How to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat Fast: Best Science-Backed Ways in 2023
Table of Contents
With the best of intentions, many of us enter the New Year with a resolution to lose weight, only to fail. Let’s take a look at the best, scientifically-backed ways to lose weight – particularly belly fat – in 2023.
Belly fat or lower belly fat is unsightly and is related to a number of negative health issues. There are many reasons why men and women develop lower belly fat. Your diet, your age, your lifestyle, and your hormone levels all contribute to gaining belly fat and your ability to lose it.
Why Do You Gain Lower Belly Fat?
When it comes to weight loss, losing belly fat is almost everyone’s first and foremost goal. But why do we accumulate so much fat in the lower belly in the first place?
First of all, let’s learn a bit about fat. Not all fat is bad. In fact, we literally could not live without some fat. Our bodies need fat to store calories for future use, and fat is a repository and necessary mechanism for the absorption of fat-soluble hormones and vitamins. It’s only when we have too much fat that it’s a bad thing.
There are two main types of fat in the abdominal area. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that’s located just below your skin. This kind of fat is stored not only in the belly but is deposited all over your body. But the belly area has another kind of fat as well, which is called visceral fat. This fat is stored deeper in your body, where its purpose is to cushion and protect the vital organs in your abdomen. Since it serves a practical purpose, your body tends to accumulate visceral fat, and since your abdominal area, unlike other parts of the body, is subject to the storage of two types of fat, we tend to build up more fat in the belly than anywhere else.
Of the two, visceral fat is the harder to lose, and most research shows that it is high amounts of visceral belly fat that lead to conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Diet Tips to Get Rid of Belly Fat
So just how can we get rid of stubborn belly fat? Here are some tips from the experts.
Cut your calories and carbs – Cutting calories is the surest and easiest way to lose weight. But, if you want to target belly fat, cut back on the carbs. By cutting back on carbs, you put your body into a state known as “ketosis,” where it starts burning stored fat as its main fuel.
Try intermittent fasting – Intermittent fasting or “IT” is a proven and popular way to lose weight. There are different ways to do it. Some chose a full-day fast once or twice a week or do a 16-hour “fasting window” each day. Either way, giving your body regular, extended breaks from eating seems to help with overall fat loss and, in particular, helps to reduce belly fat.
Consume more fiber – Getting enough dietary fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and minimizing belly fat. Fiber helps you to feel fuller, so you consume fewer calories, and it aids in digestion. Studies have found that taking in as little as an extra 14 grams of fiber per day was linked to a 10% decrease in caloric intake and weight loss of around about 5 pounds over the course of three to four months.
Slow down with alcohol – Reducing your consumption of alcohol has many health benefits, not the least of which is weight loss. Most alcoholic drinks are filled with carbs and sugar that can pack on the pounds.
Training Tips to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Crunches won’t help – If you are tired of doing crunches day in and day out, and you still have that annoying spare tire – stop! You are going about it all wrong. Crunches can build up your abs; that is what they are designed to do. But, contrary to popular belief, they do not “target” belly fat. You can crunch all you want, and you may strengthen your abs, but you won’t see that under all that belly fat if you do not raise your overall energy output and burn fat.
Try working out in the morning – Of course, working out at anytime burns calories and helps you to lose weight, but working out in the morning has these added benefits:
- Boosts your energy throughout the day
- Improves focus and cognition
- Puts you in a better mood
- Can lower your risk for diabetes
Consider HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is probably the best exercise to lose belly fat. Not only because HIIT burns calories, but it has also been proven to increase your levels of human growth hormone and testosterone. Low levels of testosterone and HGH have been linked to obesity. In fact, being pear-shaped or possessing excess belly fat is a sign of both low testosterone and growth hormone deficiency. In HIIT, you alternate doing several minute rounds of high-intensity exercise to pump up your heart rate to at least 80% of your maximum heart rate, followed by short periods of lower-intensity workouts.
