How To Lose Belly Fat
This article was co-authored by Laura Flinn. Laura Flinn is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, USA Olympic Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach and Certified Fitness Nutritionist, with an additional qualification as a TRX Suspension Trainer. Laura runs her own personal training program based in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in topics such as weight loss, muscle growth, cardiovascular training, and strength training.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 16 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 959,182 times.
Belly fat can be unsightly and hard to get rid of, but it is an issue of more than just appearance. Carrying excessive weight in your midsection is risky, especially for men. A larger waist circumference puts you at a higher risk for a variety of chronic diseases including: diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and even certain cancers . You can reduce the amount of belly fat and the risks it poses by losing weight. Make a few dietary and lifestyle changes to help lose weight and support a healthy lifestyle.
Training Tips For A Tight Tummy
Walking puts all of the abdominal muscles to work. Make sure you swing your arms and contract your midsection while you walk, and maintain a brisk pace. Once you get your body accustomed to a daily walk, you’ll hate to go a day without it. Walk for at least thirty minutes each time to achieve the aerobic effect, and be sure to drink plenty of water.
Weight training not only helps the metabolism, but it also strengthens the bones. Adding muscle also does wonders for your energy level and self-esteem as you age.
Yoga is equally effective at strengthening your body, especially your abs and back. It improves the posture tremendously to create a taller, leaner appearance. Pilates and many mat-based exercises are also great alternatives. The important thing is that you find an activity you like to do. This will greatly improve your odds of sticking with it.
Spot Reduction Doesnt Work
Spot reduction is the theory that exercising a certain spot on your body will lead to fat loss in that area. Most studies have debunked this idea and if you ask the internet theyll tell you the same. Doing more sit-ups isnt going to make your stubborn abdominal fat go away . You might build more muscle there but the fat itself isnt necessarily going to burn off.
Instead, the trick to losing this stubborn fat is to lower your body fat. If youre carrying too much excess body fat then its going to be hard to lose the stubborn fat. Many people whove had great weight loss through dieting end up having trouble losing those last stubborn pounds because of this. As you have more weight loss your body fat doesnt decrease and can crazy enough even increase. But as long as your body fat remains high youre not going to lose stubborn fat.
With weight loss youre not just losing fat. Muscle loss also occurs in the weight loss process especially if youre not strength training too . This can cause a lot of people to become skinny fat. This is when you appear to be thin but have a high body fat percentage. This leaves your body looking and feeling mushy, saggy, and dimply. Instead, the goal should be to lower your body fat to tone and shape your body. This is whats going to get rid of the last of your stubborn fat.
The trick is to force your body to use your fat stores for fuel!
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Visceral Fat More Of A Health Concern Than Subcutaneous Fat
Though the term might sound dated, “middle-age spread” is a greater concern than ever. As people go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase more so in women than men. Extra pounds tend to park themselves around the midsection.
At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we’ve now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.
Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.
What Should I Eat To Lose Belly Fat
Get the Recipe:Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach
There’s no one exact diet that blasts belly fat more than others. Rather, to fight belly fat, you need to consider the timing, size and nutritional quality of your meals in order to maintain a healthy weight, reduce visceral fat and avoid uncomfortable bloating. Start with these tips to begin your journey to losing belly fat, the healthy way.
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How Does Belly Fat Accumulate
Were still learning about the exact mechanisms behind how we accumulate stomach fat, especially visceral fat, but we do know that stress and the hormone cortisol plays an important role, regardless of our age or life stage. In addition to this, a poor diet which is high in fast-releasing carbs and low in protein, combined with alcohol consumption, a lack of exercise and disturbed sleep will all influence our girth.
Another factor is our genetic make-up, researchers believe our genes influence how effectively we burn energy, our behaviour and our risk of developing obesity and associated diseases.
Diet To Get Rid Of Excess Belly Fat
Consuming more calories than you burn can make you more likely to develop visceral fat. It sometimes accumulates around the abdomen.
