One of the biggest questions I get is “how do I lose my belly fat? I’ve tried several things but nothing worked”. When I ask what you tried I hear 100 daily sit-ups, cutting calories drastically, excess cardio, fat burners, etc.
If you can’t lose your belly fat, you’re using the wrong approach. You don’t need endless sit-ups, supplements, starving yourself or worse surgery. Here are the 10 best ways to lose your belly fat – quickly and naturally.
1. Stop Doing Crunches. Crunches will strengthen your stomach muscles, but won’t burn the belly fat that covers your abs. Spot reduction is a myth. You’re wasting time & effort doing 200 daily crunches.
Crunches can also cause lower back pain, slouching shoulders & forward head posture. The Reverse Crunch doesn’t cause these problems, but again: spot reduction is a myth. To lose your belly fat, you need more. Keep reading.
- Your lower back keeps you upright from the back. Your abs from the front. Both muscles will work hard during heavy Squats & Deadlifts at keeping you from collapsing under the weight.
- Squats & Deadlifts allow you to stress your body with heavy weights, working all your muscles from head to toe. This helps getting stronger quickly and building muscle fast, including ab muscles.
Spot reduction still doesn’t exist, so Squats & Deadlifts won’t burn your belly fat directly. However they’ll strengthen your abs and lower your waist size. If you never did both exercises, check StrongLifts 5×5. Only takes 3x45mins/week.
3. Eat Healthy. As the saying goes “abs are built in the kitchen”. You can train hard & build muscular abs, but if you eat junk food all day, you won’t lose your belly fat. Stop eating processed food. Eat whole, unprocessed foods.
- Proteins. Meat, poultry, fish, whey, eggs, cottage cheese, …
- Veggies. Spinach, broccoli, salad, kale, cabbage, …
- Fruits. Banana, orange, apple, pineapple, pears, …
- Fats. Olive oil, fish oil, real butter, nuts, flax seeds, …
- Carbs. Brown rice, oats, whole grain pasta, quinoa, …
No need to be perfect. Eating junk food actually helps fat loss by keeping your hormones sharp. Don’t overdo it though. Eat junk food 10% of the time max. That’s 4 junk meals/week if you eat 6 meals/day.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption. To lose your belly fat, what you drink is as important as what you eat. Alcohol from time to time is OK. But forget about losing your belly fat if you drink beer & sweet alcohols daily.
Beer drinkers always have a pear shape: belly fat & man boobs – especially as they get older. Alcohol also stresses your liver which has to overwork to clear the toxins. This can get in the way of building muscles.
Drink alcohol 10% of the time. Example Friday & Saturday night. Normal alcohol consumption, not the get drunk. Rest of the time: water, water with squeezed lemon, green tea, etc. Either that or forget about losing your belly fat.
5. Eat Less Carbs. You need carbs for energy. Problem is that most people eat way more carbs than they need. Your body will stock the carbs it doesn’t need as fat. And this is often how you get belly fat.
Unless you’re a skinny guy who needs to gain weight, lower your carb intake. Keep eating fruits & veggies with each meal. But cut back on potatoes, pasta, rice, breads, … Eat these post workout only.
6. Eat More. Eating tons of healthy foods won’t make you fat. Especially not if you exercise 2-3x/week. Starving yourself is the number 1 nutritional mistakes. Healthy nutrition is important for 3 reasons:
- Energy. Food is energy. Your body uses food for weight lifting, working, digestion, etc. Lack of food means lack of energy, in all areas of life.
- Fat Loss. Eating the right foods helps fat loss: protein has the highest thermic effect and satiates, healthy fats promote fat loss, …
- Maintain Muscle. If you starve yourself, your body will burn muscle for energy – NOT fat. You’ll become skinny + fat.
Hunger means you’re not eating enough. Don’t worry about calories. Just eat breakfast and eat every 3 hours from there on, including post workout. Eat healthy foods 90% of the time to lose your belly fat fast.
7. Eat More Protein. Protein has a higher thermic effect than other foods: your body burns more energy processing proteins than it does processing carbs and fat. That’s why high protein diets work great at burning your belly fat.
How much protein do you need daily? Do like I do: eat whole protein with each meal without worrying about the numbers. Check the 10 cheapest sources of protein to keep it budget-friendly.
8. Eat More Fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Bad nutrition and lack of exercise do. Eating fat actually helps fat loss. Your body won’t stock fat as easily if your give it a constant intake of healthy fats.
Fish oil is the best source of fat to lose your belly fat. Fish oil naturally increases testosterone levels and increases fat loss. 6g omega-3 per day is a good start. Check Carlson Fish Oil: 1600mg omega-3 per tbsp.
Stay away from trans-fatty fats present in products like margarine. Trans-fatty fats are bad for your health. Eat whole unprocessed foods 90% of the time as I recommend in point 3 and you’ll avoid trans-fatty fats easily.
9. Lower Your Body Fat. As a man, your belly is the last place where you’ll get rid of fat. If you have man boobs and a double chin, you’ll have to lower your body fat to lose your belly fat. Here’s how:
- Get Stronger. Strength training builds & maintains muscle, increases fat loss, helps sticking to diet, … Check StrongLifts 5×5 if you don’t know where to start: it only takes 3x45mins/week.
- Eat Healthier. Apply the 8 nutrition rules. Eat breakfast. Eat every 3 hours. Proteins, veggies & fruits with each meal. Carbs post workout only. 2 cups of water with each meal. Whole foods 90% of the time.
- Add Cardio. 15mins post workout, build up to 3x45mins/week. If you have less than 15% body fat, just get stronger and eat healthier. That will lower your body fat and make you lose your belly fat.
Check the fat loss guide for more info about how to lower your body fat.
10. Stay Motivated. Looking at your belly or in the mirror gives you inaccurate feedback. What you see is influenced by food intake, water retention, light and your own perception. Self-image issues can make the last one tricky.
- Measure Body Fat. Every 2 weeks using a fat caliper. It doesn’t need to be accurate. What matters is that the trend goes down.
- Measure Your Waist. Also every 2 weeks. If you get stronger and eat healthy, your waist will go down fast. Your pants will start to feel loose.
- Take Pictures. Shoot pictures of yourself every 2 weeks: front, back & side. The side pictures will show the most change.
Success breeds success. Track progress accurately so you know where you are and stay motivated to keep working at losing your belly fat. Don’t just read this post and go back to what you were doing. Take action. Lose your belly fat.
Culled from Strong Lifts