How To Lose Belly Fat: Basics, Tips, And Techniques

Woman cyclist drinking supplement to lose belly fat

Belly fat is arguably the worst kind and sometimes the hardest to lose. Belly fat is mostly visceral fat. It’s much deeper than the fat that causes cottage cheese thighs or that waddle under a chin. It surrounds organs and invades much of your abdominal cavity. The real problem with this type of fat isn’t the way it looks but the health concerns associated with it.

It isn’t uncommon for people that don’t appear overweight to harbor unhealthy stores of visceral fat since it hides inside you and doesn’t start showing until the problem is pretty bad. That’s not to say all thin people have deadly fat hiding in their gut, but if you eat anything you want and fail to gain weight, you may be at risk for the same obesity-related diseases as overweight people.

Green smoothie for losing belly fat

Several diseases and conditions may be directly related to the amount of visceral fat your body is storing. Some of these diseases and conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Joint inflammation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Artery diseases
  • Sudden heart attack

Carrying around too much fat isn’t healthy no matter where it is stored in your body. However, fat near your skin is much less dangerous than visceral fat. Your body needs fat to function correctly, and it needs to store some fat for various reasons like emergency energy stores or even adding a little cushion here and there.

Subcutaneous fat, the fat you find when you pinch your waist or under your chin is easy to lose. By easy, we mean changing your diet to include a nutritious meal plan and exercise. If you eat right and get yourself moving, subcutaneous fat goes away quickly depending on how much you need to lose. Visceral fat is much more robust and often hangs out in areas that don’t move much during exercise.

So, visceral fat is usually the last fat stores to leave. Your body uses visceral fat, at healthy levels, to protect some organs and it plays a few other roles like helping out your endocrine and immune systems. At unhealthy levels, visceral fat chokes organs and may reduce blood flow to some organs. The end result of carrying a lot of visceral fat for years is terrible any way you look at it.

What Causes Visceral Fat to Grow?

measuring and preparing to lose belly fat

The first step to getting rid of anything is understanding how it works and what factors affect it. The leading causes of visceral fat include chronic stress and consuming too many carbohydrates. We know, you don’t eat stress, but stress does cause your body to store more fat. Stress-related hormones reduce your body’s rate of fat loss and increase the speed at which it saves fat.

Carbohydrates, especially fast digesting carbs like sugar, increase the insulin levels in your blood. Insulin is responsible for directing carbohydrates on their journey through your body, among other things. A rapid spike in insulin caused by processed foods and carbohydrates turns off fat cells. That’s right, like a switch it tells fat cells to stop sending fat to the liver because you have a ton of carbs to use for energy.

The result is not fat is burned for fuel, yet excess carbohydrates get stored as more fat. Hormones and some genetic issues may contribute to weight gain but eating poorly and refusing to exercise regularly get most of the credit for adding fat to your body. If you’re under stress constantly and eating poorly, your chances of accumulating extra visceral fat are much higher than average.

How to Lose Subcutaneous and Visceral Belly Fat Through Dieting

Orange juice for losing belly fat

Losing fat is losing fat, right? In a sense, it is but subcutaneous fat responds well to almost any legitimate meal plan provided it’s balanced, and you lower your calorie intake to force your body to burn fat. For instance, if your body needs 1,500 calories each day to stay exactly like it is now, removing 300 calories from your daily intake may cause weight loss. It won’t be fast, but that’s how it works.

If you add a workout program to your weekly routine, you’ll increase the rate of fat loss. However, exercising alone does little to remove fat. You’ll lose more water than fat which gives the appearance of weight loss. Losing weight and building a healthy lifestyle lives and dies in your kitchen. What you put in your body fuels your muscles or adds fat.

Diets that include a lot of processed foods and carbohydrates help increase your bodies deposits of visceral fat, so removing these two things will help if you don’t do anything else. We recommend trying a ketogenic diet or any high-fat diet. A high protein diet works too, but if you aren’t exercising regularly the excess protein won’t get used, and your body can’t store protein. It may be bad for your kidneys too.

They key to losing visceral fat by changing your nutrition plan is removing carbohydrates or removing fast digesting and processed carbs. Good carbs digest slower and don’t cause insulin spikes in your blood. Two excellent examples of good carbs include oatmeal and sweet potatoes. Both taste good, and the carbs in them digest slowly to provide sustained energy levels.

Citrus fruit for losing belly fat

Intermittent fasting may help you lose weight up to ten percent faster than dieting alone. However, fasting isn’t for everyone and sticking to it requires some willpower the first few times you try it. It seems easy in theory, but your body will fight you and hunger is a hard enemy to beat. The best approaching to fasting is starting slow and working your way up to longer times.

The two most popular ways to fast include 24-hour fasting and scheduled eating. With 24-hour fasting, you just don’t eat for 24-hours and force your body to live off of water. Some fasting programs allow you to drink other beverages but never anything with carbohydrates, protein, or fat in it. Start this process slowly with some test fasting periods of eight to ten hours the first few times.

Scheduled eating programs may not get considered fasting by purists, but it is a form of fasting that works. The concept is simple, set a time period in the morning and another in the early evening where you don’t allow yourself to eat anything. For example, do not consume anything except water before 10 AM or after six in the evening.

Fasting isn’t a license to eat anything you want when fasting periods end. You need to stick to a nutrition plan that includes healthy foods to improve your fat loss rate. Fasting is just a way to speed up the process a little and shock your body into burning fat. No plan to lose weight works if you keep eating junk and letting your taste buds win.

Exercise Regularly to Lose Belly Fat

Jeans after losing belly fat

Like we mentioned above, probably a few times, losing belly fat begins in the kitchen. You may exercise hard for two hours each day and not lose any fat if you continue to eat junk or overeat. If you want to lose belly fat through exercise, you must feed your body correctly and force it to metabolize its fat stores for energy.

The best exercise program for fat loss is, arguably, high-intensity interval training or HIIT. HIIT programs are brutal, so prepare yourself and start slow. HIIT combines cardio and resistance training to test the limits of your endurance. In the process, it really speeds up fat loss. Cross fit, lifting weights, and cardio all help, but HIIT is by far the best if fat loss is your primary goal.

Motivation is a rare thing, and it’s hard to motivate yourself to meal prep and exercise. If you need help, find a personal trainer or ask the staff at your gym for help. Don’t go at it alone based on information you found online. Get serious about your health and find the right solutions for your body. Make up your mind now to change your lifestyle and never look back.

Disclaimer: How to Lose Belly Fat

Abs exercise for losing belly fat

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s safe for us to assume your health is important to you. The worst thing you could do is go into any diet plan or exercise plan without understanding the consequences. Older adults and people with body fat percentages over 20 percent should consult their doctor before any abrupt changes to their diet.

Talk to your doctor about any exercise program you plan to start. You need to know if your body can take the abuse. This goes double for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or any heart condition. If your doctor doesn’t want you attempting HIIT, ask them what type of exercise they recommend for you. Follow their advice and don’t take any chances with your health.


measuring belly while holding a salad for losing belly fat

We know millions of people suffer from obesity and weight control problems, so referring to fat loss as easy wasn’t a jab at you. The road to weight loss is simple but finding time and motivation may prove difficult. Personal trainers and apps that log your food intake and exercise intervals help out a lot, so use these tools.