What can I do to get rid of belly fat?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You can lose belly fat by eating fat -- the right fat. Learn more on this topic in this video with Dr. Oz.

The best way to get rid of belly fat will be to burn excess calories which will result in weight loss and fat burning. Beyond burning calories, you must focus on what you eat. To achieve weight loss, you must focus on what you eat. Eating sugar and food high in fat will not be the best choices. Focus on lean proteins, nuts, seed, fruits, and vegetables. If you want more definition then focus on eating more vegetables as compared to fruits. Again, sound nutrition and exercise will be your key to getting rid of fat.

The one thing that everyone tries to avoid but so many can't get rid of.  Getting rid of your belly fat is as easy as 1 2 3.  Unfortunately a lot of people don't want to put in the work to get there.  Remember this fat didn't come on over night.  This belly fat is months or even years of overeating and lack of exercise.  So you to think that it will come off over night is ridiculous.  Step one is changing your lifestyle.  Meaning that you have to change your eating habits and start exercising on a regular basis.  The simple form to this is that you have to burn more than you are eating in a day.  Simply if you burn 2000 calories a day and eat 1500 calories a day you will be in a 500 calorie deficit.  Now what this means is you will lose 1 pound of fat per week.  Here is the problem most people don't even track what they eat not to mention what they burn.  So start logging your food so you know where you are at  so you know what you need to do at home or at your gym.  Holding yourself accountable to these simple goals will go very far.
Belly fat is often the toughest fat to lose. In this video, I will explain his effective five-step plan for losing the spare tire around your stomach.
Howard E. Lewine, MD
Excess belly fat (doctors call it visceral fat) creates serious health risks, even if you are only mildly overweight. So, it's great that you want to reduce it.

Visceral fat is found inside your abdomen, below the fat that lies underneath skin. Visceral fat surrounds the intestines, liver and other organs.

A tape measure is your best way to keep an eye on visceral fat. Measure your waistline at the level of the navel. Always measure in the same place. Don't suck in your gut or pull the tape so tight it pinches your skin.

In women, a waist circumference of greater than 32 inches suggests excess visceral fat. In men, it is 38 inches.

You can decrease your amount of visceral fat. Here's how.

Keep moving

Exercise can help reduce your waist circumference. Even if you don't lose weight, you lose visceral fat and gain muscle mass. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five or more days per week. Better yet, try to get 45 to 60 minutes each day.

Also, think about how you can add more walking to your day. Park farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and stand while you talk on the phone.

Resistance training two to three times per week also helps reduce visceral fat.

Eat right

Choose a balanced diet that helps you reach and keep a healthy weight. Avoid sugary foods and beverages. They are usually high in fructose. Of all foods, fructose may add the most inches to waistlines.

Don't smoke

The more you smoke, the more likely you are to store fat in your belly.

Get your sleep

Too little sleep is bad. Adults that sleep five hours or less a night accumulate more visceral fat.
Harvard Medical School Healthy Solution to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

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Harvard Medical School Healthy Solution to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

It's no wonder so many Americans are overweight or obese. We have easy access to all sorts of tempting food day and night but fewer opportunities to build physical activity into our daily routines,...
Your belly fat will disappear as you reduce calories and increase physical activity on an overall weight-loss plan like Weight Watchers.

Body fat is systemic. You cannot reduce fat in a particular spot, although you can spot-strengthen. You can tone the underlying muscles of your belly and strengthen your core with abdominal exercises such as crunches. You'll be able to see the work you've done as fat cells throughout your body give up fat and you get smaller all over, including around your belly.  

Weight Watchers offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss that can help you reach your goals.
Samantha Heller, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

The best way to whittle your waist? Do cardio, says registered dietitian Samantha Heller. Watch this video to learn more about exercising to get rid of belly fat.

Molly Morgan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Staying active and losing weight will help to make belly fat disappear. And there foods that are linked to decreasing belly fat including foods rich in monounsaturated fats and whole grains.

In fact rule #40 in my book, The Skinny Rules, is titled, Try These Belly Blasting Foods! More on the link between whole grains and belly fat:  A study in the American Journal of Clinical nutrition found that adults eating whole grains during the 12-week program lost double the fat in the belly area as compared to those eating refined grains (aka white-grain products). The likely cause is fiber naturally slows digestion and prevents blood sugar levels from spiking too quickly, which results in lower insulin levels. Foods to include: oatmeal, quinoa, millet, whole wheat bread and brown rice.

Monounsaturated fats have been proved to decrease body fat, especially fat around the middle. Foods to include: avocado, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and peanut butter.


Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There are four easy ways to get rid of belly fat:
  • Hello, fiber! A combo of apples, pears, peas, beans, oatmeal, and strawberries can give you 10 grams of soluble fiber a day -- just what you need to chase away belly fat.
  • Greetings, 100% whole grains! Three servings a day of whole grains (e.g., oatmeal, two slices of 100% whole-wheat bread) -- and no refined grains -- could shrink belly fat by 10%.
  • Welcome, sweat! A daily, 30-minute fast walk, bike ride, or swim burns off fat. Do it for a month, and then add 20 minutes of strength training to fuel the fat-burning fires.
  • Howdy, slumber! If you get 7 to 8½ hours of sleep a night, you’re twice as likely to burn the fat and keep it off as someone who snoozes 2 to 3 hours less each night.
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics

Especially as you get older, there's no way to spot reduce. Keep losing weight and the stomach area will get smaller. Do the best you can by keeping your core strong. Plank exercises are a great way to tighten up. With strong abs, even if you have a tummy, it won't jiggle as much.

Kirsi Bhasin
Nutrition & Dietetics

The top 3 ways to get rid of belly fat are:

  1. Eat plenty of fiber. In fact a study done in 2011 showed that for every 10 gram increase of fiber in a person’s diet their visceral fat went down by 3.7% over 5 years. Visceral fat is the fat located deep inside your abdomen and is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat. The latter fat is the kind of fat you can pinch. Visceral fat can increase your chances of heart disease. Fiber is also great for regulating your insulin level. Fiber helps to slow down digestion so that it takes your body more time to digest the food you have eaten. Because fiber slows down the digestive process, it can help regulate insulin in the body, as well as overall glucose levels. Extra belly fat can be linked to high insulin levels. Eat foods high in fiber like beans, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal) and vegetables (broccoli or carrots).
  2. De-stress. Stress increases your level of cortisol which stimulates the production of belly fat. If you really want to get rid of belly fat do an activity that calms you and eliminates your stress. Try a walk in the park, petting your cat or dog or taking a warm bath to unwind.
  3. Get adequate sleep.  A study has shown that people who slept less than 5 hours a night gained more belly fat than those who slept more. Research has also shown that not catching enough zzz’s can cause your body to burn 20% fewer calories the next day. Every one’s needs differ, people generally need about 7-9 hours a night to feel fully recharged by the time they wake up. Try this: one hour before bedtime avoid using your computer or watching TV. Even though it may feel like it helps you relax, the blue light that emits from both suppresses the melatonin needed to make you sleepy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.