Belly fat or any kind of fat is the energy stored by the body to use it later in case if there is a shortage of food. We all are genetically different, so our body stores fat in different places. It is logical to have fat stored in the belly as it is the center of mass, rather than it having stored in legs or hands or any other place which can make it more difficult for our body to perform.
Now belly fat can be the last thing anyone would want, but our body is so hesitant to lose it in the first place. It is also true that there is nothing like spot reduction that exists. You have to lose fat from every place before your body starts pulling fat from your belly area. The best approach to lose belly fat is fixing the nutrition and adding the right type of training in your schedule.
When we hear the word nutrition and exercise, we usually get confused and sometimes not able to decide how to begin with. But you need not worry about anything as we have got everything covered for you in this article.
Follow these few steps and your belly fat will be gone forever:
1. Eat-in deficit:
Put simply, if you eat more than what your body requires, you will gain weight. Your body will simply store the extra amount of calories in the form of fat. To burn that extra amount of fat stored on your belly, you have to eat in a deficit, meaning you have to eat less than your maintenance level. So, the first thing you should be doing is to calculate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), which you can do by entering your details in the calculator on your right side at the top of this page. Once you have come up with your TDEE, you will have the idea of your caloric maintenance level, so just eat in a slight deficit of that. How much deficit if you ask, well
- if you are overweight and have tons of fat, go with at least 25-30% in starting but don’t go too hard on yourselves, just stick to what you can maintain for the long term.
- if you are just trying to shed those love handles or that belly, but overall you are mostly build-up, then a slight deficit of 200-300 kcal is good to go.
2. Fix your macros:
Your macros contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates. Having the right amount of macros will help you adjust your daily caloric intake, which is ultimately the most important step when it comes to losing belly fat.
- Eat a high amount of protein. This will help you boost your metabolism as it requires more energy to break down and digest protein-rich food as compared to fats and carbohydrates. The right amount of protein is 0.8 grams per lbs. Some examples of protein sources are –
- Protein Powder
- SKimmed Milk
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Low-fat cheese
- Beans and lentils
- Eat healthy fats like walnuts, salmon, avocado, olive oil, etc. and avoid trans fats like processed foods. Trans fats are just a waste of calories with no positive effect on the body but rather has an adverse effect. It can cause major heart diseases and also some other health conditions.
- You may even try a ketogenic diet, which has also been proven effective in burning a good amount of fat. You eat a high amount of fats in the ketogenic diet, and your body uses fats as energy.
- Try to eat as much as fibrous carbs (Mushrooms, berries, spinach, broccoli, carrots, etc.) as you can, they are low caloric and have a lot of fibers in them which helps in digestion and makes you full. Starchy carbs (brown rice, baked potato, rice, corn, barley, etc.) are equally important as they fill your body with energy. So, the balance of both is a good idea.
3. Cut Sugars and refined carbs:
If you are serious about getting results and get your belly fat gone away forever, then you should add more low calorie-dense foods rather than foods with tons of calories. A small cookie has more calories than a cup of broccoli. Adding more low calorie-dense food like fruits and vegetables will make you full for longer and will prevent you from binge eating. They also have tons of micronutrients, which will be an additional benefit to your health. You can use it as a trick, so whenever you have a craving for eating junk food, just eat the right amount of salad with some protein source before eating anything else. By doing so, you will either give up the decision of eating junk or you will end up eating very less. Eat whole real food and limit liquid calories. Also, eat fruits instead of juices because juices have more fructose (a form of sugar) as compared to fruits.
4. Chose right type of workout plan:
Only the diet is not efficient when it comes to losing belly fat. You have to incorporate some workout sessions into your schedule. Weight training or resistance training is proven very effective for burning fat. The big lifts or compound movements are very helpful in this matter. Compound lifts include exercises like squats, deadlifts, power cleans, barbell rows, overhead press, etc. These exercises use the major muscles of the body, and mostly all the muscles are performing while executing these lifts, which results in more caloric expenditure.
You may also add some HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) session, which is also proven great for the health of our heart and also for fat loss. HIITs are short-duration workouts, but it demands high efforts. During HIIT sessions, first, you do some high-intensity work for a short period and then switch to low-intensity work, for example- 30 seconds of sprints followed by 20 seconds rest. To begin with, you can schedule 2 HIIT sessions and 3 total-body workouts in a week.
Improve your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). NEAT is the energy we spend on doing activities other than workout sessions like walking to work, cleaning your house, taking stairs instead of the elevator, and so on.
Bonus Tip: You can add a HIIT session after your weight training session because at that time your glycogen stores are depleted, and your body will use the stored fat as a fuel for energy.
5. Measure Your improvements:
No one can tell exactly how many calories they are eating or how many they are burning. We can just have a fair idea about it. It is the result only which tell us all. See if you are not losing too much weight in a short time. Losing weight is not equal to losing fat or belly fat (which is the goal). It can also result in losing muscles as well, so let the process go on its pace. Keep clicking your progress pictures and check yourself in the mirror to see if you are making any progress. Adjust your caloric intake according to the results you see, wait for 2-3 weeks before making any readjustment. If you want to weigh yourself, make sure you weigh in the same condition, at the same time, because your weight can fluctuate according to the glycogen level in your body.
There are no magic pills or workouts that will do spot reduction. Targetting belly fat only will not do any good for you. Now some people spend their valuable time in gyms doing crunches, running on treadmills, or all that stuff which leaves them nowhere and they finally give up, thinking that losing fat is not possible for them, but that’s not true. With proper workout approach and nutrition, it is possible to achieve your fitness goals. We have discussed it step by step in the article above. Remember, it just takes 21 days to develop a habit. In Just 21 days, you will see that you are doing great.