I’ve written an article about how I stay fit while traveling and eating whatever I want called 5 Ways to Stay Fit and Eat Whatever You Want, read it if you haven’t. That article has performed quite well over the years so I thought I would dive in to the topic and focus on belly fat, which so many of us struggle with. Being a food blogger requires a lot of eating (imagine that.) The only way I’m able to not blow up like a blimp, is by using a strategy that I’ve developed through trial and error.
A few years back, I became super motivated to get 6-pack abs. It took me about 6 months in total to get them, and taught me about what worked, and what didn’t. I certainly learned that the saying “abs are made in the kitchen” was completely true. Getting definition in your stomach is less about how big your abdominal muscles are, and more about how little fat you have covering them.
At that time, I burned fat like crazy, I cut sugar and all processed carbohydrates, as well as doing tons of cardio. The fat melted off my body, but the last place for it to go, was on my stomach. I fought and fought and eventually reached my goal!
From this experience, I learned how to get super cut, and now know exactly what strings to pull to quickly reign in my weight. The sad news is that there are no shortcuts for spot-removing belly fat. If anyone claims this, they’re simply lying, there is no need to focus too much on a special ab workout program, buy supplements aimed at belly fat, drink fitness tea or use any of the other nonsense products out there.
There are however methods that I have successfully used to reduce fat all over my body, which of course includes belly fat. No matter how complicated advertisers make it seem, losing body fat ultimately comes down to how many calories you consume, versus how many you burn. It’s as simple as counting your calories for the food you consume.
As you know from following me here and on social media, I’m regularly eating multiple course meals which include food and beverages with high-caloric content. Even though I often ingest 1,000-2,000 calorie meals, I strategize both before and after on how to offset such huge caloric intakes.
For reference, I typically aim to consume no more than 1,500 calories per day (this will change depending on your gender and height.) I learned that I had to bring down my number a bit from the recommended intake I found online, because I simply don’t burn 2,000 calories a day. To find this number, search for the term “maintenance calorie calculator” online.
This usually means for the days I plan to have a big dinner, I’ll skip another major meal during the day and be sure to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio in before or after the meal. I’ve found, it’s better to overestimate the calories you consume to make sure you hit meet your goals. You won’t do yourself any favor by underestimating calories you consume, unless you want to gain weight!
I travel a majority of the time, and usually end up drinking and eating over my 1,500 calories per day. I do my best to offset this with exercise but usually rely on cutting back when I hit a period when I have complete control over my food intake. When I focus, I can lose a few pounds to prepare for the next eating excursion! It’s about balance.
If you accidentally go over your caloric intake, don’t worry, you can make up for it later. As long as having a caloric surplus doesn’t become a habit, you will be able to stay fit and have low belly fat.
PRO TIP: If you want to really ramp up your fat loss, in addition to staying within your calorie limit for the day, simply cut sugar and processed carbohydrates from your diet. When I’m losing weight, I focus on vegetables, soups and other low calorie items, in order to feel full.
To summarize, you cannot spot remove belly fat, don’t believe the hype. You can however remove it with the above technique of counting calories. It’s possible to eat high-calorie meals and still maintain a very high level of fitness and low body fat, but it takes a bit of strategy and self control!
Good luck on your future fitness journey!