For the majority of people lower belly fat is the most stubborn area for fat loss. But, at the same time it’s the key to taking your physique to the next level.
Sorry to break it to you, but simply weight training and eating at a caloric deficit often isn’t going to be enough for these stubborn areas. It’s much harder to lose fat in this area than other areas of your body. This is why so few people have a full-out six-pack.
There are two main reasons many people fail to lose stubborn fat:
- they get impatient and quit
- they aren’t doing the most optimal training for it
Stubborn fat isn’t called that for nothing! It’s, well… stubborn.
When people usually start a fat loss program they see that they’re making progress and losing fat in other areas of their body. They get motivated, but after months of hard dieting and cardio they don’t see much change in their belly fat. This is often the moment they quit.
You can’t blame them! It’s hard to keep going if, after months of hard work, that spare tire is still ever present.
However, the main reason they quit is due to the second problem mentioned earlier…
They aren’t doing the most optimal training, which means they’re hardly getting any results for all of their hard work.
Here are three tips to lose that stubborn fat as fast as possible, whether it be your belly, thighs… or wherever.
1: Use intermittent fasting
This is an eating protocol where you ingest all of your calories during an 8 to 10 hour window and fast for the rest of the day.
For example, eat from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and don’t consume anything with calories outside of those hours. Through various mechanisms intermittent fasting is able to effectively target stubborn body fat.
Research shows that IF achieves this by increasing levels of fat releasing hormones called catecholamines and increasing abdominal blood flow. This means that these hormones will have an easier time reaching your stubborn belly fat and thus burning off the fat in this area.
2: Increase your activity while in the fasted state
In order to get to a fasted state your insulin levels must drop from the elevated levels they are at after a meal. This often takes several hours.
Since insulin normally inhibits the breakdown of fat we want our insulin levels to be low during our workouts. This maximizes fat loss by increasing lipid mobilization.
By using an intermittent fasting protocol when you wake up you’ll actually be in this fasted state until you have your first meal.
So, by increasing your energy demand while in a fasted state you theoretically increase the mobilization and fat burning in stubborn areas.
3: Perform HIIT in a fasted state
For reasons I previously discussed there have been several studies concluding that HIIT (high intensity interval training) protocols are able to burn more fat than steady-state cardio… and in less time!
More importantly for us though, research also indicates that HIIT may be especially helpful in getting rid of stubborn fat. This is due to the hormonal responses that is exhibited from performing HIIT.
It has been shown on several occasions to actually significantly increase catecholamine levels in the body during and post exercise.
As mentioned earlier, increasing catecholamine levels in the body – especially when you’re in a fasted state – can potentially increase fat loss in stubborn areas.
As studies don’t show this catecholamine responses in steady-state cardio at all, it seems that HIIT is the best method to target that stubborn fat.
However, one of the biggest downsides with faster training is that it can increase muscle loss when you’re on a caloric deficit. This is why experts suggest supplementing with branched chain amino acids to counteract this effect.
In addition some people find that they don’t do very well lifting weights while fasted and they have to lower their weights as a result. If this is the case for you then try doing your cardio in a fasted state and your weight lifting in a non fasted state.
So, how exactly can you best implement these tips? Simple. Using the intermittent fasting protocol that you prefer, for example 16-hour fast and 8 our feeding window, perform your weight training and cardio while in a fasted state (ideally in the morning)
If you prefer weight training non fasted, then do that instead and stick to fasted cardio. Use HIIT as your fasted cardio 2-3 times per week. You can do additional fasted low intensity cardio if that isn’t enough, since HIIT is very stressful on the body if you do it too often.
One very important thing to always keep in mind…
At the end of the day you need to be eating at a caloric deficit!
Using all the tips mentioned before won’t get you anywhere if you’re eating more calories than you’re burning.
So, those are some things you can do to lose stubborn belly fat faster. Give them a try, and remember… DON’T QUIT! Be patient with yourself. Fat loss is a marathon, not a sprint.