When you commit to losing belly fat, you need a well-designed approach. This article will give you evidence-based tips to for losing belly fat.
Belly Fat Loss Facts
Belly fat is made up of two kinds of fat:
Subcutaneous fat is below the surface of the skin and can be pinched with fingers, or calipers when measuring body fat.
Visceral belly fat is inside the abdominal wall, below the muscles and can’t be measured with calipers. Losing visceral fat will decrease your waist circumference and make you look much leaner around the middle, but it won’t get rid of fat at the umbilical or suprailiac—that’s subcutaneous fat.
Visceral belly fat is a metabolically active “organ” because it releases substances called adipokines, which are cell-to-cell signaling proteins that increase blood pressure, raise LDL bad cholesterol, and alter insulin sensitivity, causing diabetes.
Adipokines released from visceral belly fat actually degrade muscle quality and turn it into fat!
Diabetes and large amounts of visceral belly fat are generally interrelated health problems that are closely linked with development of cardiovascular disease.
Research shows that belly fat loss is best achieved with the following:
- A high-intensity and volume of training.
- Decreasing inflammation in the body and enhancing the immune system.
- Managing stress and decreasing the body’s output of the hormone cortisol.
- Creating a healthy gut, which leads to lower cortisol and less inflammation.
- Managing insulin health and glucose tolerance with diet and regular physical activity.
The Top 30 Tips For Losing Belly Fat
- Strength train with a large volume (30 to 45 sets per workout) and short rest periods (10 to 60 seconds) to produce more lactic acid buildup and greater growth hormone response.
- Prioritize a hypertrophy-type protocol (8 to 12 reps, more than 3 sets, 70 to 85 percent of the 1RM load).
- Do modified strongman training at least once a week: Build muscle and lower body strength while elevating growth hormone to enhance fat burning.
- Work hard but smart by manipulating rest, sets, reps & tempo: For example, 6 X 6 squats with 60 seconds rest and 12 X 3 squats with 25 seconds rest produce equal metabolic cost.
- Do sprint intervals for conditioning. For example, six 200-meter track sprints with 4 minutes rest, or 60 cycle sprints of 8 seconds each with 12 seconds rest.
- Take your conditioning outside for a mental break and lower cortisol release.
- Do meditation or mindful breathing to improve your mental outlook and commitment to excellence.
- Avoid “15-minute ab” programs in favor of proven training methods, such as total body training and intervals.
- Always eat breakfast and opt for a high-protein meal that contains fiber and health fats. Try the Meat and Nuts Breakfast.
- Don’t train on an empty stomach—this lowers the body’s use of fat for fuel and results in less calorie burn during recovery (excess post-exercise oxygen use).
- Eliminate all processed foods from your diet in favor of whole options.
- Don’t avoid fat—just be sure to eat smart fats such as those found in fish, wild meats, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
- Eat a high-quality, high-protein diet to increase resting metabolic rate and the amount of energy required to digest food.
- Achieve a threshold of 10 g of essential amino acids per meal. A standard serving of seafood, chicken, or beef meets the threshold.
- Eat foods that improve insulin sensitivity with higher carb meals (blueberries, leafy greens, vinegar, lemon juice).
- Consider eliminating gluten in favor of heirloom grains and other healthy carbs.
- Make sure your vitamin D level is adequate (above 30 ng/ml)—take vitamin D if not.
- Ensure you get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. Low fiber intake leads to poorer insulin health and more belly fat gain.
- Eat seeds, especially flax seeds, because they promote elimination of chemical estrogens and many decrease belly fat gain even when eating a high-fat, high fructose diet.
- Ensure you have a healthy gut—compromised gastrointestinal health directly leads to elevated cortisol and belly fat gain.
- Achieve healthy digestion with the Five R Protocol for gut health.
- Limit fructose in the diet to only fruit sources. Eliminate all fructose corn syrup.
- Get adequate sleep. If rest is a problem, opt for an early-to-bed, early-to-rise sleep schedule because this has been linked to less belly fat.
- Use a grateful log to ease stress before bed. Here’s how we do it: Two Great Mindful Strategies to Induce Deep Sleep
- Reduce stress: do yoga, a martial art, go for a walk, perform mental imagery, get a counselor or coach, do meditation, do whatever works.
- Stay hydrated by drinking 0.6 to 0.7 ounces of water per pound of bodyweight to stay hydrated and promote detoxification.
- Eliminate alcohol, juice, soda, and sports drinks. Stick to water, tea, and coffee.
- Eliminate all sugar and sweeteners—cane sugar, agave, maple syrup—all of it.
- Get adequate magnesium (7 to 10 mg/kg of body weight) to calm the body and decrease cortisol.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods like berries, dark chocolate, leafy greens, and olive oil to prevent inflammation.
As you develop a plan for losing belly fat, know that you have complete control over what you put in your mouth. No one ever ate anything by accident.