Can You Lose Your Belly Fat in 30 Days?
In today’s society, having great abs – or at least a lean, toned waist – is generally considered the gold standard and is the physique many people who go to the gym would like to achieve. With this in mind, many people who have just started training – or are simply looking to lose weight through diet alone – focus entirely on their midsection to gauge success, often searching for ways to target fat loss in the abdominal area.
CAN YOU LOCALISE FAT LOSS?
There’re a number of issues with paying too much attention to belly fat, at least initially. Firstly, you cannot localise fat loss. Not significantly anyway. So all those hours of crunches, planks and other weird and wonderful ab exercises will not directly cause you to shed unwanted body fat in this region. Body fat is released as a response to your body being in an energy deficit. But fat, despite its apparent location, is not a regional energy store. This means the fat that’s released from fat cells as a response to exercise enters your body’s circulation to be used up by cells to make up for your energy deficit.
Unfortunately, this means even though you might train your abs – which might cause you to lose body fat – there is no guarantee this will be from your stomach region. Therefore, if you’re exercising to lose belly fat, the most effective way to do this is to focus on exercises that use lots of muscle groups, have a high energy demand and really maximise your energy expenditure. If you do this, you’ll maximise your fat loss efforts.
Secondly, the places you lose weight from and store excess body fat are determined by both your genetics and gender. So focusing on your belly and not overall changes to your body can be disheartening and misleading in terms of progress. Try to take an overall assessment of changes to your physique, using both pictures and measurements at various locations to get a better idea of your progress.
FAT LOSS FOR MEN AND WOMEN
Men and women store fat in different locations. Men tend to store and lose fat quicker from around their midsection, but this is often visceral (internal) fat around the organs of the abdominal region. However, women tend to store fat subcutaneously (under the skin) more efficiently in the regions around the glutes (bum), hips and upper thigh. This is where the weight will often disappear first.
You also need to remember the fact that everyone’s different and there’s an inherent individual variation in our response to weight loss. For example, we have members who can lose fat off their back and legs very quickly, but their stomachs are much more stubborn. Whereas other gym members can lose stomach fat very rapidly, but struggle to get lean legs etc. This means focusing on a single body region, using that region to define your progress and using said progress to guide your workout choices might be psychologically detrimental and slow the rate at which you get results by using less effective forms of exercise.
HOW TO GET RID OF BELLY FAT
If you have stubborn belly fat and your ultimate goal is to have a lean waistline, unfortunately the only thing you can do is stay consistent with diet and exercise. Eventually you will get there!
‘30 Day Abs’ or ’30 Day Fat Loss Challenges’ may seem appealing and might even work for some people. Unfortunately, to maximise the effects of these rapid transformations ‘before’ pictures can be manipulated – taken in bad lighting with poor posture to give the illusion of more body fat. This enhances the dramatic effect of the after photos. They might also take place over longer time periods than suggested and don’t forget the magic that is Photoshop! Therefore, the main thing is to focus on yourself, your own progress and find methods that are going to work for you in the long term.
FAT LOSS IS ACTUALLY SIMPLE
The principles that govern weight loss are actually quite simple, despite people trying their very best to over-complicate things and sell you the latest supplement, fad diet or exercise regime. It’s as ‘simple’ as consuming less calories from food than you expend as energy performing your tasks of daily living, exercising and the basic functions our metabolism has to perform every day.
Exercise can be a useful tool to create a calorie deficit, which will help you lose weight, improve lean muscle mass and promote overall health and well-being. However, this does not mean weight loss can not be achieved by people who struggle to go to the gym or exercise regularly. All you need to do is control your calorie intake and increase energy expenditure in other ways.
WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS
Despite the current market for weight loss supplements and their claims to boost metabolism, the truth is there are no supplements out there that have a significant long term impact on increasing energy expenditure in this way. The most effective supplement in this regard is caffeine. It causes a slight increase in metabolism and the breakdown of body fat, but this is marginal and over short durations, until your body becomes used to caffeine’s effects. Caffeine isn’t something to rely on as a weight loss tool, although it might help a little as it’s a mild appetite suppressant, helping to control hunger.
This means we can lose body fat by eating less, moving a bit more – or a combination of both! Despite there being ideas surrounding ‘ideal’ or ‘healthy’ rates of weight loss, there is actually nothing wrong with being a bit more aggressive with weight loss as long as it is something you can stick to. We have covered how to lose weight rapidly, in the healthiest possible way in this blog post, so give that a read if you want some advice about the best approach to losing weight quickly and the key factors you should be considering when looking to lose body fat, regardless of the rate at which you want to do it.
SO CAN YOU LOSE YOUR BELLY FAT IN 30 DAYS?
In answer to the question posed in the title of this article – yes, you can lose belly fat quickly in 30 days, but the rates at which that will happen depend on a range of factors; genetics, gender, how active you are day-to-day and the amount of lean tissue you carry. With all those things considered, the most important thing to do is focus on yourself and your own progress. Don’t compare yourself to others – no matter how well you do by doing this you will always want ‘more’ or feel inadequate.
The people who work/model in the fitness industry can be used for motivation and even advice, but please do not compare yourself to these people and certainly do not buy the products they are selling without proper research. They are genetically gifted, often full-time ‘athletes’ and have years of training age. It is not the supplements or magical ‘plan’ they are on and quite often only ever look like that for photoshoots (which are edited anyway) and small portions of the year.
Focus on yourself. Be consistent. Be patient. And although it might not be in 30 days, a lean and athletic waist can be yours eventually!