I see far too many supplement ads that claim to help you lose stomach fat. Unfortunately, this is not a lifestyle that will keep the fat off and keep you healthy. In fact, these supplements can have harmful effects on your body.
In my opinion, natural (without the use of supplements) is always the best way. I believe this because by doing it naturally, you are conditioning your mind to maintain the results by putting in the time and effort. That sense of pride when you achieve your goals is euphoric and you will maintain the results you have worked so hard to achieve.
To be honest burning stomach fat naturally and more importantly keeping it off, is not that hard. It requires a change in mindset first, where you decide that you must lose the belly fat now and you will keep it off. Until you reach this change in mindset, it doesn’t matter what solutions you try, you will be back at square one.
For me, this change in mindset was the first step to having a flat stomach and abs. It made everything such a breeze. The following are what I do to keep the fat off. The great thing with this strategy is that I don’t have to give up the foods I love, I can eat them for the rest of my life.
After the change in mindset… the calories
First thing I did was to sit down and figure out the number of calories I can consume each day.
To figure out the number of calories I was going to consume per day, I multiplied the body weight I want to be in pounds by 15 – this would be the number of calories I would need to consume to maintain that body weight. Since I was also incorporating strength training and cardio regiment six days a week, I added 400 calories on top (this I would play around with if I was gaining weight).
I wanted to maintain my weight at 137lb, to maintain this weight (provided I wasn’t exercising) I would need to consume 137lb x 15 = 2055 calories per day.
Since I was strength training and doing cardio six days a week, I added 400 calories on top: 2055 + 400 = 2455 calories per day is what I would need to eat to maintain my weight at 137 pounds, with six days a week intense workout regiment.
The general rule of thumb is if you are working out or active is, multiply the desired body weight in pounds by 15 and add 200 to 400 calories on top. You can play around with this number to figure out the optimal calorie requirement – if you are losing weight add 100 calories; if you are gaining weight decrease 100 calories.
The macronutrients (often referred to as macros) are the ratio of fat, carbs, and protein to consume per day. This is key to losing the belly fat! One can do everything right but if they consume the incorrect ratios, they will not see the results they want. This is not complicated at all, and it’s very easy to figure out.
I started with the easiest one of them all, the amount of protein I need to consume per day. I wrote a detailed post on this here: How Much Protein Should I Eat Daily? And My Top 5 Best Sources if you want to read more about it.
To build and maintain lean muscle mass, I needed to intake about 0.73g to 1g of protein per pound of body weight. My workouts are pretty intense, so I decided to be on the upper end of this scale and I aimed for about 0.9g of protein per pound of body weight.
For me at 137lb that was 0.9 x 137 = 123.3g of protein per day.
Each gram of protein is about 4 calories. Therefore, 123.3g x 4 = 493.2 calories. Which translates to about 20% of my calories ((493.2 / 2455) x 100% = 20%).
Next, I moved on to carbs. From reading Dr Steven Masley’s book The Better Brain Solution I learned that I was consuming way too many carbs. So I wanted to figure out my optimal level for carbs, for me, it was 25% of my diet. By doing some reverse mathematics I was able to figure this out.
Like protein, each gram of carbs has about 4 calories. Therefore, if I wanted to intake 25% of my calories from carbs it would be 25% x 2455 = 613.75 calories.
And since there are 4 calories in each gram of carbs, I would need to consume 613.74/4 = 153.44g of carbs per day.
The Smart Fats
As I stated above, upon reading Dr Masley’s book, I switched to a high fat and low carbs diet. Since protein would make up 20% of my diet and 25% would come from carbs, the remaining 55% (100% – 20% – 25% = 55%) would have to come from smart fats. You can read more about why I switched to a high-fat, low carb diet here: High Fat and Low Carb Diet… I Did It For My Brain!
Again, just like the calculation for carbs, simple reverse mathematics gave me the amount of fat required in grams.
Unlike protein and carbs, each gram of fat has about 9 calories. Therefore, at 55%, my fat intake requirement would be 55% x 2455 = 1350.25 calories.
Since there are 9 calories in a gram of fat, I would need to eat 1350.25/9 = 150.02g of fat per day.
See, it was so simple to figure out and not complicated at all.
Therefore, at 20% protein, 25% carbs, and 55% fat I would need to eat about 123g of protein, 153g of carbs and 150g of smart fats per day.
The best way to track calories and macros
The simplest way to track my daily calories and macros was to download the app – MyFitness Pal. It is one of the best apps on my phone and the free version does it all. After registering an account, all I had to do was go into setting and modify my goals and macros to match what I had calculated.
With MyFitnessPal, I was able to track everything with ease. It has all the food I can ever think up, even ethnic foods. And it keeps me on track without fail.
Once I figured out the macros, the diet was very simple to figure out. All I had to do was type in the food I was eating into MyFitnessPal (or scan the barcode of the box it came in) and it would show me the nutritional info on the app. As long as I stayed within the requirements, I was able to eat whatever I wanted. See, I didn’t have to give up the foods I loved. Everything in moderation though.
