How to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat (Complete Guide)
This guide explains how to get rid of lower belly fat via three effective methods recommended by experts. These methods center around healthy eating, exercising, and managing stress. People who develop lower belly fat can often trace the cause to one or more of these factors.
Lower Belly Fat—An Overview
Accumulating lower belly fat follows a similar process as with fat located anywhere else on the body—almost everything comes from excess calories. That being said, when it comes to stubborn lower belly fat, the female anatomy makes women more vulnerable to a number of other factors, like hormone changes, age, stress, and many other causes. To eliminate your lower belly fat, you should first identify what’s making you gain weight and get rid of it. This is the only way to lose lower belly fat and maintain a healthy weight.
You can have one or both belly fat types—visceral and subcutaneous fat. Visceral fats encase body organs and typically form in the stomach cavity. Subcutaneous fats, on the other hand, sit under the skin. To remind you of the importance of losing that lower ab fat, here are some health risks that accompany it:
- heart disease
- heart attacks
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- breast cancer
- colon cancer
Hopefully, these are alarming enough to keep you motivated when exercises and diet cuts prove difficult.
Causes of Lower Belly Fat
Several factors can influence lower belly fat (such as age, sex, hormones, etc.), deciding where your body stores fats. These factors aren’t the root causes of lower belly pooch, though. Plus, most are uncontrollable. This is why we’ll mainly focus on the primary causes of lower belly fat.
In the introduction to this guide, we mentioned that lower belly fats develop pretty much the same way as other targeted fats. This means the causes are common across all body areas. Let’s start with the most prevalent cause—poor diet.
Poor diets typically include empty calories or unbalanced nutrients. Sugary foods and drinks like soda, sweetened beverages, cakes, or candy can contribute to lower belly fat in three main ways:
- promoting overall weight gain, which reaches the stomach area
- interrupting metabolic processes
- disrupting the body’s fat-burning mechanism
So how does an unbalanced diet affect the lower stomach pouch? The answer lies in the number of calories consumed. Take protein as an example. When you don’t have enough protein in your meals, the result is to over-consume other nutrients because protein makes you feel full longer than carbs do.
That is to say that you are likely to over-consume carbs, making you more prone to hunger spikes. Namely, your bloodstream gets an overdose of sugar, leading to higher amounts of insulin in the blood. Insulin is needed to facilitate the expenditure of all this sugar. However, if there isn’t enough physical activity to match the energy supply, excess calories are stored as fat in your lower belly and other areas.
Excessive Alcohol Intake
Those who want to know how to get rid of lower belly fat in male and female adults are often told they need to limit their alcohol intake. So how does alcohol manage to give so many people larger waists and pot bellies? Science says that empty and excess calories are the main culprit, plus overworking the liver. The calories in alcohol are abundant, but they have no nutritional value.
Some people ingest up to 2,000 calories in just a few glasses of alcohol. How does the body get rid of this substance, though? You must have guessed right—through the liver. Under normal circumstances, the liver burns fat. But alcohol compels the liver to prioritize burning alcohol over fats. This creates an extra burden for your liver and keeps it behind schedule on burning fats and other metabolic processes.
How to Get Rid of Lower Belly Fat
We’ll summarize this in one sentence and then explore each point—follow a healthy diet, eliminate the causes of weight gain, and exercise regularly.
Follow a Healthy Diet
We’ve seen how a poor diet exacerbates weight gain. Now, let’s examine how a proper diet can help you burn lower stomach fat. But first, what’s a proper diet? It’s simply a balanced diet eaten in the right quantities.
To eat a healthy diet, go for whole foods that contain all the necessary nutrients. Whole foods still have all their nutrients intact because they don’t undergo any industrial processing, nor are they adulterated with additives. In addition, cook at home as much as possible and eat plenty of fiber, including vegetables, grains, and fruit.
Practice Mindful Eating
Practicing mindful eating will help you know when to eat and stop eating. With mindful eating, you’re more likely to be aware of your satiety. Mindful eating helps you resist the temptation to eat randomly and keep track of your nutrition.
Drink Enough Water
You can also control how much you eat by drinking water 15 minutes before each meal. Several studies link this practice to weight loss, facilitating getting rid of lower belly fat. Putting things in perspective, water increases resting energy expenditure to the extent that you can lose 23 calories for every 0.5 liters of water.
Give Up Smoking
Scientists haven’t found any link between obesity and smoking. However, a 2012 study discovered more visceral fat in smokers than in nonsmokers, suggesting that smoking could contribute to lower belly fat. This means tapering down the number of cigarettes you smoke daily or giving up the habit may help you get rid of the lower ab fat pouch.
