How to Reduce Belly Fat? No Shortcuts, No Excuses!

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

How to reduce belly fat
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Are you tired of looking at the fat accumulated around your tummy? The problems with belly fat run deeper than just looks and put your health at risk. Do you want to know how to reduce belly fat? Don’t worry, we are here to help you out! Stay till the end of this blog to know the best ways to lose belly fat. And remember, commitment and consistency is the key.

Contents:
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    What Leads to Belly Fat?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    How to Lose Belly Fat Effectively?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What are the Risks Associated With Excess Belly Fat?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Is There a Diet Plan to Reduce Belly Fat?
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    Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    FAQs
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What Leads to Belly Fat?

Belly fat refers to the fat accumulated around your abdomen. It can be classified into two types, subcutaneous (fat that sits right under your skin, between the skin and muscles) and visceral (that surrounds your organs such as the liver, kidney, and pancreas).

Subcutaneous fat is generally considered harmless in comparison to visceral fat. In this blog, we are going to talk about visceral fat, which is harmful to your well-being and health.

Coming back to the main question – What causes belly fat? The answer to this question comes with a vast list of causes! These include:

1. Poor Nutrition

You are what you eat! And there is no running away from this truth. Some of the foods you consume on a daily basis could be high in sugars, trans fats, and calories. These foods include candies, soft drinks, juices, sodas and baked goods such as bread and cakes. These foods promote weight gain and lead to an increase in belly fat. 

A low-protein, low-fibre diet that is only high in calories adversely affects your weight loss efforts. An imbalanced diet can make you feel hungry more often, promote unnecessary snacking and overeating, and lead to an increase in your overall calorie intake. All the extra calories convert to excess weight and belly fat.

2. Lack of Exercise

The consumption of excess calories is directly proportional to the weight you gain, if you do not burn off those calories. If you do not perform regular physical activity, it becomes harder to lose excess body fat. A sedentary lifestyle, lack of regular physical activity, and prolonged sitting promote weight gain and an increase in belly fat.

Your body needs movement and regular physical activity, with at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous workout daily, depending on your weight loss goals.

3. Excess Stress

This one is a complex issue. Weight gain causes stress or stress causes weight gain? Your body’s adrenal glands produce a hormone called cortisol, which responds to all the triggers related to physical or psychological stress. Therefore, it is also known as the “stress hormone”.

When your cortisol levels are too high, your hunger and cravings for high calorie foods increases rapidly. You might end up overeating, leading to further weight gain and an increase in abdominal fat.

4. Overconsumption of Alcohol

Overconsumption of any alcohol can contribute to weight gain and storage of body fat around the abdominal area, i.e., visceral fat.

This is because alcohol is high in calories and sugar, may increase your appetite and cortisol levels, and may lead to poor judgement. All of these factors can lead to increased belly fat. Alcohol can also increase the risk of multiple health issues such as liver diseases and increased inflammation.

5. Other Causes

Other than the above mentioned four major causes, an imbalance in the gut microbiome, menopause in women, lack of sleep, and genetics may lead to excessive weight gain and accumulated belly fat in individuals.

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How to Lose Belly Fat Effectively?

There are no easy ways to lose belly fat. Losing weight and belly fat and keeping it away requires you to show up consistently in healthy ways. Some of the most crucial ways to lose your belly fat and not compromise on your health include:

1. Improving Diet

Following a healthy and balanced diet is always the first step towards a healthy body. Fixing your diet is also the best way to lose belly fat. You have to avoid sugary, fried, and processed foods and foods which have trans fats and refined carbohydrates as these types of food are low in nutritional content.

Instead, adding enough fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre to your daily diet can aid your weight loss and belly fat loss efforts.

2. Reducing Stress

Stress shows up every day and thus its management efforts have to show up every day too. You can involve yourself in several stress-relieving activities such as yoga, meditation, journalling, and exercise. You can also take long walks in nature, spend time with your family or friends, and foster a pet if you enjoy such things. 

All these activities can help relax your mind and relieve stress. Once your stress and cortisol hormone levels are under control, your hunger and overall calorie intake can be managed, thus helping with weight loss.

