You’re not alone if you’ve found it hard to lose belly fat. It’s the most stubborn fat you’ve got, and belly fat is hard to lose despite your best efforts. That’s because you may be wasting your time training and eating the wrong way. After repeated fad diets and ineffective workout plans, you may have accepted a large waistline as a part of life.
These 30 tips will help you lose the fat so that belly fat is no longer a part of your life.
It’s important to understand that losing belly fat is about the following factors:
Intensity and volume of training: Better results come from training with a near maximal metabolic intensity and performing a large volume of work.
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.
A few things you should know about belly fat to help you lose it:
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 your belly button—that’s subcutaneous fat. Visceral belly fat is considered 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 increase belly fat. Diabetes and large amounts of visceral belly fat are generally interrelated health problems that are closely linked with development of cardiovascular disease.
The Top 30 Tips to Get Rid of Belly Fat
1) The top priority to lose belly fat is individualized, sustainable nutrition that allows you to avoid hunger and cravings.
2) 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 fat burning hormone response.
3) Use a hypertrophy-type protocol (8 to 12 reps, more than 3 sets, 70 to 85 percent of the 1RM load).
4) Do modified strongman training at: Build muscle while elevating growth hormone to enhance fat burning.
5) 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 stress.
6) Do sprint intervals for conditioning. For example, six 200-meter track sprints, 4 minutes rest, or 60 cycle sprints of 8 seconds each, 12 seconds rest.
7) Do conditioning outside rather than on machines. It’s more fun and you’ll probably get a better workout.
8) Lose belly fat with total body training and sprints—avoid “15-minute ab” programs.
9) 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.
10) Eliminate all processed foods from your diet in favor of real food.
11) Eat a high-quality, high-protein diet to increase resting metabolic rate and the amount of energy required to digest food.
12) Eat breakfast and opt for a high-protein, grain-free meal. High protein meals provide amino acids that keep your brain steady and focused.
13) Don’t avoid fat—just be sure to eat a wide array of healthy fats such as those found in fish, olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
14) Eat foods that improve insulin sensitivity with higher carb foods: Vinegars, citrus, spices, and antioxidant-rich plants (blueberries and kale) all help store carbs as muscle glycogen instead of as fat.
15) Consider avoiding wheat, corn, and other grains: The average person gets half their calories from these grains, which is simply too much sugar for the body to cope with.
16) Eliminate all liquid carbs, especially juice, soda, and sports drinks.
17) Make sure your vitamin D level is sufficient (over 32 ng/ml) because low D status is linked to belly fat gain even in young, healthy subjects.
18) Make sure you get adequate fiber—shoot for at least 25 grams a day from plants, not processed foods.
19) Eat adequate essential fatty acids, like the EPA and DHA fats found in fish, because they improve insulin sensitivity and lower cortisol.
20) Eat seeds (for example, sesame, flax, cumin, watermelon, chia) because they promote the metabolism of estrogen and provide an array of beneficial fats.
21) Take care of your gut. Compromised gastrointestinal health directly leads to elevated cortisol and belly fat gain. Eat a probiotic food like sauerkraut, kim chi, and fermented milk or yogurt every day.
22) Get adequate sleep. If deep sleep is a problem, opt for an early-to-bed, early-to-rise sleep schedule because this has been linked to better body comp.
23) Manage stress through relaxation techniques like deep-breathing and meditation.
24) Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Many people mistake thirst as hunger.
25) Drink water, tea, and coffee instead of alcohol, juice, and soda.
26) Eat vegetables at every meal to improve satiety and get a more nutritious diet. Many veggies such as kale and chard improve insulin sensitivity.
27) Get enough magnesium—it’s calming, may help reduce cortisol, and improves insulin sensitivity.
28) Eat antioxidant-rich foods fruits and vegetables at every meal to prevent inflammation: Berries, green vegetables, beets, plums, tomatoes, onion, and garlic.
29) Lose belly fat and reduce cravings for high-carb foods by taking control of what you put in your mouth: Balance your blood sugar (plan meals around protein, veggies, and fat) and manage stress in real time.
30) Stay the course and don’t get impatient. Losing belly fat doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to balance hormones and coax the body to give up energy stores once you create an energy deficit with smart eating, training, and lifestyle.