If you are looking for simple ways to lose belly fat naturally without exercise, then you have landed on the right page.
Whether your goal is just to get a little bit flatter belly for the beach or if you want to lose some of that intra-abdominal belly fat that’s associated with metabolic syndrome and a whole range of different degenerative diseases.
We’re going to talk about the mechanisms of how it works? What won’t work? So that you understand how to do it right, so you can get healthy and reach your goals.
When I say that you can lose belly fat without exercise, that doesn’t mean that you want to do it without exercise,
- It just means that the exercise that most people suggest is not going to get you a flatter belly,
- It is not going to get you healthier,
- It’s not going to reverse the underlying mechanisms.
Some people are looking for that six-pack abs look or they just want a toned look, and other people are looking to get rid of that apple shape, where they don’t have a waist where most of the weight sits in the mid-section.
This middle section is a very unhealthy place because that intra-abdominal fat is the result of insulin resistance and because of that, it is driving you toward metabolic syndrome with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, etc.
So that’s what we want to avoid.
Let’s look a little bit at the anatomy of this.
Some people suggest that all will just do some sit-ups, that’s how you get those six-pack abs.
Here, we need to understand, what is inside that belly which is not letting the six pack abs come up.
Firstly, you have your abdominal cavity with your vital organs like intestines, and then you have the intra-abdominal fat, which is the visceral fat.
It is filling out the spaces between the abdominal organs
It is supposed to be there but it is not supposed to grow huge, we’re not supposed to have a lot of fat there.
And then you have your subcutaneous fat, that’s the outer layer, and in order for you to have a six-pack, that needs to be really thin so that the muscle can show through.
And then comes the muscle itself, it is called RECTUS ABDOMINIS, that’s the flat belly, that muscle is only about 3/8 of an inch thick.
So if it’s not showing, you’re not going to be able to exercise that muscle and make it show.
It’s not about the muscle, you’re not going to be able to do sit-ups or core strength and have that show through an inch and a half of belly fat.
So even if you are able to double that 3/8 inches or about 10mm, it’s not going to make a whole lot of difference.
I am sure there are some bodybuilders that have more than 3/8 of an inch,
But the key is that exercising the muscle is not going to make it show through the fat and it’s not going to burn fat specifically there.
It’s not like the nutrients for that muscle comes from that fat, it’s not the way it works.
Energy is processed systematically and you’re not going to burn more fat in one place just because you exercise that area.
Is it Bad to exercise to Lose Belly Fat?
Here, I just want to dispel some of those myths, it doesn’t mean that exercise is bad.
I think you should do core strength; go for walks, because it is good for your brain, blood circulation, and also for your hormones.
You just need to get out of the mind-set that you can get six-pack abs by doing crunches and exercise.
If you are a bodybuilder and you already have very low belly fat and subcutaneous fat, then obviously, getting a little bit more tone in that muscle can make the six-pack show a little more.
But for most people, that’s not where it’s at.
So for most people, it’s not about crunches, it’s about reversing the underlying mechanism of what put that fat there in the first place.
Understanding about Different Body Shapes
I want to bring to your attention something about body shape, that’s going to make a lot of sense to you.
There is something called CUSHING’S DISEASE or CUSHING SYNDROME also known as HYPERCORTISOLISM and this is where they have pathology; it’s usually a pituitary tumor.
The Pituitary is a hormonal gland that produces hormones to stimulate a bunch of other glands, and one of the glands they stimulate is the Adrenal glands.
So if you have a tumor, then this gland can put out an excessive amount of adrenal stimulating hormone.
So now the adrenals just go to work and they’re cranking out CORTISOL around the clock and as a result, the body gets a very characteristic shape.
So these people are going to have
- A lot of belly fat, the cortisol creates belly fat, and they’re going to have a lot of intra-abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat.
- Thin legs; the muscles are eaten away from their legs, so they got thin skinny legs,
- A flat butt,
- Stretch marks,
- Easy bruising,
In addition to belly, they’re going to put fat in one more place and that’s at the top of the back of the upper back called the BUFFALO HUMP.
All of these are very characteristic marks of Cushing’s disease.
If you look around and think about how many people do I know that looks like this,
They may not have a full-blown Cushing’s, but they look a lot like that and the reason behind it is the high level of CORTISOL and Insulin.
So even though it’s not a disease,
Through lifestyle, stress, and sugar intakes, they have driven their body like halfway to Cushing’s.
What is CORTISOL and what does cortisol do?
Cortisol is a stress hormone, whenever you have stress, whenever you put increased demand on your body, when your body has to defend itself; it is going to produce additional blood sugar.
Cortisol puts the sugar into the blood and it’s the liver that makes blood sugar from Glycogen,
When it runs out of glycogen, it starts breaking down muscle proteins to make glucose.
