How to lose belly fat naturally

how to lose belly fat

The popular question I get asked often is, how to lose belly fat? I had a problem getting rid of my pot-belly, but I persevered, learned, took action, and finally, I see my abs.

If you are one of those people that are built to burn fat all day long and put on muscle just by touching a dumbbell (Mesomorph), you probably won’t have a hard time losing your big gut.

Now, if you are not a Meso, this does not mean you are doomed to look less appealing. No matter what your genes tell you, you can have your six-pack abs.

However, you have to work harder than that Mesomorph type. Look at him, or her, gloating.

How to lose belly fat fast and quick

woman pinching belly fat before and after

Eat a lot

It sounds counter-intuitive when dieting is about controlling what you eat, let me explain.

Why eating a lot will burn off your stomach fat? I am not talking about devouring a huge cow in one sitting. No, I am talking about clean, small frequent meals.

It would be best if you were eating small portions 6 or 10 times a day.

Eating small frequent meals is a great way not to feel hungry for 24 hours. How can you, when you are pecking at food every 2 or 3 hours?

Frequent meals boost your metabolism. How? Well, for every action you take, your body consumes calories. Yes, even when you eat, you are expending energy (calories). When you digest, you are burning calories. This process is called TEF (Thermic Effect of Food).

Your choice of food that you ingest will significantly affect the outcome of your desired goal. For example, even when you are eating small frequent meals in a day but you are eating junk food, sorry, it won’t cut it. Your belly will still be a pot-belly.

You are burning more calories eating frequently, but if you are putting more calories than you are taking out, then you will be gaining weight instead of losing weight. And that, my friends, is the secret to losing weight. Losing weight is easy, in theory, it is not rocket science.

Let’s look at the types of food you should be eating to lose that stomach fat.

Types of food you should be eating

You need to be eating protein-rich food:

  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork

Anything really, as long as they are lean cuts, say bye-bye to the tasty fat. Although they are the best part, you will have to sacrifice taste if you love your body. 

What NOT to eat

woman eating ham roll in the gym

Food that you should not consume to reduce your stomach:

  • Sugar
  • White rice
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Frozen pizza 
  • Muesli bar
  • Bread
  • Cake
  • Pastry
  • Donut

You might be surprised at some of the items in the list. Let’s go over them.

Cereals have been deemed healthy for a long while now: the T.V. advertisements made sure of that. 

Look at the nutritional information, mainly how much sugar it contains. Have a look at the supposedly healthy Special K: for every 100 grams of serving; it contains 12 grams of sugar. If you are female and you eat 200 grams of serving, your daily sugar intake is already at maximum.

Like cereals, low-fat yogurt, muesli bars, and pizza contain a significant amount of sugar.

So yeah, basically no sugar. Sugar is your enemy if you want to get lean and healthy. 

The best carbs to eat are the ones not dredged in manufactured sweeteners. Hopefully, this sentence can help you stave off your sugar cravings: sugar is empty calories that slowly poisons you.

It is hard, I know, especially if you have a sweet tooth as I do. 

Do not drink these

I have known people who try to lose weight by eating less but chugs a whole 500 ml of Coke. 

My brother does this with the large cup he bought specially to fit 750 ml worth of soda; regular cups just don’t cut it. If you are like my brother, stop, you are literally poisoning your body.

According to the American Heart Association, the recommended sugar daily intake for a healthy adult male is 36 grams or 9 teaspoons. For a healthy adult female, it is 25 grams or 6 teaspoons. 

The amount of sugar contained in 330 ml of Coca Cola is 35 grams. That is your recommended daily sugar intake if you are an adult male. For an adult female, it is 1.5 times the average.

