Your Workouts Aren’t Hard Enough
Exercise is not required for fat loss, but it can certainly help! The good news is that any exercise can help get rid of belly fat since fat loss boils down to eating fewer calories than you burn. However, certain styles of exercise like strength training and HIIT may offer additional advantages.
The Fix: Exercises That Get Rid of Belly Fat
A long jog or spin on the elliptical may no longer cut it. While you may be burning calories with a moderate workout regime, the key to increased fat burning is to increase calorie burn even after your done in the gym – by building lean mass or increasing your VO2 max. Muscle is more metabolic, meaning it helps you burn more calories at rest, and the more muscle you have, the better you store carbs and utilize them for energy.
VO2 max is the measurement of how efficiently your body can access fat stores for energy and oxygen during intense workouts. And increasing your VO2 max, will increase the amount of fat you are able to burn.
High-Intensity Interval Training – HIIT
HIIT workouts may promote fat loss and improve stamina faster than endurance training alone . HIIT not only helps you maximize fat burning throughout the day but can also whip you into shape super fast – since most workouts are short and burn a ton of calories.
Psst… the Trifecta app has a pretty sick workout timer too! And daily workouts to try.
Things You Should Know
- Boost your weight loss progress by eating healthy food groups like lean proteins, fresh produce, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Cut back on foods that are high in sugar and fat to reduce your belly fat overall.
- Create a weekly workout plan to help you burn more fat and boost your metabolism. Aim for 5 days of cardio, 2-3 days of interval workouts, and 1-3 days of strength training.
S For Beating Belly Fat
There are four keys to controlling belly fat: exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management.
1. Exercise: Vigorous exercise trims all your fat, including visceral fat.
Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. Walking counts, as long as it’s brisk enough that you work up a sweat and breathe harder, with your heart rate faster than usual.
To get the same results in half the time, step up your pace and get vigorous exercise — like jogging or walking. You’d need to do that for 20 minutes a day, 4 days a week.
Jog, if you’re already fit, or walk briskly at an incline on a treadmill if you’re not ready for jogging. Vigorous workouts on stationary bikes and elliptical or rowing machines are also effective, says Duke researcher Cris Slentz, PhD.
Moderate activity — raising your heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week — also helps. It slows down how much visceral fat you gain. But to torch visceral fat, your workouts may need to be stepped up.
âRake leaves, walk, garden, go to Zumba, play soccer with your kids. It doesnât have to be in the gym,â Hairston says.
If you are not active now, it’s a good idea to check with your health care provider before starting a new fitness program.
2. Diet: There is no magic diet for belly fat. But when you lose weight on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.
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Follow A High Protein Diet
Eating more protein-rich foods may help reduce your appetite and increase fat burning.
In fact, multiple studies have associated eating more high quality protein with a lower risk of excess body fat and obesity (
Try adding a few servings of high protein food to your diet each day. Protein-rich foods include meat, seafood, eggs, legumes, tofu, and dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Eating more protein may be associated with a lower risk of belly fat. Plus, it may decrease appetite, lower calorie intake, and preserve muscle mass.
Going to bed a bit earlier or setting your alarm clock a little later is a simple strategy to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
In fact, several studies associate sufficient sleep with weight loss.
One 10-year study linked sleeping fewer than 6 hours per night to a higher risk of obesity among young women .
Another small study showed that getting 1 less hour of sleep per night led to less fat loss in people following a low calorie diet, compared with a control group .
Other research indicates that a lack of sleep may contribute to alterations in hunger hormones, increased appetite, and a higher risk of obesity .
Although everyone needs a different amount of sleep, most studies tie at least 7 hours of sleep per night to the most benefits for weight management and overall health .
Getting enough sleep may help reduce your appetite and hunger levels, as well as lower your risk of weight gain.
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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How Fast Can You Realistically Lose Belly Fat
Reducing overall body fat will cut down on your belly fat. However, this isn’t a process that happens overnight or even within days of starting your weight loss journey.
