Posing belly is one of those topics on which the Internet is full of scandalous idiocies. You will find many obsolete tips, which are not scientific or are adapted from other sites by an author without much knowledge on the subject.
That’s why I’m going to give you in this article 12 tips for losing belly fast that REALLY work and are scientifically based. This is the best article you will find (perhaps never) if you want to know how to lose weight.
In this article, you will discover:
- Why breakfast blocks fat burning
- A type of exercise that burns 7 times more fat than cardio
- Why good fats stimulate the burning of fat
- The 5 main causes of abdominal fat
- Differences between men and women in terms of fat burning
- How you can lose weight in a short time, 3 times 20 minutes a week
To be clear from the beginning, I’d like to begin with a warning …
Warning: Localized fat loss is impossible
Localized fat loss is simply impossible, which means that you can not lose weight specifically from your stomach, legs or buttocks. Have you ever seen on the beach someone obese, but with a super flat belly?
Indeed, it does not exist and will never exist. Even the best diet pills (which never work) in the world will not help you.
The illustration below shows the most logical transformation:
I realize that the vast majority of my visitors already know that localized fat loss is not possible. You can not lose fat specifically on the belly, legs, buttocks, or any other area of the body.
Slimming the belly: the differences between men and women
There are a number of differences between men and women when it comes to abdominal fat.
Do you have too much abdominal fat?
To determine if you have too much abdominal fat and if you really need to lose weight, measure your waist. The following rule applies:
- Men: you have too much abdominal fat if your waist reaches 94 cm or more
- Women: you have too much abdominal fat if your waist reaches 80 cm or more
Where is fat stored?
When a man stores fat, it is mostly on the abdomen, while women store fat mainly at the belly, hips and thighs.
For whom is it easier to lose belly?
For women, losing belly fat is harder because the female body stores more fat for fertility purposes.
It is an evolutionary development that allows women to have enough energy for the fetus during pregnancy.
How to lose belly and get a flat stomach and firm?
A flat and firm stomach is obtained in the same way for men as for women. The only difference is that it is more difficult for women to have visible muscles.
Fortunately, this is not a problem, because almost all women do not want to look so muscular. They want above all to have a flat stomach without too much fat.
What percentage of body fat does one have a flat stomach?
Here is the general rule:
- Men: a fat percentage of about 13 to 16%
- Women: a fat percentage of about 19 to 22%
From what percentage of fat are the abs visible?
Here is the general rule:
- Men: a fat percentage of about 12% or less
- Women: a fat percentage of about 18% or less
The picture below will give you an idea of the percentage of body fat in men and women:
Now, let’s tackle the 5 FATAL errors that prevent losing belly fat.
Mistake # 1: Want to lose belly using cardio
It may shock you, but if you want to lose fat or lose weight, cardio (for example, running) is not the best way!
While cardio burns calories, there is a price to pay. Here are the disadvantages, which apply particularly to long-lasting cardio exercises:
- A large production of cortisol, an anti-stress hormone. This hormone is released in response to stress. Its role is to limit the damage caused by stress as much as possible. However, this hormone promotes the storage of fats ( source ), especially at the level of the abdominal belt ( source , source ).
- A decrease in testosterone, a hormone that stimulates the burning of fat. Yes, this hormone is also important in women!
- The effect on insulin sensitivity is rather low, so fat storage is not necessarily diminished ( source ).
Later in this article, I’ll explain which type of workout is best for cardio.
Mistake # 2: Consider fatty foods as enemies of belly loss
Eating fat does not necessarily make you fat. There are many sources of good fats such as nuts, olive oil, avocados, fish oil, etc.
While fats are high in calories, they provide a greater sense of satiety. In addition, they maintain insulin levels low, knowing that the body stores fat when insulin levels are too high.
Some fats like coconut oil stimulate fat burning and can help you lose belly fat. I will return more carefully to the good fats a little later in this article.
Mistake # 3: Want to lose belly with abdominal exercises
Some people think that you can get a firm belly just by using abdominal exercises, but this is far from true. Your diet is of far greater importance to lose your abdominal fat and lose weight.
