2. Reduce your carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates have their place in a healthy diet. But scientific research shows reducing your carb intake can quickly and easily help you lose unwanted belly fat, at least in the short run.
There are many ways to approach a low-carb diet, but it usually means eating 50 grams of carbs each day. You get the rest of your calories from fats and protein.
If you’re wondering what 50 grams of carbs looks like, it’s one cup of long-grain brown rice eaten in one meal or distributed throughout the day. It’s also two slices of whole-wheat bread, one and a half boiled or baked potatoes, and one and 3/4 cups oatmeal.
Studies show that eating a low-carb diet leads to significant fat losses in overweight people and in people at high risk of type-2 diabetes. And the people involved in the studies had the biggest fat loss around the stomach and liver areas.
The effects of going low-carb don’t just seem to be limited to weight loss. One study shows overweight people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome had lower triglyceride levels and higher insulin sensitivity within six months of eating a low-carb diet.
However, most of these studies have only looked at the short-term effects of restricting carbs. The longest study so far is a year-long comparison of the effects of a low-carb diet with a high-fat and a high-protein diet.
Researchers found that the low-carb diet is the most effective way to lose weight over six months. However, there are no big differences in weight loss results after 12 months, which means not getting enough carbs may not be enough to sustain your weight loss in the long run.
If you want to dig deeper into the research, take a look at the latest meta-analysis of existing clinical studies on the low-carb diet. The review, which includes 23 studies, 17 of which are clinical trials, concludes that people trying to lose weight can benefit from cutting back on carbs over a short period of time. It does recommend further research on the long-term effects, however.