If you're overweight and have excess belly fat
, it can feel impossible to lose. You've tried all the diets, bought all kinds of supplements, and you just can't lose it. What gives?
Making the decision to lose weight and keep it off is something that takes dedication and consistency. Anyone can lose 10 pounds, but keeping it off forever is something few can accomplish.
Related - How to Lose Belly Fat, Man Boobs & Muffin Top
While there are metabolic conditions that can make it difficult to lose weight, the majority of people who "can't lose weight" are just simply being lazy gluttons... And I was one of them.
The tips below are straight from my book of losing weight, putting it back on, and losing it again. These are tried and true tips that work.
17 Tips to Help You Drop the Belly Fat
Losing weight comes from making better diet choices, getting more exercise, and of course consistency. While these tips don't go in any particular order, I've put the tips that will affect your physique first.
#1 - Try A Different Eating Schedule
There are different types of eating schedules that break the old school thought of three square meals a day. Our lives are busy and we don't always have time to sit down and eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Some people do not get frequent breaks at work, they work weird hours, or they simply don't have the time or drive to always have meals ready... So, what do you do?
has been one of the best things I've ever adapted into my lifestyle, and if you have issues with eating too much food regularly, this may be for you. You fast for at least 16 hours and have an 8-hour window when you can eat. For most, this is simply skipping breakfast and waiting to break your fast until around lunch time.
Switching your mindset from the usual breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule can open up a door to weight loss success.
#2 - Consume Protein Throughout the Day
Consuming protein throughout the day allows your muscles to stay full of nutrients needed to grow and repair. Personal experience shows that this is not necessarily something you have to follow, consuming enough lean protein and supplementing with a protein shake is enough to put some beef on those bones.
A bonus of eating some protein with every meal is the nutritious fats in the meat will help you stay satisfied and not craving more foods. Killing and fighting cravings is priority number one when losing weight.
#3 - Start Your Days With Fats
As I said above, nutritious fats help regulate hormones, helps shuttle nutrients to your muscles, and they keep you satisfied for hours. If you've ever pigged out on some high-fat foods like French fries or nachos, you probably didn't want to eat for a while, right?
The same principle applies here - eat some nutritious fats like eggs or yogurt for your first meal so you have fuel to burn for hours.
#4 - Stay Away From Processed Food
One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is ditch processed foods. Taquitos, frozen chicken fingers, chips, whatever I could get my hands on... I wanted it.
Processed foods taste great, make you feel like crap, and don't do anything for weight loss. Cooking as many meals with fresh ingredients as possible allows you to cut out most of your processed foods. You can keep one or two of the foods you really enjoy, but cut out the rest.
Try for one week cutting out most of your processed foods and take note how great your joints, body, and mind feel. You'll never want them again.
#5 - Eat More Fiber
Fiber is a great way to curb appetite and keep the juices flowing in your digestive tract. Eating a balanced diet of fresh foods will give you plenty of fiber so you won't need to spend money on fiber supplements.
Try eating a bowl of oatmeal flavored with some honey to get a tasty blast of fiber into your diet. You'll experience curbed food cravings, you won't spend time thinking about food, and it will help keep the weight loss momentum going.
#6 - Cut Out the Calorie-Filled Drinks
Sugary calorie-filled drinks ruin your metabolism, add unnecessary calories that you could have eaten instead, and cause many different metabolic conditions. Diabetes, high visceral fat, and water retention come with pounding sodas all day.
Start cutting your soda consumption down by adding diet instead of your regular, and strive to drink water and other calorie-free drinks. That 64-ounce mountain dew you just drank set you back at least 800 calories; you could have eaten a pound of chicken instead.
#7 - Eat Smaller Portions
Along with changing up your diet, eating smaller portions of everything can make a huge difference.
Instead of going back for seconds or thirds, try to use a smaller plate and force smaller portions. Grabbing a smaller plate instead of your dinner plate forces you to make decisions on what you really want to eat and will help you tremendously in the long run.
#8 - Prepare Food In Advance
Food prep has been the saving grace to me losing weight. The fear of not knowing what and when I am going to eat made something in my brain freak out... And it happened a lot.
