In his line of work as a body composition coach, there are certain questions people ask Sharif Lawton, time and time again.
And "how to lose belly fat" is at the top of the list. Here, he explains how to succeed ...
The aim of this article is to separate the fiction from the facts and give you the tools you need to torch that belly fat once and for all.
Create an Energy Deficit & Portion Control
This is the number one rule when it comes to fat loss, and there is no way of getting around it.
To encourage our bodies to burn our own energy stores (body fat), we must eat slightly under what we need to maintain our current bodyweight.
This does not mean cutting out food groups or having zero treats. I encourage all my clients to have a varied and balanced diet that focuses on protein. But – portion control is the key!
In order to create this deficit, you need to know your maintenance calorie requirements. Apps like MyFitnessPal are an easy and non-invasive way of tracking food intake and I highly recommend them.
Move More as Part of Your Lifestyle!
This sounds really cliché, but the whole approach of taking the stairs rather than the elevator and parking slightly further away than you need, can cause you to burn an extra 100-300 kcals per day.
Over the course of the week, you could be looking at an extra half pound of fat gone simply by moving more as part of your everyday life.
Fill up on Foods High on the Satiety Index
The Satiety Index is simply a measure of how full you feel after eating a certain food. Foods which contain a lot of water and fibre in them such as: melon, cucumber, apples and almost all green vegetables tend to score high.
Foods, such as white bread and jam, tend to score low. One of the highest scoring foods is actually the white potato – and I bet you thought carbs were bad for you!
Unfortunately for many, specifically men, the belly is a place where fat seems to stay.
Often the limbs will get leaner much quicker, but the fat around the belly doesn’t seem to budge. Have faith though, the body will eventually be forced to use these fat cells for fuel – providing correct training and nutrition are in place.
Don’t look for a quick fix – stop to smell the roses and be proud of your accomplishments so far. That belly fat WILL go – persevere.
Although stress in itself cannot stop you from losing body fat, what it can do is ramp up your levels of cortisol in the body, our body’s stress hormone.
This presents us with 2 issues:
- The more stressed you are, the higher potential water retention can be which can cause the number on the scale to stay the same, even if you are losing body fat.
- The more your cortisol rises, the more you naturally want to increase your insulin in order to balance out these two hormones.
And what kind of foods are highly insulogenic? Breads, cakes, pastries, sweets, all pretty high-calorie dense foods that are not normally conducive to fat loss.
In summary, put yourself in an energy deficit eating a wide variety of high satiating foods, manage your stress levels and be patient!
And by doing this, the fat around your mid-section will have no choice but to disappear.