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Published on June 6, 2019

Lose Stomach Fat Fast With These 10 Diet Hacks

Lose Stomach Fat Fast With These 10 Diet Hacks

Ready to hear the dirty little secret no one tells you about how to lose stomach fat?

The secret is — you can’t. At least, not the way that you think.

Studies show that blasting your abs with tons of crunches won’t trim your belly fat, just like doing curls won’t give you tighter arms and squats won’t give you leaner legs.[1]

Spot reducing fat, or picking and choosing where you’d like to lose fat on your body, is a complete and utter myth.

The only way to get a leaner midsection is to shed fat from your entire body. To do this, you’ll need the right combination of diet strategy and exercise — something you can stick to long enough for your body to start tapping into the fat stores in your belly.

There are as many approaches to losing weight as there are people on this planet, but no matter who you are, here are 10 diet hacks to keep you on track as you lean down in your quest for a flat stomach.

1. Create a Consistent Calorie Deficit

Eating the right number of calories on a daily basis is the number one driver of fat loss.[2] Don’t let the low-fat or low-carb gurus fool you!

What’s the right number of calories?

Well, a calorie is a unit of energy that our bodies primarily derive from food. Every day, we burn a certain number of calories depending on our size, age, gender, and activity levels.

To burn fat, which is to say, to force our bodies to tap into our fat reserves and use them for energy instead of food, we need to eat fewer calories than we burn in a day.

The key is not to overcomplicate your diet by demonizing specific food groups or macronutrients.

Aim for a deficit of about 500 calories per day. The easiest method to calculate this is to multiply by 12 calories per pound of bodyweight and eat that many calories every day.

If you do nothing else on this list except consistently hit your daily calorie target, you WILL lose weight.

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2. Eat Slower and Be Patient

Eating fewer calories to lose weight is really simple, but that’s not to say that it’s easy.

Forcing your body to burn its fat stores for energy is an uncomfortable process that might leave you feeling drained and with less energy, while getting used to smaller meals may leave you feeling hungry at first.

One great workaround is to eat slower, chew more, and be patient.

There is evidence to support the idea that eating more slowly can increase how satisfied and full some people feel after a meal, and decrease your desire to eat more.[3]

It simply takes time for your stomach to communicate to your brain that it’s full and satisfied! If you eat quickly, you might bypass this signal and wind up eating more than you really needed to feel full.

Not only that, but it takes a solid 2 to 3 hours for your body to convert food you’ve just eaten into actual, usable energy. Even after eating a large meal while dieting, you may still feel hungry, but that doesn’t mean you need to eat more.

If you’re patient enough and allow your body to do its work, you’ll usually feel a jolt of energy a few hours after eating.

3. Eat More Protein

If you hit the right number of calories every day, you’ll be well on your way toward losing your belly, regardless of the overall makeup of your diet.

However, there is lots of evidence to suggest that people interested in fat loss should consider a diet high in protein.

People who eat more protein are generally more satisfied and tend to eat fewer calories overall.[4] Plus, a healthy dose of protein every day will help you preserve more muscle mass and encourage your body to lose more fat.

Your protein needs will vary depending on your gender and activity levels, but most people should shoot for at least 40 to 50 grams of protein every day.

4. Delay Your First Meal

Ever heard of intermittent fasting? It’s an eating style wherein you drastically reduce your eating window during the day while remaining fasted the rest of the time. For example, you might be “allowed” to eat for 8 hours, from noon to 8pm, while the rest of the time you only drink water.

The health benefits of fasting are vast and go far beyond weight loss and include boosts in mood, energy, focus, longevity, and more.

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However, you needn’t jump right into long, extended fasts, though they can be extremely effective.[5]

Try pushing your first meal back just a few hours after you wake up. You’ll likely trigger more fat burning than you would by eating right away, and surprisingly, you’ll probably be a lot less hungry eating nothing than you would after eating a small breakfast.

Even mild fasting can dramatically decrease your overall appetite and calorie intake throughout the day.

5. Work Your Core

I know I said you can’t force your body to lose stomach fat, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for the day that it does!

Work your abdominal and core muscles 2 to 3 times per week to build strength in your midsection. As you begin to lose fat, you’ll discover better tone and definition in that area than if you ignored it.

What are the best core exercises? Leave the crunches on the bench and try some more challenging moves like:

You can find more here: 5 Killer Stomach Workouts for Impressive Abs

You don’t need much, just 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps or so a few times per week should be plenty to build those abs and prepare them for their big reveal.

6. Do the Right Kind of Cardio

Believe it or not, exercise is completely optional when it comes to losing weight. If you eat the right number of calories, the fat will come off regardless.

However, it will be much easier to create your consistent calorie deficit if you’re active and burning extra calories at least a few times per week. Plus, exercising is a whole lot better for your health that not exercising.

