If you need to lose some fat, follow these simple rules to get started today. For many people, stomach fat is the last bit of fat to lose. It can be stubborn and resilient, but it can be beaten! To get the fastest results, you need to adjust your diet, change your exercise routines and modify some parts of your lifestyle.
Measuring Belly Fat – Is Your Belly Too Big?
The best calculation is to use the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Simply measure your waist at the belly button, and then your hips, and divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement. You can use inches or centimetres, it makes no difference. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy WHR is 0.9 or less in men, and 0.85 or less for women. Look, we’ve provided a calculator for you to use! The simplest way of measuring belly fat is to use a tape measure around your waist. Just stand up straight exhale and measure at your naval / belly button. As a general rule for health, a man’s belly should be less than 37 inches (94cm), and a woman’s less than 32 inches (81cm).
Putting these two calculations together can help determine if you are unhealthy. For example, a man with a waist that is 37 inches, and hips 42 inches will have a WHR of 0.88, so may, possibly, be healthier than somebody with the same sized stomach but naturally smaller hips. Remember, waist circumference predicts early death – it’s not just about looking good!
Exercise and Diet Rules To Lose Belly Fat
Here are the best ways to lose stomach fat. Ideally you should do all of these, but even if you only make a few changes to start with, you will start to see some results nonetheless.
1. No Junk Food
Junk food is the No.1 reason people gain weight. It’s full of calories but lacks good nutrition. Unfortunately, it also tastes so good! Stop the junk if you want to dump the gut!
“Junk food” covers a huge range of food nowadays, and includes everything from chips and chocolate to ready meals and takeaways. The safest option is to buy fresh food and cook yourself nutritious, healthy meals.
2. Eat Low GI Carbs
Sugar is enemy No.2. It triggers the body to store fat. Eat low GI carbs that provide vitamins, fiber and control your insulin levels. Most junk food contains high GI carbs, but other foods that are considered healthy could be slowing your weight loss, such as bread, pasta, potatoes, white rice, raisins, breakfast cereals, corn and melons! Learn more here.
While there are not strictly any best foods to lose stomach fat, a healthy, well balanced diet is the best way by far. Our research has found that the best diet is to combine low GI foods with occasional fasting.
3. Natural Foods To Eat To Lose Weight in Stomach
Natural foods, natural lifestyle. Yes, you can lose fat naturally just by living a clean, natural diet, because getting back to nature is good for our health. This holistic approach includes the foods we eat, the exercise we do and our lifestyle. Natural food really just means good old fashioned fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat. Again, nothing processed, everything prepared from fresh ingredients that are packed with vitamins. Some call this a primal diet, others a paleo diet, but they are all the same – no processed foods.
4. No Snacks!
Eating between meals is a sure-fire way to gain weight. Comfort eating is usually triggered by an emotion – your body does not need to energy, so it stores it as fat. Many of us snack not because we are hungry, but because we are bored. Eating is a way to escape work or other chores for a brief moment. Breaks are good, but snacks are not. Try to have just a cup of tea or, if you really are hungry, a piece of fruit.
5. Less Alcohol
If you drink alcohol on a regular basis, this will contribute to weight gain. A little alcohol, in moderation, is OK, but if you are drinking every day, expect to pile on the pounds! Alcohol contains many calories and our bodies will process the energy in alcohol before digesting food, which is why drinking with a meal will almost always lead to fat. Beer is a big problem for men, and yes, these rules are the same as any you will see on how to lose a beer gut.
6. Early Nights
More sleep helps the body regulate itself, and this means a healthier appetite and metabolism. Sleep is good for you! This is also about getting back to nature. Try to sleep in complete darkness whenever possible too. Learn more about sleep here.
7. Be More Active
Being active is another vital step to losing weight. Being active is much more than just your gym workouts. Start walking more and using the car less. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and just get up and about more; if you work in an office, don’t eat at your desk, instead, walking to a cafe or shop and eat. Learn more about the health benefits of exercise here. Also, see our weekly exercise plan here.
Of course, everybody wishes to know the best exercise to lose weight from stomach – the answer will surprise you: it’s any exercise! There really is no best exercise for waist reduction because spot reduction of fat is not possible – you need to exercise the whole body to burn more calories and build more muscle.
8. Reduce Stress
Stress leads to emotional eating and lethargy. Also, many people put off exercise is they’re stressed. Lifestyle choices and our environment lead to stress. While you may not be able to change your immediate environment (work, home, family, neighbors etc.) you can change some of your lifestyle choices. Give yourself more time to look after yourself – this may mean less time watching television or playing games on your mobile. Reading a book is a good way to increase your “me time” and reduce stress.
9. Build Muscle
Muscle is your friend! Building muscle burns fat by boosting your metabolism. Regular weight training is a good way to maintain a low fat body – you do not need to run a marathon to keep the fat off, but just keep your muscles healthy and active. See our strength section to learn more.
Building muscle requires a progressive weight training plan, which means you should aim to get stronger and lift heavier weights. To do it well, you need to keep an eye on nutrition – feed your muscles, while allow fat to burn.