Eating the right foods may help aid weight loss. Avoid or limit foods that are highly processed and high in refined sugars and bleached grains. Theyve been linked to blood sugar instability and inflammation in the digestive tract.
Instead, focus on adding healthy protein and fiber sources to your diet. Cruciferous veggies may help keep you full for longer and contain many nutrients. These include:
Protein can boost your stamina and energy without adding a lot of calories to your daily calorie needs. Some protein sources include:
- hard-boiled eggs
- beans and legumes
- nuts and seeds
Avoid or limit artificially sweetened drinks, including energy drinks and diet sodas. Stick to anti-inflammatory beverages, such as unsweetened green tea and water.
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Best Moves To Get Rid Of Side Fat
What you need: yoga mat or soft surface and an interval timer
What to do: Perform the workout designated for your fitness level below.
Beginner Workout: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. Perform 3 sets, resting 30 seconds between each.
Intermediate Workout: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with no rest in between. Perform 4 sets, resting 30 seconds between each.
Advanced Workout: Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with no rest in between. Perform 5 sets, resting 45 seconds between each.
Perform this workout three times a week to see the best results!
Why Is Belly Fat So Hard To Shift
Belly fat is tricky to shift because there are so many factors influencing it. For example, where you gain fat will be influenced by your genes, your age and even your weight at birth, with smaller babiesgaining more belly fat later in life. If youre female and child-free then youre less likely to develop high levels of visceral fat than if you are a mum.
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Keep In Mind That Hormones Play A Role
If you’re struggling to lose lower belly fat, underlying hormone imbalances could be playing a role, explains Maritza Worthington, a functional nutritionist who specializes in digestive and hormone health. “In my experience, the top two culprits behind stubborn belly fat have to do with either excess cortisol or estrogen dominance,” she says. “Typically hormone imbalance issues dont happen overnight, and are the result of insulin resistance, malnutrition, lack of exercise and a high stress lifestyle.”
Worthington shares a few pointers:
- Eat regularly and skip the fastingthe body actually stores more belly fat when skipping meals. “This could be because the body experiences higher cortisol/stress from starvation, and as a coping mechanism stores more belly fat , not knowing when the next meal will come,” she says.
- Focus on balanced meals and avoid eating protein or carbs alone. “Theres a reason why your body uses macronutrientsprotein, carbs, & fatsfor optimal fuel. And skipping one of these macronutrients can actually work against your metabolism.”
Exercise And Dieting Helps You Lose Belly Fat
So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity at least 30 minutes per day to control weight and lose belly fat. Strength training may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.
Diet is also important. Pay attention to portion size, and emphasize complex carbohydrates and lean protein over simple carbohydrates such as white bread, refined-grain pasta, and sugary drinks. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with polyunsaturated fats can also help.
Scientists hope to develop drug treatments that target abdominal fat. For now, experts stress that lifestyle, especially exercise, is the very best way to fight visceral fat.
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Why Its So Hard To Get Rid Of Side Fat
Even people who have been skinny all their lives can still have trouble losing their love handles. Its one of the most well known stubborn fat places on the body for good reason. Even if you kicked out junk food from your diet for a while you could still easily have love handles. They just dont seem to want to go away!
Now genetics do play a big role and you have your ancestors to thank for that . For thousands of years, your ancestors struggled to survive every day. Some times their food was easily available but at other harder times, it wouldnt be so easy to come by. So they had to have fuel reserves in case of a future food famine. And these fuel reserves came in the form of love handles.
Those who were more likely to survive to pass their genes on to their children had the genetics to easily store excess calories in their love handles . But nowadays this bulging waistline is a lot more unattractive since we can eat as much food as we want whenever we want. Yet since your body is wired to store excess fat in your side stomach thats going to make it that much more difficult to lose it .
How To Lose Belly Fat While Running
One of the traps many runners fall into is thinking that the further they run, the more belly fat theyll burn, but thats not always the case. While long-distance runs are excellent at building endurance and burning calories, theyre not necessarily the best for dealing with body fat. To lose the flab, youll have more success by mixing up your training routine.
