Do you want to get rid of that dreaded belly fat?
Many people associate fat loss with reducing their belly size – especially men who carry a lot of their fat on the belly.
Before we get into this article on how to lose belly fat fast, I want to get this across to you loud and clear.
The secret to losing belly fat is that there is no easy or special method.
If there really was an easy or effortless way to lose belly fat then everyone would be doing it.
So forget about weird drinks, supplements, special flat belly diets or workout routines that allegedly should torch your belly fat.
Once you got that out of your head and accept that there is no “magic pill”, you can then focus on doing the actual work that will help you lose belly fat.
However, there are some things which I will mention below that potentially can help you lose belly fat faster if and only if you are in an energy deficit.
How To Lose Belly Fat Fast
The simple answer is that to lose belly fat you have to lose fat in general.
In order to lose fat, you need an energy deficit which just means you need to consume fewer calories than you burn.
The two options you have are to consume less food (fewer calories) and to increase physical activity.
The speed of which you are able to burn fat and more specifically belly fat technically depends on the size of the energy deficit.
But following that to the extreme is likely going to be counterproductive to your efforts.
For a sustainable and “healthier” approach, the trick is to not go too low with your calories.
The best option will in most cases be consuming a moderate amount of fewer calories and to do a moderate amount of physical activity.
For physical activity, I recommend walking a lot more if you want and also that you incorporate weight training.
But My Belly Fat Is Just Not Going Away!
If you already have lost a great deal of fat and wondering why you still carry a lot of fat around your midsection, then the answer is most likely:
You haven’t lost enough fat yet.
What I dare say is probably not the reason:
Probably not because you have been eating a lot of “wrong” foods
Probably not because your hormones are out of whack.
Or because you have been doing the wrong exercises.
Body Fat Percentage And Belly Fat
In general, you need a relatively low body fat percentage before the fat is stripped away from your belly.
This is because fat is distributed around your whole body, and some of that fat around your belly is just one of the last places fat is burned off.
Due to genetic differences, some people do have it a little bit easier with burning off belly fat.
The fat tissue they have is distributed around the body with a little bit less on the belly.
The Truth About “Stubborn Belly Fat”
The human body is complex and the things going on and interacting with each other inside it is very complicated.
However, what is not too complicated to understand is that all human fat tissue is not created equal.
One difference which is relevant in this situation is that some fat tissue is easier mobilized to be burned off as energy than others.
This is the reason why some fat has been called stubborn fat and it is not only the fat around your belly but usually also thighs and hips.
This doesn’t mean it can’t be burned off though just that it is very likely that more fat will be burned off other places first.
But there are strategies you can implement in your fat loss efforts to potentially combat this “stubbornness”.
Doing intermittent fasting is great for regulating and stabilizing insulin. When you haven’t eaten for many hours (in a fasted state) your insulin is at baseline.
Research shows that when insulin is low you are better at mobilizing and burning fat for energy this also includes the stubborn belly fat.
Additionally, when you are in a fasted state there is an increased release of the hormone noradrenaline which boosts fat metabolization.
For more information, you can check out my article on intermittent fasting for weight loss here.
Training While Fasted
Training while fasted is not only beneficial for fat loss due to the low insulin, but it has also been shown to increase the blood flow in the abdominal region.
The relatively lower blood flow around the belly compared to other places is actually also a reason why the belly fat could be called “stubborn”.
With increased blood flow more stuff like hormones can be transported to and from the belly.
It is not because training in a fasted state will help you burn more fat. At the end of the day, all that matters is the energy deficit.
But training while fasted could potentially make it easier for your body to burn off that stubborn belly fat.
The catch from training while fasting is that it could lead to decreased total muscle growth.
Spot Reduction That Works (Maybe)
For a long time, most experts agreed that there was nothing you could do to target areas of your body for fat loss.
However, some more recent research actually suggests that it is possible after all.
Now, don’t think you can just easily manipulate wherever you want to lose fat.
What the research suggests is that you might be able to increase the fat being burned off in areas by actually working the muscle close to that area.
What you have to do is work the area with a heavy load like doing some work with your abs using heavy weights.
This both increases that body part temperature and blood flow.
Following that you have to use a lot of energy – high-intense cardio is a good option.
What happens is that due to the increased body part temperature and blood flow more fat is mobilized from that area.
The fatty acids are then being burned off with the subsequent exercise.
All this is still subject to an energy deficit.
The catch in this situation is that the heavy ab work you do will increase the size of the abs and obliques.
So if you are interested in a slim waist, whatever very small benefit you might get from this does probably not outweigh getting a thicker waist.
Bloated And Bulging Belly
If you are bloated or have a bulging belly from weak or tight hip flexors for example, then your stomach is likely going to appear less flat.
Perhaps it will appear as if you have more belly fat.
There are a lot of things that can make you bloated and it differs greatly from person to person and what diet they are used to.
I often get bloated from eating too much fibrous stuff.
When the strawberries are cheap I often go crazy and sometimes eat up to 800+ grams in one sitting.
This makes me bloated but I really like strawberries and they have surprisingly few calories.
If you sit down a lot and don’t do anything about it you probably have weak or tight hip flexors. I recommend a specific stretching and strengthening which I have reviewed here.
What About Supplements?
In the introduction, I mentioned you should forget about supplements.
This is not because I think none of them work, but because they only make a tiny difference.
Some can potentially speed up your metabolism a little bit, but then you also have to worry about weird side effects and you quickly develop a tolerance which means they only work for a short time unless you cycle it.
Some supplements can help suppress your hunger.
If you really want to spend your money on such supplements, I suggest you buy something that can help suppress your hunger.
This is useful because when you are consuming fewer calories than you burn for an extended period you will be hungry.
You could buy some caffeine pills or some of that green tea/matcha extract stuff. Both are cheap.
Personally, I prefer to just drink coffee and green tea.
There is a lot to be said about setting up your diet for fat loss, which is why I created a free guide that you can download if you want to know more. I send this guide to anyone who joins my email list.
Use the form below to sign up.
Great post! Thank you for the insightful article. I would like to add a little bit more information that sleep and stress play a key role in reducing abdominal fat. Insufficient sleep and high stress can cause the body to synthesize cortisol, which stores fat in the middle of the body. The fat stored in the body can only be reduced through the combination of diet and exercise.
That is great point! Getting enough quality sleep is super important, and studies also suggest that lack of sleep can have a large effect on how much muscle is lost while dieting.