Do your body a favor and stop poisoning it with these sweet drinks:

  • Coffee with creams from Starbucks, Gloria Jeans, etc
  • Tea with creams
  • Mocha
  • Chocolate drinks
  • Shakes
  • Sodas
  • Smoothies
  • Energy drinks
  • Some fruit juices

In addition to sugary drinks, you should also avoid consuming alcohol if you are trying to lose your pot-belly. They are OK in moderation, but more than the average can cause a whole slew of diseases according to NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

However, we are talking about your gut here and drinking one or two whiskeys on ice won’t affect you much. 

What will impact your midsection are the mixed drinks like, bourbon and Coke, vodka and juice, or worst, vodka and Redbull. 

These are all sugar-laden drinks that mask the alcohol taste, so it goes down smoother. 

Build muscles

man flexing biceps

You can build muscle by weight lifting. Strength exercises will burn fat, 24 to 48 hours after your workout. The study from the International Journal of Exercise Science concluded. 

The 2018 study found the participants increased their Basal Metabolic Rate after a bout of resistance exercises. What is BMR? A BMR is the number of calories you burn doing nothing.

Also, the more muscle you have, the more efficient your body becomes in burning off fats. In general, people with more muscle mass than fat have a high BMR. In contrast, people with more fat than muscle mass have prolonged resting metabolism.

Do some cardio

man running on treadmill

I can hear you gasping for air. Cardio is just tedious and something most people prefer not to do.

However, you know what? You, we, still need to do cardio to increase our chances of finally losing that gut.

So, in addition to your strength training regime, you also need to incorporate heart-pumping cardio.

It doesn’t have to be an intense exercise, but enough to raise your heart rate to the optimum fat burning rate.

Determine the optimal fat burning zone (old and new way)

To determine your optimum heart rate to ensure fat burning, all you have to do is subtract your age from 220. What you get is your maximum heart rate. 

To get the optimum fat burning heart rate, you need to take 70% from your maximum heart rate.

For example, I am 40 years old. I need to take away 40 from 220, giving me a 180 maximum heart rate. 70% of 180 gives me my fat burning heart rate zone, which is 126.

0.7(220 – 40) = 126 BPM 

After many years of using the old ways to measure the optimal fat-burning zone, NCBI has found that as we grow older, our heart rate slows down.

Thus they have introduced a new way to measure the optimal zone. The new, safer formula to calculate your MHR is 207 – (0.7 x age).

To determine the best heart rate for the fat-burning zone, NCBI has found between 61% to 80% of your MHR is an excellent base for optimal fat loss.

You can use our calculators by clicking on the links below to determine your maximum heart rate and your ideal fat burning zone heart rate:

How to lose belly fat naturally

woman laying down showing belly

Everything that we’ve covered so far, are all-natural ways to lose your stomach fat. Exercising, eating the right food are natural ways to lose belly fat.

Don’t even try to get liposuction or bariatric surgery if you haven’t REALLY taken action by following the above methods.

It can be done. Look, my body is not the best type. I gain weight quickly, and it’s hard for me to build muscle mass, but I still lost the dreaded fat belly.

Stop making excuses and do these tips to help you get those great looking abs of steel. The following are methods on how to lose the belly fat naturally.

Walk this way

I know how hard it is to get started after being sedentary for too long. The best news is that, after many repetitions, it will become a habit. You’ll soon feel guilty when you miss just one workout session.

To start you off doing cardio which you can do anywhere and less strenuous, you should walk.

Put on a good pair of shoes and get out of the house. Go shopping if you like that type of thing.

I go shopping with my partner, and she can walk around the mall for the entire day without one complaint.

Tell me, ladies, how do you not get tired from shopping for hours but complain after only 10 minutes of walking to the train station?

After a day or two or a week of walking, depending on your level, you should brisk it up a bit.

Walk to get your heart rate up and try to sustain it for 30 minutes.

Walking is probably the best way to do cardio as the intensity is not high and sustainable in the long term.

However, If you are a runner, then that’s a different story.

Run for your life (this might save you)

The stomach fat is the most dangerous compared to your arms, thighs or any other part of your body.

