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The 4 secrets to losing belly fat

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You do plenty of crunches and count calories, but still seem to not get rid of that annoying belly fat? You’ve tried losing it a million times before but always failed along the way? Shredding down belly fat takes time, patience and hard work. The great news however: If your method is sustainable and you burn belly fat the healthy way, you will not only change the way you look but also feel fitter, more energized and balanced. Wondering how to get there? Here’s our 4 secrets:

Secret 1: A good night’s rest

The problem: Work, training, social life - 24 hours often don’t seem long enough to meet all our obligations. While trying to do so, we often neglect our sleep - which leads to elevated levels of cortisol and an increase of the appetizing hormone ghrelin. The consequence: You're likely to eat more and store more body fat.

The solution: Make your sleep a priority. From avoiding bad sleeping habits and late heavy meals to setting an alarm to remind you to go to bed there are many ways to improve the amount and quality of your sleep. Want to know more? Then discover our 7 lifehacks for the perfect night’s sleep or dig deeper into the topic with our sleep serial.

Secret 2: Low stress levels

The problem: When you’ve had a stressful day, your brain tells your cells to release powerful hormones. You are hit with a burst of adrenaline and cortisol which tell your body to restore its energy, even if it hasn’t been used. When this happens you become extremely hungry and stay that way until you’ve de-stressed. This is when the cravings for junk food, food high in fat or sugar, kick in. To make things even worse, stress slows down the production of testosterone - your muscle building hormone - so you even burn fewer calories and lose muscle mass. Hello stored belly fat!

The solution: Not stressing at all seems impossible in today’s world. However, there’s a lot you can do to lower your stress levels and actively relax. From coping strategies to active recovery, from yoga to a walk around the block with your favourite music in your ears, from sauna to meditation - whatever your personal coping strategy for stress might be, make sure to use it. Need inspiration? Here you can find some tips on how to deal with negative stress.

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Secret 3: A clean lifestyle

The problem: Crash diets with restricted energy intakes are likely to make you lose stored water and muscle mass rather than that nasty white belly fat. The solution: Instead of starving for weeks just to end up being frustrated, choose a sustainable approach and develop clean eating habits that you can stick to in the long run. Sounds challenging? What if we tell you about snickers porridge, feta scrambled eggs or steak with jalapeno lime sauce? The Freeletics Nutrition App offers you a wide range of healthy recipes for free. Download the app or read on to learn more about clean eating.

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Secret 4: Squat for abs

The problem: You crunch, do sit-ups and integrate some cardio but nothing ever changes.

The solution: Scientist agree that targeting a single area of your body to lose body fat does not pay off. If you want to uncover your abs, the best way to do so is to increase your whole body’s exercise. Squats have been found to be a very effective exercise to reach that goal: Not only will muscular legs increase your energy consumption - when properly executed they also make a great exercise for your abs.

Shredding down your belly fat and making your abs visible requires time and effort. But with a reduced risk of many diseases and a better all around well-being it really pays off.