It isn't possible to spot reduce and just lose belly fat. To lose fat in any one specific area of your body, you need to lose weight and body fat in general. The best way to lose a significant amount of weight is to eat less and exercise more. A few home remedies may help to slightly improve your weight loss results, however, as well as the amount of belly fat you lose.
Spices That May Help With Fat Loss
Use cinnamon to add flavor to foods and help reduce the need for sugar. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2006 found that components in cinnamon may help to improve body composition and decrease body fat.
Spice up your food with a little red pepper. Adding this type of pepper to meals high in carbohydrates may make them seem higher in fat, allowing you to add less fat to them, and using pepper in high-fat meals may help improve fat burning and metabolism, according to a classic study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Honey for Weight Loss
Switching from sugar to honey may increase your weight loss results, although research is still preliminary and conflicting. A study published in 2011 in Nutrition Research found that rats fed honey instead of sugar had a reduced appetite and lost more body fat. A small study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2010, found that women who had a meal sweetened with honey had less of an increase in blood sugar and changes in the amount of certain appetite-related hormones compared to people who ate a meal with the same amount of sugar, but that it didn't affect the amount of food they ate at later meals. You're still better off if you keep your use of sweeteners to a minimum, since they provide a lot of calories without containing much in the way of essential nutrients. Each tablespoon of honey provides 64 calories.
Get Plenty of Protein to Lose Weight
Protein can help increase satiety and decrease waist circumference when part of a reduced-calorie diet, according to a review article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015, which recommends getting at least 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal when trying to lose weight. Opt for lean protein sources for the most benefits, such as skinless poultry, seafood, legumes and eggs. You can get this amount of protein by having a 5-ounce chicken breast or 3 ounces of lean steak. Two scrambled eggs, a slice of toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and a glass of milk make a protein-rich breakfast.
Certain Carbohydrates Can Help With Belly Fat
Highly processed carbohydrate-rich foods and sugary foods aren't the best for weight loss. Fruits and vegetables, however, may be beneficial, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009, which found that the more fruits and vegetables people ate, the lower their risk of weight gain. Women should consume 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day, and men should consume 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. If you don't like plain fruits and vegetables, try blending a serving or two into a smoothie or adding pureed spinach, carrots or squash to your favorite pasta sauce to easily increase your intake. Consider replacing half of the meat in dishes containing ground meat with lentils or beans to increase your vegetable, protein and fiber intake.
Fiber from whole grains may also be beneficial for limiting gains in body weight and waist circumference, notes another article published in 2010 in the same journal. Trade white rice for brown or wild rice, and choose 100-percent whole wheat breads and pastas over those made with refined grains. If you don't like the taste of whole wheat bread, try white whole wheat bread, which is made with a lighter tasting variety of whole wheat.
Choose the Right Types of Fat for Weight Loss
While it's best to limit trans and saturated fats, some types of fat can be helpful when consumed in moderation during a weight-loss diet. For example, a study published in the Archives of Latin American Nutrition in 2013 found that omega-3 fats helped with weight and fat loss. The researchers gave overweight post-menopausal women omega-3 fatty acid supplements and had them follow a reduced calorie-diet designed to promote weight loss. While all the study participants lost weight, the women that took omega-3s in addition to following the diet lost the most, compared to women who just followed the diet.
Get more omega-3 fats by eating seafood, walnuts, chia and flaxseeds, or talk to your doctor about dietary supplements. Monounsaturated fats -- the type found in nuts, avocados and olive oil -- may also be helpful for limiting fat deposits in the abdominal area, according to a study published in Diabetes Care in 2007.
Beverages and Weight Loss
Switch to green tea instead of your regular beverage, and you may find it easier to lose that stubborn belly fat. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2009 found that beneficial substances in green tea called catechins enhance abdominal fat loss when paired with exercise.
Even just drinking water may help with weight loss. In a study published in Obesity in 2008, people who increased their water intake were likely to lose more weight than those who drank less water. Drink your water before each meal, and it will help fill up your stomach so you eat less, making it easier to lose weight.
Consider adding lemon to your water. Not only does it add flavor, it may also help limit body fat. An animal study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2008 found that antioxidants called polyphenols in lemons may help decrease weight gains and the accumulation of body fat.
Exercise and Belly Fat
While exercising may not be considered a home remedy, it's a good way to get rid of belly fat. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2003 found that weight loss from exercise preferentially reduces belly fat. Try to fit in at least 300 minutes of moderately intense exercise and two resistance-training sessions each week for the best weight-loss results. The cardio will help you increase the amount of calories you burn, while the resistance training will help you build more muscle, which will increase your metabolism.
- Drugs.com: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Preferentially Reduces Abdominal Fat
- The Journal of Nutrition: Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: Effects of a Water-Soluble Cinnamon Extract on Body Composition and Features of the Metabolic Syndrome in Pre-Diabetic Men and Women
- Nutrition Research: Honey Promotes Lower Weight Gain, Adiposity, and Triglycerides Than Sucrose in Rats
- Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition: Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity By Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in β-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: The Role of Protein in Weight Loss and Maintenance
- Archives of Latin American Nutrition: [Effect of Omega 3 Fatty Acids on Body Female Obese Composition]
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Fruit and Vegetable Intakes and Subsequent Changes in Body Weight in European Populations: Results From the Project on Diet, Obesity, and Genes (DiOGenes)
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Dietary Fiber and Subsequent Changes in Body Weight and Waist Circumference in European Men and Women