How to Burn Stubborn Belly Fat?

08-06-2020
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It can happen to anyone: you get a bit bored with the strict eat-train-sleep lifestyle and you loosen up a little bit to enjoy the sweeter side of life with foods that were forbidden before. Of course, this change of lifestyle will result in increased bodyfat percentage, and this extra layer will cover areas where you'd least want this to happen, and this is really annoying.

We've been telling our readers that spot reduction (targeted fat burning) is a myth. You lose fat from all places at the same time, not just from here and there. But. The truth is – and surely you have already experienced this on your own body – that the human body loses fat a lot harder and slower from certain places than others. For men, it's usually the area of the abdomen because of the testosterone hormone, for women, it's the area of the thighs and the butt because of estrogen.

Why is this happening if spot reduction is impossible? Well, the "stubborn" fat on your belly or thighs consists of fat cells that are harder to mobilize, therefore, to burn than that fat on your face or your forearms1. Plus, in these areas, blood flow is worse, which makes mobilization and fat burning even harder2. These two things explain why can some areas resist to your fat-burning efforts more than others.

Because of this "blood-flow problem", you can try a special program to burn off stubborn fat faster. The conception is the following: since fat mobilization is harder if a certain area is lacking blood flow, you should increase blood flow with a workout, then you should start burning fat with some type of cardio right away.

Try this out:

  1. perform a weight-lifting workout which includes the stimulation of the area on your body that loses fat slower (this will increase the blood flow in that area)
  2. after this hop on cardio equipment (bike, treadmill, whatever you like) and perform 30 minutes of aerobic activity – where the body uses fat as fuel, instead of carbs – to burn away the fat cells you want to mobilize

We can not guarantee that this will work and the fat will melt away faster from a certain body part, but a 2017 study showed this result3 nevertheless. And we'd like to emphasize that this method can only complement the basic activity for ideal fat burning, which is still exercise and clean nutrition. But it's definitely worth a try – a little cardio is always helpful after an exercise.

How else can you boost burning stubborn belly fat?

If you're already pretty lean and there's fat on your abdominal area, don't just wait for it to slowly disappear due to wise exercise and diet choices, but boost the process with carb cycling (alternate low carb-high carb days) as a finishing blow to your stubborn fat.

You can also make your abs optically leaner by training your abdominal muscles and your core (if you haven't done it already). Of course, we all know that doing abs exercises won't burn off the fat from your belly, but muscular ab will always look better than a flat one without a six-pack. Even when the lower third of the abs is covered with fat and only the upper third of your six-pack is visible. But this is only an optical tuning like a spoiler on your car and has nothing to do with fat burning.

Work on your abs every time you work out, (or at least 3 times a week) and we guarantee that the effect of your diet will be much more visible on your belly.

How long should I go on a diet?

This depends on many things, including your age, gender, genetics. But one thing is certain: you should aim for getting to 10% body fat percentage in order to get a full six-pack abs. We'll show you approximately how long should your low-carb diet last:

  • 11-12%: 2-3 weeks
  • 13-15%: 6-12 weeks
  • 16-19%: 12-18 weeks
  • 20-24%: 24 weeks
  • 25-30%: 38 weeks
  • 30%+: 52+ weeks

It's important: if you do experience small changes on your body after some weeks of dieting and exercising, but your belly is still as fat as at the start, DO NOT STOP! This is where most people mess this up without even realizing how close they actually were to achieving their goal:

Don't forget: dieting leads to success in 70% while exercising in only 30%. In other words, do not eat sugary or fatty foods following an exercise thinking that you've earned it. That's like taking one step forward, and three steps behind.

And last, but not least: there is no such thing as stubborn body fat. There's only weak will! ;)

Literature:

1: Fat Cell Adrenergic Receptors and the Control of White and Brown Fat Cell Function

2: A Review of the Microcirculation of Adipose Tissue: Anatomic, Metabolic, and Angiogenic Perspectivesfkalória

3: Effect of Combined Resistance and Endurance Exercise Training on Regional Fat Loss


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