Belly fat can be a stubborn nemesis that refuses to budge. Many of us fight the battle of the bulge for appearance’s sake, but there’s so much more at stake. Discover everything you need to know on how to lose belly fat – from exercise tips to food, drinks, and what to avoid.

What’s the Big Deal About Belly Fat?

Belly fat causes a range of health risks. The reason is, it surrounds your vital organs.

There are different types of fat, such as subcutaneous fat that gathers just under your skin. But the biggest concern is Visceral fat. This is found between your organs like the liver, kidneys, stomach, etc. It secretes hormones and chemicals that are linked to all types of diseases, including:

  • heart disease
  • fatty liver
  • type 2 diabetes
  • strokes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • high blood pressure
  • cancer.

Both visceral and subcutaneous fat can form around your abdomen. Visceral fat releases more fatty acids into the bloodstream. You can become insulin resistant, which causes issues with your blood sugar levels. Insulin affects the storage of belly fat and other hormonal changes, leading to the risk of inflammation.

Reducing belly fat should become a priority.

Causes of Belly Fat

There are many things that contribute to abdominal fat:

  • inactive lifestyle
  • poor diet
  • pregnancy
  • hormone imbalance
  • certain health conditions
  • genetics.

Are You at Risk?

Belly fat can be obvious, but when does it become dangerous?  According to Harvard Medical School, a high-risk waist circumference is 35+ inches for women, 40+ inches for men.

Another way to determine your risk is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Access a BMI calculator here.

Even those who don’t appear overweight can’t get complacent. They can still be storing visceral fat; these cases are commonly referred to as skinny fat.

How to Lose Belly Fat with Nutrition


This is associated with gut health. It’s made up of trillions of microorganisms in your digestive system that affect your nutrient absorption, energy levels, cholesterol, immunity, metabolism, weight, and even your moods. It’s often referred to as the ‘second brain’.

You can have healthy or unhealthy bacteria. The type of gut bacteria is heavily influenced by your diet, exercise, and use of antibiotics. Maintaining good gut bacteria is said to help with weight management, including belly fat.

These days, science can test your microbiome by analysing a stool sample. You can look at ways to restore gut health, such as the Microbiome Diet.

Foods that Help Burn Belly Fat

  • High Fiber (vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and grains).
  • High Protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes).
  • Spicy food (chilis, capsicum/bell peppers, cayenne pepper, and black pepper).

Eating spicy food increases body temperature, which affects energy expenditure. Also, introduce foods that improve your microbiomes like onions and asparagus.

Avoid fad diets and gimmicks as they can mess with your metabolism, affecting your ability to lose weight in the future. Check out these superfoods that boost energy.

How to Lose Belly Fat with Nutrition

Drinks That Help Burn Belly Fat

  • Water – it hydrates the body, helps digestion, and transports nutrients to cells.
  • Lemon water – contains vitamin C and antioxidants to help metabolism and digestion.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – contains Acetic acid that helps reduce fat storage and blood sugars.
  • Cinnamon water – contains cinnamaldehyde which helps metabolism.
  • Green Tea – is full of antioxidants and linked to fat burning during exercise.

Avoid sugary drinks like soda, diet soda, energy drinks, flavoured milk, and most juices.

How to Lose Belly Fat and What to Avoid

If you’re serious about learning how to lose belly fat, there are certain things to avoid:

Trans Fats

These are found in processed food and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. They’re usually added to extend the shelf-life of a product. Trans fats are often found in fast food and snacks like muffins, baking mixes, crackers, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, biscuits, and more.

As a general rule, stick to the outer rim of the supermarket and avoid too many products in packets or tins.


Of course, this is obvious, but it’s still one of our biggest downfalls. It’s important to recognise exercise for the benefits you’ll gain. Being in a calorie deficit (burning more energy than you consume) contributes greatly to weight loss. The easiest way to ensure this is to exercise regularly.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

This is made from cornstarch and is used as a sweetener. When you find a product claiming to be diet or sugar-free, it will most likely contain this instead (or additionally). It’s added to many processed foods, including cereals, sodas, sauces, and dressings, and contains no nutrients.

