More and more studies show that packing on too much belly fat can harm your health and raise your risk of many major health problems (including heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain types of cancer). Sometimes referred to as “abdominal obesity,” excess belly fat often results from overeating, lack of exercise, and slowdowns in metabolism that tend to occur in middle age.
Natural Remedies to Reduce Belly Fat
The U.S.Department of Health and Human Services warns that women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches may have an increased risk for obesity-related diseases. While overall weight loss is the only known way to fight abdominal obesity and protect against obesity-related diseases, some research suggests that certain natural solutions may help reduce belly fat. Here’s a look at several study findings:
Taking soy supplements may reduce belly fat in obese postmenopausal women, according to a small study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2010. For the study, researchers assigned 39 postmenopausal women to three months of treatment with either soy supplements or a placebo. Results revealed that soy helped reduce belly fat and interleukin-6 (a marker of inflammation), but failed to improve blood-sugar metabolism and increase levels of leptin (a hormone involved in fat metabolism).
A 2010 study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition) shows that probiotics may help reduce belly fat. Every day for 12 weeks, 87 study participants drank either seven ounces of a fermented milk enriched with a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LG2055) or the same amount of fermented milk made without LG2055.
Compared to the control group, those who consumed the LG2055-enriched fermented milk showed a greater reduction in belly fat and body weight.
For more on how probiotics may help reduce belly fat, read Probiotics For Weight Loss. Also learn more about Acidophilus & Other Probiotics.
3) Green Tea
Green tea, which has been shown to speed up metabolism in preliminary studies, is sometimes touted as a natural remedy for abdominal obesity. However, in a 2007 study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found no difference in belly fat between overweight women treated with green tea extract for 12 weeks and study participants given a placebo for the same time period.
If you’re looking to lose belly fat, it’s important to combine a healthy diet with an exercise program that includes both aerobic exercise and strength training.
There’s also some evidence that managing your stress may help fight belly fight as well.
Due to a lack of supporting research, it’s too soon to recommend alternative medicine as the primary method to lose weight. Supplements haven’t been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on using supplements here, but if you’re considering the use of alternative medicine, talk with your primary care provider first. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.