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Old 11-24-17, 06:45 AM
How to lose Lower Belly Fat
boricuarage79's Avatar
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*Note I do not own this article!! Just some good information and knowledge that I found!!

If youíve ever wondered why youíre stuck at a certain weight at 12% fat with no change after walking 50 flights of stairs, doing Insanity and keeping a caloric deficit, this article will probably help you.

After doing that bit of research hereís what I realized: One you get to 10-12% body fat, your body starts to fight back. At this point, the hormones that help you lose weight will drop and the hormones that hinder fat loss starts working against you.

Hereís a breakdown and summary of all the hormones and what they do:


Leptin is widely known as the ďanti-starvation hormone. Leptin controls a number of metabolic processes in your body that lead to fat loss.

It comes from the greek word ďLeptosĒ, which means ďthin.Ē Ironically leptin comes from your fat cells and the less fat you have the less leptin you produce.

Thatís not the worst part of it though. Having a caloric deficit for a few days will drop your leptin levels even lower and the bigger the deficit, the faster it drops.

Leptin also plays a role in the production of fat burning Thyroid Hormones, T3 & T4. When your leptin levels drop, those hormone levels drop. And the metabolic processes that lead to fat loss slows down.


Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas. It plays a role in the uptake of the nutrients into the cells in your liver, muscles and fat. It slows down the rate of fat loss by slowing down the mobilization of the fatty acids after they are released from the fat cells. What dictates how quickly fat is mobilized is a hormone called HSL (hormone sensitive lipase). And Insulin is the main hormone that deactivates HSL.

Please do note that there is a ton of research on the internet regarding insulin and obesity but for this article, Iím trying to keep it short and related to the main topic of getting rid of the last few pounds of belly fat.


Ghrelin is also known as the hunger hormone. Your body secretes this hormone when it feels that itís time to get fed. The operative word there is ďfeelsĒ because ghrelin is a trainable hormone. You can train your body to stop feeling hungry all the time.

If youíve ever wondered why you have a tendency to snack when youíre having 5 meals a day, this is the main reason why. Having 5 meals a day trains your body to expect a meal every 2 hours!

This is also the main reason why you have so many proponents of interminent fasting as a tool that you can use for weight loss. Having fewer meals in a day trains your body not to secrete ghrelin.

Just keep in mind that all you need to do is hit your target number of calories, macronutrients and fiber when you have your meals. Meal frequency is irrelevant unless youíre a diabetic. Or you feel that having more meals just works better for you.


Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone because it is activated when your body goes through emotional or physical stress.

This is the main reason why you shouldnít train at high intensities and work volume and have huge caloric deficits. At that point, you can pretty much guarantee that your cortisol levels will go through the roof. And high levels of cortisol are usually associated with belly-fat storage. Now you know why that belly fat isnít going away any time soon and why youíre feeling so cranky after workouts.

It also plays a role in providing amino acids to the liver when protein levels are low. This makes cortisol a muscle-wasting hormone.

Here are some of the steps that I took to get these hormones to stop working against me:

1.) What to do with your caloric deficits

At this point in your fat loss training, youíre probably wondering why youíre not seeing results. Youíre probably saying to yourself ďWTF is going on? Iím tracking my calories, keeping a huge deficit and Iím doing more work adding some 1-2 miles to my normal distanceĒ

What most beginners do is take the idea of having a caloric deficit to the extreme.
If a little deficit is good for them, then having huge caloric deficits is going to get them rock hard abs right? Wrong! Always, remember that youíre eating not just to lose fat but to fuel your workouts as well.

Keep your caloric deficits low!

Trust me on this: your body will fight like hell to keep those last few pounds of belly fat hanging around if you keep it up.

And it wonít matter how big your caloric deficit is right now, you will burn out because your body always wins. ..unless you can somehow trick it into producing more hormones that are necessary for fat loss. Now that requires discipline to keep your caloric deficits low so your leptin levels donít crash and you wonít have to work against your body when trying to lose fat.

Some personal trainers refer to it as having a high g-flux. A high g-flux simply means eating more to fuel a training that has a higher work volume and intensity.

One more thing, people at 12% body fat tend to eat too little and by the time they get to 10-12% body fat thereís really no more calories you can cut from.

2.) What To Do With Your Cheat Meals/Re-feeds

One of the ways you can stop your plateau when trying to lose fat is to plan and execute your cheat meals or re-feeds. Write it down along with your workout schedule and meal plans. Figure out and list down how many calories it would take for you to be happy with your food. This is the fun part of planning your meals! Now I know some people are probably asking themselves why. Why do you need to do this at all? After all itís your ďcheat dayĒ right?

Well let me ask you, if you wanted to have a dream vacation in Rome a few weeks from now, youíd probably plan for it right? That way, you know exactly where to go and make the most out of your trip. You wonít have to worry about all of the details of your trip and how youíll go about them when you get there.

Well itís the same thing with your cheat day. Planning for it helps you make the most of it by having the foods that you really love and cutting off the ďbadĒ foods that you donít really want.

Youíll also get rid of that nagging feeling that you went just a little overboard on your cheat day.

It helps you enjoy the experience of having that scoop of ice cream or that slice of cake without worrying about the horrors that it can do to your progress.

Having a cheat day is not just something that can help you psychologically but itís crucial in restoring the hormones necessary for fat loss such as leptin.

About the worst thing that you can do on your cheat days is to get worried about going overboard with your caloric intake because you didnít figure out the macronutrients and total number of calories in your food.
One last note on this one, eat till youíre happy but donít gorge yourself like youíve been starved to death for a year.

