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How To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat (The TRUTH – And How Long It Will Take You)

by Jeremy Ethier - November 24, 2019

Struggling to lose those additional pounds around your midsection? Don't worry. In this article, I cover the truth on how to lose stubborn belly fat so you can get closer to your dream physique.

So, you’re finally ready to do what it takes to lose that stubborn belly fat of yours. Awesome! I’m here to help you. I'll show you exactly how to lose stubborn belly fat. I'll also cover the various tips to lose belly fat you need to know about.

Before we get started though, it's crucial to note that solely losing those additional pounds around your midsection is not going to help you achieve your dream physique. For that, you'd need a program that targets all muscle groups. And that's why I've created science-based, step-by-step, all-in-one programs that'll give you a well-rounded physique. If you're interested:

Click the button below to take my analysis quiz to discover the best program for you:

First, though, let’s determine how long it’ll take you to do so.

How Long Does It Take To Lose Belly Fat?

Look at the following 6 photos. Which of them best represents your current body fat percentage and where you’re at right now?
How long does it take to lose belly fat percentage-min
Now, when it comes to how to get rid of belly fat successfully, you’re going to have to get down to roughly 10% body fat or so.
Ideal body fat percentage to strip off belly fat-min
So, how long will that take you? Well, you can use what we know to be the optimal rate of fat loss to shoot for to guide you. This means that we can get a rough estimate of how long this process will take you to do based on your current body fat percentage. Assuming that you stay consistent with the right approach week after week, of course.
How long does it take to lose belly fat-min
Have you gotten the estimate of how long it'll take you? Now, for a lot of you, this may come as a surprise. That's because the duration is likely a lot longer than what you expected. Because most of us, and myself included, obviously want to lose that stubborn belly fat as soon as possible.

Why Is Belly Fat So Difficult To Lose?

When it comes to how to lose belly fat, most people are unaware that there’s a “physiological catch”. This "physiological catch" explains why it’s so hard to lose compared to other areas. And explains why you may not be seeing any improvement in your belly fat despite your efforts.

Belly fat is difficult to lose because of two main reasons:

1) Compared to other areas of your body, stubborn areas like your belly fat consist of a greater amount of a certain type of fat cell that’s very resistant to mobilization. And are, therefore, a lot more difficult to burn off.
Why is belly fat so difficult to lose-min
2) The subcutaneous fat covering your abdominal area receives significantly less blood flow than other parts of your body. Now, the less blood flow an area of your body receives, the more difficult it becomes to mobilize and burn off the fat from that area.
Why is belly fat so difficult to lose 2-min
There you have it. These two reasons are why your belly fat is so difficult to lose. And it’s why certain areas of your body like your face, chest and arms will tone up quickly while more stubborn areas like your belly fat seem to remain unchanged.

The good news, however, is that losing your belly fat is not impossible. It’s just that most people screw up the process before fat loss can even reach that region. But today, I’ll clear it all up for you. I'll teach you how to lose stubborn belly fat for good with a 3-step protocol. Also, I'll share several tips on how you can potentially speed up the fat loss process.

Step 1: Setting Up The Foundation (Calorie Deficit)

When it comes to how to lose stubborn belly fat, the first step is something that most of you are probably familiar with. While unsexy, it is also the best way to get rid of belly fat. Not only that, though. It is also (hands down) the most important step. Because to lose fat from anywhere, you need to be in a calorie deficit. And your belly fat is no different. See, it’s governed by the same principle and there’s no breaking the law of physics here.

So to start out, you need to be eating at a calorie deficit. For the best results, you should also combine this with regular weightlifting.

To help you out with this, I’ve compiled basically a “starter kit” of my past articles that cover how you should set up your calorie deficit below. You'll also find links to my free workouts that you can get started with and use right away:

  1. Calorie Deficit
  2. Full Body Workout Program
  3. Upper Body Workout Program
  4. Lower Body Workout Program

Yes, a caloric deficit is what's going to enable you to burn off fat in the first place. But your belly fat, in particular, is where things get a little trickier. Which is why you'd need the next two steps of the 'how to lose stubborn belly fat' protocol.

Step 2: Achieving Mobilization of Belly Fat

So, the next step involves mobilizing your belly fat such that you can start losing fat from that area. But the only way to do this and is where most people fail with the process is by adhering to step 1. You need to maintain a calorie deficit for long enough until fat loss starts to happen around your belly region.

Because remember? Your body will prioritize losing fat in the following areas before moving on to your belly fat:

  • Your chest
  • Your arms
  • Your face, etc.

How to lose stubborn belly fat time frame-min
Sadly, though, what happens with most people is they’ll implement step 1. But after a month or two of this, they see no discernible change in their belly fat. And, as a result, decide to try a “new” diet for example. Or worse, quit altogether since it doesn’t seem to be working. But the reality is that they haven’t stuck to the plan for long enough! The fat loss process didn't get the chance of reaching their belly in the first place!
Quitting too early results in no belly fat loss-min

Fat Loss Occurs In Other Areas First

Take a look at Dylan here, for example. He's a member of one of my Built With Science programs. As you can see, he was able to successfully lean down and strip off a lot of his initial belly fat.
Dylan belly fat loss progress-min
But let’s take a closer look at his start and month 2 photo...
Dylan quitting too early-min
Imagine if, after 2 months, you were to look at these two photos of yourself. You’d probably say to yourself that:

  1. Your belly fat hasn’t really changed at all
  2. The plan just isn’t working

And you’d likely quit altogether as a result. However, what you have to realize is that yes, there may not have been much change in Dylan’s belly fat. But if you look closely at other regions like his chest, his arms, and his face, you can clearly see fat loss occurring.
Fat loss occurs in other areas of the body-min

Ride Out The Calorie Deficit Until Your Body Mobilizes Belly Fat!

