Ready to banish stubborn belly fat? Well, don’t jump straight to sit ups…
Want to know how to lose belly fat?
Spoiler alert, it’s not by doing sit ups! Maintaining a trim midsection does more than make you look and feel great, it can improve your health and help you live longer. There’s no surprise that “how can I lose belly fat” pulls up over two million hits on Google, and it’s a common question asked by many starting out on their fitness plans. Unfortunately, there’s no quickfire way to banish stubborn belly fat, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, there are ways you can achieve a flatter stomach.
Complications of larger waistlines
A larger waist measurement can mean you have too much visceral fat, which is the fat stored around internal organs like your liver and pancreas, often referred to as belly fat. Larger waistlines are also linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, and losing weight and stomach fat can improve blood vessel functioning and sleep quality.
Get your diet right
Abdominal work in the gym alone won’t get you a six pack, it’s all about melting the body fat that’s on top of the muscle tissue. Your diet plays a large part in this process, and following a stricter nutrition plan along with training will help you reduce your body fat to a percentage level to reveal your abs.
If you want to lose belly fat, follow a fat loss nutrition plan and keep in mind these three top tips:
- Hit a protein target
- Eat in a calorie deficit
- Find a realistic plan you can stick to long term
Ab work alone won’t banish fat
Nutrition comes hand in hand with training, and to slim your waist, we recommend training around 3-4 times per week, including plenty of exercises that help your core including deadlifts, squats, leg press and pull downs. Remember to really think about your core and brace your abs during the compound movements as part of the exercise.
Increase your NEAT
To help banish the bloat, boost your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) by aiming to walk 12k steps per day. There’s loads more simple daily activities to help increase your NEAT, such as taking the stairs, parking further away or cleaning more. Gradually, with the correct training and diet, you should start to see a reduction in body fat, and alongside this, a reduction in belly fat.
Genetics play a big part in how defined your abs are, and only those who are lean will usually have visible abs. Once you’re in a good, consistent routine, are eating well and training hard, you’ll start to get lean enough to reveal your abs. You should be able to see abdominal muscles on males around 10% body fat and females around 15% body fat.
Developing the muscle tissue
Although specific abs exercises are not needed initially, once you’re lean with a good body fat percentage you can start to incorporate them into your training. We recommend 10-12 reps of harder movements such as decline sit ups, decline leg raises, ab roll outs or hanging leg raises.
You’ve trained hard, ate well and stayed consistent, so your abs are visible and muscles are developed. However, some people can struggle to lose that last bit of fat around the stomach. This could be due to the stress hormone, cortisol, which can be caused by many different factors, including work, relationships, parenting, training and dieting. Increased cortisol can cause fat storage around your lower stomach, so reducing this is key. Even getting enough sleep can massively improve feelings of stress. Lastly, specific supplements that help reduce cortisol can help get rid of that last bit of stubborn fat, such as holy basil.
Everyone’s body type differs, and it may take some longer than others to lose fat around the stomach, but if you stick to your nutrition plan and train regularly, your body fat percentage will drop and you’ll be well on your way to banishing that belly fat.