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How Long Does It Take to Lose Belly Fat? Facts Explained
Weight Loss

How Long Does It Take to Lose Belly Fat? Facts Explained

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 17, 2022
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6 min

There are many ways to lose belly fat, such as lifting weights and cardio. If you’re looking for more guidance on how long it takes to lose belly fat specifically, here’s what you need to know.

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While losing weight can be challenging, getting rid of belly fat, primarily, can seem impossible, especially if you’re eager to have a more slim waistline. Losing belly fat is a worthy objective because it’s sadly the most harmful region to retain fat.

Also known as visceral fat or intra-abdominal fat, belly fat is stored under your skin (subcutaneous fat), around your lungs, heart, liver, and other internal organs. Unlike other fats, this can harm your health.

It can cause various health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

There is no simple or quick solution to losing belly fat. Supplements and quick fixes are ineffective. And trying to lose fat in just one body part is unlikely to be successful. The ideal strategy is to reduce overall body fat through diet and exercise. There’s a likelihood that some of the weight you lose will come from your stomach.

How long it will take varies from person to person. This article will help you learn how to lose belly fat faster and the average time it takes to reduce extra belly fat.

How Long Does it Take to Lose Belly Fat?

According to research, the speed at which you lose fat may depend on various factors, including age, genetics, environment, and activity level. You can expect to lose about 2 pounds per week with a daily caloric deficit of 500–1,000 calories. In 6 weeks, you can lose up to 12 pounds, substantially reducing belly fat.

The best way to lose belly fat and have a flat tummy is to create a calorie deficit by eating less and exercising more for at least 6–12 weeks. If you have stubborn belly fat, you must adhere to your diet and exercise routine with greater rigor and consistency; otherwise, you’ll see that you are not losing weight even in a calorie deficit.

You will need to spend more time and effort losing visceral fat if you start with more of it than someone who has less fat to drop. While men tend to carry more belly fat than women, the process of losing belly fat is not different.

Due to declining muscle mass, a slower metabolism, and a more inactive lifestyle (lack of sleep and physical activity, and stress), fat loss can become increasingly difficult as you age.

However, most of these issues can be avoided by changing one’s diet, activity level, stress management, and getting enough sleep.

Why Is Belly Fat the Last to Go?

Visceral fat is usually the last to go because it has more fats that don’t easily respond to lipolysis. These fat cells have a different type of receptor known as an alpha receptor, which releases fat more slowly.

Therefore, during weight loss, the beta receptor fat cells (which release fat normally) usually shed more of it as you start, while the alpha receptor fat cells, such as those in the belly area, take longer to respond. As a result, weight loss in that area is often slower.

Fat accumulates around the body the same way it does on other body parts – you are eating more calories than the body is burning. The excess energy is then stored as fat in the body. 

It can be challenging to lose excess belly fat or any other stubborn fat unless you’re expending more energy than you’re consuming – usually through diet and physical activities.

How Long Does it Take to Lose Fat?

To lose 1 pound of fat, you will require a calorie deficit of 3,500. You’ll need to reduce your calorie consumption and increase your calorie burn to lose fat. You’re required to cut 500–1,000 calories daily to lose 1–2 pounds of fat a week.

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By trimming and burning 500 calories daily, you could lose 10 pounds in two and a half months or 26 pounds in six months. To achieve more weight loss, incorporate a healthy diet and exercise into your weight loss plan and create a daily calorie deficit of 1,000. This will give you a loss of 2 pounds a week, getting you to 10 pounds in just five weeks.

Fat loss may not be as difficult as it appears, especially if your diet has been high in empty calories like soda and refined carbs. For instance, dropping one 12-ounce coke from your daily meals saves 140 calories, whereas avoiding 100g of fries saves 196 calories daily. 

A 30-minute walk can help you burn 100–200 calories, based on your weight and exercise intensity.

Your nutritionist or dietitian can help you tweak your plan if you reach a plateau after a few months. In any case, women shouldn’t go below 1,200 calories per day and men below 1,800. Burning many calories or consuming too few calories increases your risk of nutrient deficiencies, slowing your metabolism and hence fat-loss progress.

The Fastest Way to Burn Belly Fat 

The best way to lose abdominal fat is to create a caloric deficit through diet and exercise. A caloric deficit will result in weight loss and a reduction in belly fat. Exercises that include high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are particularly effective in burning fat, and weightlifting maintains lean muscle mass, which is more efficient at burning fat.

The most common method of creating a caloric deficit is through dieting, which involves reducing your daily calorie intake below the level needed to maintain your body weight. 

To create a good caloric deficit through diet, you can try switching food, for example, drinking a gallon of water instead of soda or drinking black coffee instead of flavored coffee. Avoid alcohol and processed foods as well. Eat many fruits and vegetables and choose broiled or grilled foods instead of fried foods.

Intermittent fasting is also a great way to burn belly fat. It has gained popularity because of its many health benefits, including losing weight. 

One fasting method is to fast for 24 hours once or twice weekly. Another option is to fast for 16 hours each day and eat everything within 8 hours. You can use apps like DoFasting if you struggle with intermittent fasting or if it’s your first time. 

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This app is designed to guide you, educate you on intermittent fasting, and motivate you throughout your fasting period. You’ll get access to a personalized daily fasting schedule that includes recipes, intermittent fasting tips, and workout videos. Simply answer simple questions about your goals to receive this weight loss plan. 

How Long Should I Run to Lose Stomach Fat?

You may burn 250–750 calories, running about five to seven miles per hour, depending on your fitness level and weight. A beginner woman weighing 145 pounds will burn around 250 calories running at five miles per hour, while an intermediate runner will burn 315 calories running at six miles per hour.

Running for belly fat loss should be done at least four times per week for 45 minutes. You’ll also have more success losing belly fat if you mix up your workout routine.

You can mix running with other exercises, such as bike riding and swimming, which are also effective exercises to target belly fat and fat loss. 

Since high-intensity workouts are more effective at burning fat, especially in the belly, incorporating interval running can help reduce belly fat. Different running speeds can be a great cardio-based workout that gets your heart pumping and increases oxygen flow to your muscles, boosting the metabolic rate and helping burn more calories. 

A Word From Nutritionist

Getting rid of belly fat is a good idea because a smaller waistline is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases.

To track overall weight loss, weigh yourself weekly by wrapping a tape measure around your waist just above the hip bone.

Stand up straight, relaxing your abdomen. Measure around your belly button. Try not to pull the tape so hard that it pinches the skin.

Other ways you can tell you’re losing belly fat is a better fit in your clothes, your sense of well-being and mood improves, and you snore less.

Remember that you need to lose belly fat healthily. Healthy belly fat loss is gradual and long-term. It is based on long-term changes in your thoughts, such as reducing stress levels, eating patterns, and activities. Many doctors recommend that patients lose no more than 2 pounds per week.

Conclusion

Losing belly fat is possible, but if you target belly fat only, it may not be the best strategy. You must make sustainable lifestyle changes to lose weight and keep it off. If it sounds like too much, start with small changes and gradually increase the intensity as you add others to your plan.

Going slowly and steadily is a good strategy. If you fail, it’s not the end of the world; this isn’t a “diet.” It’s a new way of life! Try it over and over again until you get hold of it.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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