This glucose goes into the blood, thereby increasing the blood sugar levels
And now we have more blood sugar to go to the muscles to handle the stress or wherever the body needs the resources whether it’s real or imaginary.
But now, we also need insulin to get that sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells to deliver it to its target.
The other thing that Cortisol does is; it reduces inflammation.
There is a synthetic version of cortisol called CORTISONE or PREDNISONE, people can get this as a medication to reduce systemic inflammation.
So people with Rheumatoid Arthritis or inflammatory diseases of various kinds, they get prednisone, if they have pain from inflammation, they get Cortisone or prednisone.
Now a question comes in mind;
Why does Cortisol stop inflammation?
The answer is because when you are in a fight-flight, your body is concerned with survival at that moment, and inflammation is a part of the healing process that takes place after you are back to safety.
So in the acute stage, cortisol shuts down inflammation and that’s why this is used as an anti-inflammatory drug.
But there can be some side effects of cortisone and prednisone.
Common side effects of Cortisone and Prednisone
Some common side effects of Cortisone and Prednisone are:
- It increases blood sugar,
- It increases insulin,
- It makes people gain weight in the midsection,
- It makes people swell up,
- It makes people pre-diabetic.
I also said that cortisol breaks down protein; it’s destructive to protein,
So this is why these people get thin legs, flat butt, as it breaks down the large muscle groups first.
The skin also has protein in the collagen, so when we break down that protein, now we get stretch marks because the skin is not as strong and elastic as it used to be.
We bruise easily because the tissue is very fragile, so any little bump we get, we’re going to break the tissue and get a bruise because cortisol broke down the protein.
So all of these body type characteristics are because of the cortisol.
So if we have a lifestyle where we start looking like this, then chances are very high that we have excess cortisol.
Myths about losing Belly Fat in a short period of time
When I read all these articles that talk about a flat stomach and nine exercises to a flat belly in seven or 10 days, it is really frustrating,
Because they give people the wrong idea that if they don’t end up with a flat stomach then they’re not trying hard enough and they get guilty.
But there is no quick fix, you’re not going to turn this around in nine days or three weeks, or overnight like those articles and videos suggest.
So do we want to do exercise?
Yes, we’ve to do exercise, but in a way different from what we are doing right now.
Are sit-ups going to do?
Yes, do some core strength, do some sit-ups, some crunches, because it’s good to have a strong core that fires up and strengthens the brain.
What type of exercise are the most effective in reducing belly fat?
Aerobics are good but PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND THIS VERY CAREFULLY,
The thing we call aerobics is not aerobic exercise.
When you go to an aerobics class with an instructor, with an upbeat music tempo, that encourages you, that motivates you to go faster and faster, and sweet, and huff and puff.
THAT IS NOT AEROBIC EXERCISE
That’s anaerobic exercise, you need to understand this:
If you huff and puff, you’re making cortisol, you are making this worse,
So exercise is good, but if you trigger additional cortisol, you are depositing additional body fat; you are triggering cortisol to raise blood sugar,
Which will trigger insulin, and both of these will put the weight right back where you started from.
So if you have anything like this body type or if you have anything like adrenal fatigue, then do not do any exercise where you huff and puff,
The only exception to this is the high-intensity interval training which you can do a little bit.
So if we have intra-abdominal fat or if we have a large amount of subcutaneous fat, that’s a result of hormones and the exercise cannot be in such a way as to stimulate two hormones, because then you’re going to make it worse.
At best, you will be able to burn off a few extra calories, you will feel good because you sweat, and you made some hormones, and so forth.
But now, you just pushed your body back into carbohydrates metabolism, and you’re going to get cravings, and you might withstand those cravings for a few days or a few weeks.
But because you’re shifting your body to a carb mechanism, you’re not going to address the underlying issue, you will not be able to sustain it, and then you feel guilty.
Concept of NO PAIN NO GAIN
We have to get over the idea of NO PAIN NO GAIN
Let’s understand this quickly
Pain is stress, stress triggers cortisol, and it will put us right back in the previous situation.
The only time when there is some benefit to some pain with exercise is
- If you’re trying to get fit,
- If you try to be at peak performance for a specific event,
- If you’re going for a bodybuilding competition,
- If you’re doing something in track and field where you need t produce a lot of Lactic acid in a short period of time like 400 meters or 1500 meters.
But if you are looking to be healthy, there is no need to take this much pain.
So how do we reverse the underlying mechanism?
5 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat
Let’s look at the 5 simple ways to lose belly fat for a long term.
1. Low carb High fat Diet/ KETO diet
Eat less sugar; go for a Low Carbohydrate High Fat diet and even a Ketogenic diet.
Depending upon how insulin resistance you are, depending on how long it’s been there, most people will benefit from being in Ketosis a good amount of the time.
Some people don’t necessarily need to go there all the time, but I think it’s a great place to see how it works for you.
