20 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)

9. Replace some of your cooking fats with coconut oil

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat.

Studies show that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil may boost metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high calorie intake.

Controlled studies suggest it may also lead to abdominal fat loss .

In one study, men with obesity who took coconut oil daily for 12 weeks lost an average of 1.1 inches (2.86 cm) from their waists without intentionally changing their diets or exercise routines .

However, evidence for the benefits of coconut oil for abdominal fat loss is weak and controversial.

Also, keep in mind that coconut oil is high in calories. Instead of adding extra fat to your diet, replace some of the fats you’re already eating with coconut oil.

SUMMARYStudies suggest that using coconut oil instead of other cooking oils may help reduce abdominal fat.

10. Perform resistance training (lift weights)

Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass.

Based on studies involving people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease, resistance training may also be beneficial for belly fat loss .

In fact, one study involving teenagers with overweight showed that a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise led to the greatest decrease in visceral fat.

If you decide to start lifting weights, it’s a good idea to get advice from a certified personal trainer.

SUMMARYStrength training can be an important weight loss strategy and may help reduce belly fat. Studies suggest it’s even more effective in combination with aerobic exercise.

11. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages

Sugar-sweetened beverages are loaded with liquid fructose, which can make you gain belly fat.

Studies show that sugary drinks lead to increased fat in the liver. One 10-week study found significant abdominal fat gain in people who consumed high fructose beverages .

Sugary beverages appear to be even worse than high sugar foods.

Since your brain doesn’t process liquid calories the same way it does solid ones, you’re likely to end up consuming too many calories later on and storing them as fat .

To lose belly fat, it’s best to completely avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as:

  • soda
  • punch
  • sweet tea
  • alcoholic mixers containing sugar

SUMMARYAvoiding all liquid forms of sugar, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, is very important if you’re trying to shed some extra pounds.

12. Get plenty of restful sleep

Sleep is important for many aspects of your health, including weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which may include belly fat.

A 16-year study involving more than 68,000 women found that those who slept less than 5 hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept 7 hours or more per night .

The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat .

In addition to sleeping at least 7 hours per night, make sure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, speak to a doctor and get treated.

SUMMARYSleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of weight gain. Getting enough high quality sleep should be one of your main priorities if you plan to lose weight and improve your health.