It reminds me of the famous English expression:
Abs are made in the kitchen!
With abdominal exercises, your belly is less likely to relax and therefore becomes firmer. A big plus, especially after a pregnancy.
As your abdominal muscles get stronger, they can also become more ‘defined’. This means that the shape of the abdominal muscles becomes more apparent.
In addition, abdominal exercises strengthen the abs, reduce the risk of lower back pain, help prevent injuries and improve balance and stability during daily activities such as standing, walking, sitting, etc.
Mistake # 4: Want to lose weight with pills
It seems obvious that this is a mistake, but there are still people who believe in fairy tales among those who wish to lose weight quickly in the abdominal belt.
Abracadabra, a simple pill for a flat stomach!
Do not start taking this junk! There is one type of pill that helps to lose belly and get a flat stomach in a healthy way. I’m talking about omega 3 pills. But we’ll come back to that later.
Mistake # 5: Want to lose belly using a diet
There is something to be tired to repeat, but the fact is that diets do not work, not even to lose belly!
About 2 out of 3 people gain weight, while the last of 3 do not lose a lot of weight.
So be sure to start any diet!
Excess abdominal fat and overweight are due to an unhealthy lifestyle. No more no less. Here are the 5 components of such a lifestyle:
- Consume more calories than you spend (note: I will discuss exceptions a little further)
- Eat too many simple / refined / processed carbohydrates ( source , source )
- Eating processed foods
- The lack or absence of physical activity
- Prolonged / chronic stress
Whether you have a flat stomach does not mean that you are necessarily healthy! The fat around the organs, called abdominal fat or visceral fat, is actually worse than visible fat.
Abdominal fat is associated with type 2 diabetes , high blood pressure , high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, cancer and many other diseases.
The following 12 tips tackle all the mentioned causes and will help you to lose belly quickly … Let’s start right now!
These tips can be found in the video below and in the text that follows.
Tip # 1: Skip breakfast from time to time (important!)
But Hugo, I thought it slows the metabolism and it’s bad for your health?
Well no ! Far from it, by the way!
The idea that metabolism slows down when skipping a meal has never been scientifically proven. It has never been an unconfirmed theory. Strange, then, to see how much this belief has taken root in people’s minds. I call this the “myth of metabolism”.
One study showed that you burn exactly the same number of calories in the day that you consume 2,000 kcal a day during the same meal, or that you divide the same meal into 5 to 6 servings at the same time. throughout the day (if all other factors are the same). ( source , source )
Your metabolism will only slow down if you eat nothing for more than 3 to 4 days (72-96 hours) ( source ). At this point, you switch to “starvation mode”. When you eat, the calories will be stored more quickly.
Fasting for short periods speeds up the metabolism ( source , source ). For example, a study of 11 men shows that the metabolism accelerates by 14% during a fast of 3 days ( source ). This duration is however questionable: other studies show that the metabolism remains unchanged during 3 days of fasting ( source , source ).
The idea that skipping a meal (such as breakfast) is bad for one’s health is also a myth. Here is a summary of the many scientifically proven benefits of skipping breakfast:
- Insulin sensitivity increases, which promotes fat burning
- Growth hormone production increases, accelerating fat burning
- Cell repair is enabled
- Blood pressure drops
- You increase your life expectancy (up to 30% in rats)
- And much more…
You can throw in the trash the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
The only drawback is that you might want bad foods, like sweets or fast food. You will have to hold then take a full lunch. Tips # 2, 3, 7 and 8 below will help you reduce your craving for food. Incidentally, studies show that it is quite easy to skip meals ( source ).
But how is it interesting to skip breakfast to lose belly?
Good question !
It’s easy enough to explain. Your body uses two sources of energy, namely:
- Glucose (which you get from carbohydrates)
Your body can be in one of two modes:
- Mode 1 : burning sugars
- Mode 2 : fat burning (also known as ketosis)
In mode 1, the body uses glucose as a source of energy. When glucose is depleted, the body starts to use its glucose reserves. It is glycogen, mainly stored in the liver and muscles.
