The most common goal in the world of men’s fitness is to burn the belly fat and be able to see the results of those intense abs workouts, which is the six pack abs. While most women might not look for a six pack, they definitely want a flat belly with not fat as well. Right or wrong, most people judge their body by the way their abs look.
The lower belly is also one of the toughest places to lose the fat from and many people who took their diet and workouts seriously are now struggling to shed those last few pounds.
Blame It On The Hormones!
One of the main hormones that lead to gaining that lower belly fat in the first place is cortisol, the stress hormone. When you go through any kind of stress, whether it’s mental, emotional or physical, your brain releases cortisol which then leads to storing body fat (among many other effects). So decreasing cortisol levels is the first step you need to take, but it’s not the only one. There are other hormones that have an important role too and of course there is the diet and the workouts that still need to be taken seriously.
1. Decrease Cortisol Levels
So let’s start by discussing about cortisol, which is also known as “the stress hormone”. Managing stress is one aspect, but not the only one! If it were that easy we could all meditate our way to a flat stomach. The way you work out also plays an important part and it’s been shown that long weight training sessions followed by long cardio sessions produce a lot of cortisol. And that’s why we recommend short but intense sessions of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). You get more benefits, you burn more fat and you need less time! So instead of that 5 mile run or that 1 hour on the treadmill/elliptical, do 20 minutes of HIIT.
The second aspect is SLEEP! Research has shown that people who don’t get enough sleep have more belly fat and a higher percentage of body fat. This is because the less sleep you get, the more cortisol your brain releases. On the other hand, when you sleep your body also produces the growth hormone which reduces the negative effects of cortisol. So just make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, approximately at the same hours.
And besides these aspects, you should also relax! Don’t sweat on the little things and simply enjoy life as it is.
2. Decrease Estrogen by Increasing Testosterone
Estrogen is not just a women hormone and everyone produces it in larger or smaller quantities. One of its effects is the storage of body fat in areas like the lower belly, the hips and even on the chest for some men. One of the ways to combat estrogen is by increasing your NATURAL levels of testosterone. We highlighted the word natural because some people artificially increase their testosterone by using steroids. Besides the many negative side effects, steroids will also lead to an increase in estrogen and this is something you definitely don’t want.
Since we want to do things naturally, one of the best and safest ways to increase testosterone is to increase the intensity of your workouts and to use a natural testosterone supplement. You can either do the same amount of work you did before in less time, or train even harder in the same amount of time. As the female hormone goes down, your body will finally start to burn that lower belly fat.
Now that we seen the hormonal aspects of losing those last few pounds of “stubborn” belly fat, let’s look at the nutritional aspects. It’s definitely important to be careful at WHAT you eat but also WHEN you eat it.
3. Decrease Carbohydrates
If you want to get rid of that ugly lower belly fat, you definitely need to reduce the carbs in your diet. This is mainly because they create insulin spikes which will stop the fat loss process. While insulin is great when you want to build muscle, it can be your biggest enemy when it comes to losing weight.
So reduce the carbs and focus on quality sources of lean protein and healthy fats. Also include low-glycemic fruits and vegetables and you won’t go hungry or be depleted of energy even on the low-carb days.
4. Time Your Nutrients
As we said before, you need to reduce carbohydrates but not remove them completely. So it is important to know when to consume them. You’ll want to have the majority of them (if not all) in the first part of the day and especially before and after your workout. Then you will just stick to lean protein and fats for the rest of the day. This is because you will need more energy for your workout and for your daily activities and you won’t need that energy before going to bed.
So make sure you take care of these 4 aspects and you will definitely start to lose the belly fat and see the results of all that hard work in the gym.