The question I get asked most often is: “How do I get rid of THIS??” (while grabbing belly fat).

What they’re mostly wanting is for me to tell them how many crunches they need to do each day, or how long to hold a plank.

Unfortunately, the solution for belly fat is much more complicated than that. Here’s some truths about losing your gut:

1. More crunches won’t do it.

This is called “spot-reducing” and it doesn’t work. Muscles do not own the fat that covers them. If they did, then people who chew a lot of gum would have skinny faces and tennis players would have one skinny arm and one fat arm.

2. What you eat REALLY matters.

Like, a LOT. It’s true that abs are made in the kitchen. If you want to lose bellly fat, you should eat mostly lean protein and veggies with some healthy fat added in. Eat starchy carbs like grains or potatoes around your workout, limiting them other times of day.

3. There IS a “right” type of exercise to do.

And it’s called HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training. It means alternating short periods of really hard work with periods of easy work. 20 minutes of a HIIT workout and you should be wiped out. You should only do 3-4 sessions a week, though, and fill in with longer, less intense sessions.

4. Stress could be the culprit.

This is a real thing. When you are under constant stress, you produce hormones that cause your metabolism to slow AND cause more fat to accumulate around your middle than in other parts of your body. It’s well worth it to do whatever you can to reduce the amounts of stress in your life!

5. You may need to cut back on alcohol.

Drinking in the evening can cause belly fat. Hence, the term “beer belly”.

6. Some supplements can help.

CLA – you want to get one that has “50:50 Isomer Blend (Cis-9, Trans-11 Isomer:Trans-10, Cis-12 Isomer)” on the ingredient label.

GREEN TEA is also a good one.

7. There is no easy way to a flat belly – and f you are genetically predispositioned to have belly fat you can do a lot to mitigate it, but you may find that the discipine and work it takes to get rid of it completely is nearly impossible. Liposuction and CoolSculpting (like Cryosculpting, LLC in Cape Girardeau) are the only two methods that will permanently remove fat cells from your body.

However, you CAN make a lot of progress and see big changes by incorporating these tips into your life!