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How to Lose Belly Fat: From a Big Belly to Sixpack

How to Lose Belly Fat: From a Big Belly to Sixpack

Everyone has body fat. Ignore the fitness magazine headline of the ripped guy saying how he literally has no fat on his body.

Body Fat is necessary. It is the best fuel storage for your body as it’s providing him a lot of energy. Fat tissue is your body’s way of storing energy.

Back in our hunter and gatherer times this was crucial. One could not buy foods as easily as we buy them today. In prehistoric times we had to go days and maybe even weeks without food. The accumulation of fat cells was crucial in that day and age.

Fat cells used to be our friends, now we like to call them our worst enemy. What used to be so beneficial in the past is now deeply annoying. But that fat storage, especially around your waist — belly fat, can not only be annoying, but also be dangerously life threatening.

Not All Body Fat Is Created Equal

My grandfather used to have a really big and hard belly. He had such a huge belly that he would be able to drive his Mercedes with his tummy only. Just hilarious when you think about it.

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My grandpa was not storing his body fat at the right point. In fact, the belly fat turned out to be life threatening. My grandfather suffered from lung cancer just some years later, but which he has thankfully beaten by now. He developed dangerous fat around his organs, which can be really, really dangerous.

We have to make an important difference when it comes to body fat:

Visceral Fat: the fat that is stored around your organs.

This is the fat my grandfather possessed in excess. Fat around your organs can be potentially life threatening. It reduces the blood flow to these important tissues and can impair organ function. It’s very stressful for your body. You’ve got a lot of visceral fat on your belly if it’s hard and constantly looks like the belly has swollen up. The typical beer belly is a product of fat build up around your organs.

Subcutaneous Fat: the fat that most people possess.

Instead of laying around your organs, this fat is directly under your skin. You can pinch it with your fingers. This fat is less life threatening, but it can also drastically impair your confidence, athletic ability and your self-image. Subcutaneous fat can also be found around your hips, where it is called cellulite.

Although visceral fat is the more dangerous one, both of these fat cells should be avoided to have in excess. They both can increase the fat content in your blood. As fat levels rise, the ability of your body to clear sugar from the blood drops due to insulin resistance. This can lead to type 2 diabetes in the long-term.

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How I’ve Lost My Fat

I didn’t always have a sixpack. Belly fat was something that was nearly impossible to lose for me.

I remember talking with a friend that had great abs since he was born. I asked him for advice. He told me that I should find ways to cope with my current situation, as having a sixpack is purely genetical. Not the motivation I had hoped for.

Today I can tell you with confidence that he was wrong. I currently have a sixpack and am extremely proud of it. It shows me that everything is possible if you put in the work.

What needs to be done to lose your belly fat is often just a mindset shift. Most people know that they’re eating the wrong foods. You already know that daily exercise is crucial for losing your belly fat.  What people often lack is the mental state and the willingness to actually put in the work.

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    Increase Your Discipline, Motivation And Drive

    How do you increase your discipline, motivation and drive? I suggest you doing three things:

    1. Exercise

    I don’t recommend you exercising for burning excess calories only. Yes, there is some of that, but exercise can also dramatically influence your mindset.

    Physical activity gives you the feeling of control over your life. It gives you better self-awareness and control, it betters your thinking and increases your happiness. The mental state of mind that you need when you’re trying to lose your belly fat.

    2. Practice Mindfulness

    Meditate daily. Doesn’t have to be too long. As simple as two minutes of focusing on your breath is totally enough.

    Mindfulness helps you improve your thoughts. Thoughts turn into desire and desire turns into actions. By controlling your thoughts you’re less likely to indulge in foods that you know are not good for you. My binge eating habit nearly disappeared after practicing mindfulness on a daily basis.

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    3. Improve Yourself Every Day

    Or as Warren Buffett said: You have to develop the habits of success. Realize that your life is constantly under construction. You were not born perfect and neither was I. Try to constantly change your life for the better. This way you will find new ways to better your health and loose the excess fat on your tummy.

    Start Losing Your Belly Fat

    Take immediate action. The previous list may seem long and tedious, but don’t get discouraged.  Start small.  Small changes add up over the long-term.

    Ask yourself: Have you washed your dishes today? If not, stop reading this article right now and wash your dishes. Don’t search for excuses, simply do it right now. Once you’ve washed your dishes, ask yourself: Have I made my bed this morning? No? Immediately start making your bed.

    These habits may seem insignificant to you, but trust me, they will help you get momentum in your life.

    There are two options: Either you control your mind, or your mind controls you.

    To watch a video on how to better control your mind and become limitless, while losing your belly fat of course, click here.

    More by this author

    Florian Wüest

    Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

    Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss The Truth Behind Rapid Weight Loss and the Best Way to Shed Pounds How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss? How Vegan Bodybuilding Diet Keeps Hunger at Bay While Plant Based The Biggest Myth Debunked: The More Protein You Eat, the Faster You Build Muscles?

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    Last Updated on March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

    More Health Tips

    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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