Knowing what food I have to eat and when I can eat it allows me to focus on my work, thus removing any temptations to stop off at my local fast food joint.
Take the time to buy some quality containers, spend a day preparing meals for most of the week, and enjoy tasty food that's ready to eat. No, you don't have to jump on the boiled chicken and broccoli bandwagon for this to work.
#9 - Decrease Alcohol Consumption
While alcohol itself isn't inherently bad, killing a 12 pack a day is. Most alcohols have a lot of sugars and calories, especially if you have mixed drinks.
While I'm not telling you to stop enjoying alcohol, drinking it mindfully will keep the calories down and keep the water retention lower.
#10 - Lower Carbohydrate Intake
Lowering your carbohydrate intake is as simple as cutting out the processed foods.
One of my favorite foods that I used to indulge in were Delimex Taquitos. They are about 380 calories for 5 and pack 44 grams of carbohydrates and 480mg sodium. To say I'm bloated after I eat 10 of them regularly is an understatement.
Cutting out your processed foods and replacing them with slower burning carbs such as brown rice or sweet potatoes will make you feel better, they digest easier, and it's pretty hard to overeat healthy foods.
#11 - Try Green Tea
Green tea is great for energy when you are working on a calorie deficit. Remember, basic calories in vs calories out does affect how much weight you lose.
The caffeine helps curb your appetite, it's relatively calorie free, and it's cheap. Try it out and see what you think.
#12 - Drink More Water
Most of the people I talk to and live around are in some state of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water keeps your body from holding onto water, keeps your joints feeling great, and helps your digestive system.
Strive to drink a gallon of water per day and take note of the difference in your quality of life.
#13 - Lower Your Stress
Not only can stress kill you, but it makes it harder to lose weight. Many people deal with stress by eating, including myself. Trust me, it just makes it worse.
Take time out of the day to take care of yourself. De-stress however you can; go hiking, take a long walk, meditate, try yoga, or simply lay back and listen to some good tunes.
#14 - Get More Quality Sleep
Our busy lives make it really hard to get 8 hours of sleep. We are attached to our screens most of the day, we interact with people, and we have jobs.
Since most of us don't have the luxury of sitting around and not doing anything during the day, we give up sleep so we can enjoy activities outside of work.
Taking a couple short 30-minute naps throughout the day and taking the time to unwind and getting a good night's sleep will help with your crappy mood, kill food cravings, and allows you to get bigger and stronger in the gym.
#15 - Use a Solid Workout Program
Finding a solid workout program you can consistently go to the gym with is crucial to your success. You can diet away your fat, but you can't build muscle without it.
Look for a workout program that incorporates plenty of compound movements, and has a balanced choice of exercises. Sell out to that program and put everything you've got into it.
#16 - Utilize High-Intensity Cardio
It takes a special kind of stupid to enjoy hours on a treadmill. Try out some high-intensity interval training for a change.
Something simple as sprinting for 20 seconds and then walking for 40 seconds for 10 rounds should be plenty to burn fat and get your heart healthier.
Dynamic bursts and supersetting are great to keep your heart rate going and builds some usable strength.
#17 - Get More Activity Outside of the Gym
This tip has been one of the most fun tips I've utilized. Take up a new sport, play with your kids, or simply get out of the house and check out the beautiful scenery.
Grab a fitness monitor or install a fitness app on your phone that will help measure how many steps you take per day. I used to average 1000-2000 per day in my extremely sedentary life and I've upped my average to 6000 or more per day and it's making marked progress.
It's been proven that men who went from 10,000 steps to less than 1500 without changing their diets increased their visceral belly fat by 7% after 2 weeks.
Take the stairs instead of elevators, park further back in the parking lot, or walk to places nearby. If you have a desk job, try to get up and take 60 steps every hour. Movement is life and being sedentary literally kills you slowly.
If you've come hoping for some magical tip that will change your life overnight, this isn't the article. These tips come straight from my book of failures - what works and what doesn't. If you have troubles consuming too many calories, start by planning out your meals and learning to cook.
I still enjoy donuts and ice cream occasionally, it just takes planning and a conscious effort to change.
If you aren't willing to change how you live, you're stuck with that physique.