Thursday, December 18, 2008

What are your belly fat questions?

Do you have a question about losing belly fat? Maybe we can help. Leave any questions related to diet, exercise, supplements, weight loss programs, fitness machines, etc. in the "comments" area at the bottom of this page.

We'll select several of the most representative questions and answer them in the coming weeks!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How to Lose Your Belly Fat the Fast (and Healthy) Way

no belly fat girlTired of having too much extra belly fat? Looking for ways to get rid of it in a fast -- but healthy -- way? When it comes to losing abdominal fat, most people over-complicate the process and/or rely too much on some form of "magical" weight loss pill or gimmicky diet plan. Others simply get burned out from too much boring exercise, too much bland dieting, taking too many stimulant-based supplements, etc.

The good news is that it is very possible to reduce your belly fat, get a flatter stomach, look better, boost your energy, and feel great... all without complicated eating plans, "extreme" fitness programs, or potentially dangerous diet pills. Just follow the simple steps below and you'll see some visible fat loss results relatively quickly...

Drink LOTS of water.

You've probably already heard many times that you need to drink lots of water in order to lose weight, but that's just because it really works! Get into the habit of drinking 8-10 large glasses of water per day. You'll have much more energy, you'll be able to control your hunger better, you'll boost your metabolism, and you'll simply shed your belly fat faster. If you don't like plain water try seltzer or mineral water with some lime or lemon juice. Green tea (sugar-free) is also a great choice and may even speed up the fat loss process more -- especially if you drink it before workouts -- due to its high levels of certain fat-burning chemicals.

Eat more lean protein.

When it comes to losing belly fat, lean protein is one of your most valuable allies. You should try to include some form of lean protein in each and every meal you eat. Besides making you feel full and reducing cravings, eating protein helps to speed up the metabolism while simultaneously keeping blood sugar and insulin levels in check (very important when trying to reduce body fat). To top it off, protein is necessary to build and maintain muscle tissue... and the more muscle you have the easier it's going to be to lose weight. Some of the best protein sources for weight loss are: lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, seeds, and whey protein powder.

Eat only the "good" carbs.

Cutting out all carbohydrates, ala the Atkins Diet, is not a great option for losing belly fat. Much of the weight loss on these diets is "water" weight. Plus, in general, most people simply can't stick with low-carb/no-carb diets for very long... and end up gaining back all the weight they lost once they fall off the bandwagon. At the same time, eating certain carb foods -- including anything that contains refined sugars or refined flours -- can definitely have a negative impact on your health and body fat levels. Most processed foods are full of these bad carbs and should be avoided as much as possible. The best option is to eat only "good" carbs: those foods that fuel your body and keep you feeling full without negatively affecting blood sugar and hormone levels. Some of the best carbohydrate choices are: fresh and frozen vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, and whole grains.

Eat more healthy fats.

Some dietary fat is absolutely necessary for optimal health. It's also extremely important for fast, healthy weight loss. You don't need to fear all fat, but you do need to watch out for saturated fat and especially trans-fats... both of which can damage your health and increase the size of your belly. Instead focus on eating plenty of the "good" fats, which include olive oil, fish, fish oil, flaxseeds, avocado, coconut oil, nuts, nut butters, and seeds. In reality most of these healthy fats taste pretty good and are versatile enough to easily incorporate into your normal eating plan.

Never ever let yourself get hungry (ever).

One of the big "secrets" to losing belly fat fast is to never let yourself get hungry. When we allow ourselves to get hungry, our bodies go into "starvation mode" and this leads to a significantly slower metabolism and less fat burning. At the same time, most people tend to overeat and/or make poor food choices when they're hungry. The combination of a slower metabolism and lots of extra, low-quality calories is a major cause of increased body fat levels. The best way to keep yourself from getting hungry is to:

  • Eat a small, balanced meal or snack every 2-3 hours.
  • Eat lots of high-fiber foods like veggies, fruit, beans, oatmeal (and other whole grains).
  • Include some form of protein in each and every meal or snack.
  • Eat something before you start to get hungry... or at least as soon as you feel hunger coming on.
  • Consider using a natural, stimulant-free appetite suppressant such as hoodia gordonii.

Kill your food cravings.

