Belly fat is one of the most common complaints that people have about their bodies. Nobody likes a muffin top! If you look online, you will find all kinds of workouts that are supposed to take care of that pooch. However, you will soon find out that there are no workouts that can specifically help you get rid of your stomach fat. Fortunately, I found an effective way to get a flat stomach in less than a week and I am excited to share my success with you.
Health Risks Associated With Belly Fat
Besides not looking attractive, belly fat comes with certain health risks. It is a significant health concern. Your stomach fat can become like an organ that secretes hormones and other chemicals linked to diseases that afflict older adults.
Types of Abdominal Fat
Belly fat, or stomach fat, refers to the fat around a person’s abdomen. There are two types of abdominal fat:
- Visceral fat: Visceral fat is the type of abdominal fat that surrounds a person’s organs. The most dangerous kind and likely due to insulin resistance.
- Subcutaneous fat: Subcutaneous fat just sits under the skin.
Visceral fat is more harmful than subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat has been associated with a host of serious disease risks, including heart disease, cancer, and dementia.
How to Know if You Need to Lose Belly Fat
Since a larger waist size is linked with an increase in heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancer, it is important you determine if you are at risk. Having a muffin top is a warning sign but there are measurements you can take to have a better idea.
Your BMI (Body Mass Index) may not be the most accurate way to determine if you need to lose fat. You calculate your BMI by dividing your weight by your height to the power of two. There are lots of BMI calculators online. The problem with using your BMI is that it doesn’t account for your muscle mass. Muscles are about 18 percent heavier than fat.
If you carry more fat around your waist than your hips, you may be more at risk for cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, waist size helps determine insulin sensitivity, which is a powerful predictor for diabetes. To measure your waist-to-hip ratio, measure the circumference of the widest part of your hips, across the buttocks. Then, measure your waist at the smallest point, just across the belly button. Finally, divide your waist by your hip measurement.
Use this chart from the Mayo Clinic to interpret your results:
Some argue that your waist-to-height ratio is a more accurate predictor of cardiometabolic health. Researchers have suggested keeping waist circumference to less than half the height to maximize health and life expectancy.
Can you lose your belly fat through exercise?
Many people resort to exercise when they want to lose belly fat. I want you to know that although ab exercises will strengthen your abdominal muscles, you won’t be able to see the difference if they are covered in fat. Working out will help you reduce how much overall fat you carry, which includes belly fat.
Ab Workouts Will Not Reduce Belly Fat
Many studies have shown that training one part of your body will not help you burn fat in that area. For example, a 27-day sit-up program made no difference in how much stomach fat the participant had by the end of the program. Exercise can help you get rid of belly fat, but certainly not in less than a week. Working out will help you reduce stomach fat by helping you lose weight. That’s all!
Workouts to Get Rid of Your Stomach Fat
Since you can’t spot reduce fat, there are no workouts that target belly fat exclusively. That’s a fact, but the myth that ab workouts can help you lose the belly fat is still going around. I read a whole post about working out to lose belly fat and it was all about crunches! In truth, the best way to work out is to do anything that you will do consistently. I have been doing high-intensity interval training and strength training most days for years. These workouts make me feel great, and I love how much more muscle definition I have gained from them.
If You Are New At Working Out
If you want to lose overall weight and belly fat but have not been working out, start with whatever exercises you enjoy enough to say consistent:
- Go for daily walks.
- Do some strength training.
- Go biking.
- Join a fitness class.
- Stream some online workouts and follow along.
Focus on taking small steps that will bring you closer to your goals.
If You Are Already Active
If you are active but are still not reaching your goal weight, try mixing things up. If you love doing HIIT training, go for walks. If you do yoga, add some strength or HIIT training. Experiment with various forms of workouts. Keep your body guessing. You can absolutely get into a rut with your workouts. Besides helping you get better results, the variety will make your workouts more interesting.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat in Less Than a Week
Ok, now that we have all the important information out of the way, let talk about how you can lose the belly fat in less than a week.
The Fasting Mimicking Diet
It all started when I learned about the fasting mimicking diet and how you can benefit from fasting without giving up food. I understood that practicing regular fasts could revolutionize my health. What I didn’t know is that it could also help me get rid of my stomach fat fast.
Fasting Mimicking Diet Benefits
In case you have not heard about the fasting mimicking diet, let me give you a brief overview. The fasting mimicking diet (FMD) helps you reap the benefits of prolonged fasting without all the discomforts occasioned by water fasting. It resets your metabolism, helps with cell regeneration, and reduces inflammation. Dr. Valter Longo, the creator of the fasting mimicking diet, has studied its benefits extensively:
- Immune system support: Could be used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
- Stem cell regeneration: As we age, our stem cells lose the ability to regenerate. Fasting can reverse this loss of function within 24 hours. It promotes the body’s ability to regenerate itself.
- Gut health: Fasting mimicking reduces intestinal inflammation and promotes the proliferation of good gut bacteria.
- Enhanced cognitive performance: A fasting mimicking diet (FMD) applied middle-aged and older mice improved cognitive function and increased longevity.
- Increased longevity: A FMD applied to middle-aged and older mice improved cognitive function and increased longevity.
- Reduced inflammation: Caloric restriction improves inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, although we don’t quite understand the mechanism yet. It reduces certain inflammation markers.
- Weight Loss: This benefit is obvious. A calorie deficit leads to weight loss.
