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Lose Belly Fat – Is It Really Possible?

Lose Belly Fat

Yes! Of course it is! Don’t give up! There is hope. The key is to understand how your body works and to have a comprehensive plan that you will execute over a reasonable period of time. Translation: this is not a quick fix. But, remember, it is doable! Take the turtle approach, slow and steady, and you’ll get there.

Now it is true that fat cells don’t disappear unless you surgically remove them. But you don’t need to go that route because fat cells can shrink! You may think “Oh, boy, this is going to be difficult.” It will take work, yes, but remember it’s not impossible. There is a solution. You can trim your tummy. This is great news!

I’ve assembled a guide here that includes the best tips from my own personal experience as well as other experts in the fields of diet, exercise, and stress-management.

The tips below work best when combined as an overall program. The three areas we’ll cover are diet, exercise, and anti-stress strategies. Get committed, create your personal plan, and you will lose your belly fat!

If you want the total solution in full detail, check out my ebook “The Secrets to a Healthy Life,” which details the fully researched health regimen I used to lose 15 pounds and become a much healthier and happier person. (And yes, a flatter tummy too!)

Diet Tips for Losing Belly Fat

If you want a sleeker tummy, then you’ll want to lose weight overall and more specifically you’ll want to lose fat. Spot reductions are not feasible. However if you carry most of the weight in your mid-section then the good news is that’s where you will see the results first. Here are the tips for healthy dieting:

1. Weight Loss Plan.

2. What to Eat.

  • Balanced Diet where your calorie breakdown follows these percentages approximately: (check out How to Eat Healthierfor more information)
    • 35% lean protein (vegetarian is healthiest – beans, nuts, tofu, seitan, lots of green veggies)
    • 35% high fiber carbohydrates (shoot for 25-30g fiber per day)
    • 30% healthy fats (olive oil, flaxseed oil – bear in mind you can’t cook with flaxseed oil, add it to salads or already steamed vegetables for flavor and other important nutrients)
  • Eat lots of vegetable and fruits that have a low glycemic index. Here is a list of foods and their glycemix index. To reduce fat, steam your vegetables or stir fry in broth.
  • Drink Your Fruits/Veggies! This is an easy way to eat healthy. Blend up smoothies, vegetable drinks, or quick puree soups. I can’t recommend anything more highly than a VitaMix blender. It’s a little pricey, but they last a lifetime and they make eating healthy a breeze. I love mine!
  • Consider taking a CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid), 1000mg 3 times a day with meals. In studies CLA was shown to reduce body fat, in particular in the belly area. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, check with your doctor first. UPDATE: I no longer recommend CLA supplements. I don’t think that CLA will hurt you, but from all my research, it appears that the most effective, safe, and healthy way to lose weight is to follow a whole foods plant based diet called a Vegan diet. Also check out Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedmand and Kim Barnouin. (FYI: It’s not a diet of misery. It’s a delicious way to eat, otherwise I wouldn’t do it!)
  • If you eat meat, buy organic meats which have lower saturated fat content and higher natural levels of CLA.

3. Resources.

 

Exercise Tips to Lose Belly Fat

When trying to lose belly fat the important thing to remember is to include whole body exercises and to rotate your workouts in order to continually provide a challenge for your body. Otherwise your body becomes acclimated and does not receive as much benefit as if you vary your workouts. So for example if you always jog 30 minutes every day, that will be less effective than if you do different types of workouts every few days. Here are the exercise tips for losing tummy fat:

1. Do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Brisk walking or jogging are great low cost exercises to do, but anything that you enjoy and that gets your heart rate up is fine. Shoot for at least 3-5 times per week at a minimum. Here is an excellent article on varying your jogging workouts. And here is an article on how to become a runner.
2. Do whole body workouts 2-3 times per week such as yoga (strenuous) or Pilates or a weight-lifting program. These types of exercises will build muscle, increase metabolism, and make losing fat easier. Here is a link to my favorite yoga and Pilates videos.
3. Instead of cruches, try these Army exercises that strengthen and tone your stomach as part of a whole body workout.
4. Hold your stomach muscles in during the day whenever you can think of it. This will strengthen your abdominal girdle and create a flatter stomach.
5. Sit up straight and pull in your stomach muscles when sitting. You might want to create physical reminders to do this such as a post-it note at your desk or a loose rubber band around your wrist.
6. Stretching. Take breaks throughout the day to do back bending stretches that will stretch out your stomach muscles and keep them from becoming shortened which is not good for your stomach or your back.

Additional Resource: Check out “Why Is Exercise Good for You?” This gives you information on all the cool ways that your body changes when you exercise. It’s very motivating!

