Losing belly fat is a common weight loss goal and doing so can have significant benefits for your health and well-being. Here are 6 science-based strategies to combat belly fat:

1.) Avoid sugar and sweetened drinks.

Eating foods with added sugar can have harmful effects on your metabolic health by causing fat build-up’s around your abdomen and liver. Sweetened drinks such as fruit juices and sodas, are not registered by the brain in the same way as solid foods. This causes an excess amount of calories in your daily intake.

2.) Eat more protein.

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients needed for weight loss. Research shows it can reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80–100 calories per day, and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day. Some high protein foods to try should be whole eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, meat, and dairy products. Protein powders such as whey protein supplements is also a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.

3.) Eat fewer carbohydrates.

By decreasing your daily carb intake, you will also supress your appetite and reduce your water weight. People often see a difference on the scale within 1–2 days.

4.) Eat fiber-rich foods.

Soluble fiber is particularly effective at reducing harmful belly fat. The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods, including vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals, such as whole oats.

5.) Exercise regularly

Exercise is among the best things you can do to increase your chances of living a long, healthy life and avoiding disease. Weight training and cardiovascular exercise will reduce fat across the body whereas aerobic exercise — like walking, running, and swimming — can allow major reductions in belly fat. Consistent exercise also prevents regaining belly fat after weight loss and leads to reduced inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and improvements in other metabolic functions.

6.) Track your food intake.

Using a calorie calculator or free online tool such as Fat Secret, will help you realise important areas of change needed in your diet. Planning ahead can help you achieve specific goals, such as boosting your protein intake or cutting down on unhealthy carbs and sugars.