HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT?
If you have “stubborn” belly fat that just won’t seem to go away, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ll take you step by step through the solution to get rid of that belly fat for good!
You’ll have to ask yourself some tough questions and perhaps make some difficult choices.
I promise you’ll get the results you’re looking for if you follow this advice.
Losing fat is one of the easiest and hardest things to do when it comes to getting in shape.
Easy because science makes it very clear what the process for fat loss is.
Hard because it’s challenging to stick to what science says we should do, and fat loss can stall pretty quickly.
That said, the first thing we all must do is look in the mirror.
No, not to look at the areas where you are storing your stubborn fat like on your belly, hips or love handles!
I want you to look in the mirror and give yourself honest answers to the questions that I’m going to ask you. Because if you can do that, I promise you’re going to reach your fat loss goals, maybe for the first time ever!
We’re going to be looking at several different factors that could impact your ability to lose fat including drinking, nutrition, type of training, and specific ab training. Let’s start asking those tough questions and more importantly, being honest about the answers!
IS IT REALLY “STUBBORN” BELLY FAT?
First, we have to address the “how to lose stubborn belly fat” question.
Is your abdominal fat really “stubborn”?
Meaning, are your overall body fat levels high due to less-than-optimal daily habits, including eating fast food and processed foods, and a lack of physical activity?
Here, I’m referring to someone who looks like the photo on the left (below).
Or do you already have a flat stomach, but you’re struggling to lower those last few body fat percentage points despite your best and most consistent efforts at weight training and a healthy diet?
Here, I’m referring to someone who looks like the guy on the right, with a flat belly, even a bit of visible six pack, but still has a little bit of fat around the love handles.
I’ll be honest with you.
If you’re in the camp of the guy on the left, it’s not a case of “stubborn” belly fat. It’s a case of not doing the right things often enough. If you’re willing to try to do the right things more often, I can show you how to lose belly fat quickly.
If you think you’re in the position of the guy on the right, doing everything you can but still can’t seem to get to the lean ripped level you want to be, then the remaining questions below will help to dig into the “why” to help you get to looking closer to the photo below.
But, let me be honest with you once again.
This level of “ripped” isn’t what everyone wants, because not a lot of people want to do everything it takes to get here.
They may not be willing to have the level of consistency and commitment that it takes, or maybe would be unwilling to give up some things to get there.
And that’s ok.
Your own goals are what should matter to you.
The good news is that if you can take an honest look at the factors in each of these 4 simple steps, you’ll learn how to lose belly fat fast and you should be able to make the adjustments necessary to get you on your way to whatever level of leanness you’re looking to achieve.
Now, let’s take a hard and honest look at some of the most important habits that factor into losing fat.
STEP 1: HOW MUCH ARE YOU DRINKING?
I understand that the desire to drink alcohol is driven far more by social benefits than it is by simply trying to quench your thirst.
For this reason, it is often something that many people are unwilling to give up entirely.
And you may not have to, depending on your goals.
It’s easy to consume and pile up liquid calories when you drink.
Not only that, but metabolically alcohol is handled differently by our body. Our liver prefers to metabolize it over fat for energy. So, if you’re trying to get rid of body fat, you’re interrupting your own process if you drink often.
This means that you’ll have to ask yourself how important it is for you to have a six pack.
If you’re happy with a flat stomach, drinking can be part of that equation.
How much? Let’s say a maximum of once to twice per week with maybe 1-2 glasses of wine or mixed drinks, or 2-3 beers at a sitting. If you’re drinking more often than that, those quantities would have to decrease.
Any more than this, and you’re not getting down to that flat stomach. And the less you do it, the likely you’ll get there and stay there.
However, if you want to get to that ultra-ripped condition, then your alcohol consumption levels have to go way down.
Either way, if you drink currently and you’re trying to drop body fat, drinking less will help significantly.
Drinking is just not beneficial to you in the long run if you’re trying to decrease your body fat level.
STEP 2: HOW IS YOUR NUTRITION?
No pursuit of fat loss can occur without a frank discussion about what you are consuming every day.
To burn fat, you must be in a caloric deficit, period.
However, how you get there is very important. Let’s take a look at a few questions on this flow chart.
First, are you trying to get rid of belly fat irresponsibly by using crash diet plans, extreme calorie restriction or carbohydrate exclusion?
If so, you are likely never going to see long term success and you will probably increase fat storage and gain weight in the process.
On the other hand, if you’re doing it responsibly by reducing your calorie intake by around 200-500 calories per day, you’re making the right changes in your pursuit of flat abs and increased definition.
Second, are you eating clean?
How healthy are you really eating?
Often, people aren’t really eating as ‘clean’ as they think they are. Eating clean means eating a healthy diet consistently over a long period of time. This is where portion size also comes in.
Are you eating two plates of everything? Are you getting the optimal portion sizes for protein, fibrous carbs and starchy carbs?
This doesn’t have to be as complicated as counting calories, tracking macros or weighing your food.
My recommendation is to divide up your plate.
If you imagine your plate as a pie chart, you’ll want it to have about 40% protein, 40% fibrous carbs (vegetables and fruit) and 20% starchy carbs (whole grain bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.)
Finally, how consistently are you “eating clean”?
Healthy eating is not a temporary thing, and consistency is important. This is where I think things tend to fall apart for a lot of people.
This is another place where you have some tough decisions to make.
