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How to Lose Belly Fat

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Belly fat; it’s like a stubborn nemesis that refuses to budge. Many of us fight the battle of the bulge for appearance sake, but there’s much more at stake. Belly fat causes health risks and reducing it should become a priority.

Blast Belly Fat Away!

Discover everything you need to know on how to lose belly fat – exercise tips, food and drinks, and what to avoid.

Causes of Belly Fat

There are many things that contribute to abdominal fat:

  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain health conditions
  • Genetics

Why it’s Dangerous

There are different types of fat, such as subcutaneous fat that gathers just under your skin. But the biggest concern is Visceral fat. This is found between your vital organs like the liver, kidneys, stomach etc. It secretes hormones and chemicals that are linked to all types of diseases, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Fatty liver
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Strokes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer

Both visceral and subcutaneous fat can form around your abdomen. Visceral fat releases more fatty acids into the bloodstream. You can become insulin resistant, which causes issues with your blood sugar levels. Insulin affects the storage of belly fat and other hormonal changes, leading to risk of inflammation.

Are You at Risk?

Belly fat can be obvious, but when does it become dangerous?  According to Harvard Medical School, a high risk waist circumference is 35+ inches for women, 40+ inches for men.

Another way to determine your risk is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Access a BMI calculator here.

Even those who don’t appear overweight can’t get complacent. They can still be storing visceral fat; these cases are commonly referred to as skinny fat.

What is the Best Exercise for Losing Belly Fat?


core exercise

Losing weight anywhere on your body will help. But if you want to blast belly fat fast, try these exercises:

Core Exercises and Strength Training

  • Crunches
  • Planking
  • Burpees
  • Abdominal Twists
  • Mountain climbers
  • Push ups and Pull ups
  • Stability ball exercises
  • Knee/Leg Raises
  • Pilates
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Bench presses and chest presses
  • Lateral pulls
  • Reverse Lunges with Bicep Curls
  • Medicine Ball slams
  • Power lifts (deadlifts, clean and jerks, snatches etc.)

>>Check out these Top 10 Core Exercises<<

Cardio

The more intense your workout, the better the result. CrossFit is a powerful combination of activities listed above (and more).

And don’t underestimate the power of Yoga. There are many Yoga Poses that do wonders for the abdomen too.

Sit-ups vs Crunches

These exercises help tone but they won’t get rid of belly fat on their own. They’re about strengthening rather than burning calories. Many trainers indicate that crunches focus specifically on the abs and obliques. Whereas sit-ups work many muscle groups from the stomach, hips, back and chest to the neck.

The main thing to remember, is any exercise is good exercise.

Other Tips

  • Don’t sit for long periods – take regular breaks to get up and move about, go for a walk on your lunch break, use a standing desk at work if possible.
  • Suck it up – practise tightening your abdominal muscles throughout the day. Every little bit counts.
  • Get regular sleep – this impacts your metabolism and fat burning cycle.

Post-Pregnancy

For those trying to lose weight after pregnancy, I encourage you to check out Momma Survival Guide. Her website is full of helpful tips, and she has an article on rebuilding your core after pregnancy. Learn about diastasis recti and exercises that help the abdomen:

>>Exercises for Diastasis Recti – How I Fixed Mine in Just 5 Weeks!<<

NUTRITION


Microbiome

This is associated with gut health. It’s made up of trillions of microorganisms in your digestive system that affect your nutrient absorption/energy levels, cholesterol, immunity, metabolism, weight, even your moods (often referred as the ‘second brain’).

You can have healthy or unhealthy bacteria, heavily influenced by your diet, exercise and use of antibiotics. Maintaining good gut bacteria is said to help with weight management, including belly fat.

These days, science can test your microbiome by analysing a stool sample. You can look at ways to restore gut health, such as the Microbiome Diet.

Foods that Help Burn Belly Fat

  • High Fiber (vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and grains)
  • High Protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes)
  • Spicy food (chilis, capsicum/bell peppers, cayenne pepper and black pepper)

Eating spicy food increases body temperature, which effects energy expenditure. Also introduce foods that improve your microbiome like onions and asparagus.

Avoid fad diets and gimmicks as they can mess with your metabolism, affecting your ability to lose weight in the future.

>>Discover Superfoods that boost energy<<

how to lose belly fat with nutrition and exercise

Drinks That Help Burn Belly Fat

  • Water – hydrates the body, helps digestion and transporting nutrients to cells
  • Lemon water – contains vitamin C and antioxidants to help metabolism and digestion
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – contains Acetic acid that helps reduce fat storage and blood sugars
  • Cinnamon water – contains cinnamaldehyde that helps metabolism
  • Green Tea – full of antioxidants and linked to fat burning during exercise

Avoid sugary drinks like soda, diet soda, energy drinks, flavoured milks and certain juices.

WHAT TO AVOID


If you’re serious about learning how to lose belly fat, there’s certain things to avoid:

Inactivity

Of course this is obvious, but it’s still one of our biggest downfalls. It’s important to recognise exercise for the benefits you’ll gain. Being in a calorie deficit (burning more energy than you consume) contributes greatly to weight loss. The easiest way to ensure this is to exercise regularly.

Trans Fats

These are found in processed food and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. They’re usually added to extend the shelf-life of a product. Trans fats are often found in fast food and snacks: muffins, baking mixes, crackers, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, biscuits and more.

As a general rule, stick to the outer rim of the supermarket and avoid too many products in packets or tins.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

This is made from corn starch and is used as a sweetener. When you find a product claiming to be diet or sugar-free, it will most likely contain this instead (or additionally). It’s added to many processed foods, including cereals, sodas, sauces and dressings and contains no nutrients.