Anti-Stress Strategies for Losing Belly Fat

You may have seen commercials for supplements that will help you regulate the hormone cortisol in order to lose belly fat. Well controlling cortisol is very good idea, however supplements are not the way to go. What you want to do is reduce the stress that produces the cortisol hormone.

Cortisol is a hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism and blood pressure. When you encounter stress, including lack of sleep, cortisol boosts your energy level by producing glucose. If you have chronically high stress levels then you’ll have too much of this hormone. This will keep your appetite stimulated and also keeps glucose production high. The body converts excess glucose into fat, which is usually stored in the midsection for quick access by your body.

How do you neutralize the stress of daily life? With relaxation techniques. Here are some helpful ideas:

1. Get Enough Sleep. Only you know how much sleep you need, but if you are routinely dragging during the day feeling sleepy, lethargic, exhausted, etc., then you probably need to get more sleep.

2. De-Stress Breaks. Take small breaks throughout the day, say every 1-3 hours. On the break you can:

3. Try Tai Chi, Qigong, or Yoga a few times a week.

  • Here are a list of my favorite yoga videos.
  • Here are two Qigong videos I recommend:
  • Qigong for Stress Relief – Francesco Garripoli
  • Qigong beginning practice – Francesco Garripoli

4. Meditate Daily. Meditate for 10-20 minutes 1-2 times per day, once in the morning and once in the later part of the day. This will set the tone for your day and help curb the automatic stress response. Here are a few recommended meditation and self-hypnosis guides:

5. Calming Guidance. Consider listening to positive audio tapes in your car or on your daily exercise. The one that I highly recommend is Andrew Matthews, “Happiness and Success” audio program. The website is one of those salesy sites, but never fear, this is probably the best self-help product I ever bought. I listen to it often and always refer my friends to his books and audio programs.

Other Considerations When Trying to Lose Belly Fat

1. Hypothyroidism. If you follow all these steps and can’t lose weight check with your doctor as you may have an under active thyroid which can throw off your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.

2. Buddy Up for Success. Enlist a friend, colleague, or family member to join your challenge. You’ll be more successful if you have someone to encourage and push you!

3. Hire a Personal Trainer. Think of all the stuff you buy that you don’t need. Why not spend money on something that could make a real difference in your health? This is great if you need help with discipline or with crafting an exercise routine.

4. Make Healthy Eating Easy. Fruits and veggie eating is the best way to be healthy and lose weight. You can eat as much as you want! Blend them into smoothies and soups. I can’t recommend anything more highly than a VitaMix blender. It’s a little pricey, but they last a lifetime and they make eating healthy a breeze. I love mine!

Please Share!

Do you have a success story on losing your tummy fat? If you’re just starting let us know so we can all encourage you! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you want the total solution in full detail, how I lost 15 pounds and got a flatter tummy, check out my ebook “The Secrets to a Healthy Life.”

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

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207 Responses to Lose Belly Fat – Is It Really Possible?

  1. The Ab Man September 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    Great article. You have some really good ideas here. Pretty much anyone can get a flat, attractive belly if they are just willing to do what it takes. If anyone is looking for a great program to help you do just that, check out The Truth About Abs. I highly recommend it.

    • agentsully September 30, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

      @Ab Man – Wow! Very complete program. I’m going to add it to my recommendations list.

  2. Joe October 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    I am thin everywhere except for a huge belly!..My belly history is kind of funny i was too skinny till about 14 (people virtually used to force me to eat )Then i started putting on weight a lot of weight but only in my belly area . I lost all of it when i was 19 i was back to my skinnyself…I am 27 now and have a big belly and its time to get rid of it .Its gonna be a lot of work though.I weigh about 216lbs now(Now the same people who forced me to eat ask me to eat less 🙂 )

    1)Walk and Run .I can really walk at will i have been walking for like 8 Miles a day in about 120minutes ..I have been doing it for a week despite everyone advising me against it becuase it could hurt my back in the long run! .Except a little bit of stiffess in my body i dont really feel any pain..Run i really havent tried since i got this fat but i could easily do about 3miles nonstop.

    2)Diet- Now this is something i have never tried in my entire life 🙂 fat or not fat ..I am an Indian so it means i eat lot of rice lot of very spicy and oily meat(Curry as we call it 🙂 ) .I dont drink very often but when i do i almost do a full bottle of Bacardi with coke , I also smoke a lot almost 15 cigs a day… I have worked in almost 15 countries now that hasnt helped too much because in some countries they havent heard the word “Vegeterian”If you are wondering which country most Arab countries are like that 🙂

    Any advises on the right way to go to loose my belly would be appreciated ..Wish you all good luck with your 6packs 🙂
    Cheers
    Joe

    • agentsully October 11, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

      @Joe – my advice would be
      1)to keep up the walk/running. Just do an amount that is safe for your heart. If you’re unsure, check with your doctor.
      2) start building some muscle a few days a week with resistance training such as weight training. Fat Burning Furnace is a program I have used that has an excellent program for doing this. I highly recommend it.
      3)Cut out liquid calories like Coke and alcohol.
      4)Eat a lot of nutrient rich foods like veggies, fruit, beans. Fill in with whole grains too. And last, if at all, would be organic lean meat or fish. (FYI -meats are not necessary)
      5) Reduce or eliminate high sugar, high (animal and trans-)fat foods, and other foods with lots of chemicals.

