Do you have some pesky belly fat you want to get rid of? You are in the right place. In this article, we’ll show you all the steps you need to take — and exercises you can practice — to lose belly fat fast and easily.
Indeed, getting rid of belly fat is no small task: it takes a comprehensive approach, based on a healthy lifestyle, good habits, and physical exercise. Overcoming fat is also knowing how to manage stress and the high cortisol secretion that accompanies it. By practicing a sport, you can increase the production of endorphins in your body, regulate the level of cortisol and thus facilitate the melting of belly fats.
What is abdominal fat?
Belly fat, also called “visceral fat”, affects all people to varying degrees. This is the fat located, not under the skin, but in the visceral system, around the organs. The distribution of visceral fat is different in men and women. Under normal health conditions, abdominal fat makes up about 20% of total body fat in men and 10% in women.
With age, the proportion of belly fat tends to increase in both sexes, especially in women entering menopause. But with excessive weight gain, men tend to store excess fat in the abdominal region, while women store it in the lower limbs and hips (scientifically called the gluteo-femoral region).
Why it’s so hard to get rid of belly fat?
Getting rid of belly fat is a real headache for people wanting to lose weight. For some people, despite repeated and intensive efforts, their belly fat refuses to disappear. There are multiple reasons why your belly fat is so stubborn.
Your body needs some belly fat
If the human body contains abdominal fat, it is for the simple reason that it is essential for the body. Indeed, subcutaneous fat is a physiological energy reserve. This layer of fat is useful because it is especially from this area that the sugars needed by the body will be drawn outside of meals. Everyone in good health needs it to live. It should therefore not be completely suppressed.
However, while some belly fat is necessary, an excessive amount is bad for your health and can lead to several diseases.
Nature is not fair. For some people, losing excess belly fat is as easy as drinking a glass of water. For others, despite their best efforts, it is a daunting task.
Among the factors that contribute to these difficulties, genetics play a leading role. In other words, some people are just predisposed to carry more belly fat than others. For these people, it will take more effort and determination to lose belly fat.
Age also affects the body’s ability to accumulate fat in the abdomen. Around 35-45 years old, men can be affected by a natural phenomenon caused by hormonal factors: android obesity. In other words, the appearance of the famous FUPA at the lower abdomen.
In women, the amount of fat stored in the belly increases with the onset of menopause, usually around the age of 50. Before this period, the buttocks and thighs receive most of the extra fat.
Risks associated with belly fat
The dangers of abdominal fat are well known to medicine. It is an additional risk factor for all complications of obesity. Too much fat in the abdominal area doubles your risk of cardiac arrest within 10 years.
In the body, excess visceral fat also causes an increase in the production of bad cholesterol. This can lead to type 2 diabetes if left untreated. It is therefore important to see a doctor as soon as the weight gain and the appearance of fat start to become a little too much. Fortunately, there are solutions to avoid the serious complications of visceral fat.
How to lose belly fat
Follow a low-carb diet
Following a healthy diet is an effective way to get rid of belly fat. You can start by reducing the amount of sugar you consume every day. Indeed, most people don’t realize it but we eat way too much sugar every day. Consuming foods high in sugars can increase belly fat.
Get rid of sodas and fruit juices, which contained a lot of added sugar. In addition, calories from liquid food do not have the same effect on our feeling of satiety as calories from solid foods.
Furthermore, not only does a low-carbohydrate diet help get rid of excess weight, but it also lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Therefore, by keeping the number of (refined) carbohydrates in your diet to a minimum, your blood sugar level will be kept under control and your risk of developing diabetes will reduce considerably.
Still, you can’t do without carbs. They provide energy to the body. Healthy carbohydrates are found in, for example, fruits and vegetables.
Stop or reduce alcohol
Drinking alcoholic beverages can cause you to get belly fat – the well-known beer belly. However, beer is not the only culprit. Wine, cocktails, champagne, etc… can all cause fat to accumulate in your abdominal region.
The truth is drinking too much alcohol increases belly fat because alcohol contains more calories than people realize. When you eat or drink more calories than you burn, the excess calories are stored as fat. However, where exactly this fat is stored is genetically determined and depends on various factors such as age, gender, and hormones.