- Blood sugar and cholesterol levels: A 4-day FMD done every two months improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels
The Fasting Mimicking Diet and Belly Fat
What I didn’t realize is the extent to which this fast would help reduce my belly fat. As I recount in I Went on My DIY Version of the Fasting Mimicking Diet and This Is What Happened, I didn’t stick to the whole 5 days the first time around. Yet, the results were impressive! The fasting mimicking diet helped me get rid of belly fat in less than 5 days! Not only that, but the belly fat did not reappear when I started eating normally again. My experience is not isolated, a study conducted involving the fasting mimicking diet found the participants lost more stomach fat than the control group.
Before and After Pictures
The results are obvious, if you want to lose belly fat fast, the fasting mimicking diet is the way to go. On top of getting rid of stomach fat in less than a week, you will keep it off when you start eating normally again. In the first set of pictures, the after picture was taken 3 days after I resumed normal eating. The day before, I even overate for Thanksgiving dinner. The picture in the second set was taken 4 days after I resumed normal eating and right after eating 1000 calories for breakfast. The loss in belly fat is long-lasting and not just a reduction in bloating.
How to Get Started Today
You can experience the same results this week if you follow this exact step-by-step approach.
5 Steps To Losing Your Belly Fast this Week
- Read My DIY Fasting Mimicking Plan. You will learn what you need to know to start your own.
- Mark your starting date on the calendar. Try to pick a pretty busy 5-day period that doesn’t include food-related social gatherings. I found fasting a lot easier when I was out and about.
- Go shopping in advance for the foods you will be eating during the 5-day fast. You can follow my DIY plan or make up your own following the guidelines. Another simple option that I have seen some people do is eating 2 avocadoes a day on top of the green powder. Super easy!
- Go for it! On the set date, just do it! The first day is pretty easy, you still get to eat over 1,000 calories. Don’t worry, you can do this!
- When it gets harder and you feel hungry, learn to notice the feeling. Many of us are not accustomed to being hungry. We make it worse than it needs to be. Instead, just notice the sensation without acting on it. You will realize it is not as bad as you think. When it’s time to eat, notice how the hunger subsides. Learn to pay attention to your body and its cues. It’s a fascinating process.
Foods to Lose Belly Fat For Good
As you are planning your own 5-day fast, let me share a bit more about the foods that will support your health goals. Fasting regularly allows for more food freedom, but no need to feed your body junk food when you are eating. I used to always practice some strict food protocols like the paleo autoimmune protocol or the GAPS diet. I did smoothie cleanses and various variations of many detox protocols as well. Yet, I still was bloated and couldn’t get rid of the belly fat. I felt like my whole life revolved around food! Fasting has freed me from food restrictions. Yes, I still eat healthy when I am not fasting, but I am not counting carbs or calories. I have much more leeway with my food choices and I don’t feel deprived.
Foods to Focus On During Your 5-Day Fast
When you are doing your 5-day fasting mimicking diet, you should eat mostly healthy fats and veggies. You will eat olives, nuts, and seeds as well.
Foods to Focus On After Your Fast
After you fast, following the Paleo Diet would be an excellent choice. However, you might find that it’s not necessary to be 100% compliant. Fasting helps heal your gut, so you will be able to eat some foods that may have caused reactions in the past. Furthermore, I found an effective probiotic that helped me speed up the healing process. You will learn what foods help you feel better and what foods you should avoid. It’s always a good idea to make sure you focus on gut healing foods (read Most Healing Foods for the Gut).
Make sure your diet includes tons of the following foods:
- Avocados: The high-fat content will keep you full longer and help regulate your blood sugar.
- Vegetable: You cannot overeat vegetables, keep that in mind.
- Berries: Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants. They help deliver oxygen to your muscles.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which may help diminish belly fat.
- Green tea: Green tea helps boost your metabolism. Furthermore, it will take the edge off your hunger when you fast.
- Fish: Studies revealed that Omega-3 fats have the ability to reduce visceral fat that is around your abdomen.
Foods to Avoid At All Time
Avoid the following foods as much as possible for increased health benefits from your fasts:
- Refined sugar;
- Vegetable oils;
- Sugary drinks (including fruit juices);
- Refined grains and bread;
- Pastries, cookies, and cakes.
Workouts During the 5-Day Diet
One more word about working out. We already talked about the best workouts for getting rid of your stomach fat, but I didn’t mention that you should go easy during your 5-day fasting mimicking diet. I didn’t do my normal HIIT videos during my fast. You will feel more tired and hungry, it’s better to do some light activity during that time. Go for walks or do yoga.
If the Idea of a 5-Day Fast Scares You
I understand! I have been there! For a long time, I wanted to fast, but I didn’t think I could. I have to say that I was breastfeeding for many years. If you are breastfeeding, you need to know that breastfeeding will make you much more hungry and vulnerable to your hunger signals. Don’t attempt a fast if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Otherwise, you may start with a 16-hour or 24-hour fast. You can also go for the 5:2 intermittent fasting method. Read more about your different options in Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss.
The fasting mimicking diet is a close parent to intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting will help you lose weight without caloric restriction, which makes it more doable and sustainable long term. Learn more about Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and how fasting mimicking is different. Fasting mimicking will help you get rid of stomach fat fast without messing up with your hormones. If you are a woman and you are concerned about the effect of intermittent fasting on your hormonal health, read Intermittent Fasting for Women. If you are a woman over 40, read Fasting for Women Over 40 to understand how you can reap the benefits of fasting the right way.