No matter how much willpower you have, at some point certain food cravings are going to sneak up and try to bite you in the butt. For some people it's sweets. For others it's fried foods. Some people feel like they're going to go crazy if they don't eat an entire candy bar. The key to controlling cravings is to find healthier, less-fattening alternatives. Things like salted nuts, pickles, beef jerky, yogurt, and low-sugar, bite-sized dark chocolate bars are all examples of foods that can help kill cravings without ruining your diet. Also, some people find that the more raw vegetables and fruits they eat, the fewer cravings they get. In fact, many people who go on a "raw food" diet for a week or two find that all of their junk food cravings disappear!

Break a sweat in the morning.

No matter what anyone tries to tell you, it's much more difficult to lose belly fat without doing some form of exercise on a regular basis. You don't have to go overboard and spend hours in the gym. Nor should you do hours and hours of "long, slow, and boring" cardio exercise (think treadmill jogging). What you should do is find something you enjoy doing that allows you to get your heart rate up and makes you break a good sweat. And you should do it first thing in the morning most days of the week. There are several reasons why morning exercise tends to work best for fat loss, but the biggest two are:

  • Studies have shown that people who get into the habit of working out first thing in the morning tend to stick with a fitness program longer than people who exercise later in the day. In fact, after just a couple of weeks, many people become "addicted" to their morning exercise sessions because it makes them feel so great for the rest of the day.
  • By working out first thing in the morning, before you eat breakfast, you force your body to tap into its fat stores (including that stubborn belly fat) much sooner than if you exercise after eating. Working out before the first meal of the day is a very common fat loss technique among bodybuilders, fitness competitors, and models.

How to Keep Losing Belly Fat

There are many more things you can do to lose belly fat in a fast, healthy way. But, if you only follow the steps above, you will definitely see some great results within a few weeks. Once that happens you'll be even more motivated and encouraged... and you can begin a more "intense" fat loss program that involves resistance/strength training, interval aerobic training, supplements, etc. One of the best step-by-step guides to losing belly fat in a fast and safe way is the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle program. If losing your ugly abdominal fat is a goal, you should definitely check it out!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

3 Keys to Belly Fat Reduction

If your primary goal is belly fat reduction, you need to know about -- and closely follow -- three time-tested "fundamentals" of losing abdominal fat. Forget about the "quick fixes" you see marketed all over the place. No fat burner, appetite suppressant, fitness gadget, or ab machine is going to give you a flat stomach all by itself. No matter which type of weight loss program you choose, be sure that it incorporates these proven keys to reducing belly fat and getting a healthier, better-looking body...

1. Eat Fewer Carbs, Eat Better Carbs

Even though most people worry more about their fat consumption, the real key to losing body fat and looking better is to closely monitor the quantity and quality of the carbohydrates you eat. Simply put, you need to eat enough carbs to have sufficient energy but you also need to focus on eating "good" carbs that your body can process efficiently. For the most part, these include fresh or frozen vegetables, fresh or frozen fruits, beans, legumes, and whole grains. Anything that contains refined sugars or refined flour is going to have a very negative effect on your body... and should be avoided as much as possible.

For belly fat reduction, try cutting your total carb intake in half and upping your intake of lean proteins and healthy fats. The carbs you do eat should be almost exclusively from veggies, fruits, beans/legumes, and whole grains.

2. Eat Smaller Meals More Often

One of the biggest mistake most people make when it comes to weight loss is attempting to eat less often. They mistakingly believe that "skipping meals" is the best way to get rid of stomach fat. Not only will this not help you lose weight, but it'll probably lead to overeating and/or eating the wrong kinds of food (which both lead to weight gain). It will definitely lead to a slower metabolism as your body attempts to conserve fat and energy at the expense of valuable muscle tissue.

If you want to slim down as quickly as possible, you need to eat 4-6 small, healthy meals, spread out evenly over the course of the day. This will keep you from getting hungry and overeating while simultaneously boosting your metabolism and helping you burn more belly fat all day long. It will also help you get into the habit of "grazing" -- eating small amounts of healthy foods several times per day -- instead of eating 2 or 3 big meals and consuming more calories than your body can handle at one time.

3. Stay Highly Motivated

No matter what, you need to figure out a way to stay highly motivated and focused on achieving your goals. Lack of motivation and enthusiasm is one of the major reasons why so many people give up on a weight loss plan after just a few weeks. Everyone is different so it takes some effort to figure out exactly what motivates you most. No matter what, you should start off by creating a set of proper goals that you will focus on constantly and use as a motivation boost when the road gets bumpy. By taking this basic (but vital) step you'll greatly improve your chances of success in weight loss, fitness, and anything else you wish to achieve!