“A healthy amount of weight loss is one to two pounds per week,” says Lapaix.
“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.
What the research says: A 2019 study showed that losing 6% to 7% of your total body weight can reduce both subcutaneous and visceral fat. This means that if you weigh 180 lbs, it can take you about six to 12 weeks to lose this percentage of your total body weight and reduce belly fat in the process.
However, “there are many factors to consider with body composition, including age, gender, current weight, body fat, and muscle mass, to name a few,” says Lapaix. “These will affect the rate at which someone loses weight, which nutritional plan to follow, and an appropriate activity level for them.”
Combining exercise and a healthy diet is more effective than either of those factors alone.
What Machines To Use At The Gym To Lose Belly Fat
stationary bikeelliptical machineellipticaltreadmillrunningHere are 20 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.
- Eat Plenty of Soluble Fiber.
- Avoid Foods That Contain Trans Fats.
- Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol.
- Eat a High-Protein Diet.
- Don’t Eat a Lot of Sugary Foods.
- Do Aerobic Exercise
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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 babies gaining 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.
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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Three Ways To Reduce Belly Fat
How can I lose belly fat? pulls up over two million hits on Google. Its a hot topic that goes beyond wanting to improve appearance. A larger waist measurement can mean that you have too much visceral fat. This is the fat stored around internal organs like your liver and pancreas, which is commonly referred to as belly fat.
Whether youre overweight or not, carrying more fat around your belly is linked to a number of serious health problems, such as:
- heart and circulatory problems
While anyone can have this type of deep visceral fat around their inner organs, its important that you make some changes to get your body into a healthier place.
Will My Hormones Influence How Much Belly Fat I Have
During our reproductive life women have less visceral fat than men, but this changes as oestrogen levels fall during midlife and at the menopause. At this stage, testosterone starts to play a more significant role in where women lay down fat, favouring the upper body rather than the hips and thighs, with our proportion of fat to body weight also increasing.
Menopause is not the only time when hormones play an influential role in fat storage. Women diagnosed with the condition PCOS may also be prone to increased intra-abdominal fat storage.
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Consider The 80/20 Guideline For Nutrition Vs Exercise
It’s not possible to reduce fat from specific spots in your body, but you can reduce lower belly fat by reducing your overall percentage of body fat, explains Nick Hounslow an LA-based ISSA certified personal trainer.
“This is done by following a diet of whole or minimally processed foods that contain protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients, he says. “You’ll want to make sure that you’re eating fewer calories than you are burning in a day.”
Be careful not to overdo it and cut too many calories or do so too quicklya slow and steady weight loss is optimal for long-term success, he says.
“As a nutritionist, I tell my clients that you can work your core all you want but if your nutrition isnt 80% you will not see any results,” says Stephanie Rofkahr, nutritionist and certified personal trainer. Here, Rofkahr is speaking to the concept that is generally accepted by the fitness and nutrition community: weight loss is 80% proper nutrition and 20% exercise.
Best Foods To Lose Belly Fat
It’s not all about eating less. Music to our ears, we’re sure you’ll agree. Rather than simply cutting down on kcals, you need to consider the kind of food you’re consuming, too.
Belalij suggests building meals around lots of nutrient-rich vegetables, a source of protein and some healthy, unprocessed carbs. ‘Start with leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens, then add carrots, broccoli and peas.’
‘Lean meats, including turkey and chicken, are ideal as they are lower in fat and therefore calories, or, if you are vegetarian/vegan, add in tofu or a handful of nuts such as pine, cashew or almonds and a sprinkling of seeds . When it comes to carbohydrates, rice, quinoa and potatoes are perfect.’
Your best course of action is to make small, manageable changes, and figure out what’s most sustainable for you. Remember: we’re after long term change, not short-lived tweaks. Cutting down on processed foods will also likely help with water retention which, while it’s not an approach we’d recommend, can be helpful for anyone searching ‘how to lose belly fat in a week’.