10. Get Fitter
Fitness, although less important than diet, is still vital to losing weight. Exercising once a week is rarely enough to maintain a lean body, let alone shed a load of weight. If you are fit, you will lose weight! Think like an athlete, eat like an athlete, look like an athlete! Start your fitness plan here!
There are not really any specific exercises to lose fat – so long as you work your whole body, work it hard, you will get fitter and lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, crunches, sit-ups, ab rollers and other core exercises will do little to “burn off” your fat. While they are worth doing as part of a fitness workout, you should not focus on them alone. You need to aim to get fit to lose weight, not just get strong abdominal muscles!
If you cannot decide what exercises to do, just pick one of the best exercises to lose weight from our list and start there.
Fasting Methods To Lose Fat Quickly
In recent years there has been growing interest in fasting as a way to lose weight and maintain weight loss. There are several ways you can fast and we have talked about most of them here at MotleyHealth.
Fasting used to be considered an extreme form of dieting, but more recent science is showing that it is actually a more natural way to deal with weight issues, and it is not anywhere near as dangerous as once thought.
To learn more about fasting, read our articles on the 16-8 Hour Intermittent Fasting, 5-2 Day CRON Diet (see also 5-2 meal ideas), and the Royal Marine Commando Egg Diet (only if you love eggs!). Fasting works, but it is certainly not for everybody. Also, care must be taken to ensure that you maintain good nutrition to avoid under-eating and malnutrition.
Ways For Women To Lose Tummy Fat
While the general rules of weight loss are the same for men and women, men and women do tend to prefer different approaches to reduce belly fat.
If you do not wish to look too muscular, then the best approach is to do more cardiovascular exercise. Workouts such as running and spinning are excellent. It is important to still do some resistance exercise to help tone muscles. Taking a yoga or Pilates class is a good option.
You will get better results if you do more weight training though. Take a look at our kettlebell exercises for women and if you are still unconvinced, read Debunking 10 weight lifting myths – you won’t get bulky, you will burn more fat and you will feel fantastic!
Ways For Men to Lose Stomach Fat
For men, the best approach is to combine cardio exercise with progressive weight training, and by this, we mean aim to lift heavier weights, get stronger. Men should focus on large compound moves, such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press and rows. You can finish off with some triceps extensions and bicep curls, but don’t spend too much time on these. We have a few workouts you can do, take a look at the classic German volume training and the Full Body Weight Training Workout Split Over 3 Sessions.
When people talk about how to burn fat, they are really talking about building muscle that helps metabolise more fat – so burn fat off with weight training!
The goal is to use your natural testosterone to build more muscle mass, which will help burn more energy and re-balance your hormone levels, to help burn more fat. Fat contains estrogen, and when men gain weight, more estrogen is stored, which can cause all sorts of problems, such as:
- Reduced libido, decreased erectile function – Sexual dysfunction
- Enlarged breasts / man boobs
- Lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Increased abdominal fat
- Reduction of muscle mass
- Type 2 diabetes
So, building more muscle and burning fat is really good for your health, well-being and general manliness!
Can You Lose Stomach Fat Quickly?
Everybody wants to know how to lose fat fast. Is this even possible? Well, it depends on how big it is, how fit you are and how determined you are! A few years ago we reported how British gymnast Louis Smith lost his belly in just a few weeks – but he did have a massive advantage, being a young, super-fit Olympic Gold Medal winning gymnast!
He used a very intensive form of exercise called Tabata. This is how athletes get fit fast, but you have to be very fit and healthy to start this form of training – you can just jump straight into a Tabata workout after five years of a sedentary lifestyle!
For most people though, slow and steady is the best approach. A pound a week is plenty – that’s 52 pounds a year!
How NOT To Lose Belly Fat
Also, what NOT to do: Don’t take pills, and don’t fall for the cream scam either. Don’t starve yourself either. There are so many people selling fake ways to lose weight quickly. Even the latest authorized drugs have some serious side effects, so if you can do it naturally, this is the best way.
Diet and exercise is the only safe and effective way to lose weight.
Can You Lose Tummy Fat In A Week?
No! Well, you can lose some fat in a week, but if you have an obvious belly you will not make it go away in just one week. What you can of course do is follow a weekly fitness and diet plan until you have lost it – and then maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep it off!
Wrapping Up The Belly Fat Blog
The most effective way to lose fat is a combination of healthy eating with a reduction in sugar and carbs, and regular exercise. Being more active and eating healthy really does work. You need to cut ALL junk food out of your diet, most alcohol, and seriously reduce foods that contain a lot of sugar and low nutrient carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta, rice, potato).
Losing fat is never easy – athletes and celebrities only make it look easy because they are so dedicated. Don’t fall for any quick weight loss plans, or “lose weight in one week” scams. Follow a tried and tested method of healthier food, fewer calories. more exercise and improved lifestyle, and you will succeed. Once you have learnt how to lose belly fat, you’ll be able to keep the fat off permanently! Start today, and share your experience and personal tips below.