3.) Cyclical Carb Fasting

I also kept my carbohydrates pretty low through cyclical carbohydrate fasting. I usually skipped carbohydrates when having lunch simply because I wanted a lower carb intake for the day. I also loaded on carbs on my cheat days, which were right before my strength/power training days.

Some people believe that consuming carbohydrates at night will hinder fat loss. For them, the carbohydrates consumed at night canít be burned off by our bodies and so they end up being stored as fat.

I used to think this was true until I looked at some of the research ( Alan Aragonís website provides excellent information regarding this topic). It turns out that there is no shred of evidence that having carbs at night will hinder fat loss. Our bodies are so much more complicated than that.

Iíve always suspected the lack of carbs as the reason for not being able to sleep well at night so I started experimenting with having high GI carbs at night. And guess what, I ended up having a more restful sleep and I wasnít as cranky in the morning. This leads us toÖ

4.) Why Sleep Is So Important*Have you ever noticed what happens to you when you lack sleep? You tend to snack a lot and thatís not just because youíve been awake for more hours.

Some friend or relative walks in the room offering a snack and all you could think to yourself is: ďDammit! Stop trying to tempt me!Ē

And for some weird reason, you end up eating it anyway and feeling guilty about it minutes later. An article from the American Journal of Human Biology found a direct link between lack of sleep and higher levels of Ghrelin. If youíve ever wondered why you tend to snack a lot when you lack sleep, you can blame it on this hormone.

Lack of sleep also leads to a rise in cortisol levels, which is assosciated with belly-fat storage as mentioned. Cortisol also activates the reward centers in your brain that make you crave junk food. In my case, I try to get some shuteye earlier in the evening to get my 7-8 hours of sleep. If I canít get any sleep within the next 15 minutes, I usually do something boring like read a Twilight book. I try to make sure there are no bright lights around.

5.) Is Low-Medium Intensity Cardio Useless?

Insulin is one of the things that you have to watch out for because it impedes fat loss. At around 10-12% body fat, fat breakdown and mobilization slows down to a crawl as insulin levels starts to rise.

Fasted cardio really helped me burn off that last bit of fat simply because of the low levels of insulin.
At low insulin levels, fatty acids will be released from the fat cells. All I had to do was burn them off with low intensity cardio.

After doing weights, the last thing I wanted to do was P90x or any kind of HIIT workout. Fasted steady state or slow cardio can be muscle wasting so make sure not to do too much of it. This is just one of the tools that I used to get those last bits of fat off. Please do note that you only have to use this when youíre at lower levels of body fat and not early on in your training program.

Also remember to use this sparingly. I did a maximum of 2 of these per week and no more than 30-40 minutes. You also want to have enough protein in your diet while doing this.

Now I know some genius on the internet decided to compare the physique of a marathoner in his prime against that of a 70-year old marathoner. The guy who made that probably had a colonoscopy on his brain. The guys, who say that cardio is useless donít take into account that:

*a.) Sprinters do a lot of strength training compared to marathoners. *b.) Sprinters do more drills that involve steady state cardio than High Intensity Interval Training. (I know. WTF right?) *c.) You canít sprint every single training day.

Now I love sprints and I believe itís superior to steady state cardio but saying that itís useless is just wrong. I sprint 3-4 times a week but there were days when I didnít feel like sprinting at all. Thatís when I did steady state cardio.

6.) Watching out for fructose

If you look at some of the old bodybuilders, they usually avoid fruit near the competition and for good reason. Having too much fructose leads to fat storage. I have a pretty conservative upper limit of around 40 grams of fructose a day. Thatís equivalent to 3 apples or 5 bananas. Thatís still a lot of fruit.

Some would argue that the upper limit should be higher at around 90 to 100 grams but at that time I didnít want to take any chances so I stuck with the 40 grams.

7.) Watching out for what I drink

Itís so easy to forget about your fructose and carbohydrate intake when youíre having any kind of shake or soda. What I did was avoid it altogether. I just drank plain old cold water with lemon.

Your options arenít limited to water and citrus fruits though. You could add a few sprigs of mint or whatever it is thatís low in calories and good enough to satisfy you.

Social Issues:

A lot of people want to talk about the technical issues when it comes to weight loss but they almost always skip the part that some people actually feel threatened when you lose some weight.

While most people will try to justify and argue, I found it much better to be agreeable and find out why they think that way. Youíll soon find out that itís more about their issues with weight loss than it is about you. Donít be judgmental but stick to what youíve always been doing. At the end of the day itís your life.

It took a couple of months to finally get rid of my belly fat. Remember that losing those last few pounds will take time so donít believe the advertisements that claim to help you lose that belly fat in weeks. Itís more of a marathon than a quick sprint. Also, learn to listen to your body and see what works for you personally. Anyway, I hope this has been a big help to you guys. I have some more info on fat loss, but I figured this post is probably a little too long already. If youíve got questions or anything like that, just PM me.

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Old 11-25-17, 02:13 AM
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Once you get to a certain point, carb cycling becomes really important to trick your endocrine system. Otherwise, losing fat becomes really hard.

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Old 11-25-17, 03:20 AM
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Recovery and sleep are very important even though I sometimes fail to do so. When you are working out, you are putting your body in a lot of stress therefore your cortisol levels rises and people think that's just by lifting and doing cardio you are going to lose fat easily. You will lose weight sure, but fat not so much as your body will against you.
I think this applies to the nattie person more, but it's important for the enhanced as well!!

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Old 11-25-17, 04:42 AM
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I can tell being off my recovery time is longer and I'm very sore in the mornings...

Looks like it's 4 days a week of Traninf for me

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