Do more cardio – Instead of crunches, do more cardio. The surest way to burn fat, including stubborn belly fat, is to increase your energy usage with intense cardio that requires burning fat for energy.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat
Sometimes no matter how much dieting and exercise you do, there just is stubborn belly fat that you just cannot get rid of. When that is the case, you are probably a candidate for a medical weight loss program. Medical weight loss usually involves FDA-approved medication, surgical interventions, and hormone replacement therapy in a medically supervised and encouraging environment.
Surgery – For the morbidly obese who have tried and failed at every other weight loss method, there is the option of weight loss surgery such as bariatric surgery. However, such methods should only be considered as a last resort when your health is at serious risk of obesity and are not for just losing a few pounds.
Lipotropic injections – Involve the injection of vitamins and other molecules that claim to boost your metabolism and burn fat. The claims are mostly unjustified, and the procedure is not FDA-approved.
Hormone replacement therapy – For most patients who are struggling with weight they cannot lose – particularly stubborn belly fat – hormone replacement therapy is usually an ideal solution, because only HRT is designed to reset your metabolism for long-term weight loss. Surgery nor drugs, or injections do not do this – they do not get to the root of the problem, as does hormone replacement.
Furthermore, weight reduction surgery is expensive and invasive, and lipotropic injections are mostly untested and not FDA-approved. HRT is the only proven medical weight loss method that is designed to boost your metabolism by increasing your ability to burn fat and build muscle. Hormone replacement for losing belly fat usually involves testosterone replacement and human growth hormone (HGH) therapy. Both of these critical hormones are involved in metabolism – or your body’s ability to turn calories into energy. If you have a slow metabolism, you store more fat that you burn – particularly belly fat.
You lose testosterone and HGH the older you get. As the levels of these hormones decline, it becomes easier to put on weight and harder to take it off.
And, as opposed to some of the other methods of getting rid of fat mentioned, hormone replacement does not only help you lose weight, it also has many other health benefits that other interventions do not, such as:
- Improved energy
- Improved sexual function and sexual stamina
- Increased energy
- Improved sleep
- Improved physical performance
- Improved memory and cognition
- Improved mood
- An overall younger and fitter look
- Improved outlook on life
Hormone replacement therapy can change all of that and make it easier to lose weight and get rid of belly fat. In fact, a recent study found that HGH therapy could be as effective or more effective than bariatric surgery for long-term weight loss.
How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Belly Fat?
Why does it seem to take so long to get rid of belly fat? Because it takes a lot of energy to burn even a little bit of belly fat. You have to burn about 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. This is because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound of lower belly fat.
In order to lose just one pound a week, you would have to eliminate at least 500 calories from your diet every day. At that pace, you could lose about 4 pounds in a month. Of course, you can accelerate the rate at which you burn fat and get rid of belly fat faster by supplementing calorie reduction with increased exercise and possibly hormone replacement therapy. As stated above, HRT raises your metabolism and increases your ability to build lean muscle. A higher metabolism and more lean muscle will help you get rid of stubborn belly fat much faster.
How to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat After Having a Baby?
Men tend to get the typical pear-shaped “Dad Bod” as they reach a certain age and testosterone levels drop whether they have children or not! For women, increased belly fat is an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy. Here are some tips specifically for women to lose belly fat after having a baby.
Immediately after having a baby, your first thought may be to do crunches, but this is not recommended as it takes time for connective tissues that were stretched during pregnancy to heal. Instead, try these exercises:
- Lie on your back, place your feet flat on the floor, and bend your legs.
- Pull your belly button in toward your spine and lift your pelvis off the floor.
- Tighten your buttocks and hold for 5 seconds.
- Aim for five sets of 20 repetitions.
In about two or three months, you could then go on to crunches and more targeted abdominal exercises. Of course, also follow the other exercise and diet tips mentioned above to help you get back your pre-pregnancy belly.
As men and women age, belly fat can be easier to put on and much harder to take off. But it is not impossible. If you follow these tips and make an appointment to have your hormone levels checked, you could be on your way to not only keeping your New Year’s Resolutions – but being your best you ever in 2023!