Losing belly fat is a struggle that most of us face.
It’s the most stubborn fat to get rid of, it seems like no matter how hard your try it just sticks to you.
I use to be a gym rat, constantly working out to try to get stronger. No matter how hard I pushed myself, belly fat was always an issue.
It wasn’t until we went organic that things began to change drastically.
I went from 260 lbs to 160 lbs within 5 months!
On top of that, It was almost all fat, primarily in my belly!
How did I do this?
Well, I’m no expert, but here is exactly what I did and scientific evidence on why it works!
Let me also preface this by mentioning that there is a lot of annoying research out there on this topic.
Before I started writing this, I quickly read through several books and a bunch of online articles, and for this reason I have a handful of tips that I want to avoid because I think they’re useless.
Use smaller plates – because I won’t just go back and refill my plate 5 times
Eat only if you’re really hungry – Obviously, right? Depending on what you snack on, I don’t think anyone should feel guilty for wanting to eat.
Don’t eat at restaurants – There are few places that are healthy. That is, unless you have some local places that you know are healthy and fit with your guidelines.
I just wanted to say this because I found this stuff frustrating.
There’s a lot of reasons I need more sleep, so it’s useless having an article say, “Getting more sleep will help you lose weight.”
Yeah, it’ll help me in a lot of ways but I still don’t do it!
With that being said, I want to only offer what has absolutely worked for me without using any filler bullet points.
Drinking More Water
I know, this one is super obvious right after my rant about stupid obvious stuff.
But are you really drinking enough water?
I’ll admit, there are a lot of days I feel that I don’t. And I only drink coffee in the morning, otherwise I’m a straight waterholic.
With that being said, I still realize that my body is often begging for more hydration.
It’s something we all forget about but the main reason water is important for this is it aids your metabolism.
It helps your digestive tract along, which means your body is less likely to hold onto things that it shouldn’t be. In fact, not drinking enough water could cause your body to hold onto water weight!
Your body needs water to flush sodium out of your system, which can be another factor in weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Drink more water than you think you should, because if it’s excessive your body will get rid of it.
Eating More Fiber/Vegetables
Fiber is an important aspect of dieting for weight loss that often gets overlooked.
It is important to note that there are two types of fiber:
- Soluble Fiber – absorbs water and creates almost a thick gel within your gut. This type can help with constipation.
- Insoluble fiber – Does
notabsorb water, this type passes through your digestive tract and helps... clear everything out.
There are foods within each category that you should be eating regularly.
Soluble fiber has been shown to reduce belly fat in several studies.
One suggested that an increase of fiber by 10 grams per day can decrease the risk of developing belly fat by about 4%.
So it’s not going to be what makes a person completely skin-and-bones, it will provide a great benefit to your efforts in weight loss.
A factor to consider is that most of us have old food sitting in our gut. It’s gross, but it’s true. Getting rid of this will lead to some weight loss as well.
In the first month of my weight loss alone I lost nearly 30 pounds, and I lost it all in the bathroom.
Cleanses get a bad reputation honestly.
As a child I remember it being a joke to do cleanses. However, ironically the people that mocked the idea were the same people that needed it.
What is my version of a cleanse?
I like to keep it simple;
- Increase your water intake by around 50%
- Cut processed foods as much as possible
- Use an herbal cleansing tea (Dandlion root is a great cleansing tea)
- Consume as many vegetables as you can fit in your day. (I eat some monstrous salads during these periods)
- Eat fermented products (Kimchi, Kombucha, Sauerkraut)
- Go for a walk in the morning (Run if you wish, it’ll help you sweat more)
You can do more, and you could do less. It’s all up to the results that you want.
Cleansing provides your body and metabolism a much needed boost. It will make you feel more refreshed and ready to tackle bigger tasks.
When your body is loaded down with toxins and other harmful things it is obviously not able to run optimally. This will decrease your overall energy and sense of wellbeing.
Which will in no way help you lose weight. It will most likely make you want to forget about doing these steps altogether.
Eating Small Snacks Throughout the Day
We’ve all heard this with many diet trends;
“Eating 6 times a day will raise your resting metabolism throughout the day, keeping your body burning calories efficiently.”
I mean, this is the main reason I do this. The other part is I’m trying to be eating food as often as possible.
This is important because it will raise your metabolism. If you eat 3 normal meals, add several small snacks in between.
Good snacks would be:
- A sandwich with whole grain bread
- Fortified cereals
The idea is anything that is low in calories and high in fiber. The fiber will help you feel satisfied and satiated longer.
Celery would be another one, because your body could burn more calories to digest it than the celery offers. This means your metabolism gets a little boost, you get a little hydration, and your digestive tract gets those delicious fibers.
We still indulge ourselve, pretty heavily at times, but I have noticed that I feel more satiated throughout the day. I only feel really hungry when it is around my normal time to eat, which seems pretty natural.
Eating More Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are great for a plethora of reasons. We plan on going back to this again and again within blog posts. Furthermore, we have a lot of articles planned in the future regarding different benefits of consuming fermented products.
This is part of a larger topic, which is the effect of bacteria in our body, which we also plan on explaining further later on. (We have a lot of reading and writing to do)
Our microbiome is vast and expansive,
bacterial nuclei can outnumber our bodily cells 10 to 1!
I’m trying not to get into a tangent about how fascinating the emerging world of microbiology within our guts, so back to how it affects weight loss.
What exactly makes fermented foods beneficial for weight loss?
How do probiotics help with weight loss?
