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To Lose Belly Fat Fast

Updated on February 19, 2011

The struggle to lose belly fat fast is one that has plagued those seeking weight loss for years.  For some reason, if your genetic type gives you a tendency to carry abdominal fat, then it is some of the most persistent and difficult fat you will ever want to shift.  For both men and women, a fat stomach is deeply unattractive, as well as being difficult to disguise with clothing.  As well as the visible flab of subcutaneous fat, a protruding tum usually indicates the presence of deep-lying visceral fat, which surrounds and strains the vital organs - so getting rid of it will help both your health and your appearance.

Do you need to lose belly fat?

The risks of visceral fat are too alarming to ignore, and all belly fat is linked with cancer and cardiovascular disease. You know whether or not you are overweight for your height, just calculate your BMI - but you should also check your abdominal measurements. Use a tape measure around your waist at just about the level of your navel - making sure you have it level. If your belly fat is not excessive, this will be the narrowest part of your abdomen, but if it's harder to identify that suggests more of a problem. A measurement greater than 35 inches for women, or and 40 inches for men, is bad news, whatever your height and weight.

So, what is the best way to lose belly fat?  There is no simple answer to this - sadly, this is often the case when it comes to weight loss, but you are going to have to approach it from a dual point of view, combining both diet and exercise.

Diet to Lose Belly Fat

The best diet to lose belly fat fast will be one that avoids any potential to bloating, because often what appears to be fat might just be gas within the guts. Many people find that reducing their carbs or adopting a slow carb diet is helpful, because refined carbs are often difficult to digest, and for many in this category the real culprit might in fact be wheat - if you do have an unidentified food sensitivity in play, this can cause all sorts of digestive problems as well as adding inches to your waistline. If you have any concerns try ditching wheat for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference for you.

Of course, if you know it's more than gas making your clothes too tight, you will want to investigate weight loss diets and find a plan that suits you, because there is no easy way to lose belly fat fast. Fat cells will reduce however if they are not fed, so reducing your calorific intake, steadily and consistently and for a good number of weeks, will make a real difference.

If you make some small, key lasting changes to your diet, you can start to see weight loss in a slow but sustainable way, which is more healthy than attempting to shift a lot of excess weight in one go. Try swapping white carbs for wholemeal and wholegrain foods, especially if you eat a lot of bread and pasta. As they are digested more slowly they will help you feel full for longer so you eat less, and also if your blood sugar is not raised by eating simple carbs, your body is more likely to burn fat as a fuel source.

Speaking of fat, you should swap your unhealthy saturated fats for poly and monounsaturated fats from plant sources... and definitely avoid the completely artificial 'trans' fats which can increase abdominal fat deposits.

Exercise to lose belly fat

At the same time as dieting, you should also consider exercises to lose belly fat.  

You need a combination of exercises for general cardiovascular training and conditioning, which will help you lose weight generally, and specific muscle toning exercises for the abdominal region.  There is no point just doing the abs work, if you are still carrying lots of extra weight!  Also for women who have a postnatal 'baby belly', you should not start doing any abdominal exercises until at least 6 weeks after the birth, even though you can start general cardio work such as walking well before then.  It's easy to focus on how to lose belly fat fast, but it needs to be part of an overall exercise strategy.

Crunch curls are important for abs work, but need to be done correctly and safely.  Watch this video for proper technique

Notice how the knees are bent, this protects the hip flexors, and the hands are not tugging on the head.

You can also exercise your abs doing holding the 'plank' position, as well as performing crunch curls obliquely - aiming the shoulder across to the opposite knee - remember that the best way to lose belly fat fast for women is going to be one that creates waist definition from the front, ie emphasising the hip curve, so you need to tone those obliques too.

For men and women, improvements in the appearance of belly fat can be achieved by toning the arms and upper body.  Ladies might not care to bulk up their pecs overmuch, but by exercising the back and shoulders you will improve your posture  - simply sitting and standing up straight is a great tip that will immediately flatten your tummy a bit.  

For women too it's easier to play fashion tricks to disguise the abdominal region - emphasizing the bust, either by revealing what's there, or plenty of ruffles and accessories, if there isn't much there!  Tailored garments that create the illusion of a waist, rather than sack-shaped things to hide behind, are far more flattering.  This won't do a thing about the health risks from abdominal fat of course... but feeling and looking good are the first steps to getting your lifestyle goals on track.  Good luck losing that belly fat fast!


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