Let me start this comprehensive guide by stating an obvious truth. Our body is unforgiving. It is brutally honest, and very efficient when communicating what’s wrong.
Whereas we often intellectualize and post-process our habits and lifestyle choices, it doesn’t share our sentiment. No sugarcoating whatsoever.
If you are here, it means that your body has given you a subtle hint that some things have to change. The belly fat you are hoping to lose is the reminder. A very efficient one when you think about it. It won’t go away unless you change gears.
Having said that, this comprehensive guide on how to lose belly fat cuts deep. It goes over the reasons why you have abdominal obesity in the first place, and how to effectively get rid of it.
In all honesty, I’m writing this partially for myself. Struggling with belly fat in the past, I’ve long felt the need to write about my journey- one that took me from a round tummy all the way to a shredded six pack.
This is how I look now.
But it did take a while, and I’ve made some mistakes along the way. Enough of them to know what works for sure and what is a complete waste of time.
Why you have to lose belly fat
Before answering the question of “how to lose belly fat”, you first need to know the why.
Visceral fat, as medical vocabulary would name your “spare tire”, is not only an aesthetical downer. In all likelihood, it can cause serious damage to your body by increasing the chance of some diseases like diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and some types of cancer. (1, 2)
It will affect your libido, and play havoc on your hormonal system as well.
But ominous music rarely plays before shit hits the fan. The thought of something bad happening is admittedly remote.
But the sooner you start to reverse the process the better. In one year from now you’ll wish you’ve started today.
Having abdominal obesity is a daily struggle as well.
Clothes of course, are ever harder to fit, and your overall agility is minimized to the point where ordinary activities like tying the shoes can cause mild unpleasantness.
Abdominal fat also plays a tiresome game on your mind, where you are continually trying to pick the right clothes and chose the right colors just to shield your tummy from anybody’s view.
Unlike the subcutaneous fat which accumulates in your lower body (thighs and hips), and doesn’t affect metabolic processes, the abdominal fat directly affects the organs by releasing inflammatory compounds. In other words, it’s not just passively sitting there.
So before scrolling further through this guide, make sure to know why you are doing this. The rest is easy once you start following the blueprint.
Say “no more” to whatever it is that bothers you, and let’s flip the next page together.
How to lose belly fat at home
I’ve read and re-read the garden variety of articles that already tackle this issue. So let me summarize them for you.
- Change your diet
- Start working out
Easy right? So vague and broad that you’d be equally satisfied if I’ve told you “just lose the belly fat”.
When you don’t have specifics to work with, nothing seems doable. Lacking a more poetic description here, it’s like pissing in the wind. A real exercise in frustration.
Some websites don’t even understand your struggle at all.
Obesity exists on a spectrum, and sometimes all you need is dropping few pounds off your midsection. So saying “work out more” or “eat healthy” doesn’t really make any difference.
People also want to lose belly fat quick, and not plan a fitness transformation three months ahead. So I guess you too are looking for some quick fixes.
Losing belly fat does not require herculean effort. You don’t have to run for miles, or workout for hours each day. Implementing some smart fixes will do most of the work.
Going to the gym is also tiresome. And completely unnecessary! You see the picture from above? I’ve never stepped into a gym. And I didn’t have to.
This guide will show you exactly how to lose belly fat at home, and get a six pack or at least a flat abdomen in less than 5 weeks.
Here is a list of what you are going to do in order to reduce belly fat fast:
- Stop eating certain foods
- Slightly change some lifestyle habits
- Exercise 2-3 times per week with some specific moves that are super-efficient
- Learn about 5 superfoods that will speed up the process
- Learn a handful of tricks that will tie everything together
So let’s start with the food section. And don’t worry, I’m not going to turn you into a master chef, and ask you to spend countless dollars on buying and prepping food like it’s your job.
That which is hard can never be sustainable. And I guide myself by this mantra. Want to make things work? Make them easy.
How to hack food in order to lose belly fat naturally?