      Over time, you WILL lose your belly if you do these steps
      Bonus advice: Quit smoking so you can enjoy your life and your reduced belly!!! Check back soon. I will have an article on how to do this very soon!

  3. slimming body wraps October 26, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    What a great article, I particularly like that you included meditation and yoga. Those are two of my favorite ways to relax after a hard day.

    You could also include using a stomach focused slimming body wrap as well, some people achieve excellent results using them.

  4. flat-stomach November 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    My girlfriend could do with reading this thanks esp the stress lol

  5. Amanda November 16, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    Hi, just found this site and found it very encouraging. I am looking to loose 20 pounds in the next month for a photo shoot and just started back on my exercise and healthy eating routine. I started my own internet business a couple of years ago and in the last year and a bit spent thousands of hours behind my computer ending up eating anything that was quick, easy and a sugar rush, because of this 25 extra pounds crept up around my midsection and thighs especially. At 42 it’s harder to loose then before but I was always had high energized days of physical exercise from gardening, house work, three kids and waitress in busy restaurants so keeping myself slimmed down wasn’t as much of an effort. I miss my toned body, even if I don’t get down to as slim as I was. Question if you can answer it. As I work out with 30 minutes of cardio then 30 minutes of alternating days of free weights and yoga, will I really notice a change in my weight on my scale since I’m also building muscle and muscle weighs more then fat? Just wondering if I should be a scale watcher and be discouraged if I don’t notice the number dropping on the scale but feel slimmer, lighter and more toned. Thanks for any help you may have .. Let’s Get Fit!!

    • agentsully December 8, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

      @Amanda – to answer your question, try to stay away from the scale for the first few week to a month, because, yes, muscle does weigh more so although you’ll be getting slimmer and more toned, your weigh might not change much as you transition some of your fat over to muscle.

      Also, don’t forget to watch caloric intake. It must net out to a deficit of calories in order to lose weight. You can exercise a lot and still gain weight if you are not eating right. Don’t starve yourself, but cut back a bit and over time you will lose the weight!!

      Good luck!! Please check back with us and let us know your progress!!

  6. Stephanie Rose November 29, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    What a thorough article! I completely agree with the idea of using a personal trainer to lose weight in a healthy way. It’s not a luxury so much as an investment in your long-term health. Personal trainers will hold you accountable, and create personalized, targeted training sessions for you. Losing fat should really be a whole-body, lifelong experience.

    Thanks again for the great article!

  7. Joe December 8, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    @agentsully
    Its been almost 2months since i first logged in and its time for a progress report i lost about 8kgs in two months ..I do feel very thin except fr the belly its still very much there doesnt even look like im gonna get rid of it anytime soon ..but im happy its been a good two months my energy level has really gone up .I really cut down on my smoking from about 30 cigs a day to 4 cigs a day and ive been completely nonalcoholic for these 2months but that will change soon with christmas coming up change in work location ..My workout really consists of treadmill these days i jog in an average speed of 6miles for an hour evry day..Plus some crunches stuff like tht..I really havent got into weights yet.I am working out without an instructor so im just being cautious .so thanks fr all ur help it seems to be working out for me..The next time i will write here i will be in Astana ,Kazhakhstan its a place which is the very definition of the word “cold” it gets to about -45 degree Celsius 🙂 ….I dont know how the hell im gonna workout there but im sure there will be a way ..so Cheers thanks again .. have a nice X’mas

    • agentsully December 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm #

      @Joe – Good for you! Keep at it. Something I’ve noticed, that I should probably add to the article is that cutting out or cutting down sugar really helps a lot. Excess sugar is converted to belly fat very fast and whenever I keep my sugar intake low, I notice it right away in the belly. Good luck in Kazakhstan. You’ll probably want to work out indoors or maybe take up chopping wood. 🙂

