Losing weight around the belly is easier said than done. With these tips on nutrition, sports, and mindset, as well as our workout plan, you’ll be able to get rid of your fat deposits.
You work out several times a week and eat healthily – but the belly fat just won’t go away?
Maybe you haven’t focused on strength training, but only on cardio – mistake no. 1.
A healthy diet is also a good approach, but did you know that you should, for example, achieve a daily calorie deficit and eat 30 percent fat in order to lose weight around the belly?
To effectively support you in your “lose weight around the belly” project, here’s everything you need to know about the right way to eat, workout variations including a 6-week training plan plus ten valuable tips that are great to integrate into your everyday life.
Which belly size is healthy?
Many would like to lose weight on the belly purely for beauty reasons. But belly fat also has health disadvantages.
According to the German Federal Center for Nutrition, a belly circumference of over 80 centimeters for women (dangerous at 88) and over 94 centimeters for men (dangerous at 102) is considered unhealthy. According to this, the percentage of fat on the abdomen is between 30 and 35 percent.
One can speak of a flat and thus healthy belly when the fat percentage is around 19 to 22 percent (women) or 13 to 16 percent (men).
Dangerous abdominal fat, also called visceral fat, attaches to organs such as the liver and pancreas, increasing abdominal girth. Consequences of years of increased abdominal fat are diseases such as:
- High blood pressure
- Arteriosclerosis (calcification of arteries and vessels)
- Fatty liver
- Inflammation of organs
The ideal diet
What you perceive as annoying fat pads on the belly is the subcutaneous fat tissue – the “good” belly fat. The best way to tackle this fat is with a mix of strength and endurance training and a slightly calorie-reduced diet.
In the next few weeks, it’s time to start working on your calorie deficit. Only by cutting calories by about 500 calories per day will the kilos melt away and the belly fat with them.
Tip: Calculate your basal metabolic rate in advance. It’s easy to keep track of calories throughout the day with a fitness tracker as well as a calorie app.
A calorie deficit is achieved through increased everyday exercises such as running, cycling, and climbing stairs, regular endurance and interval training, and a healthy, balanced diet.
Foods such as alcohol, sugary drinks, sweets, wheat products, and convenience foods are taboo.
Instead, treat yourself to healthy fats such as avocado, linseed oil, olive oil, and nuts (almonds, walnuts). You should not demonize fats at all, because the body needs them to produce endogenous testosterone. A high testosterone and progesterone balance promotes fat loss and muscle mass building.
Also, reach for foods rich in protein. They not only help you reach your ideal weight faster and stay full longer, but also regulate your metabolism, muscle growth, and fat loss.
Good sources of vegetable protein are lentils, pumpkin seeds, kidney beans, soy flakes, and tofu.
You don’t have to give up carbohydrates – good carbohydrates such as millet, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal are especially useful after a workout to replenish your empty glucose stores before your body draws energy from your muscles.
Macronutrients should be distributed as follows:
- 45% carbohydrates
- 30% fat
- 25% protein
The best workout for the abdomen
To lose weight intensively on the abdomen, you should put the main emphasis on strength training, muscle building, and short, intense interval training.
Why? Just by doing whole-body strength training, you will increase the muscle mass that will let you burn calories even when you are at rest, for example, sitting or standing.
The emphasis here is on whole-body training. It is not enough to train only the abdominal region, i.e. the six-pack. Concentrate your training on challenging larger muscle groups at the same time in order to generate the greatest possible energy expenditure.
This works ideally with the following example exercises:
- Barbell squats
- Bench press
The ideal training mix consists of 30 minutes of strength training on three to four days and intensive interval training such as HIIT workouts or endurance training in the form of jogging, swimming, or dancing on one or two days a week.
You should avoid long (> 45 minutes) and too frequent cardio workouts if possible, as this will increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, you will feel more hungry for sweets and fats will be stored, especially in the abdominal region.
In addition, the testosterone level decreases. The growth hormone promotes muscle building and stimulates fat burning and is therefore important for losing weight in the abdomen.
Lose weight around the belly: 6-week workout plan
With our six-week program, your core gets the attention it needs – and deserves.
You’ll complete two ab workouts and two interval runs per week.