However, the effects of alcohol on belly fat go beyond calories. Indeed, alcohol is broken down differently by the body than other substances. When we drink, the alcohol gets immediate attention from our body to be broken down. This is because it is seen by our body as a poison.
When our body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break its carbohydrates and fats. Excessive alcohol consumption, therefore, slows down the ability of the liver to break down fat.
In addition, alcohol suppresses testosterone production and other hormones that the human body needs to break down fat. Indeed, several studies have shown that alcohol suppresses fat burning and that the empty calories from alcohol are largely stored around the abdomen.
The amount of alcohol that is drunk within 24 hours also seems to play a role as to where these calories are stored in your body as fat. A study of daily drinkers found that those who drank less than one drink a day had less belly fat than the participants who drank four or more glasses a day.
Excessive and prolonged drinking alcohol is associated with various conditions, including excess belly fat. Alcohol also increases appetite and can cause us to eat more than usual.
If you’re serious about getting rid of your belly fat then it’s time to rethink your drinking habits! Because excessive alcohol consumption will sooner or later lead to the so-called beer belly, which will be much much harder to get rid of.
Focus on your cardio exercises
As part of weight loss, sports that build muscle mass should be avoided. Focus instead on cardio exercises. This allows the body to move and draw on the accumulated fat. When you want to lose fat, you should do at least 3h30 of endurance exercise per week, that is to say about 30 minutes per day.
Running, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), cycling, there are different ways to practice intense physical activity, it’s up to you to find the one that suits you. The key is to be dynamic and increase your heart rate so that the body comes to attack the deep fat.
Change your habits
As humans, we love convenience. And in today’s world, hundreds of tools and services exist to make our lives easier. However, this ease has the unfortunate consequence of keeping us inactive and complacent. When was the last time you walk to the grocery store instead of driving? Do you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Do you even own a bicycle?
To lose weight, simple changes in your daily habits can make a big difference. In fact, instead of taking advantage of modern conveniences, try to make things harder on yourself. Instead of driving the corner store, walk instead to the farthest one. Instead of playing video games with your kids, invite them to play soccer (or any other sport for that matter) outside.
If you want to accelerate your weight loss process, you can also invest in sports equipment for your home and motivate yourself to at least one session every day.
Keep in mind that changing your habits alone won’t be enough to get rid of your belly fat. You must also adopt a healthy diet.
Get enough sleep
It is, unfortunately, true, too little sleep makes you fat! Research shows that a lack of sleep promotes weight gain, which could lead to belly fat.
However, it’s not just the amount of sleep that is important, the quality of your sleep also plays a key. Therefore, sleep on a high-quality bed and make sure that you relax before bedtime.
Research shows that one short night is enough to cause insulin resistance, which can also cause weight gain.
How many hours of sleep you need differs per person, but an average person needs about 7 hours of sleep per night.
Reduce your stress
Yes, your stress level can also have serious consequences for your abdomen. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels rise. This hormone is essential for survival because it helps your body quickly build up a stress response.
Unfortunately, it also does something else: it stimulates the production of body fat in the abdominal area when it is produced in abundance.
A prolonged high cortisol level will cause fat to accumulate in your abdomen because it causes insulin resistance and you are more at risk of weight gain – especially with high carbohydrate consumption.
After a long stressful day, try to clear your head with a warm bath, a good book, or doing meditation exercises.
Practice intermittent fasting
If you want to get rid of your belly fat for good, then you should take a look at intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is best seen as a lifestyle change, not a diet. It’s the concept of limiting the number of ‘eating hours’ to, for example, only 8 hours a day. You can do this by, for example, skipping breakfast and not eating your first meal until the afternoon.
Several studies have shown that intermittent fasting helps with weight loss and improves your metabolic health. Indeed, fasting intermittently can speed up your metabolism by up to 14% (source, source).
If you want to get rid of a stomach that is too thick, intermittent fasting is one of the easiest ways to achieve your goal.
