How to Lose Belly Fat Safely

The Truth about Belly Fat Loss

The most important thing you MUST understand about how to lose belly fat is this very simple biological fact. Fat loss can not be isolated by body area. If you want to lose belly fat you must lose fat period. Depending on your body type the way you look as you lose fat deposits on your body is genetically coded. You can not simply isolate one area of the body though diet or exercise to remove fat from that area of the body.

"There is no magic bullet, diet plan, specific food, or type of exercise that specifically targets belly fat. But the good news is belly fat is the first kind of fat you tend to lose when you lose weight," says Michael Jensen, MD, a Mayo Clinic endocrinology specialist and obesity researcher.

There are 3 body types based on the Research of Dr. William Herbert Sheldon called somatotypes.

Ectomorph: characterized by long and thin muscles/limbs and low fat storage; receding chin, usually referred to as slim.

Mesomorph: characterized by medium bones, solid torso, low fat levels, wide shoulders with a narrow waist; usually referred to as muscular.

Endomorph: characterized by increased fat storage, a wide waist and a large bone structure, usually referred to as fat..

Different body types are genetically predisposed to store fat in different ratios and parts of the body. Simply put some people have an easier time of discarding unwanted fat deposits than others. This is not something you can changes it’s genetically coded.

"Ninety-nine percent of people who lose weight will lose it in the abdominal region before anywhere else -- and will lose proportionately more weight from the upper body," says Jensen, also a professor of medicine.

Simple Nutrition – Understanding the 3 Macronutrients Fats, Proteins, CarboHydrates

A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. Nutrients are the substances that enrich the body. They build and repair tissues, give heat and energy, and regulate body processes.

The chemical elements humans consume in the largest quantities are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur. The classes of chemical compounds humans consume in the largest quantities and which provide bulk energy are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

  • Carbohydrates are simple organic compounds that are aldehydes or ketones with many hydroxyl groups added, usually one on each carbon atom that is not part of the aldehyde or ketone functional group. The basic carbohydrate units are called monosaccharides; examples are glucose, galactose, and fructose. For the average person the science behind the classification of Carbohydrates is overwhelming but not that important… what you need to know is Carbohydrates are “Sugars” or convert to Sugars once consumed.
  • Proteins (also known as polypeptides) are organic compounds made of amino acids arranged in a linear chain and folded into a globular form. The amino acids in a polymer chain are joined together by the peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of adjacent amino acid residues. Proteins are absorbed and processed much differently in the body than carbohydrates. Proteins are required to build lean tissue. Most microorganisms and plants can biosynthesize all 20 standard amino acids, while animals (including humans) must obtain some of the amino acids from the diet. The amino acids that an organism cannot synthesize on its own are referred to as essential amino acids.
  • Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are generally triesters of glycerol and fatty acids. One might thing that cutting back on fat consumption is the key to losing weight. That would be an incorrect assumption. Fats are required for the body to regulate the intake of Micronutrients (Vitamins and Minerals). While it’s important to consume the “correct type” of fats (which goes beyond the scope of this article) simply cutting fats from your diet will not result in weight loss, and might actually be dangerous to your health.

And why is that? "Visceral fat, the kind tucked deep inside your waistline, is more metabolically active and easier to lose than subcutaneous fat under the skin, especially if you have plenty of it," explains Penn State researcher Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD.

Calories:

Carbohydrates: 4.5 Calories per gram

Proteins: 4.5 Calories per gram

Fats: 9 Calories per gram

What is a calorie? A calorie is just a way to measure the “Energy Potential” of a food in the body. In the same way that a “Degree” is how we measure the temperature of the air outside. Cutting calories in and of itself is the key to weight loss. A body must only consume the amount of calories it will burn in a day in order to maintain a balance of weight. Simply put if you burn too many calories your body will drop weight (Unfortunately fat doesn’t always come off first!). If you consume too many calories the body will store those calories as weight… if you are not exercising or building muscle excess calories are stored as fat!

MicroNutrients: These are the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that our bodies need to operate. Micronutrients are not assigned a caloric value because they do not create energy in the body in and of themselves but they initiate and sustain the biological processes that allow our cells to function.

To Lose Belly Fat You Need to Balance your Macro and Micro Nutrient Intake

People think they can “Diet” and lose weight. But what is a diet? A diet is nothing more than manipulating the foods we eat in order to create an environment that allows our bodies to come into natural harmonic balance. In short a diet manipulates our caloric intake. But the real key to dieting is bringing into Balance Macro and Micronutrients so that we not only lose weight but we provide our bodies with the Nutrition they need to operate at optimum levels.

