Losing weight is almost always associated with exercising, and that’s certainly no less the case when it comes to losing belly fat. But if you want to lose that belly fat without exercising and you still want to do it safely and effectively, what do you do? Fortunately, if you wonder how to lose belly fat without exercise—or without chemicals or surgery either, for that matter—there are many safe and effective options available to you.
How to Lose Belly Fat Without Exercise
The following are all low-cost or no-cost ways to lose belly fat that don’t involve exercise. Many of them include diet, as that is the other most effective way to lose weight anywhere on the body, as well as other natural, lifestyle changes. The more of these you do at once, the greater and faster the results you’re likely to see.
Arguably the best and most effective approach is to incorporate as many of these actions as you can into your routine. Make them into habits. That way, you develop a lifestyle that not only supports losing that belly fat but keeping it off too.
1. Get Sufficient Sleep
In a 2016 study, researchers at King’s College London discovered a link between sleep deprivation and consuming extra calories. Specifically, they found that people who didn’t get enough sleep ate, on average, 385 kcal more per day than people who got enough sleep. Read more on that sleep deprivation study here.
It makes sense when you think about it. The purpose of sleep is to refresh your energy for another day. If you don’t produce enough energy from rest to sustain you during the day, your body is going to find other ways to get those energy needs met, the easiest of these being to simply eat more.
Health experts recommend getting at least eight hours of sleep per night. It turns out it could help you lose belly fat.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water helps to prevent you from eating extra calories. More water makes you feel more full, so you don’t have as much hunger or food cravings. What’s more, when your body is adequately hydrated, it’s able to make more effective and efficient use of the energy and nutrients you do provide it, and therefore it requires less of those from you. In other words, when you’re properly hydrated, your body works better, so it doesn’t need you to eat as much to function.
What’s more, beyond just being sure to drink enough water, start your day every day with water. Make it warm water, in fact, and you give your digestive system a good, gentle cleanse to start the day. It also improves your metabolism for the morning and, subsequently, for the rest of the day. Drink hot or warm water throughout the day to essentially melt fat, particularly visceral fat. And getting back to the original point, just drink more water, any temperature, throughout the day, to stay hydrated and reduce the urge to eat.
3. Limit Sugar
Sugar in excess places strain on the liver, the reason being that simple sugars only provide a quick energy fix. They don’t provide sustained energy. When the body experiences the sharp spikes and subsequent energy drops from eating simple sugars, it starts to arm itself with other ways to provide more sustained energy and smooth out those sharp swings. The easiest and most obvious way for it to do this is to create its own fat stores it can draw on when the energy spike from the simple sugar wears out.
Therefore, when you eat simple sugars like desserts, breads and anything made with refined flour or granulated sugar, the liver can trigger the body to store more fat than it would otherwise. One of the first places the body stores fat is the stomach.
Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates that break down more slowly and, therefore, provide the body more even and sustained energy. Examples include whole grains, oatmeal, beans, peas, and vegetables. And even these, eat only in moderation, so you don’t still wind up with any excess sugars not necessary for your current energy needs that would end up also being converted into more stores of fat.
4. Eat More Fiber
Of the vegetables that you do choose to eat in your diet every day, make more of them high-fiber vegetables, and also eat plenty of high-fiber fruits. High-fiber vegetables like summer vegetables and high-fiber fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries can help you to feel fuller faster and therefore eat less. All that natural fiber also helps push excess waste out of your digestive system that could otherwise contribute to excess body weight, particularly around the midsection.
Besides high-fiber fruits and vegetables, other high-fiber foods to incorporate into your diet include bran, barley and whole grains, peas, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds.
5. Eat More Protein
Protein is the other key nutrient to eat plenty of in your diet every day. The body breaks down protein at a much slower rate than it does carbohydrates, and certainly than it does fats, so the energy it provides is more sustained. What’s more, due to this nature of protein, it causes the body to secrete a hormone called Peptide YY, whose role is to make you feel full.
Eating leaner, healthy proteins like eggs, beans, and fish helps to regulate your metabolism, which enables you to maintain weight by optimizing your energy usage. This encourages your body to shed excess weight it doesn’t need to store anymore. It also helps you to build muscle instead of fat, which in turn keeps you feeling strong and therefore in less need of more food to fuel you.
6. Chew Thoroughly
Whatever food you eat, be sure to chew it carefully before you swallow it. Most of the digestive process in terms of nutrient absorption occurs in the mouth before you ever swallow the food down. By the time the food hits the stomach, you’ve already absorbed most of the nourishment you’re going to get out of that food. That means most of what reaches your stomach is processed either into waste or into fat.
By chewing your food thoroughly before you swallow it, you ensure that you get the maximum nourishment you can out of that food and, therefore, eliminate your need to eat more food to reap that same energy benefit. In other words, by chewing more, you eat less. And by eating less, your body produces less waste and fat.