Think About Your Gut If You Want To Lose Belly Fat
Followed everything above to the letter, but not losing belly fat as quickly as you might like? It could be that the levels of good to bad bacteria in your gut arent at their optimum.
Researchers from Washington University found that people with excess weight, including abdominal fat, tend to have greater numbers of Firmicutes bacteria, suggesting this one could encourage the body to absorb more calories from food. Dont believe us? Heres what your poop can tell you about your belly fat.
*Women’s Health Naked Survey 2018
You’re Eating Too Much Sugar
It’s not new information that sweet treats can result in belly fat.
“A high sugar diet can cause belly fat to stick fast even if youre restricting calories and trying to lose weight, thought excessive calorie restriction isnt something I would recommend,” says Libby.
To make a serious impact on your belly fat, cutting out sugar spikes is key, says Dr Michael Mosley, founder of The Fast 800 Diet. “A surprising number of diet snacks and drinks are high in sugar and are marketed as diet foods because they happen to be low in fat.
“Limit your intake of any food or drink containing more than five per cent sugar to no more than twice a week,” Dr Mosley advises. This includes sweet fruits such as mango and pineapple and sugary smoothies and juices, he continues. Likewise, replace processed carbs such as white bread, chips and pasta with slow-release energy sources, such as brown rice or quinoa.
“Two things will surprise you: the amount of sugar you were consuming unawares and the speed at which your belly fat will begin to tame itself when you cut it out,” says Dr Mosley.
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’re Trying To Spot Reduce
When we think ‘abs’, we often believe we have to do 1,000 crunches a day. Unfortunately, spot reduction isn’t effective.
“You cannot focus weight loss to just one particular area. However, strengthening the core and abs can help to tighten and tone the muscles in the abdominal area,” Tuck said.
Solution: focus on full body exercises and high intensity interval training.
“Surprisingly, full body exercises are more effective for reducing belly fat for a specific region,” Lucas said.
“For example, even if the target is the abdomen, cable machine lateral rotation involves activating the core, but also uses the strength of your arms and glutes which helps to burn fat, but also tone your abdomen.
“Anti-rotation is also effective and is more targeted for the abdomen. If you don’t have a cable machine, stretch bands work similarly and activate multiple muscle groups while also working on the abdomen.”
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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Try Adding More Strength Training To Your Workouts
A daily run or spin class is great for your heart, but cardio workouts alone won’t do much for your waist. “You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training,” Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. Strength training increases muscle mass, which sets your body up to burn more fat.
“Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle,” Kate Patton, RD, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. Patton recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week.
Dr. Cheskin also agrees strength training is the way to go, as it builds muscle. “When you build muscle, you tend to replace fat with that muscle,” he says.
You’re Not Lifting Weights
While bodyweight resistance training is highly effective, pumping a little iron pays dividends when it comes to blasting belly fat.
A few weight training sessions a week will set you on a path for a speedier metabolism, as according to the NHS muscle burns more calories than fat, thus the more muscle you have, the more fat you torch, and the benefits continue after youve left the gym too, as resting metabolic rate improves, meaning that you burn more calories throughout the day.
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Eat A Range Of Macros At Each Meal
Balancing meals and snacks to ensure they provide a carbohydrate, a protein and a healthy fat is a great way to slow down the release of glucose and therefore insulin release, shares Lisa. This means you’ll feel satisfied for longer, she adds.
Lisa recommends including the following foods in your diet if your aim is weight loss:
- high fibre foods
- green tea.
None of these are essential – ultimately, weight loss is about achieving a sensible calorie deficit, but the above foods have particular nutrient-dense properties that will assist fat loss.
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Do Women Find It Harder To Shift Belly Fat Than Men
Fun fact: on average, women have 6 to 11% more body fat than men. Studies show oestrogen reduces a woman’s ability to burn energy after eating, resulting in more fat being stored around the body.
The likely reason for this, historically? To prime women for childbearing, according to our experts.
Curious as to why it’s so difficult to lose weight around our abdomens, we asked Dr Luke James from Bupa UK, nutritionist Lisa Borg of Pulse Light clinic and personal trainers Claire and James of The Midlife Mentors to explain why it’s such a struggle. Keep reading.
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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.
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.
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You’re Not Exercising Enough
Nobody said shedding belly fat was going to be easy. If your gut is stretching the tape measure too much — for men, that’s more than 40 inches around the waist, and women, more than 35 — you need moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week, or vigorous for 75, and strength training at least twice a week. Check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program.
Tips For Losing Belly Fat And Getting In Better Shape
As we pointed out at the beginning: achieving a firm, smooth belly with less fat volume requires an appropriate strategy, maintained consistently over time.