In mode 2, the body uses fat reserves for its energy supply.
To switch to mode 2, you must not eat for 6 to 8 hours! When you wake up in the morning after, hopefully, about 8 hours of sleep, your body is in fat burning mode.
And what do most people do? They have breakfast!
You will understand that the body then immediately goes into mode 1, namely in sugar combustion mode. Which unfortunately means that you do not burn fat.
The best thing to do is to skip breakfast once in a while (1 to 3 times a week) so that you can continue burning fat. When, on the other hand, you have breakfast, I recommend you to follow Tip # 2.
But Hugo, I will not have energy and I will have my head spinning!
No energy? It does not make sense: you use lipids as a source of energy, which allows you to get more than twice as much energy as sugar. In fact, 1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 kcal while 1 gram of fat equals 9 kcal.
It is true, however, that you could have your head spinning. This is because your body has always been used to burning sugar and now has to change its mode. Since you force your body to burn fat, your body must adapt. The condition you reach when your body starts to burn fat is called ketosis.
You will sometimes feel powerless or dizzy in the first week, or even the first two weeks, but not longer. To maximize fat burning, exercise before going to lunch. I advise you to lunch around 12h.
It is therefore advisable to proceed as follows 1 to 3 times a week:
- Skip breakfast
- Play sports around 11am (it can also be a few simple exercises at home)
- After the sport, have a full lunch around noon
In order to burn fat and lose belly during your sleep too, I recommend not to eat after 8pm! So you eat between 12h and 20h, but you eat AS MUCH as you normally would.
This is to reduce the amount of time you are allowed to eat for 8 hours, which is the most common form of intermittent fasting. You may find this practice difficult to combine with your work hours and meal times. You will then have to think about how to make it practical for you.
Summary tip 1 : 1 to 3 times a week, skip breakfast and eat around noon.
Tip # 2: Have a high protein breakfast
Skipping breakfast everyday would be a bit of an exaggeration. It is sometimes advisable to surprise your body to challenge it, because any challenge makes it stronger.
There are three reasons to avoid carbohydrates in the morning:
- This allows the body to stay in fat burning mode
- Carbohydrates have a high absorption rate
- Carbohydrates lead to high insulin production
I’m talking about processed carbohydrates like bread. That does not mean you have to say goodbye to bread! On these topics, take a look at Tip # 8.
The reason for eating protein in the morning is that, as different studies show, they provide a great sense of satiety. Here are the consequences:
- We think of eating 60% less often ( source )
- The desire to eat a snack in the evening decreases by 50% ( source )
- We eat more than 400 calories less per day! ( source )
So that’s a great way to lose more belly.
Summary tip# 2 : Start the day eating protein like a fried or boiled egg, meat, tuna or poultry!
Tip # 3: Eat more good fats
This seems contradictory to some people, but you will lose more body fat if you eat enough good fats and reduce carbohydrates, instead of eating as little fat as possible.
It’s not a question of completely giving up carbohydrates. Your brain still needs a little glucose and muscle recovery also requires glucose. The best sources of carbohydrates are vegetables, fruits and oatmeal to replace bread, pasta, potatoes or rice.
To lose belly fat and take care of your health, it is important to eat good fats. These include fats that contain omega 3 fatty acids. These have the following advantages:
- They reduce your level of cortisol, in other words, stress ( source )
- They stimulate the burning of fat and help to reduce your fat percentage ( source )
- They suppress the feeling of hunger ( source )
Omega 3 fatty acids are found especially in oily fish, for example:
- The salmon
You should eat fatty fish 2 to 3 times a week for a sufficient intake of omega 3 fatty acids. If you can not get it or you eat little or no fish, I advise you to take an omega 3 supplement. in addition to eating healthy fats.
The best supplement for this purpose are Neptune krill oil capsules. If you really want to take slimming capsules, these are the most effective! Scientists have established that these capsules significantly increase fat burning.
