If you took ten random people from the gym and asked them what they were currently training for, you can almost guarantee that 9 of them would say ‘Lose Stubborn Belly Fat (or some variations thereof). And I think that in this regard most of us can relate.
Really, who wouldn’t like to drop a few more pounds and lose that stubborn fat around our bellies?
But, unfortunately, it is not as easy as the mainstream health and fitness media would make us believe. While most are likely to say losing weight takes nothing more than ‘eating less and exercising more’, this is simply just not true.
Losing weight takes hard work, dedication, and the implementation of smart and effective diet and lifestyle strategies. It is important to note that I am not saying that it can’t be done – it can be done (and more importantly, it can be done quickly), but it does require some thought and effort.
Fortunately, in this article, we have brought the thought. We will outline 9 key tips that you can implement into your diet and exercise regime to help you lose stubborn belly fat quickly, leading to a rapid fat loss.
Now, a bit of a disclaimer, this won’t necessarily be easy to lower stomach fat, but it will work (and work well!)
#1 Start Weight Training 2-3 Times Per Week
When people think of weight training (you know – the stuff with the barbells and the kettlebells), they tend to think of big, intimidating, sweaty meatheads who grunt a lot and throw around huge numbers in the gym.
While I won’t argue that lifting weights can lead to increased muscle mass (and the resulting meatheads), this is not its only merit. In fact, lifting weights and participating in weight training often can be one of the best ways to promote weight loss – period
This ultimately comes down to two main reasons…
Firstly, weight training is basically physical activity performed at a high intensity, and as such it provides results in a HUGE amount of energy being burned during training. Additionally, as it is so demanding, it also results in an increase in energy expenditure up to 48 hours after the session is completed (while our body is recovering).
This increased energy expenditure can lead to a substantial increase in weight loss over time…
Secondly, weight training does build muscle mass. Muscle mass is known as active tissue, as it requires energy to function. By increasing the amount of muscle mass on out body, we increase our daily energy expenditure  irrespective of exercise (ultimately increasing the amount of energy our body needs to function throughout the day).
This can lead to a vastly improved rate of fat loss over time.
#2 Eat protein With Every Meal
Protein is pretty much the most important macronutrient we can consume. It plays important roles in cell development and hormone production, and in this scenario, has key qualities that can promote rapid weight loss.
Firstly, protein has the highest satiety rating of all macronutrients. In short, this means that per calorie, protein increases our satisfaction the most after eating it. This causes a subsequent reduction in hunger cravings throughout the day, leading to reduced snacking and a lower daily energy intake .
Secondly, protein has the highest thermic effect of food (also known as TEF) of all macronutrients. TEF pretty much describes the energy required to break down and digest the food we eat. Protein takes quite a bit of work to digest, in which a HUGE 20% of the energy contained in the protein we eat is used to digest itself .
By eating protein with every meal we can cause vast increases in our daily energy expenditure, while also reducing the amount we eat throughout the day – creating the perfect storm for weight loss.
#3 Drink More Coffee
Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages on the planet (and for good reason too). But what most don’t realise, is that drinking coffee can actually lead to improved fat loss.
This is the direct result of two mechanisms, both of which occur through the action of caffeine (the key stimulant in coffee).
Firstly, caffeine increase the metabolism of fats within the body. This speeds up the rate they are broken down and used for energy, effectively making them more available for energy.
Secondly, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which results in both an immediate and lasting increase in the resting metabolism of the body (which is effectively the amount of energy we burn at rest). This can lead to an increased energy expenditure throughout the day – which as we know, can lead to further weight loss.
The combination of these two factors creates a great environment for losing fat specific weight – in which fat is more readily broken down for energy AND we use more energy to function .
If caffeine is not your thing then you should consider some caffeine alternatives.
It is important to state that, while the positive effects of coffee are apparent, as caffeine is a stimulant we should limit ourselves to 3-4 cups of coffee per day. This will allow us to get the positive effects of caffeine without any real side effects (such as jitteriness and reduced sleep quality).
#4 Eat Your Vegetables
When it comes to advice, grandma was one the money with this one. Eating your vegetables is important, although it may not be for the reason you think.
Firstly, vegetables are incredibly nutrient dense, in which they contain a huge number of vitamins and minerals that are essential to the healthy function of the human body. By consuming adequate vitamins and minerals (through vegetable consumption) we can ensure the body is functioning at a high level, which can make fat loss easier.
Secondly, vegetables are incredibly satisfying, but actually, contain very few calories (they are known to have a very low energy density) . By consuming vegetables at every meal, we increase both our satisfaction and sensations of fullness, despite only consuming a few calories.
This can lead to a reduced daily energy intake, through a reduction in snacking as a result of reduced hunger throughout the day’s duration.
#5 Reduce Your Intake Of Sugar
This could arguably be the most important step when it comes to promoting the loss of stubborn belly fat quickly.
When we eat sugar, we see a rapid rise in the secretion of the hormone insulin. Insulin is an energy storage hormone, which is known to cause the storage of fats in our adipose tissue.
