Belly fat, why it’s so stubborn and how to lose it
Stubborn fat - what it is?
If you’re having trouble losing belly fat, don’t worry you’re not genetically cursed. You hormones probably aren’t the problem. Sugar’s not the problem. Carbs aren’t making you fat.
You could do every belly flattening workout on the internet, you could eliminate everything tasty off your diet. You could plank for hours everyday. And still have belly fat.
The good news is, whatever age, weight or size you are, you absolutely can have a lean ripped stomach.
FYI - it will take a lot of dedication and hard work.
How fat loss works;
It all begins with understanding how fat burning works (this is where we get technical)…
When fat is burned two things happen. Lipolysis and Oxidation.
Lipolysis is the process where fat cells release stored energy, aka fatty acids, into the blood. Oxidation is the process where cells “burn” those fatty acids.
The body’s primary method of stimulating lipolysis is the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are known as catecholamines.
Catecholamines are hormones made by your adrenal glands, which are located on top of your kidneys. Examples include dopamine; norepinephrine; and epinephrine.
These then enter your blood, travel to fat cells, and attach themselves at certain points known as receptors.
Once they attach to fat cells, they trigger the release of the fatty acids stored within. Other cells are then able to use these fatty acids as fuel.
However, when you lose weight you’ll usually find that certain areas of your body will reduce in size quickly (usually boobs are the first to go sorry girls), and other areas don’t change at all.
This is because not all fat cells have the same response levels to catecholamines as each other. Fat cells contain two types of receptors; alpha and beta. Alpha receptors hinder lipolysis and beta receptors trigger it.
So the areas of your body that dramatically change in a short period of time when dieting consist of the fat cells with high amount of beta-receptors, and the areas that we call stubborn such as the lower stomach is where the fat cells high in alpha-receptors are.
This is why we’re unable to spot reduce fat. So no matter how many sit ups you do it won’t bur your belly fat away.
What you can do to help lose stubborn fat;
The one things I will always say to anyone who says they want to reduce their belly is simple;
You have to reduce your overall body fat %.
That’s the magical answer everyone’s been searching for.
Reduce your body fat percentage to 10% (men) or 20% (women) and the bulk of your belly fat will be gone. Reduce it even lower (5% men/15% women) and you’ll be looking at some shiny abs in the mirror every morning.
Now realistically it’s probably going to take you a little longer than you initially may have hoped to reduce your body fat %. But if you’re consistent and stick to your calorie deficit plan then there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t achieve your goal.
There are some things that can help aid the speed of fat loss include;
Caffeine is great at helping increase the amount of energy your body burns throughout the day.
When you’re in a fasted state your insulin levels are low as your body has finished digesting any food previously eaten (this can take 2-6+ hours after eating) Research shows that training in a fasted state can increase both lipolysis and fat oxidation.
What this means is that when you exercise with your insulin at a baseline level, your body is able to both mobilise and burn more fat during your workouts than when insulin levels are elevated.
High Intensity Interval Training has so many benefits for aiding in fat loss.
It can increase your metabolic rate for up to 24 hours.
It can improve insulin sensitivity in the muscles, which helps your body better absorb and use the food you eat (rather than store it as fat).
It’s quick and doesn’t require a tonne of time or equipment to complete.
Lift heavy weights
PSA No you won’t end up looking like Arnie.
Building muscle adds tone and shape, and not only that but helps increase your basal metabolic rate. More muscle = higher BMR = being able to eat more food. Winner!
Eat a high protein diet (whilst being in a deficit)
Embracing your body
Ultimately, learning to love your body is key here.
Sure abs might be great, but when you’re wearing clothes no one can see them anyway and tbh does anyone actually give a damn if you have a ripped torso or not?
You can love your body and want to better it, 100%. But make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, for you, and to improve your overall health.
Do not do things for the gram, for your partner or because you feel like you are not worth enough as you are.
Everyones body is different, everyones body is beautiful and at the end of the day we all have rolls when we sit down!
Thanks for reading
If you have any questions about belly fat or would like help losing stubborn fat on a Lyfe plan please get in touch! Beca@lyfecoaching.co.uk