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Cut Back On Carbs Especially Refined Carbs
Reducing your carb intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat.
Diets with under 50 grams of carbs per day cause belly fat loss in people who are overweight, those at risk for type 2 diabetes, and women with polycystic ovary syndrome .
You dont have to follow a strict low carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat .
In the famous Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest consumption of whole grains were 17% less likely to have excess abdominal fat than those who consumed diets high in refined grains .
A high intake of refined carbs is associated with excessive belly fat. Consider reducing your carb intake or replacing refined carbs in your diet with healthy carb sources, such as whole grains, legumes, or vegetables.
Apples And Peanut Butter
Hannah Ackermann, RD, says that eating fiber-rich foods is important for your gut health, as well as stabilizing your blood sugar. Apples, in particular, are a great example of a fiber-rich food that can help with your overall digestion and metabolismkeeping your belly nice and flat.
“An apple’s skin, the outside shell of beans, and the seeds in blackberries are great examples of insoluble fiber,” says Ackermann. “Our body cannot break insoluble fiber down, so it moves through the digestive system relatively intact, adding bulk to stool and keeping our digestive system moving.”
In general, eating fiber-rich foods means you’ll eat less overalland cause less belly fat in the long term.
“Fiber is an often overlooked but vital nutrient for gut health, weight management, lowering cholesterol, and regulating blood sugar levels,” says Ackermann. “By definition, fiber is the non-digestible part of carbohydrates that adds bulk to food. Consuming more fiber-rich foods helps you feel fuller after eating, so you generally eat less throughout the day.”
So enjoy an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter to round out your snack and keep you feeling full for a long time after! Or how about one of these 25 Delicious Apple Recipes?
A Final Note On The Best Way To Lose Belly Fat
Okay, so we’ve given you the good stuff when it comes to learning the best way to lose belly fat and belly fat exercises to add in to your routine. Basically everything you need to know about how to lose stomach fat.
The one takeaway we hope you leave with, though, is that for all of the ways to lose belly fat, the way you speak to and view yourself is the most important thing in all of this. Whether you do or do not want to lose stomach fat, you are still worthy of love and respect from yourself. If you feel that the only thing you can focus on is trying to lose fat fast or entering into any unhelpful and unhealthy habits, take a step back and reassess. Focus on small things like watching your stress, sleeping well or choosing nutrient-dense foods. Small, attainable goals add up to very big wins don’t lose sight of that.
*Women’s Health Naked Survey 2018
Are Men Or Women More Prone To Belly Fat
There is no clear answer when it comes to who is more likely to store excess fat in their bellies. However, studies have shown that men are more likely to carry extra weight around their midsection, while women are more likely to store it in their hips and thighs. This may be due to differences in hormones and body composition.
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Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
Kleiner says for salty cravings, deviled eggs are a great healthy snack that will satisfy your craving without totally going overboard on sodiumwhich inevitably causes belly bloat.
“When you’re craving something salty, sure you could reach for a high-sodium snack, but all that salt may leave you feeling bloated, thirsty, and justblah,” says Kleiner. “Instead reach for something like Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs. The eggs and smoked salmon provide a hefty dose of protein, important for muscle building and repair. Plus, this tasty snack twist provides some gut-boosting probiotics thanks to yogurt and heart-healthy omega-3s from the salmon.”
Ways To Tone Your Lower Abdomen According To Experts
Briana Bain, DPT, PT, is a physical therapist based in Virginia Beach. She works as a Physical Therapist at Adler Therapy Group and a BodyPump Instructor at OneLife Fitness
Important disclaimer: there’s no reason you need to reduce belly fat unless you’ve been instructed to do so by a doctor. For many people, belly fat is perfectly healthy and it’s extremely common to have belly fat in the lower abdomen, just below the belly button.
That said, we understand some people are looking to tone their midsection. If that’s you, follow along for some of our favorite tips from fitness and nutrition experts, including a super core-strengthening video how-to from fitness trainer Traci Copeland for healthy ways to target your lower abdomen.