Here’s how it works: On your workout day, choose four abdominal exercises based on your level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) and do three sets of 10-15 reps each. It is important that you perform each exercise with maximum intensity.
Long-term tips against belly fat
Still, want a few tips to lose weight on your belly for the long term? Here are our ten best impulses:
- get fit
Ideally, you should take 10,000 steps a day, according to WHO recommendations. How can you do that? Use the stairs in the subway, at work, and at home. Take a short walk around the block during your break.
Leave your car in the garage a few days a week. Get off the bus one stop early and walk home.
You’ll see, these little things make a big difference. 10,000 steps can burn up to 300 calories. That’s how much you’ll burn on a 30-minute jog.
- get enough good sleep
Many people think that “slim while you sleep” is just an empty phrase – but sleep duration and sleep intensity are crucial for your diet’s success.
Why? If you sleep too little (<7 hours), you produce more ghrelin – a hormone that is responsible for controlling hunger and satiety.
It also slows down energy metabolism and thus prevents fat stores from being broken down overnight.
Better: adopt a fixed sleep routine and sleep seven to eight hours per night. Also, scientists have shown that reduced calorie intake can improve your sleep.
- lemon water instead of coffee right after waking up
After a night’s rest, even if we wake up and drink a few sips of water in between, we are usually completely dehydrated.
Therefore, it makes sense to drink a large glass of lukewarm lemon water directly after getting up – it directly boosts the fat metabolism, provides us with important vitamin C, and makes us just as awake as coffee.
- sugar as a reward?
A week of hard training and a new, healthy diet plan is behind you and now you want to reward yourself for it at the weekend.
You can! But don’t reach for foods and drinks with high sugar content, instead reward yourself with sweet things without white sugar, for example, Rawbites, sugar-free chocolate bars (e.g. from LoveChock), or dried apple rings.
Sweet reward with no regrets! It doesn’t get any better than this.
- crank up the fat burn
Chili, ginger, Tabasco, and Co. drive the sweat on your forehead and bring the calorie furnaces to glow. The reason: the ingredients capsaicin (chili) and gingerol (ginger) accelerate weight loss and cleanse the stomach and intestines at the same time.
Our tip: A ginger shot in the morning boosts your metabolism and makes you more alert than a cup of coffee.
However, it doesn’t always have to be spicy: Cinnamon, turmeric, and mint can also promote fat burning.
- Get your digestion going
This works especially well with these foods: prunes/apricots, wheat bran, flaxseed, chia seeds, and psyllium husks. It is also important to drink plenty of water during these meals.
Laxatives, on the other hand, do not help you lose weight, as they work in the large intestine, but nutrient absorption takes place mainly in the small intestine.
- drink enough
Water and unsweetened tea should always be the first choice, especially in the “belly off” project.
Light drinks sweetened with sweetener, on the other hand, are not allowed, as they have an influence on your insulin secretion.
If you want to have a flavored drink between meals, you are on the safe side with homemade infused water, ginger, or lemon water. All in all, you should drink two to three liters of fluid a day.
- avoid intensive endurance training
With cardio training, there is a risk that the sugar stores of the muscles are stressed with a high number of repetitions or with too long a workout of more than one hour.
However, if you don’t have glycogen in your muscles, then you have a problem with endurance exercise: your body starts to produce more stress. With an increased cortisol release, it can in turn store more fat in the cells.
- set intermediate goals
If you set yourself goals that are too high from the start, that are very utopian and hardly achievable, you will only be disappointed – and the “lose weight on your stomach” project will falter.
So set yourself smaller goals, for example, in the first week by first of all ensuring a calorie deficit of 500 calories and making your diet rich in protein and fiber.
In addition, you can plan one or two strength endurance units such as HIIT workouts, swimming, or jogging in combination with a short strength training session. The following week, you will focus on strength training with weights.
- take rest breaks and avoid stress
Only if you allow yourself rest periods, do not put yourself under too much pressure, and also pay attention to regeneration days, you will see success.
However, if you feel under constant stress, you will notice that you have an increased appetite for fatty foods or sweets on the one hand and that your digestion also starts to falter on the other.
Stress-related mineral deficiency also promotes muscle cramps and muscle tension.