If you’re looking for the answer on how to lose belly fat naturally then this is going to be the place to be.
There are a lot of people who want to lose their belly fat especially with spring and summer around the corner.
With warmer weather means more shorts, t-shirts and other slightly revealing clothes. Belly fat is going to be the last accessory anybody wants to be flaunting this summer.
Now is the time to shed that “winter coat” we let build up during the cold winter months.
Unfortunately, most people end up trying to lose their belly fat with more crunches, sit-ups and cutting calories.
This never works to get rid of your belly fat for good.
Here you’ll find the best-proven methods for reducing your belly fat naturally.
How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally 101
First off, to lose your belly fat it’s a good idea to find out why you got it in the first place.
Belly fat seems to be the most stubborn fat to lose because it never seems to go away no matter what you do.
Losing your belly fat naturally isn’t only about cutting down on your calories.
Even if you end up losing some weight the belly fat never seems to go away. This can leave you feeling frustrated and hopeless you’ll never get rid of it.
There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there on how to naturally get rid of your belly fat. To find the right solution you need to look at the core of the problem first.
Eating too many processed foods, lack of exercise and hormonal imbalances are the root of the belly fat problem.
Insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and leptin are the main hormones causing you to gain belly fat. It can wreak havoc on your body when these hormones get out of whack.
Your appetite hormones (ghrelin + leptin) control how hungry you are as well as how satisfied you feel after eating.
So if these hormones aren’t balanced you’ll feel hungrier causing you to overeat on food.
Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can cause your belly fat to build up. Raising insulin levels will also increase the amount of belly fat your body will gain.
You’ll reduce your belly fat the better you’re able to clean up your diet by eating healthier food choices and exercising more.
Why Your Belly Fat Is Dangerous
There are two kinds of belly fat; subcutaneous and visceral.
Subcutaneous belly fat lies right underneath your skin and is the least dangerous of the two.
Visceral belly fat is the deep abdominal fat that surrounds your organs and can be dangerous.
This visceral abdominal fat is right next to many of your vital organs such as your liver, kidneys and digestive organs.
Visceral belly fat can pump out stress hormones and inflammatory cytokines. These can have a big effect on your insulin production.
This visceral stomach fat is much easier to get into your bloodstream. This leads to clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and other metabolic problems.
Getting rid of your belly fat naturally is going to be a big part of preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.
An easy beginner tip is to watch the company you keep.
Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who aren’t subconsciously holding you back.
This study found a person’s risk of becoming obese increased 57% if a close friend was also obese.
It’s more important now than ever to finally get rid of your dangerous belly fat naturally before it can cause serious problems down the road.
Increase Your Muscle Mass
There’s a good chance if you see somebody with belly fat they will also have a very small amount of muscle on their body.
The more muscle you have on your body the more sensitive you’ll become to insulin. This will lessen the amount of glucose you have in your diet that becomes body fat.
And the best way to build more muscle is to lift weights.
Unfortunately, many women think lifting weights is going to cause them to pack on a ton of muscle.
This isn’t true.
Women don’t have the testosterone to gain bulky muscles like a bodybuilder would.
Be sure to use more multi-joint, compound movements in your workouts. A couple examples include deadlifts and squats.
Spot reduction is possible, but it’s not an effective method to lose your belly fat. But the more muscle you build throughout your body the better you’ll be at reducing your tummy.
Both lifting heavier and lighter weights will help you build muscle.
Whether you decide to lift heavier weights or lighter weights make sure you push yourself to fatigue for best results.
Clean Up Your Diet
There’s a saying in the fitness community that your “Abs are made in the gym, but revealed in the kitchen.”
This is 100% true.
Even if you’re exercising like a madman you still won’t be able to lose your belly fat if your diet is trash.
Getting rid of the processed foods, refined carbs and sugar from your diet are going to be the biggest factors in helping to drop your belly fat naturally.
These bad foods leave you feeling hungrier afterward so you’ll end up eating more and more of them.
Instead, eat more nutrient-dense foods such as the ones found in my list of superfoods or belly fat burning foods.
Some of the best foods you should be eating more of include lean proteins, green veggies, and healthy fats.
Be sure to limit your alcohol consumption as well.
The infamous “beer belly” was named that for a reason.
Drinking alcohol can lower the testosterone in men and can increase estrogen levels leading to a “beer belly” or “man boobs.”
Here you can find more on alcohol and weight loss along with the best drinks to minimize the damage..
Be sure to kick the artificial sweeteners in your diet to the curb too.
This study by Yale University found artificial sweeteners were linked to an increase in abdominal obesity and weight gain. Even drinking diet soda can cause you to gain belly fat.
High Protein Diet
As your body starts to age it’ll produce more insulin. Insulin also promotes fat storage in your body.
A good way to combat this is to consume a diet higher in protein.
This study found obese women who followed a high protein diet for 8 weeks lost significantly more visceral belly fat than women on a low protein diet.
The macronutrient breakdown of the high protein diet was 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 30% fat.
You’ll gain more lean muscle from a higher protein diet. And like we found out earlier the more muscle you build the more your body will burn fat and calories.
An easy way to get more protein into your diet is by adding a quality grass-fed protein powder. I’ve been using this low carb, grass fed and naturally sweetened protein powder and absolutely love it!
Good Fats = Less Belly Fat
Contrary to popular belief eating more fats isn’t going to make you fat.
It’s the opposite.
For most people, you’ll end up losing weight and belly fat by adding more good fats to your diet.
This study by Ohio State University found safflower oil helped to lower belly fat while increasing the good cholesterol in subjects.
The American Heart Association found eating more almonds helped to lower visceral belly fat.
