Belly fat, the bane of every beach day, it makes you feel fat, unattractive, and unhealthy. Annoyingly its also hard to get rid of, imagine that! Now there are a few simple (and not so simple). Steps you can take starting right now to finally rid yourself of that stubborn body fat without expensive weight loss drugs or endless crunches (you should be doing torture twists anyways).
So how do you go about this weight loss?
First, Fix Your Sleep! In Mathew Walker’s new book why we sleep, he goes into great detail about the benefits associated with sleep, one of them being weight loss. Along with about fifty others, it’s a wonder drug, who knew?
Anyways proper sleep plays a huge role in weight loss, lack of it will tank your insulin sensitivity and lead your body to start shoveling everything you eat into that stubborn belly fat we love so much. You also lose a fair amount of body fat while sleeping simply by breathing; your body takes this time to clean and repair itself so your fresh and ready to take on the next days workout.
Okay, we are on the same page, sleep is essential. Some general guidelines for sleep, are shoot for about nine hours spent in bed (You won’t sleep for all of this so to hit that sweet, sweet eight-hours of sleep you should probably spend closer to nine hours in bed). Turn off all electronics an hour before and wear these blue light blocking glasses, keep your room as dark as possible, a sleep mask can help with this, block out ambient noise using some earplugs.
Next, Nutrition Yes, eating is part of this, if your downing three donuts with a side of diabetes every meal you are never going to lose that belly fat. It’s straightforward, eat organic vegetables, pasture raised hormone-free organic chicken, organic grass-fed beef, complex carbs like yams, some organic dark chocolate is excellent along with some red wine, fermented foods (kombucha works), and fruit every so often.
If you want a more in-depth guide or you’re interested in nutrition, I would check out the longevity paradox. Eating like this will keep your gut bacteria healthy and happy, keep body-wide inflammation down, and increase insulin sensitivity unlocking those lovely fat stores for use as fuel. If you’re worried about how to cook like this, there is this lovely piece of literature to help you along your way here.
As for how much you should eat or calorie counting, I ascribe to the idea of eating until you are no longer hungry. Our bodies are incredible, and the signals we receive from it are finely tuned to the needs of our biology. I leave deciding how much I eat too my body, I’m mindful when eating, and I know when to stop. It may take a bit of adjusting, too, but I have full faith in your abilities to listen to your body and make the right decisions for your health.
Yeah, the infamously toxic stress is causing you issues, who knew? I don’t even need to explain why this one is bad, suffice to say stress makes it hard to lose body fat here are a couple of ways to reduce it.
- 1. Meditate Everyone knows that meditation is good for you; I don’t need to convince you only a few thousand studies are backing me up. In Dave Aspreys book game changers where he interviews hundreds of the top performers in different fields, mediation was one of the most widely practiced, well practices. If all the smart people are doing it, right?
- Anyways find a meditation style that works for you and spend 5-10 minutes a day on it if nothing else spend those 5-10 minutes focusing on your breathing. It will start to bleed over into your everyday life, leaving you calmer and more balanced.
- 2. Gratitude A daily gratitude exercise is one of the best ways to improve your mood and outlook on life, spending a minute identifying and being grateful to three things, people, or events will ripple through your day lending it a happier tinge. In this fantastic book here Vishen Lakhani goes into great detail about the benefits of gratitude. I highly recommend his book; it helped me gain much-needed perspective during a time in my life when I sorely lacked it.
- 3. Play Children are freaking smart; they know exactly what they need to do to keep themselves happy and healthy. Then they go about doing precisely that! They play and take plenty of naps (both great for humans) in the book play it away Charlie Hoehn goes into details about his battle with stress and how play changed his life for the better.
- 4. Sex Yeah sex, sex releases plenty of feel-good chemicals in the brain causing you to relax. Plus honestly it’s just fun, so grab your partner doctors orders. If you don’t have a partner, there is no problem at all some self-love has great benefits Jordan grey talks about it some here.
- 5. Get out in nature Humans lived in harmony with nature (Mostly) for hundreds of thousands of years, our biology functions best with the kind of stimuli nature provides. (STUDY) So spend some time at your local park, on a hike, at the lake or whatever floats your boat.
- 6. Fix whatever is causing the stress Finally, the best way to lower your stress level is to go to the root of the problem. Maybe there are some deadlines at work that you should ask to be moved back, or your not happy in your relationship, and you need to take an honest look at it and decide if you want to stay. Whatever it may be, find it and fix it.
We live in a world filled with pollutants; our water is filled with bacteria and roundup, our food is made of GMO’s and sprayed with pesticides, plastics leach BPA into our food and water, we clean with toxic substances that we then absorb through our skin. This leaves our bodies flooded with these harmful substances that then overwhelm our detoxification systems (Kidneys and liver) our bodies jump into action to keep them from wreaking havoc. Our bodies shove these pollutants into fat cells see this study.
Now once they are shoved into those fat cells to protect us, they slowly are released because our bodies want to get rid of them. Problem is they are toxic, spike inflammation, and make you feel pretty terrible. To avoid these side effects when losing weight, we need to have a solid detox routine going.
This protocol is a bit complicated so pay attention, first burdock root, which causes your body to release some of those built up toxins into your bloodstream for processing by your liver and kidneys. Then an hour later, liver powder and azuki beans for liver and kidney support. Then an hour later, a sweet drink of this clay to bind to the toxins and wash it all out. I do this full detox every other day, the clay when overused can cause a mineral deficiency so be mindful not to overdo it.