When something requires extra effort, the odds against success prove overwhelming. So let’s simplify instead.
I will give you dozen of recipes and some fundamental principles on what to avoid and what to consume more of.
Exercise is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Food is the detrimental factor. And all you need are a couple of changes.
So what foods you are about to avoid in order to get rid of belly fat for good?
While I’ve read sermons on avoiding sugar, most of them fail to note that you must not cut it altogether. Dropping sugar from your diet will cause your insulin and glucose levels to react aggressively, and you will face food cravings throughout the day.
What you are going to do instead is wave farewell to processed sugar only.
Natural fructose is good, and though you will have to lower your consumption after a while, it is necessary when you switch gears.
Honey and the whole palate of fruits are definitely ok.
One tablespoon of non-refined raw honey per day will even speed the process. It contains Chrysin, a natural aromatase inhibitor, which helps you minimize the aromatase activity in your body, decreasing fat accumulation.
There is a study conducted by the Department of Nutrition at the University of California that clearly indicates how consuming artificially sweetened beverages results with decreased metabolic rates, and overall fat oxidation.
You are also less likely to satisfy hunger by consuming liquid carbohydrates.
So in order to reduce your abdomen in size, it’s safe to say that artificially sweetened drinks are out altogether.
Alcohol consumption is linked with gaining weight around your midsection, and also negatively affects your hormonal balance which further increases your abdominal fat storage.
Avoid trans fats
Probably the unhealthiest type of food available on the planet.
While sugar and processed foods are bad for your health, they quickly cycle through your system. Trans fats on the other hand, stay multiple times longer.
They are often used to extend shelf lives of certain packaged foods, so make sure to read those labels.
Being harder to cycle through your metabolic process, they will quickly increase your abdominal fat tissue.
What foods to eat in order to burn belly fat?
People routinely underestimate the healing properties of food. Sometimes, it’s not about what you take out of your plate, but what you put inside instead.
Here is a list of types of food, and specific ingredients that will help you burn belly fat fast.
Eat more protein
Eating protein rich diet is probably the fastest way to reduce your tummy in size.
Here is the science behind this…
Protein consumption will increase your metabolic rate and energy expenditure while being processed. Sometimes up to 30%.
So on the long run, switching from more carbs oriented food, to introducing more dietary protein into your diet can make a noticeable difference.
It will also suppress your food cravings, keeping you with a sustained reduction in appetite.
Eat more fiber (a specific type in fact)
Fiber is directly linked to metabolic rates in your body; it affects hunger hormones, and reduces calorie consumption from the food that you eat. Translated further, when you are trying to flatten the stomach, fiber is your friend.
So what does fiber refer to?
It is a type of carbohydrate that our body is incapable of processing. It passes through the system, mostly unchanged because we lack the digestive enzymes to break it down.
Most people, and this is according to a study published in the National Academic press, consume about half the recommended fiber dietary intake.
Being found in legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and various types of fruits and vegetables, the recipes below will make sure you hit your daily intake goal.
Fiber is often categorized based on its ability to partially dissolve in water. So you have soluble vs. insoluble fiber.
It turns out that soluble, which is the one that dissolves in water forming a gel-like substance, helps you burn abdominal fat faster.
It does not burn the belly fat per se, but prevents it from storing around the abdomen in the first place.
Foods that burn belly fat
Following a healthy lifestyle blueprint will eventually help you trim down some weight off your midsection. But who wants to wait, right? It’s far more fulfilling when you can speed up the process slightly, and see results sooner rather than later.
So here is a list of specific foods that will help you in the process. While high protein diet and sufficient fiber consumption will help on the long run, these superfoods will work fast.
1. Indole3 carbinol rich foods
When it comes to modulating certain genes related to adipogenesis, thermogenesis, and inflammation in order to reduce visceral fat, I3C foods act like prescription medicine.
To explain this like I would to a 5 year old, I3C reduces bad estrogen in your body, which is highly related to belly fat among other things.
