Belly fat is one of the most irritating and difficult to lose – seriously, why does it always feel like it’s the first place we gain weight and the last place we lose it?
When you’re on your weight loss journey, you may be wondering whether there are ways you can target specific areas of your body that seem to gain more weight than others, and the belly is often the first contender.
If you’re sick of stubborn stomach fat and are looking for a way to help shift it, keep reading on, as we’re going to discuss all things belly.
Why do you get belly fat?
You get belly fat for the same reason you put on weight in any other part of your body – when you take in more calories than your body needs for energy, it stores them as fat.
You don’t get to choose where your body stores this fat, it’s all down to your own personal body composition.
This is why some people seem to gain weight in different places, like their thighs or stomach or bum, and why those places seem to be the last to lose weight when you’re dieting and exercising more.
More often than not, our bodies like to store fat in our abdomens first and foremost, this is because all of our vital organs are there.
Adding a layer of fat there is your body’s way of protecting your stomach, and kidneys and all of the other essential bits and pieces you have in there, so although your belly fat might be annoying, your body’s putting it there for a good reason.
Does alcohol cause stomach fat?
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘beer belly’ before, and if you’re a fan of a cheeky pint then it may have caused you some concern when you’re trying to lose weight.
Well, it turns out that half of us may need to be more worried about a beer belly than others – sorry men, but you are not in luck this time!
A report made in 2015 found that men generally seem to experience more alcohol-related weight gain than women, and this could be due to a number of factors.
Two of the most commonly considered include the frequency and quantity of the alcohol men tend to drink — essentially the report found that men tend to drink three times more alcohol than women on average.
You may already be aware that drinks can often contain ‘hidden calories’ and alcohol is no exception to the rule, meaning that you’re less likely to notice the number of extra calories you’re consuming when you’re having a few drinks than you would if you were eating a snack.
This could naturally lead to weight gain in itself, but when you consider that beer, which tends to be more popular with men than women (or at least, in the US), is rich in carbohydrates, the more the ‘beer belly’ name starts to make sense.
What is the quickest way to lose belly fat?
The quickest way to lose belly fat is to lose weight in general.
Like I mentioned earlier, there’s no way to target specific areas of fat for weight loss — your body does what it does and it will lose weight where it wants to.
That being said, when you diet and exercise, you’ll lose weight all over, so although it may seem like your belly is going nowhere, it may just be that you’re losing and gaining weight proportionally.
We’d recommend keeping track by taking your measurements or thinking about your clothes sizes – you may feel like your belly is large but when you’re seeing it every day, those gradual changes are really easy to miss.
Numbers don’t lie, so get out that measuring tape or try on those goal jeans, you may be surprised to learn that your belly is actually getting smaller and smaller the more your positive changes add up.
What are the best diets to lose belly fat?
As we’ve just covered, there isn’t a way to lose weight in a specific area of your body, so no diet is going to magically melt away belly fat (if it did, we’d all be doing it!).
With that in mind, the best diet to lose belly fat is one that reduces your calorie intake every day.
Eating at a calorie deficit means that you’ll be eating fewer calories than your body needs for energy, so it will burn your extra fat to make up the energy it needs.
Over time, this sort of diet will help you to lose weight steadily and sustainably, as you can reduce your calorie intake over time, making it easier to form good habits that will help you keep weight off over time.
Weight loss injections, such as Saxenda, work by reducing your appetite so you’ll eat less food and therefore stick to a lower calorie diet more easily.
What are the best exercises to lose belly fat?
Although diets can’t target your belly fat, exercise routines can be designed to target certain areas of the body so you can tone up where you feel you need to.
Exercises that build your core strength have the added bonus of toning up your abdomen, so things like crunches, planks, and burpees could be the perfect addition to your exercise routine.
On top of this, a good dose of cardio can help you to burn calories, making it easier for you to hit a calorie deficit while getting your heart rate up for those lovely cardiovascular benefits.
Of course, if these exercises just aren’t up your street that’s fine!
The best exercise is one you enjoy and will keep doing regularly, so taking your dog out for a walk, having a kitchen disco in the morning, or going for a nice swim are all worth it and can help you to get rid of belly fat if you keep up with them.
How to lose belly fat naturally
Sorry to say it, but there’s no way to lose weight without putting some effort in – the phrase no pain, no gain is irritatingly well known for a reason!
At the end of the day, getting rid of belly fat is nice, but getting healthier, having more energy, and reducing your risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease are the real benefits here, and gradual, sustainable progress will help you to get there and reduce your belly fat to boot.
Can weight loss injections help you to lose stomach fat?
Weight loss injections, like GLP-1 Receptor Agonists, can help you to lose stomach fat by helping you lose weight overall.
These medications don’t target areas of fat specifically but help to reduce your appetite and make you feel fuller for longer.
This makes it easier for you to eat fewer calories every day, which in turn helps you to lose weight over time.
Combine these treatments with regular exercise and you could see some great results, but it’s important to remember that taking weight loss injections without reducing your calorie intake or exercising more won’t magically make the weight drop off.
These treatments are there to make your diet easier to stick to, rather than doing all the work for you — your weight loss will only be as good as the effort you put into it!
Well now you know more about losing belly fat and we’ve debunked some of the myths out there that claim to “melt belly fat in 7 days” — the next time I see one of those dodgy ads I’ll know that I’m more likely to see a flying pig!
So with that in mind, it’s time for you to go and make those small changes that will help you feel healthier and lose weight.
Our advice section is full of interesting articles that will help you on your way, so go ahead, your weight loss journey starts here!