One of the best motivational guides I've come across is contained in the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle weight loss system. If you're really interested in fast, healthy belly fat reduction I highly recommend taking a look at this powerful program!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Boost Your Metabolism and Burn More Belly Fat

One of the keys to burning belly fat is a strong metabolism. Unfortunately, as we get older our metabolisms slow down significantly, often by as much as 25 to 30 percent! Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to give your body's natural fat-burning process a kick start... and you don't need to rely on "fat burners," stimulant-based weight loss pills, or any other form of "metabolism-boosting" product (the majority of them have little or no real effect anyway).

8 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Naturally and Burn More Belly Fat

Never skip breakfast - If you don't eat in the morning, after having gone several hours without food during the night, your body goes into "starvation mode." This is very bad news for your metabolism because it means that your body will try to save energy and burn fewer calories. It does that by slowing down its metabolism. It's best to try to eat a large and balanced breakfast that includes lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruit.

Eat 4-6 small, healthy meals per day - Every time you consume food, your body has to speed up its metabolic processes in order to digest and process the calories in the food. By eating frequently (about every 2-3 hours) you'll keep your metabolism in high-gear and keep your body burning belly fat. Just be sure to choose meals and snacks that contain decent amounts of protein, small amounts of good fats, and/or some healthy carbohydrates (especially fruits, vegetables, and whole grains).

Focus on protein - Lean protein is a "hot burning" food, meaning that your body really has to speed up its metabolism in order to digest it... more so than for fats and carbohydrates. Protein also contains amino acids, which are absolutely necessary for your body to build muscle tissue... and the more muscle you have the stronger your metabolism is going to be.

Move more and take the hard way - Whenever possible, take the "hard way" when it comes to getting places. Park farther from the entrances of buildings. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take short walks. Never sit or stand in one place at a time for more than an hour. The bottom line: squeeze as much activity into your everyday activities as possible. Not only will this keep your metabolism up, but you'll also get fitter and lose more belly fat in less time.

Add some muscle - In order to permanently boost your metabolism you need to build more muscle. Muscle tissue requires more calories just to maintain itself, so you burn more fat and calories even when you're sleeping. 2 or 3 times per week do some form of resistance/strength training using weights, resistance bands, or just your own bodyweight. Shorter, more intense full-body strength training workouts tend to produce the fastest results because they cause your body to produce chemicals that build muscle while burning abdominal fat at the same time.

Get your fruits and veggies - You should try to eat several large servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. They're packed with the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are necessary for an optimized metabolism. If you can't eat at least 5 large servings per day be sure to take a good multivitamin/multimineral supplement every morning.

Drink water all day long - If your body is even slightly dehydrated, it won't burn calories and fat as efficiently as possible. You also won't have as much energy as you should. Yet most people are dehydrated to some degrees most of the time. For maximum weight loss success try to drink at least 8 large glasses of water per day. Try keeping a large bottle of water with you and sip from it all day. Avoid substances that dehydrate you, especially caffeine and alcohol.

Get enough sleep - Scientific research has shown that people who don't get enough sleep usually have impaired (slow) metabolisms and tend to store more of their fat in their stomachs. Needless to say, getting sufficient sleep is vital in order to lose belly fat, have plenty of energy, and feel your best. Most people need 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Best Supplements for Losing Belly Fat

There's a lot of "hype" surrounding diet and weight loss supplements these days. Too much really... especially considering the fact that about 98% of the products out there really have little or no beneficial effect on body fat levels. There are, however, a few supplements that can definitely help you lose belly fat faster. These are the "best of the best" fat-burning, metabolism-boosting, appetite-suppressing products on the market. You certainly don't need them in order to lose weight and reduce abdominal fat. But, if you want to speed the process up, make it easier to get a flat stomach, and/or help yourself break through a fat loss "plateau," taking these supplements may be a good option.

By the way, if money is an issue you're much better off spending your cash on good, high-quality foods (lean meats, fresh produce, raw nuts, etc.) and an effective, easy-to-follow fat loss plan than on any diet supplement! One of the best -- and most affordable -- guides to losing belly fat in a fast, healthy manner is the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle program.

The Top 3 Belly Fat Loss Supplements

All of the following supplements can speed up the fat loss process, help you get fit faster, and improve your health. However, not a single one is a "magic bullet" for losing belly fat. And, even though they are powerful all by themselves, you won't experience many visible weight loss results unless you're also eating a proper diet and exercising on a regular basis. Anyway, these are my top 3 supplement picks for reducing abdominal fat...

