If you’re one of the 40% of American adults who are overweight, you know how hard it is to lose those extra pounds. You’ve probably tried every diet and exercise plan, but the fat just won’t budge. In fact, it’s gotten worse, and now you have belly fat.

Banishing the bulge is no easy task because belly fat is different from other fat on your body. It’s more than just a cosmetic problem that you can hide under your clothes. It’s a health hazard that can lead to life-threatening medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Dr. Rohit Suri and our team at Interventional Pain Management Services understand how difficult it is to lose belly fat, and we want to help. We’ve pulled together some insider tips to help you achieve belly fat reduction, but first, let’s take a look at why belly fat is so hard to lose.

1. Don’t Skip the Cardio

Cardio is a great way to burn calories and lose weight. But, did you know that it can also help you target stubborn belly fat?

There are two types of fat in your belly. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat just beneath your skin. Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs. Cardio is one of the most effective ways to target visceral fat.

Interval training is a type of cardio that alternates between high-intensity bursts of activity and periods of rest. Research suggests that interval training is particularly effective at reducing belly fat.

2. Eat More Fiber

Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps to promote feelings of fullness and prevent overeating. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Most people do not get enough fiber in their diet. The recommended intake for fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men, but the average intake is only about 15 grams per day.

In addition to promoting feelings of fullness, fiber also helps to support a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is important for weight management and can help to reduce belly fat. In addition to eating a diet rich in fiber, you can also take a probiotic supplement to support your gut health.

3. Skip the Sugar

The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day, and men consume no more than 150. That’s about 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men. But most Americans consume about 17 teaspoons of sugar a day.

High sugar intake has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. The single most effective thing you can do to reduce belly fat is to cut back on sugar. That includes sugary beverages like sodas, sweetened teas, and fruit juices.

Even drinks sweetened with natural sugars like agave or honey should be consumed in moderation. It’s also a good idea to limit your intake of foods that are high in added sugar, like candy, cookies, and muffins.

4. Focus on the Right Fats

It may sound counterintuitive, but eating the right fats can actually help you lose weight. Monounsaturated fats, in particular, have been linked to reduced belly fat.

In one study, participants who ate more foods containing monounsaturated fats experienced less belly fat gain over a 5-year period than those who didn’t. In another study, researchers found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats reduced the risk of central obesity (defined as having a large waistline) in women.

Foods that contain monounsaturated fats include:

• Olive oil

• Avocado

• Nuts

• Seeds

• Peanut butter

5. Drink More Water

Water is essential for all aspects of health, including weight loss. Drinking water can help you stay full and avoid overeating.

In addition, water can help you feel more energized, so you’re more likely to stick to your diet and exercise plan.

If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to drink at least 8 cups of water per day.

Drinking more water can help you achieve belly fat reduction and improve your overall health.

6. Add Strength Training to Your Routine

Aerobic exercise is essential for burning calories and fat, but strength training is also an important part of any weight loss plan.

Strength training builds muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat. This means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Muscle also takes up less space than fat, so you’ll look leaner and more toned as you build strength.

Try incorporating two to three strength training workouts into your weekly routine. You can use free weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight for resistance.

7. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial for many aspects of your health, and it’s especially important when it comes to weight loss. Studies have shown that those who get fewer than six hours of sleep per night are more likely to have excess body fat, including belly fat.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in hunger and appetite, and it may also lead to increased calorie intake. In addition, sleep is essential for regulating your metabolism and hormone levels, both of which play a key role in weight loss.

To achieve belly fat reduction, aim to get at least seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night. This will help you feel more energized and less likely to reach for unhealthy foods, ultimately supporting your weight loss goals.

8. Consider Medical Intervention

If you’ve tried every diet and exercise plan under the sun and still can’t seem to make a dent in your belly fat, you may want to consider medical intervention.

Non-invasive fat reduction treatments like SculpSure® can help you get the results you want without the need for surgery. SculpSure uses laser energy to target and destroy fat cells in the treatment area, leaving you with a slimmer, more contoured physique.

And the best part? SculpSure treatments can be completed in just 25 minutes, with no downtime required. That means you can get back to your normal routine right away, with a slimmer, trimmer belly to show for it.

9. Talk to a Professional

The most important thing you can do to achieve belly fat reduction is to talk to a professional. They can help you identify the cause of your belly fat and create a plan to help you lose it.

From doctors to personal trainers, there are a variety of professionals who can help you. Look for someone who has experience helping people with your specific needs.