3. Indulging in Regular Exercise

If you are on a weight loss journey or trying to lose belly fat, exercise is one of the most crucial steps towards achieving your goals. Incorporating aerobic exercises and strength training into your workout routine can help you lose weight and manage your belly fat.

You can find the best exercises to reduce belly fat here. Exercising at least 30 to 60 minutes per day is recommended.

4. Reducing the Consumption of Alcohol

Reducing alcohol consumption is yet another step towards a healthy body and mind. Limiting your consumption to not more than 1 drink per day or even better, avoiding any consumption of alcohol, can help you lead a healthy life.

Limited alcohol intake, when clubbed with other healthy lifestyle habits such as a balanced diet and exercise can help you lose weight and belly fat, and keep both off for good.

Apart from these steps, ensure that you quit smoking, get enough sleep, and track your food intake and exercise. Remember, weight loss and belly fat reduction will not happen in a day and with one step. You need to practise each healthy habit consistently for it to show results. 

What are the Risks Associated With Excess Belly Fat?

If not taken care of at the right time, your belly fat can cause serious health issues for your body. Risks associated with excess belly fat include:

Is There a Diet Plan to Reduce Belly Fat?

If you are looking for a diet plan to lose weight or to reduce your stubborn belly fat, some of the important foods that must be included at all times are soluble fibre and protein. Meanwhile, you should cut back on refined carbs, trans fats, and sugary foods, and beverages.

Here is a one-day meal plan to help you set up a healthy eating routine for weight loss and belly fat reduction. 

1 Day Meal Plan

  • Breakfast: 1 omelette made of 3 egg whites with a handful of spinach leaves and peppers of your choice.
  • Mid-Morning Snack: 30 to 50 g of makhana with a cup (175 ml) of milk.
  • Lunch: A bowl of vegetable curry with 2 chapatis and 1 cup of green leafy salad.
  • Evening Snack: A handful (6-7 pieces) of mixed dry fruits with 1 cup (175 ml) of unsweetened green tea.
  • Dinner: 1 chapati with a bowl of vegetable curry or dal.
  • Bedtime Snack (Optional): ½ cup curd with ½ cup chopped fruits.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Belly fat refers to the fat accumulated around your abdomen area. It can be of two types, subcutaneous (that sits right under your skin) and the more harmful one, visceral (that surrounds your body organs).
  • Some causes that lead to belly fat include lack of exercise, excess stress, poor nutrition, overconsumption of alcohol, imbalance in the gut microbiome, menopause, lack of sleep, and genetics.
  • Improving your diet, reducing stress, indulging in regular exercise, limiting the consumption of alcohol, quitting smoking, and getting enough sleep can help you lose belly fat.
  • Belly fat can cause serious health issues including asthma, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others.
  • If you are looking for a diet plan to reduce stubborn belly fat, include more soluble fibre and protein in your diet and cut back on refined carbs, trans fats, and sugary foods and beverages.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is possible to reduce fat by losing weight overall from your body. It is not possible to target a particular body part for losing fat, and you can only reduce belly fat if your body’s overall weight goes down.

It is not practically possible to reduce belly fat in 7 days. Weight loss and belly fat reduction require consistent and long-term efforts including following a balanced diet, adding exercise to your routine, managing stress, reducing alcohol intake, and getting enough sleep.



There is no way to lose belly fat fast, i.e., in days or weeks. The weight gain and increase in belly fat happened over time and the reduction will happen with consistent efforts and time too. Your ultimate goal should be to lose weight sustainably with a balanced diet and exercise, which further reduces your waistline, including the visceral fat around it known as belly fat.

Exercises such as brisk walking, running, cycling, squats, and high knees are some of the best exercises for overall weight loss and belly fat reduction.

No particular food on its own can help you burn belly fat. However, the consumption of eggs as part of a balanced diet can promote weight loss as eggs are a rich source of protein and healthy fats. They can help keep you full for longer, reducing your calorie intake and thus aiding weight loss. Weight loss will also reflect in belly fat reduction. 

You can reduce belly fat without exercise by strictly controlling your diet. Add enough protein and fibre and keep refined carbs, trans fats, and processed foods away from your diet. Drink enough water, watch your portion size, practise mindful eating, sleep well, and manage your stress levels. However, when you combine all these steps with exercise, you will see more significant results.

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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