It is found in cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, and a single 100g serving per day would do the trick.
Fighting bad estrogen, it reduces the risk of some types of cancer as well.
2. Turmeric intake can greatly reduce body fat
All things being equal, adding just a sprinkle of turmeric powder (it is sold as a spice) to your meals can help you slightly reduce belly fat in less than two weeks.
Coupled with I3C supplementation, as well as protein rich diet, turmeric can have a significant effect on weight loss.
Want an even better food hack? How about supplementing turmeric, so it gets more effective at burning fat?
Here is a study conducted by the Department of Pharmacology, St. John’s Medical College telling you how do achieve just that.
“The study shows that in the dosages used, piperine in black pepper enhances the serum concentration, extent of absorption and bioavailability of curcumin (turmeric) so that it is more effective in fat-burning in both rats and humans with no adverse effects”.
3. Cinnamon supplementation
Adding cinnamon to your diet (about a tablespoon total throughout the entire day) can significantly lower blood sugar concentration, helping you to lose more weight, says a study conducted at the Ball State University.
Just sprinkle some cinnamon when you take your daily fruit snack and you are good to go.
4. Cumin can help you lose belly fat 3 times faster
Just adding a tablespoon of cumin to your daily dietary intake can increase your fat burning metabolic rate by a factor of 3, says a study conducted at the Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Iran.
Again, we are talking about a simple food hack that will speed up your weight loss efforts.
And because cumin has no effect on fat-free mass, it will concentrate more on your problem areas, like abdominal fat.
4. Healthy fats
Healthy fats, especially monounsaturated ones (found mostly in nuts and seeds) can help you reduce visceral fat accumulation. A study published in the Journal of American Heart Association concludes that daily almond intake, when compared against a test group, can significantly reduce belly fat.
So not only that you have to reduce unhealthy fats from your diet, but it is even better when they are replaced by healthy ones instead.
In an ideal world, your fat intake throughout the day should amount to around 20% from your overall caloric intake.
The recipes below include healthy dietary fats in sufficient measurements, but you can simply supplement this by eating a handful of nuts each day, and adding a teaspoon of flax seed in one of your main meals.
As you can see, weight loss can be greatly improved when coupled with some of these superfoods. And it’s not like you have to stuff yourself with veggies and weird tasting smoothies. Only a bit of supplementation is required.
Diet hacks to help you burn belly fat
Before giving you a list of healthy recipes that will help you reduce belly fat, let’s talk about some fundamental principles of diet that will further improve your fat burning rate.
This list of principles can provide the backbone – the proper framework – on which you can build your diet. It’s not entirely necessary, to be honest, but it helps rather much.
Eat 3 main meals with two snacks in between
In all honesty, this one is slightly overrated. It’s been parroted around for so long, that people take it as a rule of how things work. Not necessarily.
If you are serious about losing belly fat fast, you will have to include some exercise in the mix as well. And eating 5 times per day (3 main meals, plus 2 snacks) will help you feed the muscle, sped up the metabolism and keep you away from dipping in starvation mode.
All of this will help create the hormonal and metabolic balance in order to promote rather than hinder weight loss.
Have snacks ready at any time
I’ve worked with many people who were trying to lose weight in the past, and most of them felt victims to short hunger episodes. When we are hungry, and don’t have something healthy around the house, we reach out for junk food.
Hunger episodes will happen. You are switching towards a healthier diet and less calories overall, so expect to fight with your willpower for the first week or so.
Having a healthy snack by your hand at any time will significantly ease the process.
An apple, walnuts, seeds, celery stick with some peanut butter…
Make sure to have your supply ready.
Hydrate often (and add ginger)
Forget about anything else other than water. Just fill a bottle and take it with you wherever you go.
This is a food hack I should have mentioned above, but it’s also adequate listing it here… Adding ginger root which has some powerful detox agents, to your half a gallon of water per day intake will help you lose even more of your belly fat.
