Training

| June 22, 2021

How to lose belly fat

I like everyone else, I just want to lose some weight around my midsection. This is a conversation I have with clients almost daily. While it is not possible to spot reduce one area only, there’s still a lot we can do to help you reach the result you want, rather than the ‘just lose some weight’ answer most people are told.

By Michelle Moen

Read time: 3 min.

I like everyone else, I just want to lose some weight around my midsection. This is a conversation I have with clients almost daily. While it is not possible to spot reduce one area only, there’s still a lot we can do to help you reach the result you want, rather than the ‘just lose some weight’ answer most people are told.

The first thing you can do is focus on building your glutes, lats, and shoulders. Yes, you read that right. GROW these areas, rather than focusing on weight loss alone. Bigger glutes, lats, and shoulders will give your body the illusion of having a smaller waist, and is a big reason why bikini body builders focus so much on these areas. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to eat to grow a muscle, then always focusing on becoming smaller.

The second thing you can do is learn how to properly do vacuums or hypopressive exercises. These exercises strengthen your TVA, an important muscle in your core. Not only have I seen this exercise shave inches off of someone’s waist, they’re also great for keeping your core and pelvic floor muscles healthy. Something that is very often dysfunctional in weightlifting athletes, especially women. Do a few rounds of vacuums daily, especially after exercise. This is a way to ‘unload’ your pelvic floor, and stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, signalling to your body that it’s time to relax. A note on this exercise is that it is not just ‘sucking in’ your stomach. You’re literally creating a vacuum with your breath, so make sure you have someone teach you this exercise, to ensure you’re performing it correctly. It can be kind of awkward to learn, so be patient with yourself and stay consistent. They do get easier with time.

The third thing you can do is focus more on your digestion. While it is common to be bloated daily, it is not normal. Start taking digestive enzymes with your meals, and slowly figure out which foods are bothering you the most. Gluten, dairy, corn, and overall processed foods seem to be the top offenders. Everyone is different, so get in tune with yourself.

What is absolutely a waste of your money: waist trainers, skinny teas, wraps etc. Most of these products work by dehydrating your midsection, temporarily making it look smaller. No actual fat loss has occurred though, so don’t fall victim to these products. Alternatively, some of these products work as a laxative, emptying your bowels, therefore making your midsection again, appear smaller. No actual body fat loss has occurred in this case either. Save your money. If any of these products actually worked they would readily be used by the medical community to help people address obesity. I’m all for the healthy as any size movement, but there can be very real health consequences to obesity. Not everyone will experience health issues from being higher in body fat, but many will. Doctors have been trying to help this population, going as far as recommending bariatric surgery to reduce someone’s stomach size, ensuring they cannot eat a lot of food. While this is drastic I don’t feel like the medical community as a whole is malicious. Most doctors genuinely want to help people, and this is one way they know how to in some cases.

If reducing your midsection is your goal, growing muscles in the right areas, vacuums, and addressing digestion can be very helpful. Naturally establishing a consistent caloric deficit is another method you can employ, but going into a dieting phase is not going to be right for everyone. Try these strategies out instead, and stay clear of any gimmicky weight loss products that will just leave you out a couple bucks, without any real results.

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