When researching how to lose belly fat, most people tend to focus on shortcuts, supplements or even surgery as ways to achieving a narrow waist. But you don’t need any of those things to achieve the slim waistline you’ve been dreaming of and in this article, I’m going to show you why.
In fact, I’m going to share with you my incredible secret for losing belly fat. It’s an almost unknown dietary trick where I weaponize a very humble ingredient to target body fat.
But as we get into what you need to do to finally achieve your physique goals, I want you to keep something in mind as you read this: fat loss can be easier and happen more rapidly than you ever thought possible. All it requires is a little discipline!
Run a Calorie Deficit
A Calorie Deficit?
If you’ve been asking how to lose belly fat then you’ve probably already come across the term ‘calorie deficit’ or ‘caloric deficit’. It’s really just a fancy way of saying consume fewer calories than you burn.
To work out how much you should be eating used to be an arduous task, but thankfully there are plenty of apps such as MyFitnessPal that will assist you with this arduous task. So rather than provide details of how to calculate this manually I’d suggest you sign up to one of these apps as they will make the work of calorie counting so much easier.
These apps will also allow you add your exercise regime so that you can reach an accurate gauge of your daily calorie burn. Now you can start working out how much you should be eating.
As a general guide, for safe weight loss that you will be able to maintain, you should be aiming for a deficit of between 300-500 calories per day. This is your calorie intake target. So, that means you should be consuming 300 – 500 calories less than your daily calorie burn.
It’s all in the Planning
Now you need to plan your meals making sure that your daily calorie intake target is not exceeded. It would be pretty much impossible to do this as you go along, as it’s just too easy to slip back into your old eating patterns.
So get into the habit of planning your weekly menu and researching tasty, low calorie meal ideas so that you look forward to eating your meals and know that they will leave you satisfied (at least to some extent). However, in truth there is no getting around it and I’d be lying if I said that running a caloric deficit doesn’t, at times, leave you feeling maddeningly hungry – or hangry, as we call it in our house!
But if you’re the kind of person who has a big appetite that just doesn’t want to be tamed, you may want to look into my next tip.
You are my Sunshine
You’ve heard of the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D, right? Well there’s scientific research which suggest that, along with the myriad health benefits that come with topping up our Vitamin D levels, it’s also an effective appetite suppressant.
Now don’t get carried away and always consult your physician before embarking on any regime of supplementation, but we should all be researching Vitamin D3 supplementation – especially if you live in the northern hemisphere and suffer from a lack of daylight.
The Right Type of Exercise
I mentioned the benefits of steady-state cardio in my article about how to structure the best home workout routine and I really cannot emphasise enough how important this kind of exercise is. In fact, on their website the Cleveland Clinic list 8 benefits of this kind of exercise:
- Improves cardiovascular conditioning.
- Decreases risk of heart disease.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Increases HDL or “good” cholesterol
- Helps to better control blood sugar.
- Assists in weight management and/or weight loss.
- Improves lung function.
- Decreases resting heart rate.
Wow, just reading those benefits makes me want to reach for my Denise Austin VHS cassette!!
But seriously, as ridiculous as you may feel prancing around in your living room tripping over yourself (if you’re as uncoordinated as me), consistently completing these workouts is a key to reducing belly fat. I have found that unlike brisk walking where my heart rate tends to drop out of my target zone, a gentle 30-45 minute aerobic workout keeps my heart rate in that fat burning zone for the duration.
45 Minutes of Aerobics – That Sounds Like a Lot?
I never thought I’d be able to stick with an aerobic workout of that length, so I want to give a shout out to Alex and Daniel of The Body Project who have put together some fantastic, safe, low-impact cardio workouts that are both highly entertaining as well as being brilliantly effective.
Since March 2020, they have become part of our family and their workouts help us to ensure we’re getting adequate aerobic exercise and keep us lean throughout the year.
Give this workout a try and see how you get on!
OK, so well done for getting this far. I’ve saved the best until last and as I promised at the beginning of this article, here is my weird secret that will help you lose belly fat!
Beans and The Second Meal Effect
There have been many studies that have proven the “second meal effect” of beans (also known as legumes). To understand what that means and why it’s important for you as you lose your belly fat, we need to briefly look at what happens when you eat beans.
Beans are incredibly rich in dietary fiber which means that they have a low glycemic index score and do not raise blood sugar when eaten: which is the primary driver of belly fat. The fiber in the beans even helps to prevent the glucose from other foods and drinks consumed in that same meal from being digested too quickly. This suppresses the spike in blood sugar and insulin that would otherwise happen if the meal didn’t contain the beans.
The truly amazing thing though, is that in one study it was found that where the participants ate beans in the evening, 11 hours later when eating their (non-bean) breakfast, the glycemic advantage of the beans was still in effect and the blood glucose spike was still suppressed!
So if you want to lose your belly fat, learn to love beans and eat them at least once per day as this will help to regulate your blood glucose levels. Remember that beans include lentils, black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas, so there’s no excuse for not finding a recipe that you like and making them a daily part of your diet!
You Could be Lean in 3 Months
Imagine if today, you made the commitment to:
- plan your meals to ensure a caloric deficit;
- incorporated beans in your daily diet;
- do a Body Project workout 5 days per week.
That would be three commitments which, over a 3-month period, would guarantee your success – not just in reducing belly fat but also in securing all the huge benefits to be found in exercising regularly and eating a diet rich in legumes.
So what’s stopping you? Accept the challenge and start your fat loss journey today!
To your health