How to Get Started With Weight Loss NutritionMust Reads | Nutrition | Weight Loss 6 min Read
If you want to lose weight chances are this isn’t your first attempt at fat loss. It probably isn’t…
Belly fat: America’s Enemy #1.
By my rough calculations, there are 1 in 100 lucky people that don’t have unwanted, stubborn belly fat.
For the rest of us—we want the permanent solution to getting rid of it once and for all.
This article is a long one because this isn’t a simple thing to do.
But it is possible, and I’m going to lay out all the steps for you.
First, we have to remodel your beliefs about what is attainable when losing stubborn belly fat.
Let’s talk about a certain myth.
Targeted fat loss.
We all want to believe this fantasy that we can choose a certain part of our body to just melt the fat off like someone making an ice sculpture.
The truth is that we cannot do that short of surgical intervention.
You might see women like Kim Kardashian with fat in all the right places: a large well-shaped butt, a tiny waist, and big breasts. All of the check-marks for what society has deemed the ideal shape for a woman.
What you don’t see is the countless surgeries Kim has undergone to attain this look.
Breast augmentations, Brazilian butt-lifts (they take fat from the places you don’t want it, and put it where you do!), and liposuction are just a few. It’s fine for someone who is paid for their looks to spend that kind of money, time recovering off of work, and time making these recurring appointments (because all of it requires maintenance).
But what about the rest of us?
People that may not have thousands of dollars to pour into plastic surgery, or unlimited vacation time to use laying in bed waiting for swelling to go down.
Targeted fat loss is a myth. But understanding this is only half of the equation of changing your mindset.
The other half is understanding your genetics.
Here’s a little secret: each of us is special. You’re the only person on earth with your DNA sequence (yes, even identical twins DNA changes over their lifetime).
What does that mean for stubborn belly fat?
It means that your DNA decides your shape.
Fat is our bodies best energy storage system, like gas in a car, and your genetics determine where & in what proportions you store body fat.
Women tend to store fat in their breasts (duh), their hips, thighs, and arms.
If you’re a woman with small breasts at low body weights they will remain small, in proportion to the rest of your body, as you gain weight.
This is where the idea of having a pear shape, apple shape, and hour-glass shape come from.
The places your body puts on fat first when you gain weight, unfortunately, are the places your body will lose fat last when you reduce weight.
Again, outside of surgery, there is little you can do to change this.
So, what can you do?
This section is all about the one thing that can reduce stubborn belly fat the most: building muscle.
Building muscle through a real strength training program is going to have two major effects on your stubborn belly fat.
First, and most importantly, it will increase your metabolism which helps reduce the amount of belly fat you have.
Second, it will create a lean, toned look instead of that skinny-fat appearance people who only do cardio have.
Earlier I mentioned that fat is your body’s best energy storage system, and like any good storage system, it waits for when it is needed. It requires almost no energy to maintain.
Muscle tissue, on the other hand, requires additional energy (calories) to maintain. This means that for every pound of additional muscle your body has you are making permanent increases to your metabolism.
But, it doesn’t stop there.
Studies show that strength training, not cardio, is the most effective form of exercise for fat loss.
Because strength training done as a circuit using compound movements like squats, bench presses, and deadlifts burns a lot of calories during exercise.
The best part? It continues to burn calories for up to 38 hours after the exercise session.
Toning your body requires two things: reducing body fat, and building muscle. These two things together improve your tone and give the firm look you’re after.
Doing 30 repetitions of pulsing squats and arm curls with light weights isn’t going to build muscle (or boost your metabolism), not any time soon anyways.
And you want fast results, don’t you?
For that, you need real strength training for a minimum of three hours a week.
Building muscle is absolutely necessary, and don’t worry, you won’t get bulky.
Women lack the required levels of testosterone to look manly or bulky.
That’s why men have testosterone—so they look manly.
Muscle building isn’t an overnight process, and when you’ve built the muscle you’re after, slow down on the weights. Simple.
No one has ever gone to bed with a feminine shape & woken up with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arms.
That’s an intense title, isn’t it?
Good. I wanted to get your attention.
This section is about losing your body fat.
In the previous section we covered building muscle as the best form of exercise to lose stubborn belly fat through increasing your metabolism.
There is more exercise you can be doing to speed things up, and we haven’t even talked about diet yet.
I said you should be doing strength training for at least three hours a week, and if you can only fit three hours of fitness into your week, focus it there.
What if you have more time?
Well, the second most effective form of exercise to add to your exercise routine is H.I.I.T. (high intensity interval training).
Simply put, this means you are exercising at a high intensity level that gets your heart racing, sweat pouring, and breath panting in a short amount of time, and then you rest. That is one interval.
A HIIT workout involves many of these intervals and usually they are structured in a work-to-rest ratio. 15 seconds of work to 15 seconds of rest. 20 seconds of work to 40 seconds of rest. You get the idea.
Some great exercises to perform HIIT with are sled pushes, mace swings, and the dreaded airdyne bike.
This exercise should comprise the next two hours of your workouts each week.
Hours 1-3 are weight training in a circuit style fashion so you are getting a lot of work done—not that sit on the machine doing arm curls and texting kind of workout.
Hours 4-5 should be focused on HIIT workouts.
Diet. Many people view the word diet with the same disgust they view the words moist, taxes, and kale.
Let’s go ahead and change that right now.
Diet isn’t a bad word.
The textbook definition of diet is what you eat, on average, over time.
A diet isn’t something you go on for a short amount of time and get off.
To “diet right” you need to view your diet as a part of yourself (because it is), and understand that your diet is a reflection of lifestyle. And do you know what is a reflection of your diet? Your body.
If you are unhappy with your body (body fat specifically), then you need to make a change to your diet, and ultimately to your lifestyle.
Temporary changes to your eating habits are not actual dietary changes. And this means that changes to your body will only be temporary.
Do you want to lose body fat temporarily, or do you want to be rid of stubborn body fat forever?
I thought so.
It works like this: permanent changes to your body must come from permanent changes to your diet which must come from permanent changes to your lifestyle.
A few more questions: How many diets have you been on? How many times have they worked for a little while, and then you quit? How many times have these diets gotten rid of your stubborn belly fat permanently?
I’ll answer for you: tons of diets, sometimes they work, and they have never led to permanent fat loss (that’s why you’re reading this article, right?).
Permanent lifestyle changes come over time. These changes are what will lead to permanent belly fat loss.
Here’s a quote:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit” – Will Durant (not Aristotle…)
“If you’ve never juggled tennis balls successfully, you had best not try to juggle chainsaws.” – Keith Hansen (me)
Like any new skill you want to learn, you need to start small. Make the easiest changes to your lifestyle, wait until you don’t even have to think about doing those things anymore, and then add additional changes.
Remember, this article isn’t “How to Lose Belly Fat Fast”. That article would be much shorter: stop eating. Right now. Go vomit your last meal, and stop eating. Starvation is the absolute fastest way to reduce body fat. Have you ever watched the show Naked and Afraid?
Instead, this article is about losing stubborn belly fat forever.
Luckily for you, we’ve already written a free guide on good nutrition.
Everything I learned coaching Athena to lose 200lbs, and what she learned in the process, has been put into a guide for you.
If you’re interested in learning our approach to nutrition all you have to do is click the link below for a free guide to proper nutrition.The Serious Guide to Nutrition