Cardio can definitely help! But you’ll have a few choices for how to go about it:

  • LISS (Low Intensity Steady State): Going for a long walk or light jog would be considered low intensity cardio. The benefits of this kind of exercise are that you’ll burn calories without taxing your body too badly and driving up your appetite. The downside? It can be kind of boring and lengthy, therefore difficult to incorporate on a consistent basis as a result.
  • HISS (High Intensity Steady State): Think going for a long run. The plus side of HISS is that you’ll burn more calories a lot faster when compared to LISS, however these workouts are more draining and difficult to recover from. You may find yourself extremely hungry as a result of the exertion.
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): HIIT refers to short bursts of intense exercise followed by stretches of rest or long intensity work. Imagine walking on a treadmill and occasionally working in high-speed sprints, or doing a circuit of pushups, air squats, lunges, etc. with rest intervals worked in. These workouts burn a ton of calories quickly and dramatically improve your conditioning, but they can also be difficult for your body to recover from and can drive up your appetite.

Each form of cardio has its place, but for fat loss, I’d recommend sticking mostly with LISS or HIIT workouts to burn extra calories a few times per week.

7. Eat More Filling Foods

Again, hitting a calorie target sounds simple, but that doesn’t make it easy!

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If you find you’re consistently getting hungry throughout the day when trying to stick to a diet, you may need to change up your food choices.

Sure, you could technically lose weight by eating 1200 calories of Doritos every day, though I wouldn’t recommend it!

Your best bet will be to eat lots of nutrient rich foods that satiate your body and take time to digest.

Simple carbs (white bread, sugar, etc.) are unquestionably delicious but offer little nutritional value, so your body churns through them quickly. They might briefly fill your stomach, but they won’t leave you satisfied for long.

Complex carbs (oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes) and lean proteins (chicken, turkey) will keep you full for longer and better fuel your body for any workouts you might incorporate.

8. Utilize Strategic Refeeds and Diet Breaks

You likely won’t need these strategies when you first begin your diet, but as you start to see results and get to a lower body fat percentage, you might find your body needs a break every now and then.

After all, burning your own fat for energy is difficult on the body and mind. Long-term adherence to the diet is a lot more important than getting results as fast as possible.

Consider adding in one refeed day per week, where you eat an additional 500 calories or so (usually complex carbs). This will help restore your body’s energy and promote a healthy metabolism.

You can also take a 2 to 4 week diet break, where you eat your body’s maintenance calories (around bodyweight times 15 calories per day) and allow yourself to recover and rejuvenate.

Funny enough, you may find that eating more actually encourages your body to shed some of the fat it’s been desperately clinging to. Studies show that people who take strategic breaks from dieting now and then have better long-term fat loss results.[6]

9. Get More Sleep

So much of adhering to a fat loss diet comes down to willpower and mental focus.

Know what the number one killer of willpower is? A lack of sleep.

Sleep deprivation can cause chaos with your hormonal balance and ability to regulate your appetite, but more importantly, it can leave you with very little self-control. People who don’t sleep enough find themselves snacking more and overeating more frequently.[7]

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Shoot for 7 to 9 hours per night to feel your best. Go to bed earlier if need be, and definitely consider shaking up the bedtime routine.

Blue light from phones, computers, and TVs, for example, is known to disrupt sleep patterns. Opt for a book before bed if you’re having trouble getting to sleep on time.

10. Track Everything

An extra bite of your friend’s dessert here, a quick snack there, and another dollop of sauce or oil on your plate… It all adds up, and those extra calories can easily derail your diet if you’re not careful.

To be sure you’re hitting your calorie goal every day, it’s best to track everything, even if you’re only using your best estimation (though calorie counters can help, too).

Tracking meals is one thing, but for the best results you’ll want to write down every single thing you take into your body including sauce, oil, sides, snacks, drinks, and more.

Forgetting about that 300 to 500 extra calories you had during the day will be the difference between losing belly fat fast, and not.

The Bottom Line

I wish there was an easy way to quickly lose fat from your belly, believe me!

What more people need to understand is that, although targeted fat loss is impossible, fat doesn’t come off of your body completely evenly, either.

For many people, especially men, the stomach is their body’s absolute favorite place to store fat. You may need to lose a significant amount of weight before your body is ready to start tapping into its belly stores.

Remember to set your calorie target and focus on hitting it every single day. Exercising, getting lots of protein, and incorporate tricks to stay motivated can really help, but the energy deficit is the primary driver and fat loss and should be your main priority.

You’ll likely need to stick with the plan for a long time before that stomach completely flattens out.

More Articles About Losing Weight

Featured photo credit: Gesina Kunkel via unsplash.com

Reference

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Evan Porter

Fitness Enthusiast, Expert Researcher, and Full-Time Dad. Author and owner of The Trusty Spotter and Dad Fixes Everything.

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Last Updated on October 23, 2019

50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into fifty key points.

Here’re 50 habits of highly successful people you should learn:

1. Believe It to See It

Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

3. Keep Looking for Solutions

Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

6. Always Ask Productive Questions

It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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9. Maximize Your Strengths

Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

10. Be in It to Win It

Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

11. Know That Success Attracts Success

People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

14. Be a One-Off Original

Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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20. Accept Challenge All the Time

Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

21. Make Your Own Luck

In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

22. Ignite Your Initiative

While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

24. Champion in Communication

Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

25. Plan Your Life Strategically

Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

28. Live by Core Values

Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

30. Don’t Get Carried Away

Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

34. Change Opens New Doors

People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

41. Swim Against the Tide

Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

48. Follow Through

Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

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Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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