How to Lose Belly Fat

How to Lose Belly Fat

I was recently asked how to lose belly fat exclusively without getting rid of fat anywhere else. The unfortunate answer is that it’s impossible. That’s called “spot reduction”, and it’s a myth. The theory is that if you do exercises for the muscle underneath the fat, you’ll get rid of the fat. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Sure, the muscle will get stronger, but without any dietary changes, the fat will stay there.


Up until a short while ago, I would have said that the first place you put on fat is the last place you take it off. So for pre-menopausal women, it tends to be the buns and thighs and backs of the arms. For men and post-menopausal women, it tends to be the belly. And yes, there are exceptions.

Why did I say “up until a short while ago”? Because the more I learn about biosignature modulation, and the more clients that go through the protocols of biosignature, the more I learn that it may not be the case. The first place you put on fat may not have to be the last place you take it off. So we now have a new answers to the question of how to lose belly fat.

I’ve mentioned this in earlier newsletters, and even given talks about it, but the underlying theory is that where you store your body fat is indicative of your hormonal profile. We know this intuitively because of the different fat storage patterns in men and women, but it goes a lot deeper than that.

With biosignature, 12 different areas are measured with skinfold calipers (this is what they look like:, and these areas have hormonal correlations. Here they are:

Triceps = testosterone

Pecs (chest) = aromatase in men (this is an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen) and “bad” estrogen in women (there are actually 3 different types of estrogen, and it’s balance that’s important)

Subscapula (under the shoulder blade) = genetic tolerance for carbohydrates. The lower this measurement, the more carbohydrates a person can tolerate.

Mid-axillary (over the ribs) = thyroid

Supra-ilium (love handles) = insulin. The more insulin you secrete, the higher this area.

Umbilicus (belly) = cortisol (stress hormone). This is usually what most people want to reduce when they ask how to lose belly fat.

Knee and calf = growth hormone (my clients who’ve had the knee measured are laughing now. They know that if they’ve been drinking, their knees get fatter for 2-3 days after)

Quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of the thigh) = estrogen.

By targeting different hormones specifically, you can preferentially (important distinction: I said preferentially. I didn’t say exclusively) recruit body fat from different regions. Each hormone has a specific training, nutrition and supplementation strategy to it.

Let’s take an example: love handles. You store extra flab in your love handles. This correlates to insulin.

The correct training approach would be using multiple sets of 40-70 seconds. This duration has been shown to be the most appropriate for burning sugar.

The correct nutrition approach would be a low carbohydrate diet, which minimizes insulin secretion.

The correct supplementation approach (beyond the basics of multi-vitamin, fish oil, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D) would be using something like gymnema sylvestre, chromium, alpha lipoic acid and others.

On the other hand, if belly fat is your biggest problem, it would necessitate a completely different approach.

The correct training approach would be using only 1-3 sets of 3-5 repetitions. In addition to that, breathing exercises, tai chi and gentle exercise would be more appropriate. The worst thing you can do for belly fat is lots of cardio. That is definitely not a good answer to the question of how to lose belly fat.

The correct nutrition approach would be a heavy emphasis on the berry family, plenty of veggies as well as red bell peppers.

The correct supplementation (again, beyond the basics) would depend on a person’s stress profile. Some people are stressed and wired, others are stressed and tired, yet others are stressed and immune challenged (when they’re under stress, they get sick), and several other options.

This approach gives individualization a whole new meaning.

If you would like to find out what is the correct training, nutrition and supplementation approach for you, see if you qualify for a Dream Body MAP Session by clicking here.

8 thoughts on “How to Lose Belly Fat”

  1. For someone who may have belly fat, what would be a good exercise routine for men to try and tone your body or abs? How many times a week should you workout?

    1. Great question, Eric! The first thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to fat loss, nutrition is key. Exercise is secondary (but still very important). Having said that, assuming your nutrition is on track, a good routine would really depend on a number of factors, like your exercise experience, medical history, symptoms, etc.

      As an example, if you have adrenal fatigue (symptoms include feeling like you need coffee, waking up in the morning really tired, even if you’ve slept for a long time, lack of mental clarity and others), doing things like cardio and intense weight training may be the worst things you can do. Instead, gentle activities like walking or tai chi will help get rid of belly fat much more efficiently.

      On the other hand, if you’re a reasonably healthy person with none of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, then you’ll want a more intense exercise program. You would use exercises that use a lot of muscles at the same time, and perform them for 12-20 repetitions, and multiple sets.

      A minimum number of times to work out in a week for fat loss is 3. The best is 5 or 6.

      Hope that helps!

  2. I understand the rationale behind nutrition being the key factor to driving loss of belly fat and indeed all bodily fat. I also understand that strength/resistance training is the key to building muscle.

    Why do you suggest, however, that cardio is the worst thing you could do for your body in order to lose fat? Would you recommend supersets as a good way to burn fat? What are some exercises one could do in order to achieve fat loss without drastically altering nutrition? Is it even possible?

    1. Hey Hussein,

      Excellent questions!

      I need to put things in perspective. I didn’t say that cardio is the worst thing you can do to lose fat. I said that excessive and exclusive cardio is the worst thing. Different types of exercise protocols release different hormones. The primary hormone released during cardio is cortisol, which is the stress hormone. If belly fat is your biggest issue AND you have symptoms of adrenal fatigue, then cardio will be pretty bad for losing belly fat.

      Yes, both supersets and circuit training are both effective ways to burn fat through exercise.

      Whether it’s possible or not to lose fat without changing nutrition really depends on how good or bad your nutrition is to begin with. If it’s pretty bad, then there is no exercise that will offset bad nutrition. If it’s pretty good, but you still have excess fat, then you can exercise, but you’ll need to do it for 2-4 hours a day.

      My suggestion to you is to combine good nutrition with good training. It saves a lot more time, and it’s much healthier.

  3. I didn’t know there were different types of estrogen, or that there was even such a thing as “bad” estrogen. Can you elaborate? And are all different types of estrogen found in both men and women?

    1. Great question. Admittedly, I’m not an endocrinologist, so I may not be the best person to ask, but from what I understand, there are 3 different types of estrogens:

      1. estriol
      2. estrone
      3. estradiol

      It’s not that there’s “good” and “bad”, it’s more about the ratios between the three estrogens. If the ratios are out of balance, then excessive estrogen (usually estrone) becomes “bad.”

      And yes, both men and women have all three.

      1. cool! i have another one! are there specific foods that contribute more to belly fat than elsewhere in the body? in fact, are there foods in general that target fat in specific regions, or is all individual genetics/metabolism?

        1. cool! i have another one! are there specific foods that contribute more to belly fat than elsewhere in the body? in fact, are there foods in general that target fat in specific regions, or is all individual genetics/metabolism?

          Excellent question, Lynnachka.

          As far as I know, there aren’t specific foods that contribute especially to belly fat. I have observed though that particularly sugars and starches contribute a disproportionate amount of fat to the love handles and upper back.

          But yes, there are specific foods you can eat to help you with belly fat. Just think of the nutrients that make sense: B complex, B5 and C. Find the foods richest in those nutrients and eat more of those.

          So good choices would be things like liver and red bell peppers. Yum.

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