Like sugar, it’s been linked to obesity and diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver, and heart disease.


An overload of sugar is one of the main causes of fatty liver and belly fat. When you eat too much sugar, the liver can’t process all the fructose properly and turns it into fat. This also affects metabolism and insulin resistance, making it a high risk for Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

To avoid sugar, start using natural sweeteners like Stevia and honey (be wary of artificial sweeteners like Aspartame). Check the sugar content on the labels of everything you buy – you’ll be amazed at what products are sold as “healthy” that are actually loaded with sugar.

By cutting out sugar, you also cut out:

  • headaches
  • energy crashes
  • insulin spikes
  • weight gain
  • tooth decay
  • acne and other skin irritations.

Starving Yourself

Skipping meals can be detrimental to your health. You might think you’re saving yourself calories, but your body can work against this. If it’s not getting enough nourishment, it’ll go into starvation mode, slowing down your metabolism. Instead of burning energy, it’ll store it as fat for future use. This was how the body survived in primal times when people didn’t know when their next meal would be.

If your body is getting the regular nourishment it needs, it’s more likely to burn it.

Another option is intermittent fasting. Rather than starving yourself, you eat within a certain window of time. Outside of this period, you avoid calories and sugar altogether.  So, you can still have 3 meals a day, you’re just giving your body more time to process it.


This contributes to belly fat by messing with your metabolism and interrupting the liver’s normal functions. When you consume alcohol, your liver recognises it as poison and stops all other work. While your brain is enjoying a buzz, your liver is working overtime to try and get rid of it. A few drinks can take the liver anywhere from 10+ hours to process. Any calories consumed in that time will be turned into fat as the liver is solely focused on the alcohol.

The drinks themselves contain a lot of excess calories too. Not to mention it lowers your inhibitions (pizza anyone?)… It all adds up.


We all would avoid stress if we could. Finding ways to relax can be difficult but it’s so important for your health. Stress produces the hormone cortisol. This increases appetite and insulin resistance, which leads to excess weight, particularly around the organs like belly fat.

Stress can affect your microbiome which in turn impacts your sleep, metabolism, and moods, adding to more stress. It can be a vicious cycle with stress sometimes leading to excessive indulgences.

Try and find ways to de-stress, like being active, meditation, yoga, or arts and craft.

>>Discover how exercise can reduce stress<<

How to Lose Belly Fat with Exercise

Losing weight anywhere in your body will help. But if you want to blast belly fat fast, try the exercises below.

How to Lose Belly Fat

Core Exercises and Strength Training

  • Crunches
  • Planking
  • Burpees
  • Abdominal twists
  • Mountain climbers
  • Push-ups and pull-ups
  • Stability ball exercises
  • Knee/leg raises
  • Pilates
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Bench presses and chest presses
  • Lateral pulls
  • Reverse lunges with bicep curls
  • Medicine ball slams
  • Power lifts (deadlifts, clean and jerks, snatches, etc.)

View top 10 core exercises in more detail here.


The more intense your workout, the better the result. CrossFit is a powerful combination of activities listed above (and more). And don’t underestimate the power of Yoga. There are many Yoga Poses that do wonders for the abdomen too.

Sit-ups vs Crunches

These exercises help tone, they’re about strengthening rather than burning calories. Many trainers indicate that crunches focus specifically on the abs and obliques. Whereas sit-ups work for many muscle groups from the stomach, hips, back, and chest to the neck.

The main thing to remember is any exercise is good exercise.

Other Tips

  • Don’t sit for long periods – take regular breaks to get up and move about, go for a walk on your lunch break, use a standing desk at work if possible.
  • Suck it up – practice tightening your abdominal muscles throughout the day. Every little bit counts.
  • Get regular sleep – this impacts your metabolism and fat-burning cycle.