- Consider cross-training
Cross-training involves picking a primary exercise, which in this case is running, and supplementing it with secondary exercises such as swimming and cycling, which are both effective at burning belly fat, to improve the gains made by the primary exercise. These secondary exercises should be low impact, to reduce the risk of injury, and should only be done for a relatively short period of time, so no more than 30 to 60 minutes per session.
- Try trail running
A simple way to tweak your running to lose belly fat is to head away from the roads and onto the trails. Although your pace is likely to be slower, trail running provides more of a total body workout to help you tighten up those problem areas. Jumping over logs and rocks, running up and down hills and navigating unpredictable terrain that changes with every step will work your calves, quads, glutes and belly far more than running on a flat road. If you find youve reached a weight loss plateau on the roads, working smarter, not harder, by incorporating some trails could be an effective solution for you.
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How To Burn Side Stomach Fat
Carrying a few extra pounds on your midsection is common more than half of Americans have a waist size that’s larger than normal, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in Sept. 2014. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with side stomach fat forever, though. Lowering your calorie intake, making a few diet tweaks and getting more active will help you burn that fat and get the physique you want.
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Burning excess side fat, AKA “love handles,” depends on your willingness to choose healthy, nutrient-rich foods and exercise enough so that your body has to burn stored fat as fuel.
How The Plan Works
Heres what you need to know before you start.
1. Youll Be Doing Circuit Workouts
involves doing a certain exercise for a set amount of time or number of reps, then moving on to another exercise. Each week youll do four circuit workouts. Work through each exercise listed in turn to complete one round of the workout. Each session will require you to complete a certain number of rounds in this plan each workout is five rounds. Circuit training is effective because you dont rest much, which forces your muscles and your cardiovascular system to work harder, so youll be burning calories while building muscle.
Each round of the circuit finishes with a supermove, which involves doing as many reps as possible in 60 seconds while maintaining good form, of course. This ensures you finish each round having given it your all.
2. Youre Against The Clock
3. It Has Weekly Progression Built In
Progression is key to the success of any good training plan, since you need to push yourself harder as you get fitter in order to get the results you want. While youll be doing the same four circuits each week, youll increase the amount of time you work in weeks three and four. Each set will last 50 seconds instead of 40, which as youll discover is a far bigger jump in difficulty than it sounds. Remember to track your rep count each week so you can progress by trying to beat that number next time around.
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Exercises That Make Side Fat Disappear
Despite the fact that having side fat or love handles means theres more of us to love, most people dont like having them.
Not only do love handles make it hard to wear tight clothing without them being noticeable, but they can also indicate certain underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
The National Institute of Health explains the primary reason for this condition. People gain weight when they eat more calories than they burn through activity. This imbalance is the greatest contributor to weight gain.
Diet Tips To Help You Lose Belly Fat
Heres the reality: it doesnt matter how hard you train in the gym if you dont put the same time, effort and focus into what you do in the kitchen. The old saying that you cant out-train a bad diet is something of a cliché, but like all clichés its rooted in truth. And if you want to make big changes to how you look with your shirt off and as quickly as possible then you need to start thinking more about mealtimes. Heres our expert advice on how you can start to eat smarter and faster.
1. Fuel for the day ahead
When following this training plan is the most important meal of your day because what you eat first thing helps dictate better eating habits until bedtime. A breakfast made from lean protein, healthy fats and fibre think eggs, bacon, and yes, some green vegetables provides a sustained release of energy, so hunger wont hit before lunch.
2. Swap sarnies for salad
Swapping a pre-packed sandwich and crisps for a big bowl of green leaves, mixed veg and chicken, tuna or another quality protein will help shrink your belly fast. A lunch like this will provide muscle-building protein, more stomach-filling fibre to ward off cravings, and an abundance of vitamins and minerals to keep your fat-torching mission on track.
3. Refuel during dinner
4. Be clever with carbs
5. Drink like a fish
6. Pick the right snacks
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Stop Adding Sweeteners To Your Food And Drinks
While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to Yale researchers, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.
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