Dylan refused to quit; he stuck to his plan for just a little longer. And that was why he was finally able to see more and more of the fat loss occurring from his belly. But had he quit 2 months in, based on what he saw, he would have never given his body the opportunity to eventually mobilize more and more of the stubborn fat from his belly. And drastically transform his physique as a result.
How to get rid of belly fat riding through deficit-min
Therefore, you need to ride out the calorie deficit for long enough such that your body has stripped off enough fat from other areas. And now needs to rely more on burning off your belly fat for fuel.

Struggling to keep to your diet? Then you're going to appreciate our 3-on-1 coaching program. My team of BWS experts - including a dietitian and I - are going to customize your nutrition (and make sure you stick to it!) so you achieve the same, shredded results Dylan got. If you can't wait to get started, then:

Click the button below to find out more about the 3-on-1 coaching program:

Your Ability To Burn Belly Fat Increases As You Get Leaner

What’s really interesting is that multiple papers (here, here) have indicated that there seems to be an inverse relationship between your body fat percentage and abdominal blood flow.
How to lose stubborn belly fat sustained calorie deficit-min
And as a result of this, leaner individuals actually exhibit significantly greater blood flow to their belly fat than less lean individuals do.
More abdominal blood flow in leaner individuals-min
So, as you gradually strip off more and more fat from other areas of your body and get leaner, your body will actually start redirecting more blood flow to your belly fat. And that means your body will start prioritizing and using that for energy.

Hopefully, you see that this is one more reason why you need to ride out that calorie deficit for long enough when it comes to how to lose stubborn belly fat. That's because the process of you losing your belly fat is going to naturally speed up every step of the way as your body begins to prioritize that area more. So, sticking with the calorie deficit is truly the quickest way to lose belly fat.

Step 3: Speeding Up The Process

One of the most common questions I receive is, "How to speed up belly fat loss?" Well, despite belly fat being so stubborn, there are a couple of things that you can do to potentially speed up the process.

Progressively Overload On Abs Exercises

First, you want to ensure that you’re regularly performing abs exercises. And getting stronger with them over time.

Because although we know based on a quick look at the research that this isn’t going to directly reduce your belly fat, what it can do is actually build up your abs. Essentially, this helps your abs become more visible even at a higher body fat percentage.
How to speed up belly fat loss abs exercises-min
A 2017 paper, for example, tested this. And found that after 10 weeks of abdominal training, subjects were able to significantly increase the thickness of each portion of their abs.  Abs growth after abs training -minAbs growth after training-min
Which, in theory, would mean that you just wouldn’t have to get as lean to get your six-pack to really pop through that belly fat the way you want it to.

So, when it comes to how to lose stubborn belly fat, what I’d recommend is:

  1. Incorporating various weighted abs exercises into your weekly routine, and
  2. Overloading them over time just like you would any other muscle to grow them

And I do have an article which covers how you can grow your abs fast, so be sure to give that a read.

You May Be Able To Spot Reduce Belly Fat

In addition to this though, a recent 2017 paper has suggested that you can even take this a step further. And potentially “spot reduce” fat from your belly.

Given that fat mobilization is decreased when there’s poor blood flow to that region, what you can do is:

  1. Exercise the muscles surrounding that specific region to increase the blood flow there.
  2. And then follow this up with low-intensity cardio. Which, as you probably know, predominantly uses fat for fuel. This then allows you to burn off the fat that’s been mobilized.

So researchers put this theory to test. They had two groups of subjects perform either an upper body workout or a lower body workout, followed by 30 minutes of low-intensity cycling for 3 days per week for 12 weeks. What they found is that although both groups ended up losing the same amount of total fat, the upper body group lost significantly more upper body fat and the opposite was true for the lower body group.
Spot reduce belly fat experiment-minSpot reduce belly fat 2-min
Now, although this has yet to be replicated, and was done on small sample size, it was nonetheless a very well run study. And it does indicate that spot reduction may indeed be possible. And in theory, applying this to your belly fat, you could, for example, perform an ab workout to first increase the blood flow and fat mobilization from that region and then follow that up with 30 minutes or so of low-intensity cardio to selectively burn off the fat that’s been mobilized.
How to spot reduce belly fat-min How to spot reduce belly fat 2-min

How To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat: Focus On Steps 1 And 2

But, all in all, I wouldn’t get too excited over belly fat spot reduction. It does make for a good experiment to try out.

And it does have some merit, but at the end of the day, when it comes to how to lose stubborn belly fat, steps 1 and 2 need to be where you put most of your focus and effort. Because it’s been proven time and time again in the literature and in my experience that by applying those 2 steps alone, your stubborn fat will eventually be mobilized and burned off.

And for a step-by-step program that puts this all of this together for you, such that you know exactly how to train and what to eat week after week to lean down and strip off fat as quickly as possible just like Dylan and several other members have done with their Built With Science programs, simply take the analysis quiz below:

Click the button below to take my analysis quiz to discover the best program for you:

I hope you enjoyed this article and have gotten a clear answer to how to lose stubborn belly fat. Don’t forget to give me a follow and connect with me on InstagramFacebook, and Youtube as well, in order to stay up to date with my content.

By the way, here’s the article summed up into a YouTube video:

How To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat In 3 Steps (And How Long It Will Take You)

How To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat (The TRUTH – And How Long It Will Take You)