Excess abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat, plays a role in a variety of health problems. Visceral fat may increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and more. Aging, dietary habits, and activity are some contributing factors towards increased abdominal fat, however there are ways to combat excess abdominal fat by incorporating nutrition and activity changes. In fact, incorporating small changes in both nutrition and activity habits may help you to battle the waist bulge and get on track to improving your health. Try these five effective ways to lose excess abdominal fat:


  1. Eat to fuel your body by being mindful of your portions and hunger cues. Whether you find it beneficial to measure your portions or estimate serving sizes, aim for well-balanced, portion-controlled meals. It may even be beneficial to start simple with MyPlate by ensuring a balance of food groups at each meal to help control your portions. Once you have put together a portion controlled, well-balanced meal, be mindful of your hunger and satiety cues. Our bodies do an exceptional job of informing us when to eat and when to stop if only we listen. Remember it takes 15-20 minutes for our satiety cues to really set in so enjoy each bite of your next meal while practicing mindful eating.
  2. Aim for unsaturated fats over saturated or trans-fat foods. Select portion controlled, heart healthy nuts such as unsalted almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and more. Try cooking oils like avocado, canola, or olive oil or even consider using a cooking spray. Choose fatty fish for omega 3’s, such as salmon, tuna, and herring. Remember to be mindful of your portions.
  3. Choose complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain more fiber and take longer to digest. Not only are high fiber foods beneficial for your waistline, but they also help in the management of controlling your blood glucose levels.
  4. Get moving. A combination of strength based training and cardiovascular activity is beneficial to decrease abdominal fat. The most important factor is to choose a form of movement that you enjoy so you will be more likely to stick with it. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults engage in either 2 hours and 30 minutes to 5 hours of moderate intensity activity each week or 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week for substantial health benefits. In addition, it is recommended for adults to incorporate at least 2 days of moderate or greater intensity strengthening activities that includes all major muscle groups. Here are more tips for incorporating healthy habits to get into a better exercise routine.
  5. Stay adequately hydrated. You may feel hungry and eat more than your body requires due to inadequate hydration. Reach for water first by carrying a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day. Replace sugary beverages with water or calorie-free options. If you prefer a flavored beverage add lemon or orange slices to your water. Replace sweetened tea with unsweetened tea. If you are not getting in enough dairy, drink low-fat milk or a dairy-free alternative.


Excess abdominal fat plays a role in a variety of health problems like heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Try one of these five effective ways today to begin losing excess abdominal fat to get on track to improving your health.