How to get rid of belly fat is something almost everyone has tried to do. Almost everyone has at some point wished they were a little slimmer and when it comes to unwanted fat, belly fat is actually the most unwanted of all.
Unfortunately, belly fat is also often the most dangerous and serious type of fat. That’s because this is the type of fat that surrounds your organs – it’s called ‘visceral fat’ and it has all kinds of other unwanted effects such as increasing your insulin resistance. And of course it also hides any hint of a six pack you might have once had under there…
Targeting Fat Loss
First some bad news: there is no way to ‘target’ fat loss.
What this means is that you can’t choose where you want to lose fat from. This is something that a lot of women in particular find very unfortunate: they exercise to try and lose body fat and instead just end up getting flatter breasts and buttocks!
The order in which you lose fat around the body is actually genetic predetermined and there is nothing you can do to change this. If you are someone who loses fat from their chest first, then the only way to lose belly fat is to keep losing fat until you eventually burn enough off that you get to the belly!
This means that how to get rid of belly fat is simply to train in the same way that you would get rid of any other fat… but to keep it up!
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat
So how do you get rid of any fat?
Simple: you need to create an energy demand in your body. That means you need to use more energy than your body has readily available and this will in turn force it to burn fat stored around the body in order to find that energy. One of the easiest ways to do this is by counting calories and maintaining a calorie deficit. If you burn 2,000 calories in a day (this is called your ‘AMR’ – active metabolic rate) then you need to consume 1,700 to start seeing steady weight loss. Alternatively, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, then you can add some exercise to your routine to make sure that you are burning at least 2,300 calories. It’s your choice.
Something to note though is that it is very hard to accurately calculate an AMR. This is because everyone is slightly different in terms of their metabolism and their hormone balance. If you have more of some hormones than others, then you might find that you burn calories more quickly or more slowly than other people. In some cases this might even be diagnosed as a condition such as diabetes (low or resistant insulin) or hypothyroidism (low T3 and T4 production). If you try to create a ‘calorie deficit’ and you have no success, then you should consider consulting with a doctor to rule out this possibility. And if you don’t have a condition, it may still be that you have insulin sensitivity, in which case you might want to consider looking into a diet that can help you fix this – such as the slow carb diet.
While it’s true that you can’t target fat loss, there are some caveats to this rule that you should know.
For starters, it is possible to target muscle gain. So if you want to have a flatter and more toned stomach, then you might want to focus on this instead. Perform lots of sit ups and other movements that require core strength and you can create rock hard abs that will look a lot more impressive even through a thin layer of fat on top.
Another thing to consider is that some belly fat is going to be visceral fat, which we have already discussed is different from regular ‘peripheral’ fat. And as it is different, it can also come about in a slightly different way. Specifically, visceral fat is often encouraged by the existence of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone and it makes us feel hungry, slows down our metabolism by blocking T3 and even damages muscle by increasing production of myostatin.
How do you decrease cortisol? One method is to avoid going for long periods without eating, which puts the body in a ‘survival’ state where more cortisol is produced (you may want to rethink that intermittent fasting). Another tip is to just try and fight stress! Try and get more time outside in the sunlight and consume more things that contain tryptophan. Learn to tackle stress and if your work is making you miserable then seriously consider whether it’s worth putting yourself through that every day.
Eventually, you can begin to lower cortisol and this should also reduce belly fat specifically.
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