Whey Protein

It would take an entire article (which I may write later) just to list all the health and fitness benefits of whey protein powder. For now, just know this: whey protein has been proven to be one of the most powerful and effective health-boosting substances you can eat. Besides being one of the world's best sources of muscle-building protein, there is evidence that whey can boost the immune system and help keep you healthy even when dieting, cutting calories, and working out frequently. Due to the wide array of powerful bioactive compounds contained in whey protein, eating it frequently can help you burn more calories, boost your protein intake without boosting fat intake, stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, and control hunger and food cravings. As you may already know, all of these things are ultra-important when trying to lose belly fat.

As an added bonus, recent research has shown that the amino acid leucine (which is found in abundance in whey protein) helps to improve body composition... which means that it helps you keep your lean muscle tissue while burning more body fat at the same time. The bottom line is that whey protein is a very effective, widely available, relatively inexpensive, good tasting food supplement that you can use to improve your health, get rid of abdominal fat, and keep or increase muscle tissue... all of which adds up to a leaner, better-looking body in less time!

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids -- EFA's for short -- are vitally important fats that the human body needs to function properly. They're especially important for healthy weight loss and weight maintenance. But, despite their obvious significance, many people don't consume nearly enough of them on a regular basis. Some experts now believe that this common dietary deficiency is a major reason why obesity rates are increasing throughout the world (not to mention cancer, heart disease, and other serious health problems). Cold water fish contain lots of healthy EFA's -- especially the highly important omega-3 fats -- but most types of fish and seafood also contain significant levels of mercury and other dangerous toxins. For this reason it may be a good idea to take a quality EFA supplement on a daily basis and limit your fish/seafood intake to once or twice per week.

There is evidence that consuming essential fatty acids -- including both omega-3 and omega-6 fats -- can significantly speed up the weight loss process, especially when combined with healthy dieting and regular exercise. Recent research has shown that omega 3 fats in particular have a powerful effect on metabolism, blood sugar levels, as well as insulin production and sensitivity. Controlling how much insulin your body produces (and how it responds to the insulin it does produce) is extremely important when attempting to reduce body fat levels. Omega 3 fats can also help to control inflammation in the body, which may make it easier to lose weight.

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a type of omega 6 fat found in evening primrose oil and borage seed oil. There is some evidence that GLA stimulates a type of body fat that controls fat metabolism. By taking a GLA supplement, or an EFA supplement that contains GLA, you may be able to burn calories and body fat at a faster rate.

The bottom line is that supplementing with a good EFA and/or omega 3 supplement is a good idea for most people... especially for those people interested in losing belly fat in a fast but healthy way. Supplements made with fish oil seem to be the best, but there are also products made with omega 3-rich flaxseed oil and/or walnut oil.


Hoodia gordonii is a weight loss supplement with a lot of promise... but also a lot of problems. There's tons of marketing "BS" surrounding hoodia products and it can definitely be difficult to separate the fact from the fiction. The good news is that real hoodia does seem to be a powerful appetite suppressant and therefore a useful tool in the fight against belly fat. After all, the better you can control your appetite and food cravings, the easier it's going to be to eat well and lose fat. Some people also claim to experience a boost in mood and energy after taking hoodia, but without the negative side-effects of stimulants like caffeine.

The bad news is that it's getting harder and harder to find products that actually contain real hoodia. In fact, some reports claim that around two-thirds of the hoodia products on the market actually contain little or no hoodia! This is mainly due to the fact that there is a very limited supply of mature hoodia gordonii plants in their native Africa. Some dishonest companies use fillers made from plants that look similar to hoodia but that have none of hoodia's appetite suppressing qualities.

If you want to try a hoodia supplement to see if it works for you, your best bet is to go with one of the more popular products on the market, as these have often been tested by third-party organizations to make sure that they contain what they say the do.

Special Note on the ECA Stack

The best "true" fat burner in the world is probably the Ephedrine/Caffeine/Aspirin -- or "ECA" -- stimulant stack. But, since ephedrine ("ephedra" in its herbal form) has been banned for sale in many countries, including the US, I didn't list it above. Although I personally don't agree that ephedrine is any more dangerous than many of other weight loss drugs and supplements on the market, it certainly is an incredibly powerful chemical that has the potential to be overused and/or abused by some people. Even if you are able to buy ephedrine/ephedra supplements where you live you would do well to save it as a "last resort" and only use it after you've tried a good diet/exercise/supplementation program for a few months.