You can supplement the ginger in your food (about inch-by-inch size root cut), or find where they sell them in powder and add some to your water intake throughout the day. Half a teaspoon would suffice.
A study conducted by the Biological Science Laboratories, Kao Corporation, Japan concludes that ginger has a positive effect on reducing obesity.
Let’s now focus on something that, once your nutrition is adequately changed, will increase your fat burning rate by a factor of 10.
You’ve guessed it, exercise.
But unlike other resources that tell you “run, do cardio, do on the floor workouts”, I’m going to be far more specific.
At the end of this chapter I will share two full length video workouts from our fitness program, Fitness Updated, all for free.
They target the core in a much more innovative and efficient way.
Exercises to lose belly fat fast
If you’ve tried doing some types of ab exercises in the past, you know how demanding they can be. Especially when you have excess belly fat, and ordinary daily activities seem sufficiently hard in itself.
The chapter that follows is not going to tell you “do X crunches”, or “run X miles”.
I’ve been in your boots once, trying to lose fat from a specific part of the body, and these workout regimens fail to deliver.
Understanding all too intimately what are you going through, I’m writing this chapter as a metaphorical tap on the shoulder.
The series of Ab exercises ahead are going to be laser specific instead of broad; time efficient instead of time consuming.
But first let’s go over some fundamentals of ab exercise routines, as well as some sound workout principles.
How often to work out if you want to lose belly fat?
The abdomen is part of your core, one of the largest muscle groups in your body. It helps your body with many activities, and is included in almost every move no matter how minimal.
As such, it would react to almost everything that you do physically, so targeting it like you would target your biceps is not an option.
The core can be engaged from dozens of angles, making it the most complex muscle group for training. So instead of doing a single repetitive set of sequences, you should change the routine more often.
Therefore, a good strategy would be to perform ab exercises 2-3 times per week.
How to approach ab workouts in order to burn more fat?
Training till failure (stressing the muscle) is not advised at this early stage. Nor is it required.
The best strategy would be to warm up the core with some standing exercises (abs are not made only on the floor, remember that!), and then proceed with some resistance moves.
To maximize results, a good stretch at the end of your workout is a must.
For the time being, forget about running or anything else that people usually recommend.
You’ll want to include rotational moves, instead of straight out crunches. Complex moves instead of simple repetitions. The goal is not to get overwhelmed, while attacking the core from multiple angles. And I will show you how in the videos below.
The first video is a full length workout from our program Fitness Updated, which walks you step by step. This is the first time I’m sharing it outside of the paid platform.
It uses some smart cardio sequencing moves in order to promote more weight loss while targeting the core for extra effect. Three times of this and you will see a tremendous difference in your waist.
It is also beginner friendly, which means that you don’t have to be in good shape or anything like that.
The second video is shorter and even more effective. When friends who are not usually overweight ask me for exercises to lose belly fat fast, I send them this.
It will work wonders on your lower abs and oblique abs and help you burn more oblique fat than traditional ab exercises combined.
It is also part of the Fitness Updated library, and this is the first time I’m sharing it for free.
Fitness Updated, if you are interested, is the workout program we’ve been creating for the last couple of years. It is the smartest fitness platform available.
Custom workout programs, high quality videos for beginners and fitness junkies alike; personalized nutrition, progress tracking, and much more…
It is run by a series of smart algorithms that know exactly what you need in order to reach your goal.
Just watch the trailer and see how Fitness Updated can help you burn the belly fat and create a six pack instead.
You should check the free 7 day trial (no credit card needed), and lose inches off your waist even in less than a week.
A quick fix you should do each morning in order to reduce belly fat
Each morning, right before preparing your breakfast, drink a single glass of water. It’s not going to make a huge difference within days, but on the long run it will reduce your belly fat rather noticeably.
Before you do this, spend 2-3 minutes doing a series of stretches. This will increase your metabolic rate and fire up your abs. Make sure it’s nothing demanding though.
Just get your free trial on Fitness Updated, and you will discover a series of stretches that are ideal for starting your day.
