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FORGET “FLAT BELLY DIETS,” “WEIRD
TRICKS,” AND ALL THE OTHER
NONSENSE ON HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT.
HERE’S THE REAL STORY AND SCIENCE
OF LOSING IT FOR GOOD.
Did you know that certain fat cells in your body are extremely
“resistant” to being mobilized and burned?
Did you know that these fat cells tend to accumulate in the dreaded
belly, hip, and thigh regions of your body?
And did you know that you can use a handful of science-based diet,
exercise, and supplementation strategies to beat (and burn!) stubborn
fat for good?
Imagine having that tight waist and those washboard abs you’ve
always wanted…all year round.
Imagine never again having to suffer through strange diets or grueling
workout routines…only to be disappointed in the results.
Imagine knowing which supplements are scientifically proven to help
you get lean and which are a waste of money.
Well, you don’t have to imagine these things because I’m going to lay it
all out for you in this article.
In just 15 minutes, you’re going to know what makes belly fat so tough
to lose and exactly what to do to get rid of it once and for all.
So, let’s start with learning what makes belly fat different from other fat
stores in the body.
Why Belly Fat Is So Stubborn
If you’re having trouble losing belly fat, don’t worry…
You’re not genetically cursed.
You don’t need to do special exercises.
Your hormones are probably fine.
You’re not eating the “wrong” foods (no, sugar isn’t the problem).
You don’t need to give up carbs.
The reality is you could follow every “thin belly” rule mainstream
“gurus” prescribe…perform every “belly flattening” exercise on the
Internet…eliminate every possible “hormone clogging” food…bid every
form of sugar a sad farewell…and subject yourself to the doldrums of
…and still have handfuls of ugly belly fat for the rest of your life.
It doesn’t have to be like this, though.
No matter your genetics or hormones, you can have the lean, ripped
stomach you desire. And it can be easier than you ever thought
possible…if you know exactly what you’re doing and why.
And that knowledge begins with a physiological understanding of how
“fat burning” actually works.
When we talk about “burning fat,” what we’re actually talking about is a
two-part process consisting of lipolysis and oxidation.
Lipolysis is the process whereby fat cells release molecules of stored
energy (fatty acids) into the blood and oxidation is the process whereby
cells utilize (or “burn”) those fatty acids.
The body’s primary method of stimulating lipolysis is the production of
adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are known as catecholamines.
These chemicals enter your blood, travel to fat cells, and attach
themselves at certain points known as receptors.
Once they attach to fat cells, catecholamines trigger the release of the
fatty acids stored within. Other cells are then able to use these fatty
acids as fuel.
Now, all that isn’t exactly news to many people, but most don’t know
that fat cells aren’t all made alike. Some respond well to
catecholamines and some don’t.
If you’ve dieted for any period of time, you’ve experienced this. Certain
areas of your body, like your chest, arms, and face, tighten up quickly
but others, like your belly, hip, and thighs, seem to not change at all.
The primary reason for this boils down to one simple fact…
Fat cells contain two types of receptors for
catecholamines that are diametrically opposed in function.
These are known as alpha- and beta-receptors and while the
physiology is quite complex, it boils down to this: alpha-receptors
hinder lipolysis and beta-receptors trigger it.
Thus, fat cells with a high amount of beta-receptors are relatively easy
to mobilize whereas those with a high amount of alpha-receptors
This is why, when you start a fat loss regimen, you see immediate
results in certain areas of your body like your chest, arms, and face,
but next-to-nothing in other areas like your stomach, hips, and thighs.
One of the primary reasons why certain fat stores, like belly fat, are
so “stubborn” is the fat cells themselves are very resistant to
mobilization (they contain many more alpha-receptors than beta).
So, now that you know why belly fat tends to hang on for dear life
when you’re cutting, let’s look at some strategies for defeating its
“defenses” and burning it away.
The 5 Biggest Belly Fat Loss Myths
If you Google around for belly fat loss tips, you’re going to wind up
reading a lot of bullshit.
Here’s a quick antidote…
You can’t preferentially “target” belly fat for elimination.
No amount of crunches or planks or anything else are going to directly
burn the fat away.