Like sugar, it’s been linked to obesity and diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver and heart disease.



Sugar

An overload of sugar is one of the main causes of a fatty liver and belly fat. When you eat too much sugar, the liver can’t process all the fructose properly and turns it to fat. This also affects the metabolism and insulin resistance, making it a high risk for Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

To avoid sugar, start using natural sweeteners like Stevia and honey (be wary of artificial sweeteners like Aspartame). Check the sugar content on the labels of everything you buy – you’d be amazed what products are sold as “healthy” that are actually loaded with sugar.

By cutting out sugar, you also cut out:

  • headaches
  • energy crashes
  • insulin spikes
  • weight gain
  • tooth decay
  • acne and other skin irritations

Starving Yourself

Skipping meals can be detrimental to your health. You might think you’re saving yourself calories, but your body can work against this. If it’s not getting enough nourishment, it’ll go into starvation mode, slowing down your metabolism. Instead of burning energy, it’ll store it as fat for future use. This was how the body survived in primal times when people didn’t know when their next meal would be.

If your body is getting the regular nourishment it needs, it’s more likely to burn it.

Alcohol

This contributes to belly fat by messing with your metabolism and interrupting the liver’s normal functions. When you consume alcohol, your liver recognises it as poison and stops all other work. While your brain is enjoying a buzz, your liver is working overtime to try and get rid of it. A few drinks can take the liver anywhere from 10+ hours to process. Any calories consumed in that time will be turned to fat as the liver is solely focused on the alcohol.

The drinks themselves contain a lot of excess calories too. Not to mention it lowers your inhibitions (“Screw cooking, let’s grab a pizza!”) It all adds up.

Stress

We’d all avoid stress if we could. Finding ways to relax can be difficult but it’s so important for your health. Stress produces the hormone cortisol. This increases appetite and insulin resistance, which leads to excess weight (particularly around the organs like belly fat).

Stress can affect your microbiome which in turn impacts your sleep, metabolism and moods, adding to more stress. It can be a vicious cycle with stress sometimes leading to excessive alcohol use.

Try and find ways to de-stress, like being active, meditation, yoga or arts and craft.

>>Learn how exercise can help you stress less<<

Be ABsolutely Fabulous

Apply the appropriate changes to diet and exercise and you’ll start to see a different in your stomach. Keep focused on strengthening your core and most importantly stay consistent!

HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
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9 thoughts on “HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • June 25, 2019 at 1:09 am
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    I’ve always gotten told that I should exercise; do I? No. 🙁 Some people need motivation to do it and I am one of those who do; at least I think I do. Long story short, this is such a great article to follow and might just give me the push I need. Just as you mentioned, “belly fat” is a common nemesis and can also bring many issues. I wonder if I can do this…booyeahhh! I am sure I can, in Christ who strengthens me. 

    Reply
  • June 26, 2019 at 4:20 am
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    Hi – Very informative post, covered many different aspects of fitness. This is a topic of “high” interest…how to lose belly fat…a struggle for many. Thank you for pointing out the dangers of fat, we all need reminders and a reason to get our bodies moving, paying attention to our diet and what we put in our bodies. I’ve been hearing a lot about HIIT and the positive results…do you recommend always doing HIIT vs. regular cardio exercises or should we mix it up? I’m planning on doing the “suck it up” exercise throughout the day to tighten up the mid-section! Thanks for the tip! Best wishes.  

    Reply
    • June 27, 2019 at 9:25 am
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      Hi Jeff! For sure, it’s a struggle but the effort is worth it. A combination of diet and exercise is the key. I highly recommend HIIT; I usually mix it with strength training each week. Personally, I don’t do regular cardio as often, but its good to break up routine and keep the body guessing. If you want to know more about HIIT, check out Benefits Of HIIT Exercise – Fast Workouts For Fast Results. No worries with the tip, try it with regular workouts and keep the abs moving. All the best, thanks for reading.

      Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 12:16 am
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    Hi! I really liked the core exercises and strength training you included in this post. They have given me some additional ideas to try in my training. But what I have liked the most are the foods that help burn belly fat. I love fruit, nuts and grains. I’m glad to see them here. Thanks!

    Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 9:07 am
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      Hi Henry! I’m glad you found this helpful. Core exercise, strength training and nutritious food are the best combination for sure. Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading.

      Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm
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    Hi I really enjoyed reading your post and it was quite informative regarding overall how to lose belly fat.  You provided some great tips that are a lifestyle change in order to lose belly fat and be in better overall health.  I also enjoyed the exercise videos you provided.  This is an excellent post that I would recommend to anyone looking to get in better health and lose those extra inches.  I will follow your tips and recommendations in my daily life going forward.   Thank you!!

    Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 9:10 am
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      Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, a lifestyle change is so important to make a significant difference. Good luck with it going forward 😊 Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 6:14 pm
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    Wow this post was so helpful, there are so many things that go into losing belly fat, but it’s really simple, stay active, eat right, and you’ll see results. I love how you have broken everything down into exercise and nutrition, you have made everything so clear and you make it seem so doable.

    After having my daughter, I realized that belly fat can be stubborn, but with the proper treatment (diet and exercise) it can be resolved! Just by staying active and simply avoiding alcohol and high fructose corn syrup, my belly began to shrink.

    I agree with everything you have said 100% and I know for a fact and through experience that it all works and if you follow all these tips, you will lose that belly fat! Thanks for another great post:)

    Reply

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