How to lose belly fat? Belly fat is really easy to gain yet often the hardest area to lose. There are 2 types: the annoying belly fat we all know that covers your abs, and a more dangerous type of belly fat stored deep within your organs known as visceral fat. To find out how to get rid of both types of stubborn belly fat (most effectively), I reached out to 5 of the world’s most qualified fat loss scientists and came up with 5 easy steps anyone can easily start doing today to lose belly fat. Includes belly fat workout and nutrition tips.
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For the first and most important step, I spoke to Layne Norton. Scientific researcher, champion powerlifter, and honestly just a really smart dude who calls out BS when he sees it. Here's what he said about belly fat. There is research showing that exercise can reduce visceral fat without actually causing weight loss. So it is a good idea to exercise in general, but specific exercises are not going to target preferentially belly fat. The real key to losing belly fat is just getting into a caloric deficit consistently and doing it for long enough.
The most effective way to create the calorie deficit Layne talked about to lose belly fat is by modifying your diet. And that’s where our next expert Alan Aragon, one of the world’s top nutrition researchers and educators with over 30 years of success in the field comes in. Alan suggests to come up with a list of your 20 favorite foods by picking 3 across 6 food groups —high protein, fat, fibrous vegetables, starch, milk, and fruits — and making up the difference with 2 YOLO foods. Alan emphasized the importance of eating enough protein when dieting. Ending off, Alan shared an interesting finding: that when calories are matched, hypercaloric diets high in saturated fats may cause greater gains in visceral and ectopic fat than those high in polyunsaturated fats.
Now, let's talk about the right type of “belly fat workout” to do to help you avoid regaining belly fat as soon as your diet is over. To explain this is Eric Trexler, pro natural bodybuilder and published scientist with a PhD in Human Movement Science. Eric maintains that there are some major benefits of resistance training (reduce muscle mass loss, which helps with better muscle definition and appetite regulation) if you're trying to lose belly fat and really just trying to lose fat in general. Also, Eric reminds us that cardio can be a really helpful thing in keeping your expenditure higher when that non-exercise activity starts to go down over time. Everything that gets you moving — i.e., including NEAT — counts.
Even with nutrition and nailed down, there’s an often overlooked variable crucial when it comes to how to lose belly fat. Sleep, as explained by Exercise Science professor and body composition researcher Bill Campbell. Bill shared about a recent study that suggests that there may be a link to sleep restriction leading to overeating, which causes a gain in body fat that is preferentially stored in the belly region. So I would suggest that you get about seven hours per night. Note that sleep matters regardless of whether you’re in a calorie deficit or not. More specifically, one study suggests that lack of sleep alone may in fact lead to more muscle loss and less fat loss during a diet.
So you now know how to get rid of your stubborn belly fat. But there’s one more thing you need. Laurin Conlin, a master coach, exercise scientist, and IFBB Bikini Pro will help explain what it is. First, it's important to recognize that unless genetically you have little body fat on your abs and core area, you will probably need to get leaner than you'd think to lose belly fat. Second, take multiple measures of progress. You can use scale, weight, and measurements as quantitative feedback, but we also wanna look at qualitative feedback such as how your clothes are fitting, how you're looking, and how much better you're feeling. And lastly, and probably most importantly, be patient and recognize that you're usually quitting right before it gets good. It doesn't matter how perfect your program is, unless you remain consistent, you are short-changing yourself and your results.
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