How to lose belly fat is one of the most popular questions asked to any fitness adviser.
There are some fairly common responses, such as workout and eat right, which are not far from the truth. However today I want to push past that and get into a deeper conversation about some truly excellent ways in which you can bring back the healthier, more vibrant version of you. Have a read of this article and find out how to lose belly fat today.
A few things to dispel before we get started.
- YOU CANNOT LOCALIZE FAT BURN: I know… it’s like I just burned down the dreams of everyone who wanted to target just the belly fat or the fat under the arms. Sorry, getting rid of fat works throughout the body, not just in one area. But don’t be discouraged, we are going to address any unwanted belly fat along with the overall composition of the body as well.
- BMI IS FOR THE BIRDS: Which is another way of saying that you should not concern yourself with BMI. The Belgian who discovered this equation in the 19th century, Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, was a mathematician and not a physician. Anyone above 30.0 is considered obese under this equation. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is technically obese under this formula as he is 34.3. I would consider this a huge dent in the effectiveness of the equation. It does not effect your journey on how to lose belly fat.
- CALORIE DEFICITS AS NUTRITION DENSITY: I will leave the discussion of calorie deficits for another day. For now lets just conclude that two people of equal fitness performance level, given equal calories, will not have the same results if one is given 400 calories of ice cream and the other 400 calories of vegetables. If weight maintenance was as simple as calories in calories out, as many fitness experts claim, then obesity would be a simple cure. But that leaves out entirely how food can affect hormone and how hormones can affect body composition.
Now that we have those out of the way, let’s get to the really interesting pieces of this article. How to lose belly fat in 5 effective methods? Ready to dive in? Let’s get started.
#1: DECALCIFY YOUR PINEAL GLAND
I chose to start with decalcification of the pineal gland for a very important reason on how to lose belly fat. I believe it to be the foundation of a healthy body and healthy mind, and can give you important information on how to lose body fat.
A pea-sized conical mass of tissue behind the third ventricle of the brain, secreting a hormonelike substance in some mammals.
It is located near the epithalamus at the center of the brain.
But what does that really tell us? Not much right. How about we look at what effect a healthy Pineal Gland has on our bodies.
Lets look at the most important aspect of the Pineal Gland.
- REGULATES THE PITUITARY GLAND
- The Pituitary gland controls the growth, development and function of our endocrine system (this includes the thyroid which we will dive into in a later article). The endocrine system is what oversees our metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood. Just to name a few. So to sum this up, the endocrine system is like all the workers employed to keep us healthy, then you have the manager (Pituitary Gland) who oversees the balance of these workers. This being the case, imagine the Pineal Gland was paying the Pituitary Glands salary to keep him motivated. But replace salary with hormone. The hormone in question is Melatonin which is produced within the Pineal gland. Meltatonin Also regulates brown adipose tissue which will burn calories by ramping up metabolism.
Other important functions of the pineal gland include (how to lose belly fat):
- Conversion of Nervous System Signals to Endocrine Signals
- Influences Sexual Development
The Pineal gland plays a very important part in not only the question of how to lose belly fat, but how to maintain health in general wouldn’t you say?
Now that we know what the Pineal Gland does, what is all this calcification business about?
This picture does not look like a healthy gland at all.
The reason is because you’ll notice the top part of the gland has been calcified
WHAT IS CALCIFICATION OF THE PINEAL GLAND
For some of you reading this article, this might be relatively new information. So I will do my best to explain in a way that allows for this information to be easily digested so that we can keep focus on addressing the overall concern which is how to lose belly fat.
The older we get the more our minds begin to deteriorate.
I don’t think this is shocking news to anyone. But did you know that calcification begins to show up in ages as young as 17yrs old?
Calcification is when toxins collect in the pineal gland attracting calcium phosphate. Neurologists refer to this as brain sand, or Corpora Arenacea. The older we get the more easily this can be seen on an x-ray. The result of a calcified pineal gland has been linked to a number of neurological disorders and degenerative diseases.
Pretty heavy stuff. Lets simplify this to CAUSE and REMOVAL.
There are really main two things to consider here when bringing the Pineal Gland back to health and get on your road of how to lose belly fat.
A. Stop Further Pineal Gland Calcification
To first understand how to bring health back to the Pineal gland we first must look at the cause for Calcification so we can put an end to it.