By limiting our consumption of those foods that cause increased insulin secretion , we can reduce the resting levels of insulin in our blood. This leads to a direct reduction in fat storage combined with a subsequent increase in the availability of fat to be broken down for energy. As a result, we see an increased rate of fat loss specifically which is obviously essential to removing stubborn belly fat).
Furthermore, as a bit of a bonus, reducing our intake of sugar and replacing it with vegetables and protein based foods causes a significant reduction in our hunger levels throughout the day – which as we know, leads to a natural reduction in our daily energy intake.
These two factors create an ideal environment for fat specific weight loss to occur.
#6 Don’t Consume Liquid Calories
Now while this may seem like a bit of an obvious one, it still requires saying – it is seriously that important.
Sugar-sweetened beverages (think soft drinks and fruit juices) are one of the unhealthiest substances on the planet. They are full to the brim with sugar, and subsequently contain an absolutely absurd amount of energy – and moreover – as they are in liquid form, they do not provide us with any satisfaction at all. They do not reduce hunger signals, and they can even increase snacking throughout the day.
The regular consumption of these substances have shown strong associations with both negative health effects (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer) and increased weight gain, suggesting that they are not only bad news for our waist line but our health as well .
By avoiding these beverages completely, we can reduce the associated weight gain and health implications, increasing our ability to lose fat.
#7 Keep Hydrated
We know that we are supposed to drink 8 cups of water per day – but most of us don’t actually know why. As a result, on a societal level, we do not drink nearly enough water.
Although if we take a second to think about it, it does make a bit of sense. It is pretty common knowledge that we are approximately 70% water (give or take a few percent). As such, it stands to reason that even slight dehydration could greatly impact both our health and our function.
In conjunction with this, dehydration can also impact our ability to lose weight in an incredibly negative manner. Dehydration can lead to a reduced metabolic rate, and subsequently, an apparent inability to lose weight. But, by drinking water regularly throughout the day (and in turn returning our hydration levels to normal), we can increase our metabolism back to normal levels, which can greatly improve our ability to lose fat.
Additionally, by drinking water before each of our main meals, we will get fuller quicker. This will greatly reduce our risk of overeating these meals, causing a reduced energy intake on a daily basis – and a subsequent increase in our rate of fat loss.
In fact, it has been shown that drinking as little as 500ml (or 17oz) of water 30 minutes before eating each main meal can lead to a vastly improved rate of fat loss, suggesting that water may play an integral role in our capacity to lose weight at a functional level .
#8 Start Drinking Green Tea Daily
Green tea has seen a massive increase in popularity within the health industry over the last decade or so, mainly due to the positive effects on health was shown to be associated with its consumption. These include protecting us from cardiovascular disease, reducing our risk of developing diabetes, and even lowering our likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
But arguably more impressive is the impact that green tea can have on fat loss.
Firstly, the consumption of green tea has been demonstrated to improve the body’s ability to break down fat, thus increasing its availability for energy. While this alone can improve our ability to lose fat, drinking green tea has also shown to increase the metabolic rate of the body (causing an increase in our energy expenditure at rest) .
The combined effects of these two factors can promote rapid increases in our ability to burn fat. We should strive for 2-3 cups of green tea per day to get optimal results.
#9 Avoid Prolonged Periods Of Sedentary Activity
In this day and age, it is quite common to spend long periods of time seated on the coach or at a desk, for both work and leisure. This is a side effect of the technological age that we live in, and unfortunately, it is doing us a lot more harm than good.
There is a hormone found in the human body that is known as lipoptrotein lipase (LPL). LPL plays an essential role in the body’s capacity to break down and mobilize fats so that they can be used for energy.
But prolonged periods of inactivity have actually shown to reduce the rate LPL secretion in the body. In fact, after only 60 minutes of sedentary activity (whether this is sitting or lying down – it really doesn’t matter), our body stops secreting LPL. This, in turn, seriously limits the body’s ability to use fat for energy, making it increasingly difficult to lose fat.
Fortunately, this can be avoided.
By standing up and doing a small amount of exercise (a brief walk around the office, a few stretches – you get the idea) in between our longer bouts of sedentary activity, we can continue to stimulate LPL secretion .
This ensures our continued ability to break down fat for energy, which can go a very long way in our capacity to lose stubborn belly fat quickly!
That stubborn belly fat is not a life sentence – but to remove it (and remove it quickly at that) can take a bit of work. By implementing the above strategies, you can cause a vast increase in the ability of your body’s to use fat as a fuel source, causing a massive jump in fat loss.
Combine this with an increase in metabolic rate and a reduction in daily energy intake, and you have the perfect storm for fat loss – creating the optimal environment to lose stubborn belly fat quickly!
Tzankoff, S. P., and A. H. Norris. “Effect of muscle mass decrease on age-related BMR changes.” Journal of Applied Physiology 43.6 (1977): 1001-1006. Viewed at: http://jap.physiology.org/content/43/6/1001
Dennis, Elizabeth A., et al. “Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle‐aged and older adults.” Obesity 18.2 (2010): 300-307. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958
Hamilton, Marc T., Deborah G. Hamilton, and Theodore W. Zderic. “Exercise physiology versus inactivity physiology: an essential concept for understanding lipoprotein lipase regulation.” Exercise and sport sciences reviews 32.4 (2004): 161. Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312662/
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