Burn off Stubborn Belly Fat with these 5 Steps
Belly Fat is the biggest problem area for about 90% of people trying to lose fat, as its typically the last place it burns off… Not what you want to hear and it is even more frustrating, if you exercise regularly and eat a pretty healthy diet.
So what can you do?
Eat small meals 4-5 times a day which should include quality protein(1), eat more fat(2), get more rest(3), exercise less(4) but at a higher intensity(5).
- Try to consume quality protein each meal. The quantity of protein in grams should be a minimum of the same your total body weight is in kilograms (kg), so if your weight is 80kg you should consume a minimum of 80 grams (gr) a day, 80gr : 4 meals = 20gr each meal. Please do not consume too much protein in one go (for an 80kg individual it’s not advised to consume more than 40 gr in one meal) as generally the body is unable to absorb much more adequately every 3 hours, and more than likely will protest and excrete it - what a waste that would be.
- One of the biggest reason why people that exercise and eat well, still suffer from excess stomach fat, is because they have too much cortisol in their body. And the best way to combat high cortisol is to include more omega 3 fatty acids in their diet (salmon, herring, grass-fed beef/butter, free range eggs, etc.). Although most nuts, some seeds and avocado have omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory), they’re also high in omega 6 fatty acids (pro-inflammatory) , so it is best to consume these foods in moderation.
- The other (perhaps more obvious) factor that increases your cortisol level in your body and hinders fat burning, is lack of quality sleep. During your sleep is when your body heals, your tissues regenerate and when you burn fat, so getting enough sleep is vital. But keep in mind, that not all sleep is created equal. For instance getting 8 hours of sleep from 10 pm to 6 am is better than getting sleep from 12 am to 8 am. Both 8 hours but getting to bed earlier produces higher quality of sleep. It is best to sleep in complete darkness without any ambient light. To allow your body to optimally recover, try and get to sleep in complete darkness, between 10-11pm and wake up between 6-7 am.
- If you’re used to exercising an hour or more a day, it’s best to cut your time in half or less if ‘to shred belly fat’ is your main goal. When it comes to fitness (and burning optimum amounts of fat) quality trumps over quantity every time. Workouts using functional full-body exercise is best for burning fat. Although cardio is synonymous with fat burning, doing excessive long cardio sessions like running, biking or any other forms of cardio is not as effective and can increase your cortisol levels perpetuating a vicious cycle of fat retention.
- Exercise is (still) stress, so any form of exercise will increase your cortisol levels. But short intense exercise sessions have shown to decrease cortisol levels post workout, much more than doing long exercise sessions.
Please note that these recommendations are most effective when eating a diet high in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates (refined grains and sugars) and moderate to high amounts of protein. Eating this way will effectively re-program your body to optimally burn fat as your major fuel source (not carbs) and enable you to burn off stubborn body fat most effectively.
Please contact me on for any further details.
Roel Jansen (RJ)