The question I asked myself for years is how do I lose my belly fat? My journey has started and I'm doing quite well so far, with 34lb lost since February 2018. Time of writing that's 5 months. Let's take a look at the first steps necessary to begin the burning of the belly fat!
How do I lose my belly fat?
It's a common question that you hear a lot of people asking, including me! We'll look at the first few steps necessary to get going. I've found that by taking these steps I've managed to rid my middle region of a considerable amount of fat already!
What you should know to begin with though in short, is that there is no way to specifically target the belly fat only, but you can reduce it along with fat that is stored elsewhere on the body.
Imagine filling a bath with water, you can't just scoop some water from the middle of the bath and have water either end, and none in the middle. It's the same with the human body, as you lose fat it comes off from everywhere... even the places you didn't know you had it such as the neck, ears, face, toes & fingers.
Research how you intend to start.
There are so many ways to lose weight, a lot of them are effective, a lot of them are not so effective.
In essence, you need to expend more energy than you put in. Is it that simple? Well yes, but we have a habit of over complicating things and this health and wellbeing industry is full of methods and "quick fixes".
You need to find the method that is suitable for you. The one that you look at and say to yourself "Yes. I can do that". So whether that's a local club just for losing weight, or a combination of exercise and controlled dieting.
My website is just one example of the sites out there that are intended to offer inspration, but there are many more you can explore. Here's just a few ways you could aim to lose weight;
- Join a gym
- Join a club like Slimming World or Weight Watchers Check out my review of both organisations here
- Home workouts
- Diet pills
- Juice diets
- Detox plans such as the 21 day drop a jean size challenge.
Decide on how you're going to do it and write it down. Make a commitment to yourself and say out loud "This is the way I'm going to lose my belly fat!"
Make a commitment to yourself and say out loud "This is the way I'm going to lose my belly fat!"
Eating the right stuff
You can make the decision to go to the gym 7 days a week and train for 4 hours a day, but if you don't eat right, you're not going to see the benefits. Sure, you may be able to lift a car, but you're still going to have those love handles. Going to the gym or exercising is not the only thing you need to do to lose belly fat.
You have to expend more calories than you put in, but those calories also have to contain the good stuff. Yes Dominos pizza is gooooood, but we know it's not the right kind of "good".
When you start eating cleaner foods, then the calories become far more beneficial to you. If you eat really clean, then there comes a point that you can almost never eat too much!
...and it's processed sugars that are the real enemy!
A weight loss journey is about educationg yourself about the right kind of things to eat that will eventually lead the loss of belly fat, and what to avoid. We're in a society that says "Zero fat this" and "zero fat that" that we don't actually realise a lot of the time how much sugar is in those products, and it's processed sugars that are the real enemy!
What are clean foods? Well I'm glad you asked as I created a list of my top 10 clean foods for you.
Drink plenty of water.
This is absolutely essential for losing weight. It's so difficult for your body to let go of fat when it's not hydrated. We actually lose fat when we pee, poop and even breathe! This BBC News article gives more info of how we expel fat from our lungs.
Two to four liters of water a day is an ideal amount. (It depends on your level of exercise) You will be surprised how much weight you can lose quickly in just 7 days of consuming this amount. Not to mention the fact you'll be walking/running to the toilet more! If your pee is yellow, you're more than likely dehydrated and need to drink more.
Don't drink excessive amounts, just set a timer on your phone or try a mobile app such as these Android and iPhone apps reviewed by Healthline.
Introduce exercise gradually.
If you're going from no exercise at all, probably the worst thing you can do is to go overboard. You may think too much is better than nothing, but trust me from experience, it just hurts like hell, and you're far more likely to quit sooner rather than later.
Having high aspirations and long term goals is great and you definitely need them such as being able to run 10km, but setting goals too high in the short term can lead to burnouts and injury.
You don't want to set out on your first run thinking you'll do 3 miles, because a few things will happen;
- You may only get to the end of the street before you stop
- You'll then get de-motivated and think it's too hard
- You may push through and injure yourself.
If, for example, you want to start running but have never been before. Get out there and take a little jog to the end of the street. Break it down into bitesize pieces. Then the next street, then run back home.
Once you've set yourself a small short term target and acheived it, then extend it a little, then a bit more, and gradually you'll be running further than you realise.
This goes for any exercise, whether its weights, cardio or bodyweight exercises. Rome wasn't built in a day, but they worked at it everyday.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but they worked at it every single day.
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Photos and measurements!
This is so important. Search the internet for before and after photos and there is an abundance of them, yet not many people mention the importance of taking the photos and measurements.
The camera never lies. The tape measure (when someone else measures) never lies either, nor does the scale unless you're holidng on to the rail to make yourlsef lighter, stop it and no breathing in!
We can hold ourselves in the mirror a certain way, or even avoid mirrors altogether like a vampire (do vampires avoid mirrors?), so the light hits us flatteringly, or we can use the bathroom mirror that makes us look that liiiitle bit slimmer.
A photograph will say it exactly how it is.
Use your starting photo to motivate you, and you must take measurements, especially if you're starting a strength training program.
Why are measurements so important?
If you progress with a strength training program, you're going to be building lean muscle. The tape measure will clearly show you where you're losing inches from, even if the scales don't. I recently did the detox that I mentioned earlier and all in all I lost 16lbs in 21 days. On the second week, the scales didn't show I'd lost any weight but the tape measure was clear where the inches had gone.
Keep a log of the measurements along with the dates. It's fascinating to look back and see what you once were. The measurement around my body (at the belly button point) was 46" inches when I started and it's now down to 37". When I hold the tape measure around me at 46" I can't believe that I was actually that big!
Set a day each week and take photos and measurements. Keep a log.
Consistency is key.
I'll repeat it because it's something I have to keep telling myself... Consistency is key.
It's no good doing one week of good eating and two days of exercise if you then don't do anything for the rest of the month.
Whatever you start off with, just be consistent. If you decide to start with not eating white bread and doing two days a week of exercise, then that's a start, but do it consistently. If you miss a day exercising, don't worry, just get back the next day and carry on.
Be as consistent as you can. Today's efforts are going towards next months body.
Patience is the other key.
I'm a magician for a living, so that is one thing reuiqred for that job... patience. You have to be patient and keep at it. Like learning the latest card trick, you can't just read the book then expect to do be able to do it without putting the effort in.
It takes time and patience and will get out what you put in. I'm still going at it and I have a long way to go until I get my abs. At the time of this post I've lost 34lbs, which for UK readers is 2 and a half stone.
If I can do it, you can too.
Summary. The key points to losing belly fat: (and fat from everywhere else)
- Choose your method that you're going to lose belly fat with. If it's not for you, then you can try something else, just don't give up!
- Introduce exercise gradually. You're not Moses Kiptanui, (Wiki link to who that is) so don't try and run before you can walk.
- Document your current shape and measure yourself. On the scales and with a tape measure.
- Perserverance and consistency. Keep it up and keep doing it.
- Water, water, everywhere. Drink plenty throughout the day. You'll be surprised how much more energy you have!
- Eating the right stuff read this for clean food ideas
- Patience. The results WILL come. If you work at it, and eat well, the results will follow.
Have fun with it, find something you enjoy. For me it's Bootcamp as there's a lot of variety and people to push you along the way.
How are you getting on? Did you find this helpful?
Leave a comment or question below, I check in on the site every day!