Embrace Intermittent Fasting
There are different ways to practice intermittent fasting—you can do a 16- or 24-hour fast a few times weekly. Regular extended breaks from eating can help your body maintain a more balanced weight and get rid of the visceral fat in your stomach cavity. Fasting works by forcing your body to use the energy stored in the extra fat for your daily activities. A study in 2014 found that people who try intermittent fasting (IF) or alternate-day fasting (ADF) shed 4%–7% of their abdominal fat in 24 weeks.
Stress can wreak havoc on your body by triggering the production of the much-dreaded hormone, cortisol. Persistently high amounts of cortisol lead to fat deposits around the belly and other body parts.
Eliminating lower belly fat by managing stress is quite straightforward. Simply avoid stressful events or over-intensive exercises because they are some of the most common lower belly fat causes. Meditation is also a great way to cope with stress, and occupying yourself with productive activities can take your mind off stressful thoughts. Another effective stress management strategy is to get all the rest and sleep that your body demands.
Get Enough Sleep
In a 2013 study, scientists found a link between weight loss and sleep duration suggesting people are more likely to gain weight if they sleep less than they need to. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7–9 hours. Anything less than this increases your chances of developing lower belly fat. Denying your eyes and body rest makes you exhausted and ill-prepared for daily activities like exercise. Interestingly, too much sleep doesn’t help get rid of lower belly pooch either. All you need is sufficient rest and sleep to refresh your body and mind.
Apart from healthy eating, another effective way to eliminate lower belly fat is to exercise. Whole-body workouts are typically recommended, which is why a high-quality home rowing machine is an excellent choice for those who want to know how to get rid of lower belly pooch fast. While countless exercises can help lower weight gain around your midsection, we’ll mention the most effective ones here.
Before we list the exercises for removing lower belly fat, it’s crucial to clarify that there’s no such thing as “spot reduction.” All our exercise recommendations on how to lose lower belly fat in female and male adults involve several parts of your body.
This is a rigorous whole-body exercise that burns a large number of calories. Dumbells are safer than barbells for your shoulders. It’s basically multiple exercises in one. Don’t go for weights that are too much for you, and keep them close to your body.
Hollow Body Holds
This is a popular exercise with gymnasts, and it can help firm up your lower belly. This exercise is a major core blaster, explaining why every world-class gymnast probably does it. Doing this regularly will fast-track your journey of eliminating your lower belly fat pouch.
This exercise routine gives your workout a dynamic motion component—an incredibly effective way to drill your stomach. While moving your core and hip muscles, the exercise helps to improve your balance and coordination. Beginners are prone to falling over the first few times, but that’s okay. Of course, this belly fat removal exercise will get more effective once you get the hang of it.
Losing lower abdomen fat may require working more muscles than you imagined. In this regard, burpees are an excellent exercise for toning your lower belly. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that the effect of 10 rapid reps compares to a 30-second all-out bike sprint when it comes to destroying fat. This implies that burpees indeed burn lower belly fat, and rapidly.
As the name suggests, this exercise tends to mimic the action of mountain climbing. While it’s a difficult exercise for most people, it has an explosive muscular effect. The difficult part is keeping your body stable and straight, but this shouldn’t present a major challenge over time.
Important Note: Be Mindful of HIIT Exercises
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) exercises can help you get rid of lower belly fat, but if the intensity of these exercises is more than your body can cope with, your workouts can yield opposite results. Some exercises demand too much from your muscles, leading to fatigue, muscle damage, and stress.
We hope we have managed to shed some light on lifestyle routines that target lower belly fat and eliminate it eventually. You should get a flatter tummy fast enough if you can keep to our recommendations regarding diet, lifestyle, and exercise. While several exercises can help firm up your stomach muscles, they’ll be useless or significantly less effective in terms of weight loss without the correct dietary backup.
What causes lower belly fat?
The main causes of lower belly fat include excess calories, underlying health issues, and genetic makeup. When you consume more calories than your body uses, your body stores the surplus as fat in the belly and other areas. Not exercising or engaging in physical activities that burn fat may also contribute to this.
Why is it hard to lose lower belly fat?
Lower belly fat is difficult to get rid of because there are no effective exercises targeting it specifically. Secondly, much of it is visceral fat sitting in the stomach cavity, making it difficult for these fat cells to respond to exercise.
How long does it take to lose lower belly fat?
This depends on how dedicated you are to eliminating it. We already explained how to get rid of lower belly fat, but in short, If you regularly engage in whole-body exercises, fast often, eat healthily, and avoid the causes of weight gain, you should see results within weeks.