You or at least someone you know has wanted to know how to get rid of that stubborn belly fat that’s been lingering around for a while. After all, it is one of the hardest areas to lose weight and is unfortunately the most noticeable when you gain weight.

To get rid of belly fat, you must first understand the science of it. The stomach stores two types of fat: Visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is located beneath the abdominal muscles, it tougher and is close to the organs. The body stores and burns visceral fat at a faster rate than subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous belly fat is above the abdominal muscles. This is the fat that is loose and hangs below the waist.

Visceral fat is the most dangerous type of belly fat. Too much of it can cause high cholesterol, dementia, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. When looking at ways of how to get rid of belly fat, make sure you are targeting visceral fat. Reducing visceral fat improves your body on both the inside and out.

Now that we’ve covered the basic science, here are some tips on how to get rid of belly fat:

Cardio & Strength Training

The best way to get rid of belly fat is to do both cardio and strength training. Cardio burns calories and helps you lose weight, but if you don’t do something to strengthen those muscles, you will have loose skin. Also, the more muscle you have, the more toned your stomach will be and the more fat your stomach will burn at rest. Ladies, do not stress. Strength training does not make you bulky. It actually gives the body a more lean and toned appearance. Strength training activates the core muscles. This means that while in the process of losing the belly fat, mixing strength training in with cardio puts you in more physical shape than cardio alone.

Eat Low-Glycemic Foods

High glycemic foods, such as processed foods, rapidly raise blood sugar levels. When a spike in blood sugar occurs, insulin is produced. This in return causes a release in cortisol which causes the body to store belly fat. An examples of a high glycemic foods are potatoes. Include more low glycemic foods such as carrots, fruits, seafood and peppers in your diet to prevent raised blood sugar levels.

Eat Healthy Fats

Not all fats are bad for you. The body needs fat to efficiently burn it. Reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat. Research has shown that it increases the amount of visceral fat the body stores. Increase the amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats you eat. Examples of these types of fats are Omega-3s, and fats found in avocados and olive oil. Keep in mind that any type of fat intake can add on to belly fat, so consume these in moderation.

Eat Lean Protein

Eating protein preserves your muscle tissue during weight loss while also increasing the amount of calories you burn during digestion. It also reduces hunger by keeping you fuller for a longer amount of time. Lean proteins are proteins that have 3 grams of fat per gram or less per ounce. Examples of lean proteins include fish, rump roast, lean ground beef, beans and legumes.

Reduce Stress

Excessive stress activates a stress hormone in the body known as cortisol. Cortisol causes the body to store and hold on to fat. Find ways to reduce your stress. Take a walk, do slow breathing, listen to music or whatever helps ease the tension.

Increase Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been shown to help balance cortisol spikes that have elevated due to extreme stress. It also helps the body make carnitine, a compound the body uses for turning fat into energy. In addition to cold fighting benefits, vitamin c will also help you get rid of that belly fat.

Get Plenty of Rest

Your sleep patterns can affect the circadian release of cortisol. If you are sleeping abnormally, then your body will abnormally release cortisol, usually at the wrong time for longer periods. Lack of sleep also makes you want to eat more because the body takes it as a signal to find energy to maintain function. This triggers cravings for sugar and other fatty foods. Getting plenty of rest is an easy way to get rid of belly fat.

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