What is the dose to take? Scientific studies show that the optimal dose is 1,000 mg per day. These 1,000 mg should include EPA and DHA. The percentage of EPA and DHA per capsule (often 500 mg) is indicated on the package.
Krill oil contains EPA and DHA fatty acids, which have a positive impact on the motivation center of the brain ( source ). A big plus if you also want to play sports. If you are a vegetarian, you can turn to seaweed oil. If you are looking for a cheaper capsule but of good quality, opt for fish oil.
In addition, be careful not to use margarine or sunflower oil for cooking and fried foods. Prefer them the real butter, such as butter from pasture cows, or coconut oil.
Coconut oil has many benefits, such as increasing your metabolism and promoting fat burning. The idea that saturated fats like coconut oil would be harmful is just a myth. Behind this kind of advice, we often find the interests of the food industry that wants to continue to benefit from the sale of margarine.
Summary tip # 3 : Eat more omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil to lose belly faster.
Tip 4: Split up
I have already pointed out that cardio workouts will not help you much in losing belly fat.
There is a way to train that burns up to 7 times more fat: split training. This is a sport training method that includes a high intensity activity phase, followed by a recovery phase.
This effect was revealed by a study ( source ) comparing two groups over a 12-week period: one group undergoing split training and the other one with cardio. In addition, the group undergoing the interval training had gained 1 kilo of muscle mass, while the cardio group had lost 0.5 pounds of muscle mass!
Another study ( source ) in which women had undergone 3 weekly sessions of split instead of cardio revealed the following results after 15 weeks:
- Achieving a lower average fat level than the cardio group
- Fat loss around the belly and legs significantly greater than for the cardio group
Even if you burn the same amount of calories through interval training as with cardio, interval training will help you lose more belly fat.
This is due to the fact that this form of training makes you use all types of muscle fibers, namely muscle fibers slow contraction, fast contraction and super fast contraction. When you’re doing cardio or running, you only use slow fibers.
In addition, you produce more testosterone and growth hormone hGH, both of which increase fat burning. Bodybuilding is also more effective than cardio for losing belly.
If you do 3 times 20 minutes of split, you will get MUCH more results than if you do cardio sessions of the same duration or longer.
For example, you can follow the following split training scheme:
- 3 minutes warm up
- 8 sets of 20 seconds of effort spaced 60 seconds apart
- 2 minutes of recovery
You could do 8 sets of 20 seconds of sprint spaced 60 seconds of walking recovery.
Sprinter is out of the question for you, or are you older? In this case, replace the sprints with 8 sets of 20 seconds of brisk time, 60 seconds apart. This is much more effective than walking continuously at the same pace.
If you want a nice firm belly, the abdominal exercises will of course be very useful too.
Summary tip # 4: Practice the split to burn fat and lose belly much faster than with cardio or running.
Tip 5: Avoid prolonged stress
Stress leads you to produce more cortisol, an anti-stress hormone. This hormone promotes in particular the storage of fat around the abdomen ( source ) and stimulates the appetite ( source ). Doubly annoying!
When your cortisol level goes up, your blood sugar goes up ( source ) and your metabolism slows down. This has the effect of blocking the burning of fat.
It must be stressed that acute stress is not necessarily a bad thing, on the contrary. For example, a short cold shower is very beneficial, even if the body feels it as a stressful situation. What is not good is the long periods of stress, which is also known as chronic stress.
Be sure to practice the following activities on a regular basis:
- Watching TV or a calm or comic film
- Having sex
- Meditation exercises can reduce your cortisol level by 20% ( source )
- Do yoga or breathing exercises
- Take long relaxing breaks when you work
- Add plants to your home or workplace: they can reduce stress by around 15% ( source , source )
- And of course, sleep well!
Summary tip # 5 : Avoid prolonged stress: sleep better and relax.
Tip # 6: Look for the cold
There are many benefits to looking for the cold. This trick is unfortunately not very popular, as I have often seen.
But the idea combines two practices:
- Exposing yourself briefly to intense cold
- Stay in the cold longer, taking a bath of cold water, for example
The first can be done using short cold shower jets, for example. I mean to put under cold water from 30 seconds to 1 minute at the end of the shower. The hot water tap must be completely closed!