A number of ways, the first being something that we don’t quite understand yet, but something that has been proven through studies.
The balance of bad and good bacterias in your gut assists the regulation of a variety of vitamins, minerals, and even antioxidants.
The active enzymes in fermented products will also aid digestion which, to put it bluntly, it should make you excrete a good amount of weight.
I used to read the articles claiming, “You have 30 pounds of crud crammed in your Colon, here’s how to get rid of it.”
I never put any thought into this, I just figured it was trying to sell me something, which was probably true. I didn’t consider it until I literally lost 30 pounds within a month of doing my initial diet changes.
I can tell you that weight definitely came out of my digestive tract, and that aspect alone is what really made me quickly lose weight in my midsection.
Stop Eating Sugar
This is another topic that deserves dozens of articles explaining it.
We all know that sugar is bad, but we never really consider just how bad sugar is.
Here’s a couple points:
- Sugar causes insulin resistance
- Sugar can cause cancer
- Sugar has been proven to be more addictive than cocaine
- Sugar can cause heart disease
- It causes unstable blood glucose levels
- It can cause obesity
- It can hinder immune function
- It has been proven to affect learning in children
It gets really scary.
Especially as you grow older and realize that we have been force fed sugar our entire lives. It’s literally in everything, the next time you look at a soda label note the amount of sodium and sugars. Both of these are added in absurdly high amounts to make that beverage addictive.
Regarding the topic of this article, sugar also affects the production of leptin, which is directly responsible for us feeling full. Abnormal fluctuation of leptin levels can cause our minds to think we want more food than we normally would.
So if you’re serious about losing weight, sugar is something to look out for.
Varying Your Cardio Workouts
I know, cardio sucks.
I understand completely, it isn’t necessarily something that you have to do to lose weight.
It does help an awful lot, though.
Years ago I found myself in constant workout ruts. I increased the length of my runs drastically, but eventually hit a wall.
A really big wall…
After a lot of research, I found why I plateaued.
I always found myself doing the same exercises, mainly jogging or running.
I love going out into the trails, or the woods, or down backroads and run for miles. What I found, is that my love for this created a rut for myself because I stopped varying my exercises.
Basically, if you jog 3 miles every morning, week after week, eventually you will stop seeing results.
Even if you incrementally increase your distance, your growth will be hindered if you do not change up what you do.
For example, my week began to look more like this:
- Monday – Jog 3 miles
- Tuesday – Jog 4 miles
- Wednesday – Hill Runs
- Thursday – Cardio circuits (circuits of jump ropes, jumping jacks, etc.)
- Friday – Jog 4 miles
- Saturday – HIIT (High Intesity Interval Training)
- Sunday – Rest or long walk day
By varying what you’re doing week to week will not allow your body to get used to what you’re putting it through.
If you jog the same distance every day eventually your body will say; “Alright, I know how to do this and I’m comfortable.”
At that point, your body will be more efficient at doing that same run, which means you can perform the same exercise while actually burning less calories.
Do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High Intensity Interval Training is very effective in losing fat.
The reason being it creates an Oxygen Deficit. I had read about this years ago when I was about 15 or 16.
When you go on a normal jog, that is called aerobic activity. Your body needs to take the oxygen you get from huffing and puffing and convert it into Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP).
This is the energy that your cells burn. This process is called cellular aspiration, and the best way I could sum it up in one sentence would be:
If your cells cannot convert oxygen to ATP,
then it literally does not matter how much you gasp for air.
Beyond this aerobic state, we begin to push into anaerobic exercise.
Our body is able to still preform this process under great stress, such as sprinting.
During this process, your metabolism is spiked and your cells begin working harder to aspirate.
This leads to the Oxygen Deficit, which is simply a state of heightened metabolism after strenuous workouts.
This can be achieved with weightlifting as well, with shortened recovery time and heavier weight loads. Do not push yourself too hard, I have only used cardio for this.
For up to 24 hours after your intense workout, your body will continue to burn more calories than normal to compensate for the massive energy expenditure.
This process can be used sparingly to encourage your body to burn extra fat and calories.
It is very important to mention that you should not do this type of exercise more than once or twice a week. Doing this daily will overwork your body in a whole bunch of ways, and no one wants that.
Never take your workout that serious.
Dynamic Weights or Bodyweight Exercises
For those of you who truly detest cardio, and I don’t blame you, let me make a couple other suggestions.
As I said, I used to be a gym rat.
Weights were my life, I could spend hours in the gym going destroying my muscles for the next week.
I loved the progress I made and I became extremely healthy.
Looking back, however, I would absolutely not recommend this.
It’s not worth it.
It isn’t worth spending most of your day lifting weights, dieting, and stressing about gains.
I fell into this, and though I don’t regret it I have definitely learned from this period of my life.
The truth is, most of us are lifting hardcore weights for our ego. There are those of us that truly love weights, but I mean really that love only goes so far until our egos kick in.
What I would suggest:
- Mountain Climbers
It doesn’t matter, just choose workouts that include your entire body. Make sure that you’re including every tendon, ligament, and muscle correctly and avoid injury.
Don’t stress about working out, don’t stress about losing weight, because truth be told it doesn’t matter as much as we think.
Only do these things to be healthy and forget what everyone else is doing.
In the end, you should never take your workouts very seriously. overexert yourself trying to reach a realistic goal.
Your body has a limit, and you should know it.
Walking one hour per day could be just as effective as anything else, it’s all about consistency. You can work out hard for one week, then fall off for months. That is counterproductive!
So workout to be healthy, be never allow it to cause you stress.