Here is a list of everything I eat daily:
- Avocado (~150-200g)
- 2% milk (1/4 cup)
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein ( ~31g)
- Organic Lean Ground Beef (113g) or Salmon (~113g)
- 1 Organic free-range egg
- 1 Organic free-range egg white
- 2 Slices of 20-grain bread (~40g)
- Gordon Ramsay’s Roasted Tomato Soup (200g)
- Beets (~136g)
- Organic Frozen Berry Mix (~150g)
- Peanut butter (~32g)
- Locally sourced unpasteurized honey (~20g)
- Match green tea (~5g)
- Organic Greek yogurt – fat-free (~175g)
- Organic baby spinach (~42.5g)
- Organic baby kale (~39g)
- Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (1 Tbsp)
- Chia Seeds (~30g)
- Raw almonds (25 almonds)
- Raw walnuts (~42g)
- MCT Oil (1 Tbsp)
Kill The Sugar, Flatten The Belly!
Processed or refined sugar is the enemy of all. I wanted to stay away from sugar throughout the week, so I can enjoy whatever I want on the weekends (for at least 1 meal but I never had to feel guilty, if once in a while I went a little crazy).
Sugar is not only horrible for belly fat, but it is also detrimental to the body in many ways. To list a few: sugar is the leading cause of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, obesity and the list goes on and on. I also wanted to cut sugar because it would help me with my mental functions and safeguard it for a long time to come.
Excess sugar turns to fat in our body, and the fat is stored by the body for later use. When we continue to consume excess sugar, the fat never gets used up and it keeps building up. This leads to fat build up in the body, especially in the belly and around the organs.
In many ways cutting sugar not only helped in flattening my belly, but it also helped improve my energy level, mental functions, my mood, and reduce cravings.
ACV and Lemon Juice
I wanted a way to kick start my metabolism the minute I woke up. That’s why I turned to Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother (ACV). Soon as I wake up and brush my teeth, I head to the kitchen… the first thing I do is pour myself 600ml of room temperature water in a glass, mix 2 Tbsp of ACV and gulp it down with a straw. I don’t consume anything else after for 30 minutes. Doing this kicks starts my metabolism, which helps to burn the fat, hydrates me, flushes out the system and it alkalizes the body.
30 minutes after my last meal of the day, I pour myself another 600ml of water and mix in 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. I do this for the same reason as the ACV above. By drinking lemon water I help the digestion process, hydrate the body, flush out the system and it too alkalizes the body.
Greek Yogurt To Speed Things Up
I eat 175g of organic fat-free Greek yogurt (with active cultures) daily, as it is an awesome source of probiotics, high in calcium and protein. I also make sure its part of my daily diet to maintain a flat stomach. Studies have found – those who ate Greek yogurt while on a diet, lost almost twice the belly fat compared to those that did not consume yogurt. For me, this qualified as one of the easiest things I can do to lose stomach fat and it’s all natural.
To ensure that I was helping my body out, I started walking 30 minutes in the morning after I take my water and ACV mixture. This is part of my daily ritual (I cover this under How To Wake Up In A Peak State – My Morning Rituals For Success if you want to give it a read). Through this process, I tackle several things at once: I get myself moving in the morning and get my steps in, I condition myself for success and I set myself up for the day.
Walking in the morning also helps kick the metabolism into high gear. Thus, keep burning the fat throughout the day and maintaining a flat belly.
There Is A Way To Speed Things Up
Doing the above alone flattened the belly and I started losing inches around the waist while maintaining the same weight! After doing the above for about two weeks and seeing results, I wanted to speed things up even more. I used to workout daily but I had stopped because I was “too busy”. I decided no more excuses, time to get back on the routine that helped me stay in shape. I also incorporated fasting.
To speed up the process I started incorporating two things:
- Daily strength training and cardio, combined with my diet, helped me get back in shape fast and lose fat like crazy. I was more focused, energetic and I loved the way I felt and looked. It wasn’t hard to figure out what to do. First I came up with a workout routine that worked for me and started hitting the gym. The key thing was to be consistent! If you are interested in the workout routine I follow, you can find it here: Best Exercise To Lose Belly Fat – Full Body Workout Routine For Women and Men. Unfortunately, there is no way to target fat in a particular area, it has to be a full body solution. That’s why getting to the point of “I must lose the fat now” was so important for me – so I don’t look for easy ways, but find a permanent solution that worked.
- Intermittent Fasting, this was one of the best things I did. I had always heard others talk about fasting and I thought it was not for me, and it sounded hard, to be honest. Then I read The Better Brain Solution and I was convinced of the merits of intermittent fasting. I started off with 12 hours of fasting and 12-hour eating window, from here I gradually increased it to 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating. By intermittent fasting, I sped up my results, I was able to add lean muscle and reduce the amount of fat. Which got me the flat belly and toned look I’ve always wanted. I have written in detail about why I intermittent fast and how to get to the 16/8 fast you can read it here: 16 Hour Fasting Diet – Benefits, How To Get To 16/8 and Things To Keep In Mind
There you have it, to lose stomach fat, these are my secrets and there isn’t much to it. It seems like a lot to follow, but just like learning to ride a bike, it becomes second nature very fast, if one is consistent and keeps at it.
If you have any questions leave it in the comment section below and I will get back to you.
Related Articles: Best Exercise To Lose Belly Fat – Full Body Workout Routine For Women and Men | How Much Protein Should I Eat Daily? And My Top 5 Best Sources. | High Fat and Low Carb Diet… I Did It For My Brain!