Most of the fats you eat should be from unsaturated food sources.
But you shouldn’t throw saturated fat out the window just yet.
Recent research has found the hate towards saturated fats has been overblown. In moderation, saturated fat is necessary for optimal health.
Here is a list of good fats to eat to help promote weight loss.
HIIT Cardio Is King
One of the reasons most people aren’t able to exercise is because they don’t have enough time.
It’s the biggest excuse I hear as a personal trainer.
The good news is you’ll be able to get twice the results in half the time with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
HIIT cardio is perfect for maximizing the number of calories you’ll burn in the shortest time possible.
Here are some of the best HIIT workouts you can try right now.
Of course, long traditional forms of cardio can also be effective for helping to get rid of your belly fat.
But long slow-go cardio can become repetitive and boring for most people. We don’t like sticking with things that are boring.
Your joints will also take a pounding with long cardio sessions. The odds you end up injured rise the more you run.
It doesn’t do you any good if you can’t workout any longer because you’re injured.
Go Low Carb
In my 10 years as a personal trainer and nutritionist, I’ve found most people with weight problems get better results on a low carb diet.
Going on a strict low carb diet will help your body to burn more fat for energy. This happens since you’re depleting it from its main fuel source glycogen.
The only times I don’t recommend a low carb diet is for athletes, hard-gainers, and women with hormonal problems.
Getting the bad carbs out of your diet alone will help big time to get rid of your belly fat.
Low carb diets have been proven to help many people lose weight without having to go through the dreaded “hunger pains” most low-calorie diets cause.
You can also take a look at intermittent fasting for weight loss to better keep your calories down.
The health of your gut plays a major role in losing your belly fat naturally.
Eating more fermentable fiber can help to improve your gut microbiome. It’ll also help to lower your cortisol, therefore help to drop your abdominal fat.
Fermentable fiber is also known as prebiotics. Prebiotics are what nourish the healthy gut bugs in your digestive system.
This 2011 study found those who increased their soluble fiber intake by 10g a day ended up losing 3.7% of their subcutaneous belly fat after 5 years.
Another study found kids saw significant reductions in body weight after going on a diet rich in fermentable fiber. They also had improvements in gut bacteria.
One last study found oligosaccharides, a kind of prebiotic, helped to increase the feelings of being full leading to weight loss. The no prebiotic group ended up gaining weight and had no improvements to their hunger.
You’ll be able to reduce your belly fat and lose more weight by supplementing with probiotics.
Take a look at my blog post featuring the top 10 gut healing foods.
Get More Sleep
One of the most underrated proven ways to slim your stomach is to get more quality sleep.
There’s a proven link between not getting enough sleep and weight gain.
You’ll end up feeling exhausted without enough sleep and your willpower will diminish significantly.
This means you’ll end up skipping workouts and binging on your diet.
Not getting enough sleep will also disrupt your hormones. The “fight or flight” hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline will be chronically elevated in your body.
This will limit the ability your body has to burn fat while promoting belly fat storage.
This 2010 study by Wake Forest University found routinely getting only 5 hours of sleep per night led to increases in belly fat.
Try going to bed at the same time at night too.
This study by Brigham Young University found chaotic sleeping patterns can cause your internal circadian clock to go wild.
This can also cause your body to release more of the belly fat storing hormone cortisol.
Natural Belly Fat Boosters
Trying adding some apple cider vinegar, green tea, and cayenne pepper into your diet for quick ways to lose more belly fat naturally.
This 2009 Japanese study found those who consumed a tablespoon of vinegar daily saw big losses in body weight.
I take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix it in with a full cup of water. Make sure you rinse your teeth after drinking it as the acid can wear down your tooth enamel.
Drinking more green tea will also help you to lose more weight around the midsection.
This 12-week study found those who drank more green tea ended up reducing body fat.
Green tea is one of my favorite weight loss drinks and it should become a staple of your diet if you want to lose belly fat.
Also, try adding cayenne pepper to give your body a belly fat burning boost.
This study by the British Journal of Clinical Nutrition found those who consumed capsaicin (the main ingredient of cayenne pepper) saw an increase in fat burning.
You can find more of my tips on how to use cayenne pepper for weight loss here.
Too many sedentary jobs today have people finding themselves sitting long hours in a chair.
Having a desk job will be a surefire way for you to end up getting a spare tire.
Investing in a sitting-to-standing desk or even a treadmill desk will help you stay active throughout the day.
Try walking on your breaks and using the stair instead of the elevator when you can.
Take your dog for a walk in the morning or after work.
It might sound like it’s not much but the more of an active lifestyle you can live the less belly fat you’ll build up.
This study by the American Journal of Physiology found jogging the equivalent of 12 miles week helped the participants to lose belly fat.
How can I reduce my upper stomach naturally?
Lucky for you losing the upper belly fat is usually the first to go as opposed to the more stubborn troublesome area in the lower stomach. The first thing you have to do is to focus on your diet and add a high-intensity exercise program in such as the one you’ll find here.
The Last Word
Trying to find the best answer on how to lose your belly fat naturally can seem nearly impossible.
Even if you end up losing weight the stubborn belly fat never seems to go away.
Cutting your calories and doing more sit-ups isn’t going to be the long-term answer.
You’re going to have to make some lifestyle changes such as…
- cleaning up your diet
- exercising more
- getting enough sleep
- living more actively
For a complete solution on how to finally lose your belly fat fast then you have to check out my Flat Belly Formula system.
It contains a complete belly fat burning diet and training program that’s proven to work with science-based strategies.
Getting rid of your belly fat might seem impossible, but if you do what’s proven to work then you’ll find yourself with a flat stomach sooner than you think.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.