Try cryolipolysis (fat freezing)
Cryolipolysis aims to destroy fat cells in one part of the body by the action of cold. It is particularly suited for localized fat deposits or bulges that do not respond to diet and exercise.
Although the results can be stunning, this technique requires a substantial financial investment because of the several sessions required to see a real change. Although cryolipolysis equipment can cost as little as $3000 to $4000, each treatment can cost anywhere from $1000 to $2000.
Abdominal liposuction is a fairly simple procedure, with fairly limited risks, performed on an outpatient basis or under general anesthesia by a cosmetic surgeon. The gesture consists of inserting cannulas under the skin to suck up excess localized fat.
Like any other surgical procedure, liposuction is not cheap.
Do not be too harsh on yourself
The most common mistake when trying to lose weight is to be too harsh on yourself and end up giving up before achieving your initial goals. The main thing is above all to increase your energy expenditure by the week and not by the day. This means that over a week you can slip a little and tell yourself it’s okay, don’t be too harsh on yourself.
Visualizing a lifestyle adapted to weight loss over the week allows you to be less demanding on yourself and limits frustrations.
Best Exercise to lose belly fat
Walking is the simplest exercise you can perform to lose weight. As mentioned above, you can start by changing your habits and walk to certain places instead of driving.
Regular walking helps maintain a stable weight, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, reduce glucose levels, improve mood, memory, and cognitive function, decrease stress, and increase blood pressure. Numerous studies have shown that it is a beneficial form of exercise for all ages.
While any amount of walking is good for the body, a certain number of miles and sustained intensity will ensure the maximum benefit from this activity. The recommended minimum is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking, five days a week. Here are some tips to get the most out of your daily walks:
- Walk as much as possible: According to a study cited by Consumer Reports, the benefits in weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar control begin at 15,000 steps per day. The usual goal for people who walk is 10,000 steps a day. But this figure is not the result of scientific research. This first goal is considered a realistic minimum, but for a complete reduction in health risks, it is better to aim higher.
- Speed up your walking pace: Another way to get more out of walking is to walk faster. The findings of a 2007 study on this subject show that a faster step gives the same results as a higher number of steps. Try to walk at a pace of 100 steps per minute, or just adopt the fastest pace possible for your fitness level.
- Spread your effort over the day: Accumulating 15,000 steps a day at one time is no easy task with a busy schedule. The solution is to aim for several moments of walking throughout the day. If you can walk for about 10 minutes at a brisk pace, several times a day, you will reduce the amount of time you spend sitting or standing, and improve your cardiovascular health.
- Split your walking session: Instead of doing a full 30-minute walk at the same moderate pace, try high-intensity interval training. Alternate about 30 seconds to a minute of brisk walking, with one to two minutes of recovery at a slower pace.
- Opt for sloping trails: Don’t have time to walk as much as you want? Choose a path with a steeper slope. When you increase the intensity of your walk as you go up a steep hill, you get the same result in half the time.
Cycling allows you to strengthen your cardiovascular system and build strength. This activity also relieves your joints because your body is not in direct contact with the ground. If you carry a few extra pounds around or want to get rid of your belly fat, biking is a great choice.
Indeed, cycling in the city is a cardiovascular activity, in other words, an endurance sport. This means that it requires moderate but constant effort. Pedaling draws deep on your resources and thus allows you to lose weight gradually, sustainably, and without hurting yourself. Cycling is a great way to burn calories and slim your figure because it tones all of your muscles without pushing them too hard.
Depending on the time and intensity of your bike ride, you can burn around 400 to 800 calories per session.
It is therefore a very relevant practice and suitable for shedding a few pounds and get rid of your pesky belly fat.
With cycling, the main thing is consistency. By training frequently for the long haul, you will sooner or later see the results of your efforts.
Swimming is one of the best sports to lose belly fat because without realizing it, you are straining your abdominal belt all the time, whatever swimming type you choose to practice. Furthermore, water has a massaging effect on the body; it stimulates it just by being underwater. However, keep in mind that the fat loss will not be targeted but will also affect all other parts of your body. Thanks to swimming, your entire body will get more toned, provided you eat a balanced diet and maintain healthy habits.