For those trying to lose weight after pregnancy, I encourage you to check out Momma Survival Guide. This website is full of helpful tips and has an article on rebuilding your core after pregnancy. Learn about diastasis recti and exercises that help the abdomen:

>>Exercises for Diastasis Recti – How I Fixed Mine in Just 5 Weeks!<<

Be ABsolutely Fabulous

Apply the appropriate diet and exercise changes and you’ll start to see a difference. Keep focused on strengthening your core and most importantly stay consistent! Your health is totally worth it.


  1. I’ve always gotten told that I should exercise; do I? No. 🙁 Some people need motivation to do it and I am one of those who do; at least I think I do. Long story short, this is such a great article to follow and might just give me the push I need. Just as you mentioned, “belly fat” is a common nemesis and can also bring many issues. I wonder if I can do this…booyeahhh! I am sure I can, in Christ who strengthens me. 

  2. Hi – Very informative post, covered many different aspects of fitness. This is a topic of “high” interest…how to lose belly fat…a struggle for many. Thank you for pointing out the dangers of fat, we all need reminders and a reason to get our bodies moving, paying attention to our diet and what we put in our bodies. I’ve been hearing a lot about HIIT and the positive results…do you recommend always doing HIIT vs. regular cardio exercises or should we mix it up? I’m planning on doing the “suck it up” exercise throughout the day to tighten up the mid-section! Thanks for the tip! Best wishes.  

    • Hi Jeff, for sure, it’s a struggle but the effort is worth it. HIIT, cardio, and strength training are all beneficial. I recommend you talk to a doctor or trainer to work out what’s most suitable for you. You can learn more about HIIT here. All the best, thanks for reading.

  3. Hi! I really liked the core exercises and strength training you included in this post. They have given me some additional ideas to try in my training. But what I have liked the most are the foods that help burn belly fat. I love fruit, nuts and grains. I’m glad to see them here. Thanks!

    • Hi Henry! I’m glad you found this helpful. Core exercise, strength training and nutritious food are the best combination for sure. Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading.

  4. Hi I really enjoyed reading your post and it was quite informative regarding overall how to lose belly fat.  You provided some great tips that are a lifestyle change in order to lose belly fat and be in better overall health.  I also enjoyed the exercise videos you provided.  This is an excellent post that I would recommend to anyone looking to get in better health and lose those extra inches.  I will follow your tips and recommendations in my daily life going forward.   Thank you!!

    • Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 For sure, a lifestyle change is so important to make a difference. Good luck with it going forward, thanks for reading.

  5. Wow this post was so helpful, there are so many things that go into losing belly fat, but it’s really simple, stay active, eat right, and you’ll see results. I love how you have broken everything down into exercise and nutrition, you have made everything so clear and you make it seem so doable.

    After having my daughter, I realized that belly fat can be stubborn, but with the proper treatment (diet and exercise) it can be resolved! Just by staying active and simply avoiding alcohol and high fructose corn syrup, my belly began to shrink.

    I agree with everything you have said 100% and I know for a fact and through experience that it all works and if you follow all these tips, you will lose that belly fat! Thanks for another great post:)

    • Hi Madysen, thanks for sharing your experience. I agree a combination of methods is most successful in losing belly fat. And nutrition of course. I’m glad you were able to resolve it and your exercises for diastasis recti are great. Thanks for reading.

  6. Hey,I had to ask that i had done the plank exercise for about a month but i dont know why it did not help me as everyone says its the best exercise to lose belly fat,my weight is 90 kg and it was really hard for me to do it.Can u guide me for how long i have to do this exercise looking at my weight.I have to lose my belly fat as soon as possible. please help.

    • Hi, thanks for your comments. Losing weight healthily (including belly fat) takes time, and it’s important to incorporate good nutrition along with your exercise otherwise it can be counter-productive. Planking is good for the core muscles. If you’re struggling with it, perhaps you could try some other types of exercises too. It’s best to speak to a health coach or doctor who can put you on a program specific to your needs and circumstances.

  7. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your website and in depth information you offer. Very inspiring and clear explanation. You’ve really covered up almost all the possible info that every fitness enthusiast and health-conscious person should follow who is so curious to lose belly fat. Worth sharing! Please continue sharing your updates! Thanks a lot!


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