Halides include substances like bromide, fluoride and chlorine which are attracted to the pineal gland, encouraging calcium crystals to accumulate here. Fluoride is added to the water supply as well as many dental products like toothpaste. Switching to fluoride-free dental products and drinking filtered water can help avoid this problem.
Consuming excessive amounts of calcium from processed foods or overusing calcium supplements can cause calcium phosphate to build up in your system. Read the ingredients on such products to avoid getting an excessive amount of this chemical in your diet.
In addition to fluoride (in some countries), the public water supply is filled with substances that are calcified which can cause harm. Drinking distilled or spring water can help you remove these substances from your water supply.
Mercury is poisonous and should be avoided to prevent a wide variety of negative health effects. Medical vaccines that are tainted with mercury, bottom feeding fish like prawns or shrimp, bigger fish like tuna or dolphins are all high risk sources for mercury. Consuming spirulina or chlorella can help to remove mercury from your body and brain tissue.
Chemical pesticides that are in meats or on vegetables can be toxic to the pineal gland. Consuming organic foods and working to consume many raw foods in your diet can help you avoid these substances. Some also opt to cut meat from their diet to prevent pesticide exposure.
Anything that is not found in nature, such as artificial sweeteners, phenylalanine, refined sugar, deodorants, E numbers, dental mouthwash, air fresheners, cleansers and others can be treated as a toxin by the body, leading to calcification.
S.C.A.T. refers to sugar, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. These products drain the body’s energy and allow toxins to build up in the system. Cutting these from your life for at least two months can bring increased brain activity as well as an increase in activity from the pineal gland.
B. Remove Existing Pineal Gland Calcification
Now that you have put in the effort to stop further calcification of the pineal gland. Let’s look at the ways in which we can remove the existing calcification build up, so you can focus on how to lose belly fat.
MSM can be taken at higher doses such as 7000-10,000mg each day, but you should work your way up to this point to keep your system comfortable.
Activator X refers to vitamin K1/K2 which can be combined with vitamins D3 and A to create a detoxifier. This detoxifier will restore enzymatic balance to remove calcium from the arteries and move it into the bones where it can be used properly.
Adding ¼ teaspoon of boron to green tea or consuming organic beets can create a pineal gland cleanser. Consume boron in small quantities throughout the day.
Some believe that melatonin can be consumed to remove fluoride from your system. This should be consumed along with getting plenty of exercise for the best effects.
Iodine can be taken in supplement form to deplete calcium supplies and remove sodium fluoride from your system. This should be consumed in small amounts to avoid affecting your bone health.
Raw cacao is high in antioxidants that can help to stimulate the pineal gland while detoxing the gland.
Consuming raw lemon or 3 tablespoons of citric acid on an empty stomach can help to detox the pineal gland. You may need to combine these ingredients with spring water to avoid placing excessive amounts of acid on your teeth.
Garlic can help to dissolve calcium in the body. Consume half a bulb to two bulbs each day, eating it fresh or soaking it in fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to calm the offensive smell.
Drinking plenty of fluoride-free water can help to flush away toxins that could be affecting the pineal gland.
Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid that you can add to your food to help detoxify the pineal gland. Neem extract and oregano oil can also be used as an antibiotic that will break down calcium shells from nanobacteria in the pineal gland. Tamarind bark, leaves or pulp can help to flush fluoride out through your urine.
In my younger years i wondered how this was possible that toxins could pass through the blood brain barrier. So i looked into it. This was the study that made most sense. International Center for Nutritional Research
Fluoride does not accumulate in brain. Of all tissues, brain has the lowest fluoride concentration [Jenkins, 1991; Whitford, 1996; Ekstrand, 1996]. It is generally agreed that the blood-brain barrier restricts the passage of fluoride into the central nervous system. The human pineal gland is outside the blood-brain barrier [Arendt, 1995]. It is one of a few unique regions in the brain (all midline structures bordering the third and fourth ventricles) where the blood-brain barrier is weak. Cells in these regions require direct and unimpeded contact with blood [Rapoport, 1976]. Therefore, pinealocytes have free access to fluoride in the bloodstream. This fact, coupled with the presence of HA, suggest that the pineal gland may sequester fluoride from the bloodstream.