2. Intermittent Fasting
You can combine the first suggestion with intermittent fasting because sugar and carbohydrate are the root cause that drives the insulin,
Eating carbohydrates and sugar many times a day will stimulate sugar and fat storage many times a day.
So intermittent fasting is where you eat less carb, in fact, you eat zero carbs.
When you’re fasting and you’re eating fewer meals, so you’re stimulating this process fewer times.
You’re giving it a chance to reverse itself.
3. Low-Intensity Exercise
Then you want to add some low-intensity exercise, meaning truly AEROBIC exercise where you are not huffing and puffing.
If you go for a walk, an easy bicycle ride, if you are not huffing and puffing, you are keeping up your breathing slowly, that’s AEROBIC with air.
When you’re aerobic, you are providing oxygen at a rate that you can metabolize fuel, your body burns primarily fats.
Especially, if you are fat-adapted, then the vast majority of fuel is going to come from fat, and that’s what you want (to lose belly fat)
As soon as you start huffing and puffing, you switch from burning fat to burning carbohydrates,
And it’s not like you’re burning a hundred percent of one and zero of the other and vice versa, but it is the dominance.
So in aerobic exercise, you burn predominantly fat,
And in huffing and puffing anaerobic exercise, you burn predominantly carbohydrate and sugar.
So low-intensity exercise is the key and that’s where you want to spend a lot of time.
You can start with 30 minutes a day, and if you have time and you feel like it, then you can do for 60 or 120 minutes a day.
It is not fatiguing, it’s not exhausting, because you’re operating within your threshold for aerobic training,
So you have infinite fuel, you have all the oxygen in the world, and you have all the fat on your body to provide fuel for that.
4. High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT)
The next thing you want to add is a little bit of High-intensity interval training, and here we’re talking very high intensity.
So there is a little bit of pain maybe, but you’re doing it for such a short time, it’s just fun to push yourself a little bit.
We’re talking about seconds, you do 15, 20, 30 seconds at a time, then you relax for a few seconds, and then hit it again.
Just do it 4-5 times to get your heart rate up close to your maximum and then you’re done.
The whole workout is like 5 minutes and what that does is;
It does produce cortisol, but it does it for such a short period of time that it doesn’t affect your overall situation.
And the benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training is that you increase your growth hormone by 300-400 percent.
The growth hormone is muscle sparing and it is fat burning.
So if you make 3-4 times more growth hormone then you’re going to accomplish both of those goals,
The other thing that’s going to produce a lot of growth hormone is Intermittent fasting, so doing these two together is going to put you in the best place possible for growth hormone.
5. Stress Management
Cortisol is produced in response to stress, so we could have stress from exercise and anaerobic huffing and puffing exercise.
But we can also have it from emotional stress,
Anytime that you feel frustrated, tense, upset, angry, etc. you are in stress, your body makes cortisol, your blood sugar goes up, and this blood sugar is there for you to be able to deal with fight and flight,
It increases your energy expenditure to get out of a dangerous situation.
But if you have emotional stress from your lifestyle situation, you’re making cortisol which raises blood sugar, but you’re not going to do any additional exercise at that moment to use up the glucose.
So now that excess glucose gets into the cell by insulin and you’re not going to use it, so it gets turned back into fat.
So cortisol turns sugar into fat, cortisol turns protein into fat,
And where does it gather up? Where does it deposit?
In the mid-section
This is what cortisol does.
Stress management is enormously important and for some people that might be as important as doing all the other stuff together.
So we need to understand that there can be multiple components and for different people, they can differ.
So if we want to optimize our chances, we do all of them.
If something makes you healthier, then do all of those things.
So how do you get rid of belly fat?
By reversing the underlying mechanism.
And can you do it without exercise?
Yes, would you want to know because exercise is not optional, but you want to do it without the wrong kind of exercise because the wrong kind of exercise will perpetuate the problem.
Most frequent questions and answers
If you want to lose your belly fat fast then you have to deeply understand the mechanism of our body which we already discussed.
Going for a short-cut might give you some short term gains,
But if you want to maintain that flat belly forever, then you have to go through the 5 simple steps already discussed in this article.
The best exercises to lose belly fat are AEROBIC exercises which I have discussed in this article,
Please avoid Huffing and Puffing exercises, which most of us do in our aerobics classes.
It depends on the type of results you are looking for.
If you want a long term results, then it will take near about 3-6 months to lose belly fat.
You need to follow the instructions given in this article.
I hope you guys have now understood the mechanism of fat loss, and why aren’t you able to lose belly fat.
- Go for a low carb ketogenic diet,
- Do Intermittent fasting,
- No huffing and Puffing Exercises,
- Slow walking, bicycling,
- Don’t take stress,
- Hit it hard for 20-30 seconds, then rest for few seconds and do it for 5-10 minutes.
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