Tactic #: Try Fasted Training
Fasted weight training and cardio is getting more and more popular.
Part of this is piggybacking on the growing popularity of intermittent fasting, but fasted training has benefits beyond just fasting itself.
You see, when youre in a fasted state , your insulin levels are lower than they are during periods where youve eaten more recently.
As we discussed before, stubborn fat is more insulin sensitive than regular fat, which means that having less insulin in your blood stream while training can improve the rate of both lipolysis and fat oxidization.
In addition to the impact of insulin, you also tend to get better blood flow to the abdominal region during fasted training, which can be helpful for specifically reducing lower stomach fat.
If youd like to read more about fasted training, you can take a look at my more detailed article here.
Weight Loss Vs Fat Loss
What has worked for you up until this point, may not be the solution you need anymore. It might be time to shake it up and give your metabolism a little kick in the butt. And it could be that you don’t need to lose weight, you really just need to change your body composition – there’s a difference! Getting a six-pack often requires a more strategic approach in fitness and tightly controlled nutrition to drive results.
Weight loss can be a decrease in either muscle, body, or usually a combination of the two. Whereas changing your body composition is focused primarily on increasing lean mass and decreasing body fat. This could mean the number on the scale goes up or stays the same, even though you are losing body fat!
So throw out your scale and grab your measuring tape, or get your body fat percentage analyzed, and track your progress using a different metric. Your ideal body fat percentage depends on age and genetics, but should fall somewhere around one of the following:
|Ideal Body Fat Percentage|
If your current percentage falls below the athlete range, you probably do not need to lose any more weight. But if you are at a higher range and looking to decrease, there are a few things you can try.
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You’ve Got Too Much Of The Wrong Gut Bacteria
Most of the bacteria that dwell in your gut are pretty useful. They produce hormones, regulate your immune system, digest food, extract nutrients, control your mood, manage your appetite and much more besides.
Now, two groups of beneficial bacteria are dominant in the human gut, the bacteroidetes and the firmicutes. However, the number of bacteroidetes is decreased in obese people when compared with lean people, according to research.
In another study, scientists took stool samples from 1300 twins and found that the less diverse your gut bacteria, the more likely you are to have belly fat. Grow your gut community to shed serious timber.
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You’re Eating The Wrong Foods
While calories in vs. calories out is the number one factor in determining weight reduction, the quality of your food choices is important when it comes to body composition. If your macros are out of whack, you may be hindering your fat-burning capabilities. In addition, eating nutritionally poor foods could slow your progress further by messing with your energy, mood, and appetite.
The Fix: Foods That Burn Belly Fat
Okay, technically there aren’t any foods that specialize in burning fat more than others. But some types of food can potentially give you an edge when it comes to improving lean mass and burning fat more efficiently.
Studies are continuing to show that what you eat plays a role in losing fat. The best fat-burning diets should include lots of vegetables. Most non-starchy veggies – anything except peas, corn, and potatoes – provide few calories and loads of good nutrition you need. Micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals, in vegetables are an important factor in weight management because they help control appetite and support a healthy metabolism.
To clean up your diet, try the following:
Macros for Fat Loss
Getting your macro balance on point will ensure you are utilizing the food you eat as efficiently as possible so that more fatty tissue is broken down for energy.
While your overall macro diet can play a key role in fat loss, protein is the most important. Figure out how many grams of protein you need each day and make it a priority to get this amount.
Calories In Vs Calories Out
‘Calories In/Calories Out’ still holds true friends, the laws of thermodynamics are not broken, but it is at the level of the cells, not at the level of your mouth!
There is one condition you must adhere to! On a high-carb diet, this is not going to be achievable by anyone except those very few genetically gifted individuals.
However, for those of us in the know, we can use our knowledge to activate a fat metabolism and achieve remarkable results. You need to flip that metabolic switch and become a fat-burner in order to make this work.
A fat-burner is simply someone who restricts carbohydrate intake to encourage the body to burn fat for fuel. This typically takes around 3 days of low carb dieting to achieve.
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Getting Rid Of Lower Stomach Fat
First, throw out the idea that you can spot treat areas of fat on your body. You can do thousands of reps of toning exercises to tighten your waistline and not see fat loss.
Exercises like cardio, yoga, and crunches may tone your muscles and strengthen your lower abs, but they wont erase fat deposits.
The only way to lose fat on your lower stomach is to lose fat overall. A calorie deficit helps with this.
