That's it! You have had enough of those extreme diets just to gain that stomach fat back....or worse, never lose it to begin with. I don't blame people for not wanting to diet. The media has you thinking that you can do one of two things; pop a pill and all your fat will go away, or eat 500 calories and starve yourself for the results you want. What if I told you it is easier than the two extremes (one being a mythological miracle and the other being unnecessary)? What if I told you that that belly fat of yours does not have to be a part of you your entire life? Whether you are bouncing back from pregnancy, gain most of your weight around your stomach, or are overweight entirely and are looking to reduce your stomach the most, this is the article for you! In this article I will be discussing actions you can take and supplements you can take to reduce that stubborn belly fat.
Actions To Take:
1) Partake In Exercise
If you have not already, partaking in an exercise regime can work wonders for fat loss. Increasing your metabolism, oxidizing fat (using fat as fuel), and building lean muscle mass are just some of the benefits (and the main benefits in terms of fat loss). When focusing on your belly fat you want to prioritize a few things; keeping your heart rate up, using big movements that trigger better hormonal and metabolic responses, and repetition ranges that are appropriate.
2) Compound Movements
A common mistake countless people make during times of pursuing fat loss is doing crunches and cardio everyday. Though both increase energy output, here is why this is a big "no-no" in your fat loss pursuit. A study performed by Bret Contreras showed that abdominal activation was actually greater in the bodyweight chin-ups than a plank or sit-up. WHAT?! Go figure! By having the more need to stabilize the core (while also supporting weight, such as your body-weight during a difficult exercise) your abdominals actually get stimulated more. This makes sense given "the core" are muscles used to stabilize the body, prevents it from collapsing. When you stimulate the muscles how they are supposed to be used, they tend to be used more. Though the abdominals are activated more, this does not mean all you should perform are exercises like chin-ups. Rather, focusing a majority of your time on compound movements that stimulate the core, then adding in a few finisher exercises (exercises that stimulate the core without excess wear and tear on the rest of your body) like hanging leg raises will provide a high amount of stimulus with less taxation on the entire body (improving recovery).
(Note: These are just example exercises that had the highest abdominal activation. Focusing your work outs around squats, standing presses, difficult/advanced bodyweight exercises, and such will provide you with immense amounts of abdominal activation.)
Ah yes.....the only word that has "die" in it, but is somehow more feared than death itself. Dieting is in fact a part of the fat loss pursuit. Contrary to popular belief, dieting is not as extreme of a concept as most might think. The definition of a diet is "a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person's physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease" . I don't recall finding the definition "a way of eating in which involves starvation and periodic consumption of flavorless low calorie foods". Do you? Easy examples of dieting: reducing sugar take, going from consuming one pack of Dr.Pepper a day to only consuming one bottle, or even switching from processed foods to whole foods. Dieting does not mean starvation. By reducing your sugar intake you can reduce total calories consumed, as well as reducing insulin spikes throughout the day. By going from consuming one pack of Dr.Pepper a day to only one bottle, you can reduce the amount of chemicals in your bottle as well as reduce your sugar intake. Small "diet" changes can make huge impacts over time. It's a matter of making long term changes, rather than extreme short term changes that end in crashes and rebounding.
Supplements To Take
Sometimes we need more help with our fat loss goals. Just like there are supplements for building muscle (also some for anxiety and depression as explained here), there are supplements for fat loss. When it comes to stubborn belly fat, we want to maximize fat loss, not weight loss. Just doing cardio all the time and utilizing heavily restrictive diets cost you both fat and muscle. In order to maximize fat loss, we must exercise correctly (as explained above) and supplement correctly. Below I would like to give you guys THREE SOLID FAT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS that will aid in your fat loss pursuit.
1) CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
Conjugated linoleic acid (or best known as CLA) is one of the top supplements for fat loss when it comes to competing (drug-free that is). CLA has been shown to reduce fat mass around the trunk area without the cost of lean muscle mass. This was even with no differences in energy intake (calories), fat intake, or fat quality. Crazy, right?! Imagine dropping pounds of fat with diet and exercise alone...BOOM! Then throwing in a supplement that helps you with reducing belly fat! Spot reduction with exercise has been debunked countless times, but nothing wrong with a little boost from a supplement that will help reduce trunk fat mass. (Get your high quality CLA shown below HERE)
(Note: do not rely on a supplement to burn all the calories for you. Dieting and exercise should be the staple of your fat loss pursuit, but supplements such as CLA can help with reduction of trunk area fat mass.)
If you didn't learn by now (between my previous article and one of my previous Youtube videos covering ashwaghanda), these herbs work wonders. The question is, how do they reduce belly fat? Ashwaghanda and Rhodiola both reduce cortisol. The stress hormone cortisol has been shown to promote weight gain/fat distribution. By being able to reduce cortisol with ashwaghanda and reduce stressful states of mind like depression with rhodiola. you will be able to reduce the amount of stress-related fat gain (physical, emotional, or mental stress). (Get your energy boosting and cortisol reducing Rhodiola HERE and Ashwaghand HERE)
3) MCT Oil
Eat fat to burn fat could not be closer to the truth! Healthy fats are essential for some hormone production, as well as are shown to influence better fat loss. MCT oil itself promotes better fat loss than others fats such as olive oil. Keeping this in mind, it's been shown that substituting MCT oil for our olive oil (or other oils we may be using to get our fat intake in), we can influence better fat loss than just getting in our macro-nutrients. (Get your MCT Oil HERE)
In a world obsessed with the extemes of starvation diets, endless cardio, and the false idea that illegal drugs are the only way to lose belly fat, HERE IS YOUR WAKE-UP CALL! You can lose that stubborn belly fat through stimulating the abdominals through proper exercise, dieting, and supplementing with beneficial supplements.