The butterfly stroke is the stroke that places the greatest strain on the abdominal area, but it is also the most technically difficult stroke and the most difficult to master. You can still swim on your back, stomach, or side. After a few laps, you should be comfortable with the exercise.
The breaststroke is also good at working your core, but an entire breaststroke session is quite traumatic for the knees and hips.
The backstroke is also perfect for losing belly fat because it requires you to contract the abdominal area constantly to keep the trunk straight.
Jogging is an energy-intensive sport that is easy to get into. Indeed, it requires nothing to get started and accompanied by a balanced diet, will make you lose pounds of fat.
The good thing about jogging is that works nearly all parts of your body:
- the lower limbs
- the thighs
- the calves, which allow you to lengthen your stride and move forward
- the abdominals
- the back muscles, to stay tight and upright
Of course, your lungs and heart are working hard and getting stronger with each session.
On average, a person burns 80 to 140 calories per mile.
Cross-country skiing is one of the sports that burns the most calorie. The effort provided during the glide associated with the cold requires constant energy from the body. Indeed, cross-skiing generates a caloric expenditure of 300 to 1000 calories for one hour of practice.
In addition, cross-country skiing strengthens and tones the whole body. It also helps improve basal metabolism (energy expenditure at rest).
Although fun and energy-hungry, unfortunately, cross-country skiing cannot be practiced all year round. Thus and in addition to the establishment of a balanced diet, it is recommended to supplement it with another physical activity for effective and lasting fitness.
Jump rope exercises
The jump rope: a small accessory with many benefits is a great way to burn calories and fat, sculpt your body, improve your cardio and your endurance. 30 minutes of rope jumping can burn around 500 calories, which makes it an excellent way to lose weight and fat.
In addition, the beauty of the jump rope is that it’s one of the sports that you can easily practice at home. No need for some fancy equipment.
If you want to take your training to the next level, you can use a weighted rope. Fat loss will be visible fairly quickly, provided you use it regularly.
Kayaking is an endurance sport that helps to work on cardiovascular capacities and therefore facilitates fat burning. The use of paddles combined with the resistance of the water significantly strengthens the upper body and requires constant energy.
This outdoor sport burns between 250 and 800 calories for an hour of practice. It is a significant energy expenditure that is done without even realizing it.
Finally, and like any sport, its regular practice must be combined with a good diet for effective fat burning.
A discipline of well-being, yoga brings together more and more practitioners every year for its benefits on the body and mind.
Far from the simple meditative image of the yogi sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, hands on knees, yoga can become a real art of living that could even help you lose weight, especially around the belly.
By performing different exercises based on posture and breathing, you can learn how to eliminate your unsightly little belly in a few sessions.
There are different types of yoga that you can practice. Hot yoga is one of them. All the muscles being used, and the cardiovascular system being solicited in a room heated to 40 ° C, it’s an interesting way to lose a few pounds.
CrossFit is ideal for people who like to discover several practices simultaneously. This training method involves a series of endurance, cardio and weightlifting exercises, with equipment or using body weight. The goal is to work not just one muscle, but various muscle chains during a workout.
The sessions are short. they take you about 30 minutes, which is more than enough to work out effectively. The variety of exercises and the fact of changing them regularly make CrossFit particularly fun: you won’t get bored for a second.
Obviously, it is advisable to start gradually in terms of intensity and load. Start with one to two sessions per week.
Planks will strengthen your body as well as burning your belly fat. It works on the deep abdominal muscle, also called the transverse muscle, to give you a stronger core. However, you will need to add cardio to your exercise routine to achieve your goals of losing the belly fat.
Excess belly fat is highly unhealthy. It can cause a wide range of health problems including high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. However, getting rid of it is not an easy task. It takes lifestyle changes, a healthy diet, exercise, and determination. While the changes won’t happen overnight, if you follow the tips given here, you will sooner or later see some results.
Born in London, England and raised in Orlando, FL, Elena graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelors’ degree in Health Sciences. She later received her masters’ in Creative Writing from Drexel University. She writes part-time for the Scientific Origin and focuses mostly on health related issues.