Are you good with flat abs and maybe the beginnings of a six pack? Or do you want to be ultra-ripped? If it’s the former, you can get away with a little more leeway in your eating plan. If it’s the latter, you’re going to have to be more strict.
What about cheat days?
If you’re having entire cheat days, you may not be able to reach either of these goals. Because in a one-day feeding frenzy, you can do enough damage to undo a week of good eating.
If we’re talking cheat meals (and not whole days) I’d say you can get away with 1 or 2 a week and get yourself down from that protruding belly to the flat belly.
Can you have a cheat meal every single week and get down to ultra-ripped condition? Sometimes, if you’re doing everything else right, and that’s a big IF. You’re more likely to get there if you’re having a cheat meal maybe only every other week or once a month.
STEP 3: WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING PLAN?
Healthy eating alone is never going to be enough if you want to reduce belly fat and keep it off forever.
Nutrition is the most important thing when it comes to dropping body fat levels. But you MUST supplement your nutritional improvements with the right type of training to maximize your results.
And I’m not talking about JUST cardio.
You also need to build muscle mass through strength training to help you increase your metabolism to burn calories more easily.
Should you be doing cardio at all?
That depends on your current body fat level. If you’re less than 15% for men or less than 25% for women, achieving additional calorie burn by doing cardio and conditioning 2-4 times per week could help you burn fat and make some drops in body fat percentage.
However, if you’re above 15 – 20% body fat for men and 25 – 30% for women, nutrition and lifting weights should be the greater focus for you.
How often should you be doing weight training?
Three to five times per week is where I’d like you to be, and including barbell complexes into your training plan is ideal.
Barbell complexes are where we combine compound movements into one flow, such as a Barbell Row into a Hang Clean, into an Overhead Press, into a Front Rack Reverse Lunge.
We’re looking to move a lot of muscles in one coordinated movement flow. This type of training allows you to build muscle and burn fat at the same time, because moving those heavy weights in a flow without longer rest periods boosts heart rate and burns more calories.
You can choose to do only barbell complexes for your strength training, or you can add a few complexes into your standard weight training program.
STEP 4: WHAT ABOUT AB TRAINING?
No, I’m not talking about spot reduction because we know that’s not possible.
You can’t burn belly fat by doing ab exercises. PERIOD.
However, when the abdominal muscles are developed, you get a visual impact that helps keep you motivated to keep doing more of the other things I mentioned earlier, like minimizing drinking, sticking with a consistent nutrition plan and doing your weight training.
You see, at even higher levels of body fat, when you consistently train the abs you can actually begin to see them. At first it may just be the upper abs and the upper obliques, but it’s particularly rewarding when they start to pop out.
You’re not just going to work your rectus abdominis. You’re going to strengthen your core muscles by training your entire abdominal area in the correct order.
How often should you train your abs?
I believe in up to daily ab training for no more than ten minutes at a time. In fact, I have several 6 minute ab workouts on my YouTube channel that you can follow, or you check out my Six Pack Promise app that generates short effective ab workouts for you. All of these workouts follow my 6 Pack Progression to teach you the right way to order your ab exercises for maximum effectiveness.
I’ve found that when you can start with a small commitment, like 6 minutes of abs per day, you begin to build the consistency and motivation you need to get the other pieces of the equation right.
Don’t neglect the importance of separate ab training in your overall approach to getting down to those lower levels of body fat.
I hope you were able to take a look in the mirror and answer these questions about your daily routine honestly. We all have areas that we need to work on, me included. But when you can be honest with yourself about where you may be falling short, that’s when you can start to address those things and make some big progress.
- If you’ve got “stubborn” belly fat that just won’t seem to go away, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve taken you through you a step by step look at areas you may need to make some changes in order to reach your goals. I’ve asked you to ask yourself some tough questions and give yourself honest answers.
- One of the questions you’ll need to answer is whether your belly fat is really “stubborn”. Are you carrying extra body fat due to less-than-optimal nutrition and fitness, or do you have those factors dialed in and are just looking to shave down those final couple percentages of body fat?
- Whichever camp you’re in, you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to do all the things it takes to get ultra-ripped, and not many people are!
- If you are currently drinking, you may need to decrease your alcohol intake in order to reach your goal. If you’re happy with just a flat stomach, you can probably drink 3-4 servings of alcohol per week. However, if you’re looking to get ultra-ripped, drinking should not be a regular activity.
- Your nutrition needs to be healthy, clean, appropriately portioned and consistent. Whether you are happy with a flat stomach or looking to get ultra-lean, you can’t get away with entire cheat days. If a flat stomach is enough for you 1-2 cheat meals per week is probably alright, whereas those looking to be very lean should keep it to 1-2 cheat meals per month.
- In addition to nutrition, you should be training. If you’re less than 15% body fat for men or less than 25% for women, a few cardio sessions per week should be helpful in further reducing body fat percentage. However, if you’re higher than that, nutrition and strength training should be your main focus. Everyone should be strength training 3-5 times per week, and incorporating barbell complexes into their training plan.
- Doing daily short ab workouts is helpful in building the abdominal muscles to create a visual improvement. Regular ab work also helps you create a commitment that will be helpful in keeping you motivated to stick with the other key pieces of your fat loss plan.
If you are looking for a step-by-step workout and meal plan that will get rid of belly fat, get you more ripped than ever and help you to build athletic muscle, check out our ATHLEAN-X programs to find one that best matches your current goals. I’ll be there with you every step of the way to help you become more consistent in what you’re doing to get you to where you want to be!