A lot of people consider the cost of a gym membership, or finding time to sit down with a fitness professional, a significant barrier to reducing belly fat. Other aspiring weight losers get heavily involved in their quest to lose excess fat... only to fail because they set the bar too high at the outset, struggling to maintain 4-5 exercise sessions per week or perhaps an aggressive calorie goal.
It doesn't need to be that difficult. Our unconventional guide: how to reduce belly fat quickly at home covers off 11 quick and easy life hacks you can implement that will start to reverse your weight gain and help shift a few pounds of excess weight... all in the comfort of your own home.
Increase Your Water Intake
Ditch the soda, even if it is diet or 'zero', and focus your hydration efforts on water. Sugary beverages are laden with calories and can easily overload your daily calorie intake. Not only that, soda can send you on a blood sugar rollercoaster, encouraging overeating and the consumption of unhealthy snacks. Diet drinks are not the answer either. Recent evidence has suggested these could be worse for your waistline than the full sugar option.
There are no calories in water, and water can actually help reduce your hunger and curb food consumption. Doctor Brenda Davy, the author of a 12 week study on water consumption and weight loss, found that dieters who drank water before meals lost 5 pounds more weight than those that didn't alter their water intake. Drinking water has also been shown to increase resting energy expenditure and burn additional calories.
Eat Your Food Slowly
Eating your food too quickly can cause weight gain. Do you chow down your meal 'on the run' or as fast as possible? Slowing down the rate at which you eat your food can promote weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness.
A survey into the eating habits of 4,000 middle-aged men and women demonstrated that those that ate 'very fast' were heavier and had accumulated the most body weight since age 20. Another study suggested that fast eaters were 115% more likely to be obese than those that consume their food at a slower rate.
Add More Veges And Fruits To Your Diet
We all know fruit and vegetables are good for us. But most of still fail to include the required volumes of these in our diet. Most fruits and veggies are high in fiber (which makes you feel fuller), and low in calories and fat. They also contain important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Not only will these foods keep us healthy, increasing the volume of these foods in your diet aides weight loss by adding bulk to your diet without providing many calories.
Some recent research has suggested we eat the same volume of food regardless of calorie content. If this is true... sticking to bulky, lower calorie foods like fruit and veggies is an important weight loss consideration.
Less Processed Or Packaged Foods
The supermarket aisles are loaded with processed and package food options. These are often jam-packed with added sugar or their equally evil counterpart high fructose corn syrup. Make sure these stay on the supermarket shelf and don't make their way onto your pantry shelf!
It's easy to gravitate towards sweet, salty or fatty foods. These foods contain extremely high calorie counts, can play havoc with your digestive system, and of course will lead to weight gain. Minimise the intake of processed or packaged foods if you really want to lose weight.
Use A Smaller, Bluer Plate
Portion control is a key ingredient when understanding how to reduce belly fat quickly at home. Believe it or not... but in many cases you eat with your eyes! A smaller plate or bowl will actually trick you into believing you are eating larger portions. Cornell Food and Brand Lab's Small Plate Movement suggests that changing from a 12 inch plate to a 10 inch one can help you reduce your calorie intake by 22% at every meal, potentially without even realising.
While you are changing your plate size, you might want to think about the colour as well. Some studies have linked the colours red, yellow and orange in dining areas to a boost in eating. Blue on the other hand has been associated with appetite suppression. Maybe a blue plate could help save a few additional calories!
Get More Sleep
Normally you need a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep in a single day. Failure to get the required amount of sleep could hit you right around the waistline. It may sound a little fanciful, but increasing evidence has linked inadequate sleep to weight gain. When you are overtired you tend to crave high fat or higher carbohydrate foods. Sleep deprivation also disrupts the behaviour of two hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin, integral to advising our brain when we are satiated. Modifying the influence of these hormones can increase appetite, encourage overeating and weight gain.
Related: Get More Sleep And Reduce Tummy Fat
Make Your Own Cup Of Coffee
Don't worry, I am not going to try to advise you to give up your daily coffee fix. Besides... who would listen! But consider this. Your brew from the fancy coffee shop around the corner can contain several hundred calories. For instance, a standard Starbucks Mocha contains 290 calories. A couple of these a day can really add up.
Coffee itself is very low in calories. A teaspoon of instant coffee contains just 4. Perhaps its time to consider making your coffee at home with some skim milk if you are trying to reduce belly fat.
Turn Off The TV
Research published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition suggests eating in front of TV could mean you consume a greater number of calories. The paper points at two key conclusions. Firstly, that being distracted or not paying attention to a meal is associated with eating more during a meal. Secondly, that playing close attention to a meal is correlated with eating less later on.
Watching TV can block the feeling of satisfaction you get from your food because the mind is focused on what is happening on the box, not on your plate. Turn off the TV and sit down at the table for your daily meals... just like back in the old days! Your belly may thank you for it.
Turn Down The Temperature
Researchers from Maastricht University Medical Center believe losing belly fat may be as simple as turning down the thermostat. Their study, published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, included nine females and eight males exposed to mild cold for 10 days. The extended exposure to cold conditions was linked to an increase in energy expenditure. Researchers hypothesised that a "lack of exposure to a varied temperature" could leave individuals prone to becoming overweight or developing obesity.
Introduce A Few Home Exercises
Just because you're in your at home doesn't mean you shouldn't at least attempt a few exercises to burn a extra calories. Lifting weights can cause micro-trauma in your muscles, producing an elevation in metabolic rate as your body repairs the muscle fibre breakdown. A 38 hour afterburn effect and 10% boost in metabolic rate has been attributed to weight training in some research.
Finding objects to lift around home can be as easy as using a bucket of sand or water. Alternatively, you can complete a myriad of resistance exercises using nothing other than your own bodyweight. Try out the following 3 move program for a wonderful fat burning workout in your home. Simply replace the dumbbells with a similarly weighted alternative.
Eat Grains, Cereals And Brown Rice
Harvard University research analysing 74,000 women showed a 49% lower likelihood of being overweight for those who consumed more than two daily portions of cereals, when contrasted against those that ate white breads, white flour and other similar white food options.
If you're trying to reduce belly fat quickly at home, replace your white foods (rich in simple carbs) with whole grains, cereals and brown rice. One study from Pennsylvania State University on 50 obese patients pitted a whole-grain diet against another group focused on refined-grains. After 12 weeks both groups had lost body fat courtesy of their calorie restriction. However the whole-grain group lost significantly more fat from the dangerous belly region.