There are no individual foods that help or harm the process.
The belly bulge isn’t caused by high-glycemic carbs or “processed
foods” or dairy, and no amount of “healthy fats” are going to get rid of
Your meal frequency isn’t the problem.
Eating many small meals per day doesn’t “stoke the metabolic fire” and
eating fewer, larger meals doesn’t send your body into “starvation
Eating late at night isn’t the problem, either.
Eating the majority of your daily calories early or late has no effect on
weight loss parameters or body composition.
Stress isn’t the culprit.
Stress can promote behaviors that lead to weight gain but can’t directly
cause it through hormonal imbalances or any other mechanisms.
Fortunately, losing belly fat is much simpler than many people would
have you believe. There are really only two things that you need to
know to get rid of ugly belly fat once and for all:
1. You need to reduce your overall body fat percentage.
This is, really, what it all comes down to.
Reduce your body fat percentage to 10% (men) or 20% (women) and
the bulk of your belly fat will be gone. And every bit leaner you get from
there means even less to pinch on your waist.
2. You can use certain diet, training, and supplementation strategies
to help you burn fat faster and mobilize belly fat better.
Given the first point, anything you do that accelerates fat loss in
general is going to also accelerate the loss the stubborn fat.
There are, however, a couple specifics things you can do to help your
body better get at and get rid of stubborn fat in particular, including
Combine both of these strategies–faster fat loss and better fat cell
mobilization–and you have an extremely effective stubborn fat loss
By way of example, here are the results of a recent cut of mine. I
started at about 10 to 11% body fat:
As you can see, I was holding a fair amount of fat in the lower ab and
After about 10 to 11 weeks of practicing what I preach, I got to about
6% body fat:
As you can see I lost little-to-no muscle and am noticeably leaner in
So, let’s talk about how I did this and how you can too.
5 Proven Ways to Lose Belly Fat Faster
As you know, there are two basic ways to lose belly fat faster:
1. speed up the rate at which you lose fat in general and,
2. help your body better mobilize the fat cells with high amounts of
I know of 5 different science-based ways to do these things. Let’s talk
1. Utilize a moderately aggressive calorie deficit.
When you’re dieting for fat loss, your goal should be to lose fat as
quickly as possible while also preserving your muscle and health.
How well you do this will be mainly determined by the size of
your calorie deficit.
That is, a small deficit of 5 to 10% will yield smaller and slower results
than a larger deficit of 20 to 25%.
The question, however, is how large of a calorie deficit you can place
your body in before problems related to hunger, cravings, and muscle
loss really kick in.
Well, there’s a bit of research that can help lend insight.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Jyväskylä had elite,
lean (=< 10% body fat) track and field jumpers and sprinters restrict
calories for fat loss for 4 weeks.
All participants exercised on their regular schedule and followed a
high-protein diet. One group of the athletes maintained a ~12% calorie
deficit, eating about 300 calories less than they burned each day,
and another group maintained a ~24% deficit, eating about 750 fewer
calories than they burned.
After 4 weeks, the 12% deficit group lost very little fat and muscle and
the 24% deficit group lost an average of 4 pounds of fat and very little
I’ve seen the same type of results with my own body and with many of
the thousands of people I’ve worked with.
If you eat enough protein, use weightlifting to drive your fat loss,
and keep cardio to a minimum, you can safely maintain a 20 to 25%
calorie deficit and maximize fat loss while minimzing muscle loss.
In fact, I’d go as far as saying that larger deficits are necessary for
continuing to lose fat as you get leaner and are dealing more and more
with stubborn fat. So don’t be afraid of a moderate calorie deficit. It’s a
powerful tool for getting lean.
2. Train in a fasted state.
If you’ve ever looked for advice on how to lose fat faster—and
especially stubborn hip, belly, and thigh fat—you’ve probably read
about exercising on an empty stomach.
According to many experts, training on an empty stomach is a simple
but powerful way to increase the amount of fat your body burns while
you work out.
There’s truth in this advice, but there’s also a problem: it’s not that
simple. How empty of a stomach, exactly? What types of exercise work
best? Are there any drawbacks?