There are also great ways to activate the Pineal Gland
You can get out in the sun. Exposure to sunlight directly or indirectly will help the pineal gland to produce serotonin. This will create an elevated mood and overall sense of well being. You should also consider reducing your exposure to artificial light whenever unnecessary. This includes checking your facebook minutes before you go to bed. This artificial light can interrupt your bodies natural cycle and release of melatonin.
Which brings me to my next point.
Sleep in total darkness. Don’t fall asleep to the tv or have light pouring into the room. This will only impede the process of healing your pineal gland while you sleep. It will also trick your pineal gland into thinking its daytime and release serotonin.
IN SUMMARY: The pineal gland is key to regulating our hormones and cellular function through its role of melatonin production. The key to how to lose belly fat through maintaining Pineal Gland function and health is by the process of decalification and removal of toxins.
#2: NOT ALL BODY FAT IS EQUAL
This was a real eye opener for me as i was answering my own questions about how to lose belly fat. I thought there was just one kind of fat and that was about all there was to discuss on the subject. Attack the fat and win the battle. There is so much more to that. Take for instance the number of fat cells you have. As we grow into adults fat cells become more present, another reason why childhood obesity is such a serious issue. And the myth that we never lose fat cells is just that, a myth. Every 7 to 10 years your body replaces itself on a cellular level.
That is pretty cool right?
Imagine getting a whole new you ever 7 to 10 years.
Here is the downside to that, cells are generally replaced. This includes fat cells.
We shrink those fat cells! In doing so we first must understand the difference in fat that our body stores because not all fat is created equal and further there are tricks you can use to hack your body into storing the right fat while reducing the size of the bad fat.
BROWN FAT VS WHITE FAT
I figure the best way to start this journey into learning about the different types of fat is to throw out there the most controversial aspect of the subject and chew that fat for a min. See what I did there?
Brown fat is closer to muscle than it is to fat.
When we are young, or more so when we are lean, we tend to have more brown fat than other body fats. This is a good thing as brown fat, when active, can actually burn other fat. Scientists are even coming up with ways to increase levels of brown fat in an effort to combat obesity.
Imagine you went to the doctor to discuss bringing your body fat percentage down from an obese level and he or she said “To do that we need to increase your brown fat”. Without knowing how to lose belly fat by increasing brown fat you might look at this doctor like there may be a few screws loose.
So if brown fat is seen in lean individuals, what are some of the bad fats we want to avoid or reduce.
I am going to go from least to most negative impact on our health in regards to our understanding of body fat. Having a healthy balance of white fat to brown fat is actually quite okay. Brown fat uses white fat to burn as energy. It is only when white fat cells out number brown fat cells that we begin to see health problems related to weight management.
There is a little trick you can do if ever you find yourself in a situation where concern of an imbalance is present. This trick is to signal our brains into thinking a cold environment is present so that our white cells convert to brown cells to burn energy and create heat. You can do this by taking an ice bath. Great for fat burning.
This is an unhealthy fat but still a fat our bodies can rid of fairly easy with the use of Mufa’s which stands for Monosaturated fats. Things like avocado’s, olive oil, dark chocolate, and almonds all work great. I will go into more detail of this as you continue reading into dietary fats. For now lets just call it what it is, Subcutaneous fat is the inch you pinch. It is greatly a visual fat as often you find it in areas around the thighs, waist and underarms.
I should point out again, that even though this can be exciting news that you can attack subcutaneous fats with mufa’s. Don’t overdue it. You should keep in portion controls for sure. And remember, body fat percentage will burn all over, not just one targeted area.
This is the most deadly fat. This is where organ failure begins to really take shape as visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs. We have all heard of super fit athletes who have been in incredible shape but failed to take care of their inner organs by reducing visceral fat and keeping healthy cholesterol levels intact. Take for instance Jim Fixx, author of THE COMPLETE BOOK OF RUNNING and credited for starting a fitness revolution in America, died of a massive heart attack while running.
How could this be?
You cannot attack visceral fats with exercise. Visceral fats have to be dealt with by dialing in your nutrition. The common misconception is that Diabetes is a carbohydrate processing disorder only, which is part of it, but it is also a disorder of lipids or blood fat. Jim looked healthy on the outside which would say he probably had low subcutaneous fat levels. He was a top runner so clearly using white fat vs brown fat balance for energy was not an issue. He died at 52 because he had bad visceral fat levels.