Another process that runs in the background
But reducing stress in order to fight obesity does seem like a pipeline dream. Most people aren’t even aware that they are stressed that much, yet alone know how to reduce it.
So, in order not to be vague nor leave you with a full list of activities that are confirmed to reduce stress, know this:
Enough sleep can dwarf every other stress reducing activity in comparison. Just pay the sandman 8 hours each day, and you are going to cut your stress level in half. Then, add short and intense exercise every 2-3 days (the workouts from above), and forget about cortisol inducing activities such as long distance jogging and repetitive cardio.
Getting stressed over reducing your stress level is a weird paradox that many people fall into. Trying to actively change something will leave you impotently angry and more stressed than you were in the first place.
Just make sure to get enough sleep and start moving with the right workouts.
Moving on from belly fat – how to get a six pack
When you reduce your abdominal fat, a six pack is the logical progression. And tell you what – it’s more doable than you think.
Once you get rid of belly fat, a six pack can become noticeable within two or three weeks. So noticeable that people will think you were working out for ages.
Keeping your six-pack from showing, there are two reasons mainly.
First, it is the stubborn fat accumulated around the abdomen. And while weight loss can happen fast it’s way harder to lose stubborn belly fat. Using the combination of food plus exercise from above will slim you down, but you’d have to be consistent in order to lose the stubborn fat tissue.
Give yourself around 4 weeks.
Then, the second reason is also apparent. You have to grow your rectus abdominis to a slight degree, in order to make them visually noticeable.
The combo from above helps with this as well. But here is what you need to do differently.
Instead of mindlessly repeating the 3 workouts shared in this guide, you will have to introduce progression, and strengthen the surrounding muscle groups (mainly back, upper abs / chest, and thighs). This will help you endure more during the ab centric exercises, and progress faster.
Also, in order to promote muscle growth, you will have to eat enough protein. The recipes above serve as a blueprint for healthy diet, but they lack measurements because everything depends on your weight, daily physical activity etc.
Fitness Updated takes everything in consideration and prepares you a specific meal plan given your current weight, goals and preferences.
And when you take in mind the other features that come along (workout library, custom programs, progress tracking) and the super affordable price, it’s your best approach to losing belly fat and getting a six pack.
Just get your free week (no credit card required, just an e-mail). You have nothing to lose.
I really hope that this comprehensive guide on how to lose belly fat gave you enough information to start dropping pounds off your midsection, and get a lean and defined abdomen in the process.
Following the blueprint from above will help you lose belly fat naturally, and in less than a month. If you were wondering how to reduce your waist size, this is the answer.
Additionally, you’d want to check Fitness Updated, and use the free week long access to every feature of the platform, and join the community of people who used a custom tailored program in order to drop 2 inches off their waist at least, even within the first week.
To summarize this guide, here is what you have to do in order to reduce belly fat:
- 1. Eat less processed sugar
- 2. Do not drink artificially sweetened beverages
- 3. Eat a tablespoon of raw honey each day
- 4. Limit your alcohol consumption
- 5. Avoid trans fats altogether
- 6. Eat more protein
- 7. Eat more soluble fiber
- 8. Eat 100 grams per day of I3C rich foods
- 9. Add turmeric to your diet
- 10. Supplement turmeric with black pepper in order to increase its efficiency
- 11. Eat more healthy fats
- 12. Add cinnamon to your snacks
- 13. Add cumin to your meals
- 14. Hydrate more often
- 15. Add ginger root to your diet
- 16. Do each of the two ab centric workouts from above
- 17. Drink a glass of water every morning before breakfast
- 19. Stretch for 2-3 minutes every morning
- 20. Reduce stress with enough sleep and adequate exercise
- 21. Try the free trial on Fitness Updated and lose more than 2 inches within a week
Now you know exactly what to do and how to lose belly fat naturally. This process may take up to 6 weeks depending on your current weight and obesity problems, but you will definitely see results within the first week or two.
Here is to losing belly fat fast and naturally!