This activates the production of testosterone, which stimulates the burning of fat. At the same time, you force your body to produce a lot of heat, which leads you to burn calories and help you lose belly fat.
But to really burn a lot of extra calories, the ideal is to swim in cold water. One burns 250 kcal additional calories for 3 hours of bathing in cold water, simply because the body has to warm up ( source ).
Caution: never expose your body to intense cold for more than 5 minutes. It’s more time than it takes to reap all the benefits. Staying there longer can lead to hypothermia!
Summary Tip # 6 : Burn extra calories and stimulate fat burning in the cold.
Tip # 7: Drink a spinach smoothie
Spinach leaves are rich in thylakoids, capable of reducing hedonic hunger by 94% ( source ). Hedonic hunger corresponds to the desire for fatty and sugary foods. Spinach helps you lose belly more easily.
Spinach also activates leptin, the hormone of satiety, and helps you maintain control of your appetite.
That is why it is advisable to consume a spinach smoothie early in the day, except of course if you skip breakfast.
If you make this spinach smoothie, add a glass of water to fill the hunger and good fats like the avocado.
Summary Tip # 7 : Drink a spinach smoothie to get more control over your appetite.
Tip # 8: Make a cheat meal
We humans all have a limited will. That’s why many of us struggle to maintain a healthy diet.
If you recognize yourself in this group, I recommend you set a cheat meal . Besides, I also recommend it to people who have no trouble staying on a healthy diet!
A cheat meal is a meal where you can eat whatever you want. This is a practice applied by some bodybuilders and some models to better withstand the rigidity of their diet.
This implies, however, some guidelines:
- Never eat more than twice what you normally eat
- Choose a fixed day in the week, Sunday, for example
Since you have eaten a lot, I advise you to skip breakfast the next day!
The cheat meals have many advantages:
- Metabolism accelerates by 6.6% for thin people and 2.7% for people with obesity * ( source )
- An increase in the secretion of leptin ( source ), a hormone that sends the brain the signal to burn more abdominal fat.
- The amount of ghrelin, the hormone that causes the sensation of hunger, decreases for about 3 days ( source )
- You can let go!
* Not significant value.
In short: introducing a cheat meal helps you stay on a healthy diet more easily while still losing weight, including this stubborn belly fat! Losing belly quickly becomes a little easier.
Summary tip # 8: Make a cheat meal on a fixed day of the week, where you can eat whatever you want!
Tip 9: Do not eat carbohydrates in the evening
As I said, I am not a supporter of simple carbohydrates, such as cakes, sweets, pastries, soft drinks, bread, pasta and rice.
These simple carbohydrates are also known as processed or refined carbohydrates because they are not directly derived from nature, unlike vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
The disadvantage of these foods is that they are quickly converted to sugar in the body. This causes peaks of sugar in the blood. You will store more fat around the belly, you who want to lose.
I regularly hear say:
But fruits also contain a lot of sugars!
Indeed, they contain a lot of fruit sugars, but whole fruits also contain fiber. These fibers slow the rise in blood sugar levels.
With simple carbohydrates, there is no question of fiber. So there is nothing to slow down the blood sugar, apart from the insulin produced by your body.
Studies show that you can even lose weight by eating fruits. A consumption of 100 grams of fruit a day causes a loss of 300 grams after 6 months, regardless of the rest of your diet, whether you play sports or not ( source ). In this same study, vegetables led to even greater weight losses.
If you want to lose belly fat, I advise you to avoid refined carbohydrates, especially in the evening. Of course, good fats are also very high in calories.
Here are two reasons for this:
- Your body is unlikely to burn those calories in the evening. And what is not burned is stored. The unstoppable recipe for taking belly!
- If you have already eaten three meals (plus a few snacks) during the day, you run the risk of exceeding your daily calorie requirements.
Eating before going to bed means running the risk of ingesting more calories than you really need. In the end this is what causes weight gain ( source ), and not so much the time you eat.