If you think about where the majority of your visceral fat is, behind the muscle wall in the abdominals, reducing visceral fat will also reduce your waist circumference.
#3: DIAL IN DIETARY FAT
Understanding fat is a big part of addressing how to lose belly fat. This couldn’t be looked at properly unless we first understood how fat is stored in the body, so that when we got into dietary fats it made more sense.
I am going to keep this section a little shorter as we really only need to look into two areas. What dietary fats to consume and what to avoid. First lets look at what we can consume.
DIETARY FATS WE CAN AND SHOULD CONSUME:
MONOUNSATURATED FATS – As we discussed earlier, these are your mufas. This is a staple in such diets as the Mediterranean diet, but you don’t have to opt for any particular style of food to consume these healthy fats.
Lets first look at why they are healthy and some benefits:
- Improves insulin levels (we shall talk more on this below)
- Maintains healthy blood sugar levels,
- Decreases heart disease risks
- Balances blood cholesterol levels.
- Reduces unhealthy fat levels
Pretty awesome fat huh?
One of the reasons Mufa’s are so wonderful is that they are so easy to burn. When you consume mufa’s you are storing a fat that is easily converted to energy and thus resulting in a more efficient body fat storage system. Where as we mentioned in the section on body fats, not all fat is equal so you want the fat you can convert to energy easily.
Mufa’s consist of olive oil, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and avocado’s. But keep in moderation and don’t ever use olive oil for cooking. The process of heating olive oil turns it carcinogenic which defeats the purpose of consuming a healthy fat.
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACID: This is the fat that just makes my day. Because for me this translates to fish usually and i enjoy eating salmon and tuna. But fear not if you do not like fish because you can consume flaxseeds, nuts and seeds to keep a healthy balance of omega 3s.
These fats are particularly good for:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Boosting Energy
- Protecting the heart
A word of caution for those that seek to find their omega 3’s in consumption of fish. Having a little bit of fish here and there is very healthy, but keep in mind that fish is often high in mercury and you don’t want to consume loads of that neurotoxin.
DIETARY FATS WE SHOULD AVOID OR KEEP AT MINIMUM:
LONG CHAIN SATURATED FATS – I don’t want to send your head spinning so i will keep this as simple as possible. Not all saturated fats are unhealthy. Saturated fats are simply triglycerides that contain only saturated fatty acids. A little bit of saturated fat is okay because the result is it will stimulate your metabolism which will result in the loss of overall unwanted fat.
The longer the chain is the harder it is to break down, which in turn can shift a healthy saturated fat into an unhealthy one. Take for instance a coconut. That is a saturated fat. But we don’t often think of coconuts as being unhealthy. Red meat we often do though and this where you can usually see the longer saturated fat chains. Same with poultry, and full fat dairy products. The solution is to find leaner alternatives within your food choices.
If you keep within a leaner range of saturated fats you can reduce weight and maintain a lower level of LDL cholesterol which is the one we want to limit to stay healthy.
TRANS FATS – When I think of Trans Fats I think of the superhighway to cardiovascular disease. You want to avoid these all together. Unlike saturated fats there is no healthy option for these. This is is one of the biggest offenders for adding fat to the abdominal area as trans fats are known to redistribute fat to the belly area. Even worse, remember when we talked about lipid fats in the blood? This is where that discussion comes most into play. Trans fats are the leading culpit for clogging up the arteries with LDL cholesterol and resulting in obstructed blood vessels.
To keep that heart healthy and reduce belly fat you want to stay away from anything saying hydrogenated. Which usually means keeping far away from most chips or snacks that are packaged.
#4: INTERMITTENT FASTING
Remember we spoke at the beginning of this article about The Rock being obese by technical BMI standards? We all know Dwayne “the rock” Johnson to be in better shape than any of us could ever dream to be. So what is his secret on how to lose belly fat? Intermittent fasting. Same with Hugh Jackman and countless others who have accomplished much with their physical capacity.
Some of the benefits include:
- LDL cholesterol
- Blood pressure
- Triglyceride levels
- Inflammation and free radical damage
- Weight gain and metabolic disease risk
- Insulin and leptin sensitivty
- Increase energy
- Hunger hormone Ghrelin level which reduces overeating
- Metabolic rate
- HGH releaase levels
- Cellular turnover and repair.
