Whether you’re currently in a cutting phase, seeking performance improvements, or just want to look leaner for the summer, you’ve come to the right place to learn about how to burn belly fat!
Fat loss is not an easy goal to achieve, let alone maintain, so this article will only provide you with the most effective science-based tips and advice on burning fat and keeping it off.
Firstly, it’s important to establish that spot reduction is not possible. This means that you cannot target fat loss in a specific area of your body, for example, belly fat.
When you embark on a fat loss journey, you will naturally lose body fat on a whole-body level.
While some areas may be more stubborn than others, it’s still not possible to target these areas through exercise or nutritional strategies.
So, let’s focus on the ways you can burn all-over body fat, including belly fat!
Fat Loss: The Key Principle
Before we get into the details, it’s important to understand the key to fat loss - a calorie deficit.
You may have heard of numerous diets that focus on fat loss, such as intermittent fasting, keto, or paleo.
The one thing these diets have in common is that they focus on reducing your food intake.
For example, keto focuses on fewer carbohydrates, intermittent fasting focuses on limiting your eating window, and paleo focuses on cutting out processed foods, overall resulting in consuming fewer calories.
So, the bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter what diet you choose to follow, you will lose fat if you are consistently in a calorie deficit over a prolonged period.
Obviously, we recommend an approach that works best for you and your lifestyle - as you may know, there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan.
Though, there are many nutrition and lifestyle strategies that you can apply to help you achieve a calorie deficit and burn more fat, with no fad diets and over-restrictive approaches, which can negatively affect your health and training performance!
Here are some of our top recommended strategies!
Nutritional Strategies for Burning Belly Fat
- Decrease portion sizes
As we have established, consuming fewer calories than you burn is the key principle of fat loss.
You can achieve this by decreasing portion sizes, mainly as carbohydrates, as our body needs protein and fat more, and carbohydrates are notoriously easy to overeat!
Note: Do not completely cut out carbohydrates, simply start by reducing them slightly! We need them for energy.
- Identify calorie-dense foods in your diet
Have a habit of over-indulging on the weekend? Or consuming too many sweet treats in the evenings?
Identifying where you may be over-consuming food, particularly of the high-calorie variety, can often make the difference between fat loss or no fat loss.
- Increase protein intake
Out of the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat), protein is the most satiating, keeping us fuller for longer, thus reducing our frequency of snacking or overeating.
Try to focus each meal around a protein source, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
- Increase fruit and vegetable intake
Following on from the above point, increasing our fruit and vegetable intake would increase our fiber intake, which also keeps us fuller for longer.
Fruit and vegetables are also high-volume foods, meaning they take up a lot of space in the stomach for very little calories!
Lifestyle Strategies for Burning Belly Fat
- Resistance training program
Strength training can be an important component to a fat loss program. Increasing muscle size and improving strength overall is proven to help increase calorie burn by increasing your metabolic rate and improving your aerobic capacity, making it easier to move more!
- Increase daily, non-exercise activity
Speaking of moving more, increasing your overall daily activity would also help boost calorie burn, as the more you move, the more calories you burn.
It is well known that lack of sleep can have detrimental health impacts. But did you know it can also affect your fat loss progress?
How many times have you suffered with cravings, or skipped training sessions because you've felt too tired?
Get at least 7-8 hours' sleep per night to ensure you’re not putting yourself at risk of falling off plan!
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for burning belly fat.
There are, however, a basic set of principles and key strategies you can follow to achieve your goal.
Fat loss requires a lot of patience, consistency, and perseverance, so it’s key to implement strategies that work best for you personally!