If you choose to consume to much or too little of any substance the corresponding result is a body that is out of balance with it’s needs and this results in disease. Determining the “Perfect Diet” is science and art. We know when we “feel good” so we can use this as an indicator of what were are eating is “working”. When our bodies gain weigh we are doing something wrong… we are consuming too many calories and not enough nutrition. When our bodies get what they want and need they are self regulating and our desire to eat will coincide perfectly with our bodies needs.

Hundreds of crunches each day won't flatten your belly if you need to lose weight. If your abdominal muscles aren't covered with excess fat, strengthening them can help you look tighter and thinner. But spot exercises won't banish belly fat.

Most scientific evidence suggests that a calorie-controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs, and poultry is the foundation for a diet that provides all the nutrients you need while helping to whittle your waistline.

If you want to lose the Belly Fat you must consume the correct balance of nutrients for your body. That is the magic secret… it’s called being healthy and when one is healthy they can enjoy the benefits of life!

Uncover the Truth about How to Lose Belly Fat Safely

Your body type plays a role in how belly fat looks on you.
Your body type plays a role in how belly fat looks on you.

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Comments 16 comments

Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 7 years ago

Great hub and explanation of belly fat and safely lose it. thanks for this post very informative hub.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

MikeNV, thanks for listing the three typical body types. They seem valid, but of course many people fall into a "mixed breed type" that is not any of these. Some people even have an upper torso that belongs to one type and a lower torso that belongs to the other.

Do you think that an exercise program that targets abdominal muscles cannot help to lose belly fat by replacing it with muscle tissue even in people who are not genetically programmed to be muscular?


Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 7 years ago from Florida

Excellent information. This is so true - healthy eating is the key to weight loss.


MikeNV profile image

MikeNV 7 years ago from Henderson, NV Author

Exercise builds muscle... yep even overweight people who over consume calories can build more muscle. Exercise is a good thing it has many benefits, but fat loss is not a function of exercise UNLESS it causes the person exercising to use more calories than they intake. Targeting muscle groups may build the muscle but in and of itself it does not remove fat. This is clearly supported by research done my the Mayo Clinic reported in the article.

Genetically speaking we are what we are. The three body types are based on research done by Dr. William H. Sheldon. You can choose to believe his conclusions or not. You can make up your own categories of body types as many as you want. But the article is about Dr. Sheldons body typing. Nothing is set in stone.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

MikeNV, my comment about the body types was based on observations of actual people. Some even have a different bone type in upper and lower torso.

While it is true that buillding muscle alone will not reduce weight (and may in fact increase it), muscle tissue burns more calories while at rest, so the calories burned as a result of such a strategy are not just the ones that are expended by the exercise itself. (It's a strategy to shift body types by becoming a spender, rather than a hoarder.)


MikeNV profile image

MikeNV 7 years ago from Henderson, NV Author

Reducing weight and eliminating fat are two entirely different things. Putting on more muscle does not reduce fat. You can not spot reduce. That's the whole point of the research. Body type only means it is easier for some and harder for others.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 7 years ago from United States

Good hub Mike. I hate the fact that you can't spot reduce but I combining the exercise and right diet are the answer. You explained it very well.


Faisal 7 years ago

Ok I have a question: I am not overwight or anything and am more of a "Mesomprph". Its just that I have this belly fat..I don't need to loose weight but just the fat. As per the article exercises will not do anything?? I am kind of depressed now :(


jenniferhughs profile image

jenniferhughs 7 years ago

MikeNV, FYI in your descriptions of the bosy types you repeat Endomorph twice and one of the descriptionsis the same as the Mesomorph, so you may want to correct that. That being said, it was a terrific article. My trainer at the gym always says if you want to lose belly fat you have to lose weight. toning alone will not get rid of the belly bulge!


Faisal 6 years ago

But what if your weight is normal and you just have belly fat?


spine health 6 years ago

People are always going to believe they can burn fat just off the belly because there are so many products on the market that tell them they can even though all the science proves it is not true.


losestomachfat profile image

losestomachfat 6 years ago from Australia

Right on and I don't think this topic is written about nowhere nearly enough. I think bodybuilding has so much to offer in regard to fat loss. I think to many people look to find the best fat loss program out there but I think its much better to find the best fat loss program that suits your genetic make up and body type.


sameerk profile image

sameerk 6 years ago from India

very good info


Dave Sibole profile image

Dave Sibole 6 years ago from Leesburg, Oh

Great Hub. Thanks. Voted up and awesome.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

If only!


jaciepenny 4 years ago

This article is fantastic! It has many great points. I love the one about having a healthy diet in order to reduce belly fat. It falls in line with what John Chatham said about reducing belly fat! John Chatham wrote THE BELLY FAT DIET book which promotes a healthy and sustainable approach towards eating. It's on Amazon for $2.99 if anyone is interested in it. Check it out and see if it works for you! Good luck with creating a healthier you!

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