Exercise At Any Age Reduces Belly Fat
An active, physical lifestyle is a critical step toward losing belly fat and maintaining a healthy weight — especially as you age. Engage in strength training for all your major muscle groups at least twice a week to help offset the natural loss of muscle mass. You can start strength training at any age to see this benefit. Increase your weight and intensity gradually, and consult a fitness professional for guidance.
Engaging in cardiovascular exercise more 250 minutes a week can lead to significant weight loss, reports the American College of Sports Medicine. In 2013, the journal Plos One published a review of research — which asserted that even without major dietary changes — engaging in moderate or high intensity aerobic training can reduce visceral fat in overweight men and women after 12 weeks. This doesn’t mean that you can get away with not changing your diet — this result demonstrates the power of physical activity.
Consider other ways you can be more active every day. Take the stairs, park farther out in the parking lot, pace while you’re on the phone, walk your dog twice a day and play actively with your grandchildren. These small changes enable you to burn a greater number of calories all day, promoting faster weight loss.
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So No There’s Not But Here’s What You Can Do
1. Start simple
Typically there are many things you may need to improve to lose belly fat. But start by focusing on changing or improving just one thing. Then, once you conquer that first objective, you can move on to the next thing, and so on.
2. Target sugar
One good place to begin improving your food choices is to eliminate sugary drinks and not just soda, but juices. Sugar increases belly fat and fiber reduces belly fat thus when you’re juicing fruits, you’re removing the fiber, leaving pure sugar. So one quick fix, a very concrete fix, would be eliminating sugary drinks.
Replacing sugary beverages with water will help dramatically cut down your sugar intake, and then once you’ve taken that step, you can figure out how to cut down on foods that are high in sugar.
If you have a sweet tooth and need to put that final accent to your meal, eat an apple, melon or fresh berries. Just remember, fruit is not a substitute for vegetables.
3. Go Mediterranean
The popular “flat belly diets”embrace much of the wisdom found in eating a Mediterranean diet, which helps everything from brain health to hearth health. The basic premise for both diets is eat foods rich in monosaturated fatty acids that may help reduce your belly fat storage. MUFA-rich foods include olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocodos, and fish. Eating yogurt regularly has also been found to be helpful in reducing belly fat.
4. Front-load your meal
5. Commit to a physical lifestyle
Increase Your Neat To Get Rid Of Belly Fat
We’ve been conditioned to think that super hard exercise is going to be the thing to help us get results, especially when trying to lose lower belly fat. In fact surprise, surprise it’s much more holistic than that. Instead of hammering the HIIT, keeping your nutrition, exercise and general movement in check are all important.
Outside of gym workouts , the movement you’re doing walking to the shops, making a cup of tea or taking your pooch out to stretch their legs can contribute more to hitting your healthy fat loss goals. This is known as NEAT and is a cornerstone of healthy body composition.
‘NEAT simply refers to the energy used carrying out any daily activity that isn’t formal exercise or sleeping,’ says Elliott Upton, personal trainer at Ultimate Performance and Head of LiveUP Online Coaching.
NEAT plays a major role in how much energy you expend per day and increasing your metabolic rate. It also helps control your blood sugar, aid muscle recovery, lower stress levels and improve cardiovascular health.
You can increase your NEAT by walking instead of taking public transport, opting for the stairs over the elevator or doing household chores. Whichever you choose, they’ll all contribute to the process in which you lose belly fat.
Get around everything you need to know about NEAT exercise with our full explainer.
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Build Muscle And Strength
Whilst cardio might help to burn calories, strength is a much more important factor with age. Since we start to lose muscle after 35, strength training will help you regain muscle and strength.
Focus on compound movements . Squats, lunges, and wall push-ups are good examples of compound exercises.
Here are non-weight bearing compound exercises that can help you lose belly fat after 65. Increase reps after each workout in order to build muscle and strength fast.
Eat Smaller Portions More Often
Practicing portion control is a great way to reduce calorie intake. You may buy portion control plates to get an idea of how much protein, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats you should consume per meal.
As a rule of thumb, half of the plate should be lean protein, one-fourth of it should be veggies, and the rest should be whole grains and healthy fats. Also, use smaller plates for your meals .
Have a meal every 2-3 hours. Include a healthy snack between two large meals. This will keep you from eating large quantities of food when you are super hungry. If you are new to the portion control concept, this article can help.
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Enjoy Some Dark Chocolate
A little chocolate on your menu can make a big difference when it comes to shedding that muffin top for good. Research published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences reveals that normal weight women with excess belly fat who added 100 grams of high-flavonol dark chocolate to their diet over a weeklong period reduced both their waist circumference and their cholesterol.