In any case, I suggest you stop eating after 8pm. Want to eat something anyway? Stick to foods that contain as few calories as possible, such as vegetable soup.
Summary tip # 9: Limit fat storage by avoiding eating sugars and carbohydrates at night. This will prevent you from eating more (empty) calories than your body needs in a day.
Tip 10: Drink more water and green tea
Most people drink too little water. Water has two main advantages when you want to lose weight:
- It provides a sense of satiety, which makes you less subject to food overeating.
- It slightly accelerates your metabolism, which will lead you to burn more fat and lose belly fat.
I recommend you start the day with a pair of glasses of water to keep you hydrated.
Then turn to green tea. Why ? Green tea has a number of benefits when it comes to losing belly fat:
- It gives a boost to your metabolism, resulting in the acceleration of fat burning ( source )
- Theanine present in tea has a relaxing effect and reduces the urge to eat.
It is clear that you have to drink a lot of cups a day to get the most out of these benefits.
I recommend you buy pure green tea.
Put a generous amount of green tea in a tea ball and drink several cups each day.
Summary Tip # 10: Drink large amounts of green tea to regulate your appetite and speed up your metabolism.
Tip # 11: Avoid fruit juices
In my opinion, you already know that sodas will not help you lose stomach. They are actually very sweet and increase your blood sugar and insulin levels significantly.
But fruit juices are also very discouraged. Still, there are still people who think they do well by consuming fruit juices, especially because of the beautiful marketing promises that are on the package.
The fruit juices that are found in all supermarkets are however full of sugar, sometimes hidden under another name, of which there are dozens. Most of these end up in “dare” or contain the term “syrup”.
Fruit juices are distinguished from homemade juices, such as smoothies, because they are stripped of fiber. Due to lack of fiber, your blood sugar level will increase faster, which you should avoid as much as possible.
To replace these juices, it’s best to make a green smoothie made from fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables, like the spinach smoothie mentioned in our tip # 7.
Summary Tip # 11: Do not drink fruit juice: these are lacking in fiber and are very sweet!
Tip 12: Avoid breakfast cereals
Breakfast cereals contain sugar, be it normal grains such as organic cereals. This concerns muesli, cruesli or cornflakes.
The best type of cereal I recommend you to eat are oatmeal. Oat flakes have a number of advantages:
- They contain a lot of protein
- They do not increase your blood sugar
- They have a great satiating effect
- High quality oat flakes do not contain gluten
Note, however, that some manufacturers add sugar to oatmeal, sometimes hidden under one of the many pseudonyms of sugar. Look at the list of ingredients! As we have seen, most of these pseudonyms end up in “dare” or contain the term “syrup”.
Summary tip # 12: Do not eat breakfast cereals – they’re full of sugar!
Finally, you will find below a summary of foods to eat and not to eat to lose belly effectively. It goes without saying that you can not eat these foods at will. You would consume too many calories and your chances of losing weight would be low.
Checklist: Foods to eat to lose belly
In summary, I recommend eating the following foods:
- Fat fish: salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, sardines
- Nuts, for example, nuts – a small handful a day maximum
- Dark chocolate
- Seeds / seeds, for example, flax seeds
- Coconut oil or ghee
- Extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
- Vegetables – at will!
- Fruits – at will!
- Quinoa / amaranth
- Brown rice / basmati rice
- Fat fish
- Sea food
Checklist: Foods to avoid to lose belly
In summary, I recommend avoiding the following foods:
- fast food
- Soft drinks
- Muesli, cruesli or cornflakes
Lose your excess abdominal fat quickly and get the flat stomach of your dreams
I developed a method to burn stubborn abdominal fat using scientifically sound advice, abdominal programs and recipes.
This is the most complete book to have a flat stomach and firm, with a minimum investment of time and effort.
Here is an overview of what you will discover:
- 50 delicious recipes that are quick and easy to prepare
- How to drastically reduce your fat mass
- 8 rules for a flat and firm stomach
- How to get a flat and firm belly in 3 times 20 minutes a week
- 12 common mistakes to avoid to have a flat stomach