It is pretty easy to follow and you don’t need to do this every day. 1-3 times a week is more than sufficient. The goal here is to eat for an 8 hour window but to eat nutrient dense food with certain traits. I will provide this list of foods here.
THE FAT BUSTERS
- LEGUMES, PEANUTS AND BEANS
- DIARY AND YOGURT
- WALNUTS AND OTHER NUTS
- LEAN MEATS, EGGS, TURKEY
THE HEALTH BOOSTERS
- SPINACH AND OTHER GREEN VEGETABLES
- RASPBERRIES AND OTHER BERRIES
- ORANGES, APPLES AND OTHER FRUITS
- WHOLE GRAIN BREADS, CEREALS AND OATMEAL
The goal of intermittent fasting is to create an almost starvation mode within your body where it breaks down fat and clears dead or diseased tissue away from the body. However you don’t want to start breaking down large parts of your muscle tissue so the shortness of an intermittent fasting is key. You eat for 8 hours then fast for 16.
#5: REVERSE INSULIN RESISTANCE
Learning how to reduce belly fat is largely affected by ones ability to keep insulin levels in check. I will follow up with a more thorough article to dive into the different stages and levels of insulin resistance. But for the purpose of this article lets just sum up why we need to be conscious of this and how we can stay in a positive balance.
SIGNS YOU HAVE INSULIN RESISTANCE
- Darkened patches in skin
- More weight around mid section
- Improper fat to cholesterol balance in the blood
- High cholesterol
NATURAL WAYS TO REDUCE INSULIN RESISTANCE
- High fiber
- Alpha lipoic acid
- Intermittent fasting
- Lean protein (but not in excess)
- Whole grains
- Leafy vegetables
- Healthy fats like those found in eggs, avocado, fish oil, tuna, and salmon
- Exercise (in moderation, don’t want too much cortisol floating around)
- Meditate (stress plays a big factor here)
- Probiotics (likely if you have any of the above-mentioned conditions you either have a leaky gut or imbalance in gut flora. Time to fix that)
AVOID THESE OR IN MODERATION
- Sucrose (otherwise known as table sugar. You don’t need it, you’re sweet enough)
- Glucose (moderation, we need this to survive, but the problem remains in too much)
- Honey, maple syrup and molasses (moderation is key)
- Sugars from fruit (the best fruits are high in antioxidants and low in sugar, stick to those)
- Omega 6 (time to ditch the vegetable oil, canola, sunflower oil and all the rest of that garbage)
- Fructose (as in high fructose. If you see that in any product throw it away immediately)
Hope you found an effective way on how to lose belly fat by reading this article. Remember that how to lose belly fat may be hard but you can do it.
- Age-related incidence of pineal calcification detected by computed tomography http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/abs/10.1148/radiology.142.3.7063680?journalCode=radiology&
- Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal gland http://www.icnr.com/articles/fluoride-deposition.html
- Brown Fat in Humans: Turning up the heat on obesity http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/58/7/1482.full
- Trans fats linked to heart disease http://www.livescience.com/51823-trans-fat-heart-disease.html
- Salk study may offer drug free intervention prevent obesity and diabetes http://www.salk.edu/news-release/salk-study-may-offer-drug-free-intervention-to-prevent-obesity-and-diabetes/
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About the Author
Tom Topham holds a 1st class honours degree in Sports Science (Human Performance) from Brunel University, England. He also comes from a triathlon background, competing as an age-grouper and holds a level 2 triathlon coaching qualification.
About the Author
Pierre Gagnon practised concentration and insight meditation intensively from 2010 to 2012, then went on to study meditation at Wat Suan Mokkh with the venerable Ajahn Po from 2013 to 2015. As well as his own practice, he has coordinated meditation retreats in the south of Thailand which were attended by more than 1,000 people.
Having a great passion in the field of neuroscience, he likes to integrate these concepts into meditation practice. He believes that much of our life is lived resisting and defending against internal and external experiences that people perceive as threats. Through the development of concentration and meditation, we can insightfully see that all experiences are harmless and there is no need to defend of contract around them. Pierre has experience coordinating concentration and insight meditation retreats, teaching the relationship that exists between Buddhism and neuroscience.
About the Author
Bochakorn began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.