Are you finding it difficult to lose that pesky bit of belly fat as much as people on Game Of Thrones found it difficult not to be beheaded? I bet you‘re if you‘re reading this.
Many people can lose a lot of fat quite easily but that last bit of jelly jiggle holds on for dear life.
In this article, you‘ll find why is stubborn belly fat so hard to lose and 5 specific steps you need to make to destroy that belly fat. Just like one of my clients did:
And no, it wasn‘t some magic pill that got her here. It was a couple of simple strategies that we will get into soon.
But first, we need to know why belly fat is so stubborn.
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Why Belly Fat Is So Stubborn
I‘m pretty sure you have read gibberish like detoxing, cleansing, evil carbs, metabolism-boosting foods help to burn belly fat.
Again, that‘s just silly mumbo-jumbo that is designed to sell you useless products.
The truth is that you can’t target a specific body part. You can‘t pick the spot that you want the fat to be burnt off from (source).
You can‘t just do gazillions of crunches and expect belly fat to vanish. The only way to burn belly fat is by reducing the total body fat percentage.
However, such a thing as stubborn fat exists. We all know that.
So why is it so hard to burn it off?
I‘ll try not to bore you with a long chemistry class like Walter White from Breaking Bad. I‘ll make it short and sweet.
You see, to burn fat for energy, your body produces chemicals called catecholamines (read article). They go through the blood and “hook up” to fat cells. Then, they act as a key and “open up“ fat cells.
These fat cells have two types of receptors for catecholamines to attach to:
So here‘s a massive difference between fat cells and “normal“ cells:
Body parts that you lose fat from easily have more beta-receptors and parts that fat holds on for dear life have more alpha-receptors.
The ratio between alpha- and beta- receptors determines how easy or difficult it is to burn fat.
Surprise, surprise body parts like belly, hips, thighs have more alpha-receptors than beta-. There is evidence that it can be up to eight times more.
That‘s why when you start dieting, you see shoulders and chest areas to slim down quickly. These body parts have higher beta- to alpha-receptors ratio.
So this is the reason why stubborn fat is so stubborn. Now let‘s see what are the five steps to get rid of belly fat.
1. Apply An Aggressive Calorie Deficit
I hope we all agree that to lose weight and belly fat you have to be in a calorie deficit. Period (source).
In regards to the right calorie deficit, there are heaps of gibberish opinions floating around in the weight loss community…
Some say you can‘t go lower than 15% deficit, some say 10% even.
And that‘s all crap.
In what world do you live in where you would enjoy dieting for 5 months with that 10% deficit? How far from the sun are we talking about???
Like I wrote in my book, you want to apply aggressive enough calorie deficit to lose weight quickly but not too aggressive otherwise you‘ll end up facing issues like muscle loss, binge eating, cravings, massive hunger.
That being said, I recommend sticking to ~25% calorie deficit. If you‘re heavily overweight, you could go with 30% even.
And this number isn‘t just out of the blue.
There is a cool study done by the University of Jyvaskyla where they had two groups:
- The first group had a 300 calorie deficit or about 12% below their total daily energy expenditure.
- The second group had a 750 calorie deficit or about 24% below their total daily energy expenditure.
At the end (4 weeks later), the 12% group lost just a bit of fat and little to no muscle mass.
The 24% group lost four pounds of fat and little to no muscle mass.
So that‘s no brainer to me. Most of my clients are on a 25% calorie deficit. It works like some Fat-Burning Wizard would wave a magic wand!
2. Eat High-Protein Diet
I‘ve already written heaps of fairytales about protein superiority when it comes to weight loss so I’m leaving the benefits out of this article.
To lose belly fat faster, we need to have adequate protein intake. That‘s where opinions differ. The recommended range starts with 0.4g/lb of bodyweight and goes all the way up to 2g/lb.
This number is sufficient to keep your satiety in check and retain muscle mass.
