How to Lose Belly Fat... Fast
Today, I am going to give you a way to lose the fat from your belly. And along with explaining it, I will tell you exactly how to get started.
This is a very simple strategy.
In fact, it's so simple that the vast majority of the people who read it will take no action and decide that it's not for them.
They'll continue the search for that special diet, weight loss supplement or "secret" combination of exercises that will help them lose belly fat.
Most will suffer from "paralysis by analysis," feeling so confused by all the different ideas and theories that they end up doing nothing.
One year from now, the vast majority will look exactly the same as they do today.
In truth, there are no secrets.
Yes, I know that everyone’s going on about interval training these days as if it’s some kind of “magic bullet” when it comes to losing belly fat.
With all the hype, you'd think there are dozens of studies to show that it consistently leads to a greater rate of fat loss than steady-state cardio. But, as I’ve explained in Interval Training and Fat Loss: The Untold Story, there aren't.
So I won't promise a magic bullet, as it seems every website on nutrition and exercise seems to do these days, because there isn't one.
I have no snappy Three Letter Abbreviations (TLAs), "underground" training methods or “closely guarded” fat burning secrets to share — just a proven strategy for delivering results.
So, if I woke up tomorrow, looked in the mirror and saw a big fat belly staring back at me, here's what I'd do to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
Step #1. First of all I'd pick up a pen and a piece of paper and write down exactly how I wanted my body to change. This would be an "outcome based" goal, such as dropping 30 pounds of fat or stripping 5 inches off my waist. I’d also find a picture of the way I wanted to look and put it on my bathroom mirror so I could see it every day.
Step #2. Next, I'd set up a number of “process based” goals, such as eating X number of calories per day, exercising for a total of 200 minutes per week, eating at least 500 grams of fruits and vegetables per day, and so on.
Then I’d create a daily checklist and tick off each goal at the end of the day. My goal would be 90% compliance. So if there were 5 goals per day, I’d have 35 goals each week (5 x 7 = 35). A 90% compliance rate means that I’d need 32 ticks each week.
Step #3. I'd lift weights 2-3 days each week. This would improve my body composition in two main ways:
Firstly, with a properly designed strength-training program, I'll burn fat both during and after my workout.
Second, if I didn't do some kind of resistance exercise while dieting, a lot of the weight I lost would come from muscle as well as fat.
I wouldn’t worry whether it was called metabolic resistance training, hormonal resistance training, or any of the other fancy names that people are using to “dress up” old training methods and pass them off as something new.
The routine would be based on squats, deadlifts, rows, chin-ups (or pulldowns) and presses using heavy(ish) weights and low (5-8) repetitions. I'd also include some higher repetition work and supersets. Each workout would take around 45 minutes.
I’d use whatever resistance was available – barbells and dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, fixed resistance machines, my own bodyweight – to get the job done.
Step #4. Then I'd add some cardio. Some of this would be interval training, using the “wave” approach described in How to Fight Fat and Win, and some of it would be plain old "vanilla" steady-state cardio. I'd make sure that I was training at least five days each week.
Step #5. I'd follow a simple diet based on the principles outlined in A New Way to a Leaner Body. To avoid having to count the calories in every meal, I'd follow the advice of Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle author Tom Venuto and create a number of different meal plans.
"If you get bored eating the same thing every day," says Tom, "you can create multiple menus, or just exchange foods using your one menu as a template. Using this method, you really only need to count calories once when you create your menus."
I’d start by creating six meals — two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners. Then I’d come up with a few different snacks that were portable and quick and easy to make. Something simple like an apple and a handful of nuts would do the job just fine.
Each day, I’d simply “pick and mix” from my meal plans, which would stop me getting bored of eating the same old stuff every day.
And if I was eating out a lot, or I just couldn't be bothered with planning my meals, I'd follow these three simple nutrition rules, the latter two of which come courtesy of fitness professional Jill Coleman (of Metabolic Effect fame)...
1. Eggs for breakfast.
Lunch is always a salad and never a sandwich.
3. Dinner is always protein and vegetables.
Step #6. I wouldn’t worry about the glycemic index, eating six small meals a day, not eating carbs after [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE MYTHICAL TIME OF DAY HERE], the effect of certain foods on my insulin levels, or any of the other minor details that don't matter even half as much as some people say they do.
Step #7. I'd allow a couple of free meals each week, probably at the weekend, where I’d indulge in a few of my favorite foods.
Step #8. I'd monitor my progress on a weekly basis. Although I'd measure my body composition, I wouldn't be a slave to the results (mainly because most widely available body composition tests are notoriously inaccurate). I'd be more interested in the way I looked in the mirror, my strength levels in the gym and the way my clothes fit.
I'd also adjust things every week or two based on the results I was getting. If I noticed that my rate of fat loss was slowing down, for example, I’d make some adjustments to my calorie intake and then assess the results. I’d stay committed to my goal while remaining flexible in the approach I used to reach it.
Step #9. I'd be patient. I wouldn't have completely unrealistic expectations, such as losing 25 pounds of fat in 25 days. I'd also accept that there's an "upper limit" on the rate at which fat can be lost. Because of this, my rate of fat loss would gradually slow down the closer I got to my goal.
So in the early stages of my program, I might be losing 2-3 pounds of fat per week. But as I closed in on my target bodyweight, I'd be happy with perhaps 0.5-1 pound of fat loss per week.
Step #10. And then I would sit back and watch the fat drop off my body.
If you enjoyed this post, there’s a good chance you’ll also like Truth and Lies about Building Muscle: 10 Muscle Myths Debunked By Science.
It's a FREE 20-page special report (PDF) I put together to debunk 10 popular myths that are still widely believed, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Click here now to download a copy.
About the Author
Christian Finn holds a master's degree in exercise science, is a certified personal trainer and has been featured on BBC TV and radio, as well as in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Fit Pro, Zest and other popular fitness magazines.
If you want better, faster results from the time you spend in the gym, click here now for instant access to his step-by-step muscle-building and fat-burning workout routines.