  8. Amanda Walton December 9, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    @agentsully — Thank you for your response. I took your advice and have stayed away from the scale. In the last month I significantly changed my eating habits and read and record all my caloric and fat intake but because I have chosen healthy food and eat small meals and snacks throughout the day I’ve noticed a significant difference. I’ve fit back into my old clothes still a tad bit snug but another little bit around the butt and thighs and they will fit perfect again. My body has toned quite a bit again using free weights, elastics and yoga mainly plus doing a lot of dancing since it’s more enjoyable then just the trainer equipment. I haven’t been back on the scale but can see the results in the mirror and lost the love handle bulge with only a tiny bit left to go. My abs need a little more toning but my obliques and hips are toning nicely. I’ve been drinking alot of water and white tea with only one or two cups of coffee a day where I was drinking coffee and pop a lot through the day. It’s been a challenge not to reach for the sweets but replacing my cravings with raisins and fruit have certainly helped. I also eat the all fibre cereal instead of other ones I’d eat. It’s a little bland but putting fresh fruit in to sweeten it up in lue of sugar makes it a great filling breakfast. Great site with great information and inspiration to keep up healthy weight and eating habits.

    • agentsully December 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

      @Amanda – good for you! Thanks for checking back in! What you describe is easy to put on paper but not easy to follow through on everyday. Good for you! I’m sure you will inspire a lot of people! Keep it up!

  9. David December 11, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    Hi all

    I commented here about a year ago when I was at my wits end with Belly fat! so I thought I would give you an update on how I’ve been getting on!

    I have lost LOADS! I feel GREAT and I am full of energy! But let me tell you – swimming doesn’t really work as I thought it would. It helped a wee bit but nothing major. So for most of the last year I have been swimming everyday like crazy trying to loose the flab!

    Well I REALLY started to loose it doing weights! This is the secret! no books – no programmes – no shakes – no products! Just weight training is indeed the cure!

    I had to move to Amsterdam after I finished college and I managed to find a small gym nearby work. They do personal training and WOW have I learned loads! Forget trying to do it yourself – it is like trying to learn Java Programming without a Computer Science degree! you might be able to get your programming running but your code will be crap and will not stand up to real world use! (yes Im a computer geek!)

    Ok anyway, so I’ve been doing LOADS of special training, all weights and a small bit of cardio – of which I can do myself. I go twice a week for training and I run the extra day when I can to try and make it 3 times a week. I eat 6 times a day and it is fantastic! I am also vegetarian so I had to get help with that and now it’s fab!

    So guys don’t loose hope! I’m proof it works!
    David

    • agentsully December 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

      @David – That is Awesome! Thanks for checking back and sharing your amazing success and learnings!!!

  10. David December 16, 2009 at 5:32 am #

    Wow enjoy Kazakhstan – what I can say however is that the belly is the hardest to go – but it goes!! My trainer told me to expect 6 months with no or little results – and then after 6 months effects will start to happen. He joked saying that people go to Personal Training in January to be fit for the beach in June – however that is actually not possible! It takes between 1 and 2 years to be flat packed – but you know – it all starts with today! And it’s an investment in health – and looks! So it’s worth it!!

    I give myself treats for it all – like I went to Budapest last weekend just to relax and chill in the natural outdoor thermal baths – last year I did that and I felt fat! now I felt great!!! and I know each time I visit those baths I will look flatter each time 😀

    • agentsully December 31, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

      @David – I never heard this before! This should be very helpful for those people either just starting out or at the 5 month mark who are feeling frustrated! Thanks for sharing once again!

  11. Green Mountain K Cups December 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    I searched everywhere for a low-glycemic fruits and vegetables online table. Thank you! Pilates video is a favorite of the page that you mentioned? A list of 10 of them.

  12. Oxygen Concentrator March 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Its pretty much common sense. No matter how hard I try though, I don’t think I will ever look like that person in the picture. LOL.

  13. loose belly fat March 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Most of people dreaming to lose fat in short time. It takes a long time to gain much fat and so it cannot be lose in a healthy way in a few days.

  14. BodyBuildInner March 29, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    It takes effort and time to have such body. Nowadays, there are lots of medicines available on the market but nothing can’t beat exercises routines.

  15. James Tretinoin Dalton June 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Great information, but you forgot to talk about water. Drinking water is so necessary. It not only cleanses the system, but also helps to speed up certain processes. Great information by the way.

    • AgentSully August 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

      @James – YES! Water, of course! So so important. Thanks for bringing that up!

  16. nina June 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    This is a great article with a very thorough analysis and information. I love the fact that things like meditation are included – sometimes if we get the insides right it can help to improve exercise efficiency

  17. cygnusk June 11, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    Wow there are so many methods to lose belly fat. Some I even don’t know of before! Many thanks for this awesome article. I’ve included this article as a link to my web page of course with your permission. Really looking forward for your next articles! =D

  18. Valentine Fahrendorff June 22, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    Hi, I enjoyed reading your blog, thanks for posting.

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