Struggling to get sufficient protein from whole foods? Here are my suggestions for high-quality protein powders:
- The best whey protein – Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder
- The best vegan powder – Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
- The best natural powder – Antler Farms 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein
- The best pea protein – Organic Pea Protein Powder
3. Lift Heavy-Ass Weights
Here are wise words from Ronnie Coleman, the winner of Mr. Olimpia title for eight years in a row:
“Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder — nobody wants to lift heavy-ass weights“.
When I heard him saying these words on youtube, I was dumbfounded by the profoundness in one single sentence!
Is there anyone in this universe that wants to lose weight and end up looking skinny fat? Well, that‘s what happens when people are too lazy to pick up a pair of dumbbells.
When it comes to having A BODY that your friends would ask “How the heck did you do this?“, weight lifting is the way to go. It will help you build a body that is worth looking at once that fat is gone (among many other benefits.)
Strength training with a smartly designed workout routine will preserve your muscle mass while in a calorie deficit or even build some if you‘re a beginner (source).
There are many ways to design a workout routine but I love full-body, upper/lower body, or push/pull/legs workout routines. These allow you to train the same muscle group more than once per week.
One session of full-body training might look like this:
- Barbell hip thrust (video)
- Walking lunges (video)
- Barbell bench press (video)
- Lat pulldown (video)
- Dumbbell lateral raise (video)
- Barbell curl (video)
- Tricep pushdown (video)
Whichever way you‘ll go, make sure your program has one horizontal row movement, one vertical row movement, one pressing movement, and one hip hinge movement pattern.
If you still have no clue how to design your workout plan, get one that I designed, maybe?
4. Use Supplements Wisely
Here’s what we know as a group of boisterous health and fitness geeks:
Most supplements on the market are a complete waste of your money.
When you hear someone telling you “this magic pill will burn your belly fat“, your Bullshit Detector should go off the charts…
First and foremost, every supplement is useless if you fail to apply a calorie deficit.
Assuming that you applied calorie deficit, certain supplements could give you a little push towards vanishing that gelatin on your belly.
Even though supplement companies want you to believe that every supplement will bring you rainbows and unicorns, that‘s not the case in reality.
If you did your own scientific research, you would have found only a couple of supplements that are backed by science.
In short, here are supplements that have solid support from the research:
- Caffeine – increases the body’s daily energy expenditure. Thus, making your body burn more calories (source).
- Synephrine – increases your body’s daily energy expenditure, inhibits receptors that prevent fat mobilization, and is considered as an effective appetite suppressant (source).
- Creatine – technically, not a fat burner but it increases strength, builds muscle and endurance too. It helps to preserve muscle mass when losing weight too (source).
Again, I‘ll sound like a broken record but these supplements will speed up the fat-burning process only if you‘re in a calorie deficit.
If not, they won‘t be able to give you a significant fat loss just by themselves.
5. Become Frodo!
Have you ever watched The Lord Of The Rings? Well, losing belly fat is a lot like it.
No, you won‘t have to travel to Mordor or fight Smeagol.
When Frodo took the Ring to Rivendell, to the fellowship of the ring, he thought it‘s time to go back home, to the Shire.
Soon Frodo realized the ring is his burden. He has to be the one that takes the ring to Mordor.
In your case, belly fat is your burden, your “ring“.
I‘ve read this analogy the other day on Carter Good and it fits here brilliantly, doesn‘t it?
Losing belly fat (and weight in general) won‘t be simple neither it will be quick. It will take time.
But you’ll get there even when faced with crappy weekends and holidays. Just make sure to have more “better“ weeks than crappy ones.
No jibber-jabber here – it will take time to get rid of belly fat. No magic wands, pills, and workout routines will do that for you.
Stay on track, lose weight aggressively, but not too aggressively, train and you‘ll get there. There‘s no reason why you couldn‘t since everyone around you gets that flat belly.
Need help getting started? Hire me, maybe? And please sign up for the FREE 14-Day Fat Loss For Life Course.