On the off days, take the liver powder and azuki beans 1-3 times per day sometimes with the burdock root beforehand. This combo will keep your body processing and flushing out toxins through your weight loss and simply throughout your life. This is something I do simply for maintenance.
A word of warning, in the beginning, this may cause some gastrointestinal discomfort don’t worry its part of the process. Those nasty substances are considered harmful for a reason. Your body will be happy to be rid of them; remember to stay hydrated.
This varies greatly depending on where you fall on the spectrum of fitness; if you’re starting, I have a guide here on starting your journey to physical health. If your crushing triathlons and deadlifting 600 pounds well I would hope you don’t need this guide. Either way, exercise is highly personal. I’m going to give you some guidelines and pick whatever appeals to you.
Alright, quick list time walking, running, calisthenics, weight lifting, CrossFit, swimming, rock climbing, bouldering, surfing, playing with your dog, biking, hiking, moutan biking, yoga, hot yoga, gymnastics, parkour, practicing your handstands, your blend of exercises.
I hope you get the idea I’m trying to convey; almost anything can be exercise as long as you do it. I think this is the single most significant pitfall people fall into (Myself included) we say we are going to go to the gym and work out a couple of days a week. Well, I have some news for you, that is Fu*king borning. So you don’t do it, and who can blame you!?!?!? Whereas dancing in the kitchen, surfing, walking, and playing with your favorite furry friend, something you genuinely enjoy will get you off the couch in a heartbeat.
So go out an enjoy losing body fat so that when it’s gone, you don’t yo-yo it all back. Instead, build a life where the things that keep you healthy make you happy, and you look forward to doing them.
Extreme temperature exposure
Extreme temperatures are my favorite cheeky way to speed up body fat loss, boost my mood, supercharge my immune system, and freak out my friends. Who knew most people don’t think it’s healthy to play around in the freezing water of the Pacific ocean for hours at a time with no wet suit?
The two extremes here are, of course, cold and hot environments. Let me explain the benefits of each, and then we will go into how to exposure yourself safely.
Exposing your body to high temperatures causes your body to produce heat shock proteins, along with reducing oxidation, increased insulin sensitivity, and a whole host of other benefits. As this analysis of studies done on the benefits of saunas states, “The findings of this review suggest frequent dry sauna bathing improves a variety of subjective and objective health parameters and that frequent Finnish sauna bathing is associated with improved outcomes such as reduced overall mortality and reduced incidence of cardiovascular events and dementia.” Heat exposure across the board increases life span, health, and decreases chances of death from cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.
Heat is a good thing; it makes you live longer through hormesis (Positive adaptation to low levels of stress, think working out making you stronger). Best sources of heat are of course saunas, infrared if you can find one if not regular ones will do the job just fine. It was shown going four to six times per week showed the most significant benefits, so enjoy your sauna sessions knowing your getting in shape. If you’re a little (Or a lot) crazy like me you can exercise in high temperatures (Ninety-plus degrees) be aware of heat exhaustion and dehydration, in fact after I finish writing this I’m going on a 15-20 mile bike ride in what is currently ninety-five-degree heat.
Alright wrapping up the heat portion, heat is good for you, stay hydrated, enjoy a good sweat. I expect to see you in the sauna soon 😉
This is where it gets fun; now I’m going to start with a disclaimer this can be dangerous if you expose yourself to cold temperatures beyond what you can handle for longer than you can handle things can go south rather quickly don’t lose any fingers or toes over this.
Okay! Words of warning out of the way lets get into this. Cold exposure when properly done and combined with proper breathing prompts your body to utilize brown fat, now this nifty type of fat takes white fat (The normal stuff we are trying to get rid of) and burns it to keep you warm. So instead of shivering, you lose fat, pretty cool, right? Cold exposure also increases immune function, boosts your mood, and makes you feel alive, but that’s just icing on this already delicious cake.
Cold exposure is something best eased into, start by taking your usual hot shower and making the last 30 seconds cold than the last minute thirty cold and so on until you are taking full cold showers (Great way to wake up, try being sleepy while standing under icy water at 6 in the morning). You can then move onto ice baths, swimming in the ocean (If you’re next to an unusually cold one), rolling in the snow, and whatever inventive ways you can think of getting yourself something cold.
To do these feats safely and get the benefits I refer you to Wim Hof a stunt man known for a few minor achievements. He set a world record by spending an hour and fifty minutes up to his neck in ice. He ran a marathon above the article circle in the snow wearing nothing but sandals, shorts, and a beany with no preparation besides cold exposure. He holds records for distance swum under ice.
He pioneered a breathing method to prime the body for cold exposure, in essence, teach the body how to warm itself through burning fat instead of shivering. You can pick a book going through his method here, and here. I recommend you pick up his book and give his method a try, I know I have gotten considerable benefit from it. Ben Greenfield also has some great resources on it if you want to check his stuff out here.
Our bodies carry us through this life, and we must honor that by giving it what it needs to function to the highest degree possible. This is less about losing a bit of belly fat and more about changing your life to support your physical health. The fat is simply a symptom of an unhealthy body, seeking to address the root cause will take out much of the headache and frustration associated with fighting with your weight and body image over the long run.
I genuinely wish you the best in this weight loss journey and all others, if there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know I am more than happy to help. I hope you achieve the body you desire and that you have a great day.
Wishing you the absolute best of luck on your journey -Emmit