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How To Get Rid of Belly Fat

By Rachael Attard, Updated Apr 12, 2019
how to get rid of belly fat

Getting rid of belly fat is almost 100% related to your diet. Many people ask me what exercises they can do to get rid of fat on their lower belly or love handles. Truth is, the only way to get rid of this fat is to lose overall body fat which is done through consuming less calories than your body uses. Let me explain this further.

1. EAT AT A SLIGHT CALORIE DEFICIT

Let me use myself as an example. If I were to sit at a desk all day and not do any exercise, my body would use up around 1600 calories (to work out how many calories your body would burn, have a read of my previous blog post on how to calculate your daily calorie intake).

If I were to eat 1600 calories per day, the same amount that my body needs to function in a day, then I am not in a calorie deficit. I am eating at a maintenance level and will maintain my body weight.

I I were to go for a run and burn 500 calories, then my body would use up 1600+500 calories which is a total of 2100 calories. If I were to eat 1600 calories, then my body is in a calorie deficit of 500 calories (2100-1600). Therefore I am eating 500 calories less than what my body actually needs for this day, and this will see me lose weight.

It really is quite simple. Generally, if you eat more than your body uses up, you will gain weight. If you eat the same, you will maintain weight. And if you eat less, you will lose weight. However, I would not recommend eating less than a 500 calorie deficit as this can cause problems for your body and make long term fat loss more difficult.

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2. BE CONSISTENT

Your diet needs to be consistent for you to see any change. If you eat at a calorie deficit for a few days, then at maintenance for a few days, then you pig out for two days on the weekend, you will not be in a weekly calorie deficit and you will either maintain or gain weight, depending on how much food you have eaten.

Eating badly for one meal won’t make much difference. Just like eating well for one meal won’t make much difference. You need consistency to get results.

The best way to do this is to have a routine. I eat pretty similar foods every day of the week. This helps me eating consistently and eat similar amounts of food each day. I do eat a little differently on weekends but am still careful not too go crazy and binge out on junk foods.

3. CARDIO AND RESISTANCE TRAINING

There is no exercise that can get rid of belly fat from your lower body and hips (i.e. you can’t spot reduce). The best type of exercise to achieve fat loss is cardio as it burns the most amount of calories. The more intense the better.

I do a combination of steady state cardio (power walking, jogging, running) and high intensity interval cardio (sprints, cycling). Both are great for burning lots of calories and I would use a combination of both.

I know I’ve said it a lot of times but resistance training is very important when it comes to fat loss. The more muscle you have, the easier it will be for you to reduce body fat, and the more calories your body will burn.

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4. DRINK ENOUGH WATER

Your body uses water for many important bodily functions. If you do not drink enough water, your body will hold on to as much water as it can. The result? Bloating due to water retention.

Aim to drink 2L of water per day. If you do an intense workout, you will most likely need more than this. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated so make sure you drink some water!

5. STRESS LESS

Stress can interfere with your body’s hormones, particularly cortisol and adrenaline.

High levels of cortisol has been linked to weight gain, particularly in the stomach area, as well as a reduced metabolism, sleeping problems and depression. Not to mention, stress can cause you to eat comfort foods and sit in front of the couch instead of doing your workout!

Stress has many more negative impacts on your body, I have only just touched on the basics. Managing your stress levels will help you maximise your results and lead a healthier and happier life.

stress less

I have also provided nutrition and workout guidelines for each of the body types – endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. To find out which body type you are, take my free body type quiz here!

Love Rachael xx

Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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12 comments on “How To Get Rid of Belly Fat”

    Miranda says:

    Hi! I have questions:
    I am 166cm, 51kg, a vegan diet. I want to gain only 1kg but my current fat is 29%! Usually i work out 3 days in a week. Less cardio but more on weigh training. Is it correct? I have problem on my diet plan which is:
    56g protein
    56g carbo
    12g fat
    But still cant see result on my stomach and i sometime i bloated on my stomach and may loss weight.
    Is my diet problem?

      Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Miranda. How do you know your body fat percentage? It seems like you are skinny fat so I would read my blog post on what to do if you’re skinny fat. Also, it does sound like diet is your main problem. To meet medical needs, an active female needs at least 80g carbs and 40g fat. You are also eating low protein. Judging by your macros I would say you are severely under eating. I would increase your carbs and fat to medical needs, and increase your protein intake slightly and see how you go. All the best! xx

    Meaghan says:

    Hi! I have a few questions that have left me very confused for awhile!
    1. Will getting a flat, hard stomach also get rid of bloating?
    2. Why everytime I work out after the exercise or the next day my stomach is more bloated than before?
    3. Will doing a lot of ab exercises and HIIT get me faster results for a flat stomach?
    4. I’m skinny fat where I’m skinny in a lot of parts but a couple of areas there’s more fat so I was wondering how long it would take to get to a more toned shape where it’s even and the best advice for skinny fat people?
    Thanks for taking the time to read!

    paula says:

    Hi. I want to know if I dont want to lose weight and I want lean muscle so do I need to eat less than my calories intake or equal? Just worry that if I lift and I eat less it ‘d not be good.

    Thank you ;)

      Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Paula,
      Yes that is correct. If you do not want fat loss and your goal is purely to gain lean muscle, I would eat slightly above your maintenance levels on workout days and at your maintenance level on rest days

    Estelle says:

    Rachael, in your daily diet you said you ate satay chicken for dinner. Just wondering if you had a heathy recipe for the satay sauce? Thanks xx

      Rachael Attard says:

      I used a bottled satay sauce (naughty I know!). You can definitely make your own healthy satay sauce though. Here’s a great healthy satay recipe by Teresa Cutter (click the link) xx

    Giny says:

    Hi,
    Firstly, I’d like to thank you for sharing your knowledge about fitness and nutrition. I’d like to ask about my calorie intake because I’m not sure about that. I’m 16 years old, 160 cm and 57 kg. On weekdays I usually walk 20 minutes every day and I also walk in school a bit. I have PE lessons every day (45 min) but it isn’t so rough. I lift weights at home (about 2x5kg dumbells, they’re enough for me haha) and do HIIT about 2-3 times a week and low intensity cardio (7,5 km/h jogging for an hour or something like that)once or twice a week. I eat about 1200 kcal every day and I have a cheat day or re-feed day when I try to eat about 1700-2000 kcal.Should I increase my calorie intake or is this enough? I see some results, but I’m afraid it’s weight loss not FAT loss. (Sorry for my English, it’s not my native :) )

      Rachael Attard says:

      Hi, well done on being so fit and healthy at such a young age! I have written a blog post on how to calculate your calorie intake, so have a look at that and do your calculations based on your current activity level. Here is the blog post xx