You can tell yourself simple things like: Im losing weight or Im proud of the effort Im making . This can help keep you motivated and on track.
Once youve changed your mindset, you can focus on specific things to help you lose belly fat. Here are some things to start working on now:
- Start the day with a glass of water. You can drink sage tea during the day.
- Manage stress.
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Performing Only Cardio And Aerobics
No doubt, a 30-minute run at a decent pace helps in burning calories, but in the long run, it affects metabolism. So, people fail to burn fat after working on treadmills and elliptical after a point.
Granted that aerobic activity can help you lose a considerable amount of weight, but as you lose weight, your metabolism slows down, which means that your burn fewer calories at your new weight.
One proven and effective way to kick start your metabolism and keep you losing weight is to add resistance training to your exercise routine.
According to your preference, you can use barbells or kettle bells or even perform body weight exercises.
If youre a beginner to resistance training, you should check out the power tower. It is considered by many experts to be the most complete tool for resistance training and not only is it easy to use, its cheap and durable.
Remember, performing resistance training even 3 times a week can activate your metabolism and keep from experiencing plateaus in your weight loss.
How To Lose Fat Only In My Stomach
9 out of 10 people join gym just because they want to lose fat from their stomach.
I admit that oversize stomachs do not look good infront of other people but focusing on other things will help you the most when it comes to losing fat from your stomach.
Now How do you lose belly fat? Create Calorie Deficit, Done!
Hold on a Sec! ~ thatâs what you said?
You donât know the calorie deficit?
Although I explain many times here, allow me one more time for you guys to explain.
In order to lose weight, you have to burn more energy than what your body consumes through food.
When you subtract the amount of energy that is burned by your body through workout and other amounts of energy you consume, thatâs called the calorie deficit.
You create the calorie deficit!
it is the ONE SINGLE THING that EVER causes fat to be lost from ANY part of the body.
If you donât want to do that, itâs ohk many people find itâs hard to do and more importantly follow it for a long period of time, you can consider drinking this and this supplement and gain double the amount of weight you lose in a few months.
Look, I know losing weight is hard but you can do it if you have someone who knows everything, what I mean by that is someone who just doesnt give you a meal plan and is fed away. I mean someone who changes your eating pattern, your relationship with food and so on.
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Youre Not Eating Enough Or Youre Eating Too Much
People looking to lose weight can make one of these mistakes. The fact is, your body needs a certain number of calories to operate. If you are starving your body of calories, your body isnt going to allow the body to starve. As a result, your body will begin to slow down bodily processes like your metabolism. This can stall any of your weight loss or fat loss efforts because your body will be in starvation mode.
On the other hand, a simplified way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you are taking in daily. If you are dieting but you are consuming too many calories, you wont achieve your desired weight loss goals.
When you are looking to lose belly fat, youll want to start counting calories to ensure youre putting yourself at a caloric deficit.
You Have A Hormone Imbalance
On top of regular hormones changing over time, some people, particularly women, may have an underlying hormone imbalance affecting their ability to lose weight.
“Hormonal imbalance, such as oestrogen and androgen imbalance, may increase the likelihood of thickening around the midsection,” Tuck said.
One common hormonal disorder is polycystic ovary syndrome , which is characterised by several symptoms caused by high levels of androgens, or ‘male’ hormones.
“PCOS can be responsible for insulin resistance where glucose is not taken up by the cells and used for energy, but instead deposited in fat cells,” Lucas said.
Solution: see a medical professional.
“If you’re finding weight hard to budge despite exercise and dietary changes, you may want to seek the advice of your general practitioner or naturopath who can prescribe blood tests to help address the bigger picture,” Lucas said.
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You’re Eating More Than You Think
Cutting calories is the only way to shed pounds. If you are eating less than you burn, you will lose weight. This is the single most important thing you can do for fat loss – eat fewer calories!
If you aren’t dropping pounds, you may be eating more than you think. Are you staying on track all week long, counting calories during weekdays but allowing more wiggle room on the weekends? If this sounds familiar, you may be giving yourself too much freedom on off days. It is entirely possible to undo a week’s worth of hard work with a few days of excess calories, especially if alcohol is involved. Your body does not work in 24-hour increments, and what you eat every day plays an important role in the success of your diet.
The Fix: Figure Out How Many Calories You Should Be Eating
Your calorie needs are directly related to your current weight, lean mass, and fitness needs. And finding out exactly how much you should be eating each day is not difficult. You can easily calculate how many calories you need a day using an online calculator or when signing up for a food tracking app. This is a crucial step in helping you be successful.
Use a Calorie Counter App
If you arent tracking your daily food and drink intake, you should start. This is probably the best step you can take towards achieving your fat loss goals. And if you are tracking already, here are a few important things to keep in mind: