps to lose weight, particularly to lose belly fat. This is because the catechins can also accelerate energy metabolism and in this way influence weight and body fat percentage. In particular, belly fat and the fat that surrounds the organs inside the body respond well to catechin-rich green tea or green tea extracts.
During a 2009 study of 182 overweight adults, they received one of the following beverages or beverage combinations for 90 days:
- Control group: 2 servings per day of a control drink containing 30 mg of catechins and 10 mg of caffeine.
- Group 1: 1 serving of the control drink and 1 serving of extra catechin-rich green tea (458 mg catechins and 104 mg caffeine per day)
- Group 2: 2 servings of a catechin-rich green tea (468 mg catechins, 126 mg caffeine).
- Group 3: 2 servings of an extra catechin-rich green tea (886 mg catechins, 198 mg caffeine).
A particularly significant abdominal fat reduction (by 5.6 cm2) – compared to the control group – was noted in group 3. Waist size also decreased by almost 2 cm. According to the researchers, a green tea rich in catechins thus leads to improved body composition and reduces body fat.
Catechins account for up to 40 percent in the dry mass of green tea. (In black teas, they are largely destroyed by fermentation.) The most famous catechin is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which you may have heard of. The amount of catechin in a tea varies significantly. The highest catechin content is found in Korean and Japanese green teas (especially high-quality Japanese penumbra teas and matcha tea), while the lowest levels are found in green teas from Nepal, India, and China.
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For longer than 3 months, extra catechin-rich tea should not be consumed because it could increase liver enzymes.
If you do not like drinking green tea and prefer to take green tea extract, you can easily use it to choose a safe yet effective dose, such as tigovit capsules, that contain the full spectrum of green tea active ingredients.
Cocoa is extremely rich in antioxidants. Likewise, any chocolate with a high cocoa content (at least 70 percent) is also rich in antioxidants. As with green tea, the antioxidants in cocoa include polyphenols, like flavanols, epicatechin and procyanidins. Because cocoa also helps reduce belly fat, you can easily incorporate dark chocolate into your diet plan. They contain valuable bitter compounds that additionally curb appetite.
During a clinical study conducted in April 2017 with 44 diabetics, they received either 30 g of dark chocolate daily or (in the control group) no chocolate for 8 weeks. When compared to the control group, the chocolate group’s waist size decreased by an average of just under one centimeter and their body fat percentage decreased, while their lean body mass increased.
The lean body mass includes muscle mass and everything else (except fat), i.e. organs, body water, etc. There was also a very significant reduction in blood pressure. The systolic value decreased by about 7 mmHg, the diastolic by almost 6 mmHg.
Vitamin D is a very important vitamin that is deficient in many people. Thereby, vitamin D deficiency is one of the reasons why overweight people are unable to lose belly fat or weight. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency promotes the storage of fat on the belly and around the internal organs. Research has already shown that the more belly fat a person has, the lower their vitamin D level and the less muscle mass they have.
A double blind, placebo-controlled study on this topic was published in 2012 with 171 participants with an average age of 40 years. Participants were divided into two groups and given either three 240-ml glasses of orange juice enriched with 350 mg of calcium and 100 IU of vitamin D or regular orange juice (without added vital nutrients) daily for 16 weeks. The weight loss was similar in both groups (average 2.45 kg), but the calcium-vitamin D group was able to lose belly fat more significantly.
It is important to learn how to optimize your vitamin D levels and what to look for when taking vitamin D. The rule is: first have your vitamin D levels measured, and then take the dose that is right for your individual needs! Calcium intake can be combined with vitamin D, but is not necessary if you have a calcium-rich diet.
Bottom Line: How to Lose Belly Fat or Reduce It
To sum up, you can reduce or lose belly fat if you do the following (in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise (preferably strength training combined with HIIT)):
- Use coconut oil as a frying fat.
- Season with turmeric and take a dietary supplement with curcumin
- Eat half a pink grapefruit before each main meal (three times a day) (but only if you don’t need to take medication)
- Drink catechin-rich green tea or take capsules with green tea extract
- When snacking, snack on dark chocolate
- Optimize your vitamin D levels
Do you know any other ways to lose belly fat? Let us know in the comments section below.