What lies underneath is visceral fat, a type of fat that leaks no-good substances to your internal organs, leading to many diseases.

Getting rid of visceral fat is the same as losing stomach fat. Follow a healthy lifestyle and sweat it out.

So, run like your life depends on it.

Running will also double your progress compared to walking. You will lose more calories in 30 minutes when you run.

There is no doubt about it if you want to lose your stomach fat as fast as possible, amp up your cardio. The more calories you lose, the more fat you are burning.

Start slowly to warm up your legs, then increase your pace. If you can sustain the speed for the whole 30 minutes of running, then that is great.

I don’t run anymore. Years of playing basketball have worn my meniscus so bad, that I get pain in my left knee after a hard run. Running degrades my meniscus further.

Play sports

group of guys playing basketball

Walking and running is boring for you? Why don’t you play your favorite sport? Mine was basketball as mentioned, and I played for years. As soon as I stopped, my weight gradually crept up.

If you have problems like a worn meniscus like me, that prevents you from playing sports, you can try swimming, and cycling. Swimming has less impact on your joints compared to running. Cycling doesn’t jolt your knee joints compared to running.

These are all-natural ways to lose stomach fat. Depending on your body and fitness level, following these simple and basic methods will have you seeing chiseled abs in a week.

What they don’t tell you about getting rid of lower stomach fat

Here’s the mind-blowing fact that you should get your mind around. You can’t target the lower stomach fat or the top.

Yes, you can strengthen the lower abdomen, but when it comes to getting rid of the subcutaneous fat (the fat you can pinch), it will take more than 1,000,000 leg raises. And no, 1,000,001 won’t be enough either.

The only way to get rid of your stomach fat is to bite the bullet and do some cardio, and you can’t do cardio using your lower stomach. Can you?

To further explain, you already have abs. The fat covers those abs; hence, you can’t see any lines. Once you get rid of those fat, the more visible your abs become. It is that simple, in theory.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best exercise to lose stomach fat?

When you ask someone this question, and they tell you to do more crunches and perform 100 variations of crunches, it’s fair to say. They don’t know what they are talking about.

The only way to lose your stomach fat is through a proper diet and, or, fat-burning cardio.

How do you get a flat stomach overnight?

This question makes me laugh all the time. It’s like wishing to win the lotto. The surest way to achieve something is through hard work, determination, and pure will. It is the same with losing your fat gut: 

  • lots of cardio
  • eat clean
  • not wishful thinking

Can you lose stomach fat without exercise?

Yes, you can. I did a ketogenic diet for 3 months and lost body fat doing absolutely nothing.

It doesn’t have to be a ketogenic diet. When you eat clean and less than what you take out, you are losing weight and body fat in the process.

How you burn fat at rest (BMR), and types of food that ramp up your thermogenesis determines your ability to lose stomach fat without exercise.

What foods help burn belly fat?

The following food helps trigger your thermogenesis and increase BMR. They can be found anywhere in the world. Eat or drink these foods, and you’ll probably never have to exercise to lose your fat belly.

Coffee – Limit your drink to 1 to 4 cups or 100 to 400 ml a day. This way, you’ll get the benefits without the side effects. This study from NCBI proves that coffee causes thermogenesis.

Fish – I love fatty fish, and I try to get at least 1 serving once a week. Fish provides Omega 3, which may reduce fat

Olive oil – Preferably, extra virgin olive oil is the best oil you can ever eat. It contains loads of monounsaturated fat to bolster heart health. The study from NCBI also supports claims it boosts the metabolic rate.

Chili – This study from NCBI found that chili helps increase metabolic rate and burns 50 calories per day.


Author

Christian Tanobey

Christian is a weight loss nutritionist who was born with the ability not to gain muscles and has been endowed with a slow metabolism. He achieved the impossible by shredding all his belly fat, and through this experience, he has helped others accomplish their ideal body. He is also the father of the most energetic baby girl, whom he calls “the energizer baby.”