Increase Physical Activity, Especially Intense Cardio Exercise
While you're lowering your caloric intake, Dr. Lofton also recommended getting more exercise. Building muscle through strength training is actually the best way to boost your metabolism, but when your overall goal is to lose belly fat, Dr. Lofton actually recommended starting with cardio. "The body loses fat efficiently by doing intense physical activity," Dr. Lofton explained. Both cardio and strength training are important for your overall health and weight loss, but initially upping your cardio while reducing your caloric intake will lead to faster results.
Any kind of exercise will be helpful to start: walking more, taking the stairs, getting up and moving throughout the day. But the best weight loss results will come when you're really upping your heart rate, "huffing and puffing, exerting yourself to the point where it's difficult to hold a conversation, but still possible," Dr. Lofton said. "That's the level of intensity you want to get to."
High-intensity interval training is one option to try that's been proven to help with fat loss, especially when it comes to visceral fat, Dr. Lowden told POPSUGAR. Visceral fat is the fat around your organs, as opposed to the subcutaneous fat under your skin, which is the kind you can see. (Here's more on the difference between the two.) Visceral fat is actually the more dangerous kind, Dr. Lowden said, leading to metabolic health issues like abnormal blood sugar, heart disease, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease. So doing HIIT actually benefits you in multiple ways: it'll help you lose fat overall and dangerous visceral fat in particular. We recommend this 45-minute bodyweight HIIT workout for weight loss as a good place to start.