Foods That Aid Belly Fat Loss:
- High-protein foods: Foods like chicken, turkey, legumes, nuts, whole eggs, fish, and dairy products are great sources of protein, which keeps you full longer. It also helps you lose weight because a high-protein diet takes more energy for your body to digest, which in turn burns body fat.
- Fiber-rich foods: Eating lots of fiber aids weight management and promotes weight loss, so eat more fiber-rich foods like almonds, oats, prunes, berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts and green beans. Consuming fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber is also associated with weight loss.
- Water: Drinking enough water boosts metabolism, which helps you lose weight. Lemon water, a common favorite, may aid weight loss if you use it to replace sugary drinks. However, it has no proven added benefits over regular water.
- Whole grains: Americans often consume excess amounts of refined grains, such as white bread or white rice. To reduce and control body weight, it’s much better to have a diet rich in whole grains, like wheat, brown rice, barley, oats, and rye.
“It is more important to select a sustainable diet and learn what foods work for you long-term versus a ‘quick fix.’ This is what leads to results and maintaining weight loss results,” says Lapaix.
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Reduce Refined Carbohydrate Intake
Just as you should drink whole milk because it is less processed, you should also reduce refined carbohydrate intake for the same reason. Refined carbs, during processing, are stripped of their bran and germ. The end result is food that is artificially low in fiber and nutrients and high on the glycemic index. When you eat foods with a high glycemic index, your blood sugar levels fluctuate.
Blood sugar levels spiking and crashing increases hunger and calorie consumption. This results in excess belly fat. Contrastingly, when you incorporate more whole grains into your diet, you will lose inches off your belly, lower your BMI and burn overall body fat. Replace processed cereals, white bread, and pasta with whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread, oats, barley, and quinoa.
Start The Day With Fenugreek Water
Fenugreek seeds can prevent fat accumulation and have hypoglycemic properties . They can also improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes .
Drink fenugreek soaked water first thing in the morning and let them soak overnight), 30 minutes before breakfast. Avoid adding fenugreek seeds to detox water if you have hypoglycemia. Instead, you can have lime water with a teaspoon of organic honey.
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Stop Drinking Your Calories
Regularly sipping stuff other than water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea? Calorie-containing drinks can slow or straight-up stall your weight loss progress, making it almost impossible to get rid of lower belly fat.
Case in point? That 16-ounce latte you get with breakfast can pack about 250 calories. Grab a sugary cocktail after work and youre looking at 300, 400, or even 500 more.
If you have those kinds of drinks on the reg, just cutting them out could be enough to start melting fat all over your body including around your lower belly.
Thats especially true when it comes to booze, since research shows that drinking a lot of alcohol seems to cause fat to be stored around your belly. Dorn JM, et al. . Alcohol drinking patterns differentially affect central adiposity as measured by abdominal height in women and men,
Okay Now You Can Do Some Crunches
Although you cant spot reduce fat, you can target building lean muscle tissue, which in turn helps burn fat. There are literally dozens of muscles between your shoulders and your hips that are involved in every movement you do, says DiVecchio. The fastest way to create a lean midsection begins with choosing the right moves.
Aim to do ab work three or four times a week on non-consecutive days with at least 24 hours of rest in between sessions, says Gagliardi. During those sessions, you can start with simpler moves like crunches, bicycle crunches, and planks. Even though you may only be directly targeting your abs three or four times a week, you should still be activating your core in every workout you do, says Gagliardi.
There are tons of different ab workouts you can do right in your home. Once youre comfortable in an ab routine, work your way up to more complex ab exercises, like side-to-side med ball slams and weighted Russian twists, says DiVecchio.
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Combine All Of The Above
No one method is going to get rid of your belly for you, so if you want to see results you’re going to have to take heed of the above advice and make changes to your diet, training and lifestyle as a whole.
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So How Do I Reduce My Belly Fat
If you want to reduce your belly fat, youll need to burn more calories than you consume, and eat the right kinds of food. Here are my suggestions on what to eat.
- Make sure you eat a balanced diet. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg each day, and include higher-fibre starchy foods in meals.
- Have some reduced-fat diary or soya drinks fortified in calcium.
- Eat more beans, pulses, fish and eggs.
- Eat small amounts of unsaturated oil.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day.
- Avoid adding salt or sugar to your meals.
And finally, cut out sports drinks, sugar sweetened drinks and other foods that have a lot of added sugar in them. Be aware that low-fat options might have high amounts of added sugar in them.
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