I recently reached out on via FaceBook and asked what burning questions people had. One of them was “How do you get rid of the last bit of fat around your belly without starving yourself half to death”
In this post, I aim to answer that question and throw in a few suggestions on exercises to get rid of belly fat.
Short of liposuction, Unfortunately, there is no way to specifically get rid of belly fat. Sad but true. The human body is perfectly designed to both store and utilise fat all over the body, not just belly fat. Yes, some people have slightly different body shapes that predispose them to hold different levels of body fat in different areas, but overall the body will lose weight all over when in a calorie deficit.
If you are working out, not eating rubbish and maintaining a sensible calorie intake then considering the following exercises to get rid of belly fat may help.
Are you working out correctly?
One of the best ways to sabotage your weight loss is to think only in terms of CARDIO!!
Yes, cardio will burn calories and HIIT will burn more calories in the post workout hours. But if you really want to take your body from skinny fat to lean then you need to incorporate more heavy lifts and cut back on the cardio.
Seriously?… Did I just say to cut back on cardio??
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the cardio is bad, but if it is the only way you are looking to lose weight then you may have a problem.
Cardio may actually be helping you keep the belly due to putting your body into a stress mode that it has not got time to recover from.
In the section below on looking after your adrenals, I talk about Cortisol.
Cortisol is referred to as the Stress Hormone and one of the best ways to rev up that stress and sabotage your weight loss is to give yourself a big old boost of Cortisol through overdoing the cardio.
So you will need other exercises to get rid of belly fat?
Reducing stress and maintaining a sensible diet and workout regime, are probably the best three tips I can give you in order to show you how to lose belly fat naturally.
Try dropping a few days of cardio each week and add in the following exercises:
- Barbell bench press
- Overhead press
Done with correct form and heavyweight (heavy being a weight you can lift 5 times with good form) a couple of full body workouts a week with these monster compound moves will help you build strength, build muscle and burn a ton of calories.
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat and by building some muscle and strength you will actually get leaner.
2 – 3 full body workouts a week and you will be good to go. This will save time over your cardio sessions too.
By implementing the above and also considering the potential effects the following 3 points may be having on your health. You could be on your way reduced belly fat.
3 TIPS TO HELP REDUCE BELLY FAT
1. Managing your blood sugar
The first and most likely cause for not losing weight is that your blood sugar is not correctly balanced. If you have cravings for fatty or carb-heavy foods then it is a safe bet the there are issues with your blood sugar balance.
There are two possible issues to consider when looking at managing blood sugar.
The first is Insulin resistance or Chronically high blood sugar levels.
The second is Hypoglycemia or fluctuation ranges of blood sugar from High to Low.
Let’s take a quick look at each one in a bit more detail:
Insulin Resistance is when glucose can no longer adequately enter into cells and high levels of blood glucose are a result. In response to foods, most likely carbs, the pancreas puts out insulin in order to transport glucose from the blood and into the cells. If the cells become desensitised to insulin, due to long term over consumption of sugar and carbs then the glucose stays in the bloodstream and results in high blood glucose levels.
This type of insulin resistance is known and pre-diabetes.
Symptoms Of Insulin Resistance
- Feeling very tired after meals
- Having sugar cravings after meals
- Finding it hard to get to sleep getting to sleep
People who suffer from hypoglycemia are prone to bouts of very low and very high blood sugar. This can also lead to mood swings.
Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia
- Feel better after eating for a short period of time
- Experience sugar cravings before and in between meals
- Difficulty staying asleep at night
- Mood swings when hungry
2. LOOK AFTER YOUR ADRENAL SYSTEM
If you are not having enough sleep or you are having broken sleep, Experiencing constant stress from job or family life and not eating sensibly, you may well be pushing your adrenal system to the breaking point.
The adrenal glands are the body’s front line of defence when it comes to managing stress.
when activated the adrenal system will produce hormones that help the body to deal with the stress.
Cortisol is one of the hormones released in response to stress.
The primary role of Cortisol is to increase blood sugar levels during a stress response. This response can be either physical or emotional. This is so that the body has enough energy to deal with the situation, think fight or flight stress response.
When a person is chronically stressed out, meaning that they are overloaded with stressors, on a daily basis. Their body is producing chronically elevated levels of cortisol that help the body modulate the stress response and return the body to homeostasis.
Chronically elevated cortisol levels =
Chronically elevated blood sugar levels =
Elevated insulin levels.
High cortisol production + high insulin production = dangerous belly fat.
There are 2 adrenal related problems to consider
Overactive adrenals are obviously when there is too much cortisol being produced. This creates an overload of blood sugar and a resulting overproduction of insulin to compensate.
Underactive adrenals do not make adequate supplies of hormones, like cortisol. This inhibits the body’s homeostasis, glucose levels can fall too low resulting in symptoms similar to hypoglycemia.
3. UNBALANCED GUT BIOME
A healthy gut is a gateway to ultimate health. An awful digestive system can cause issues such as Constipation, gas, bloating, vomiting and acid reflux.
When the gut is inflamed, distressed or just imbalanced it is not able to do the job it is meant to and problems will arise sooner or later.
The gut may not be able to do its job fully, allowing nutrients and water in, while keeping all nasty toxic substances out.
This can result in a condition called Leaky Gut Where the lining of the gut becomes porous and microscopic amounts of undigested food can leak out through the lining of the stomach and into the bloodstream. Get rid of below line
This will cause a resulting immune response with inflammation.
Some of the many and varied symptoms linked to gut imbalances are:
- Burping after meals
- Undigested food in the stool
- Bad breath
- Acid reflux
- Never feeling satisfied
- Empty feeling in the stomach after just eating
- Cramps/pain/nausea associated with bowel movements
- Food sensitivities
- Joint pain
- Lowered immune function
What’s irrefutable is that a healthy gut and optimal digestion depends on:
- A healthy immune system with low levels of stress
- Consistently balanced intestinal bacteria
- Intact mucosa (the lining of the gut must remain sealed)
To get rid of belly fat naturally, you need to look at changing the way you work out.
Use a mix of big compound exercises to get rid of belly fat and do not rely so heavily on long drawn out cardio sessions.
Think about your gut health and manage your stress levels both life stress and self-induced workout stress. Give your body time to recover between sessions.
And finally, watch your insulin levels. If in doubt about this one, get checked out by a medical professional.
Until next time I wish you good health and happiness.