How long does it take to lose belly fat and get a nice defined stomach? The answer depends on a couple of factors. We’re going to talk about 4 main factors today that are going to influence your ability to lose weight and lose it quickly.
1) Your body type, which is going to be heavily influenced by genetics
2) Fat cells
There are three main classifications of body types: ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. Ectomorphs have a tendency to be naturally slim and have high energy levels. They never really have a problem losing weight. I am more of an ectomorph. I have a tough time gaining weight and a tough time putting on muscle. It’s easy for me to lose weight, especially if I miss any meals. Ectomorphs are, well, ectomorphy!
Mesomorphs are your 100 meter sprinters, your Arnold Schwarzenegger. They have a high metabolism like the ectomorphs but they have an easier time putting on muscle mass.
Gaining weight is very easy and gaining muscle is very easy for mesomorphs which means that losing weight is very easy for them too because they have a lot of muscle which means they have a higher basal metabolic rate and they burn more calories. It is easiest for the mesomorphs to gain muscle definition.
The endomorphs have the short end of the stick when it comes to losing fat. I will be honest with you, if you are someone who is a little more round, have an easy time holding onto weight and a tougher time losing it, it’s not going to be an easy road to muscle definition.
There could be an association with low thyroid functioning that decreases your metabolism which compounds the issue. If you are an endomorph then pay special attention to all of these lessons.
It is important to realize that depending on which body type you most dominantly exhibit (and we are not one or the other, but really a combination of all three) if you are more of an endomorph, it is going to take a lot more work and diligence than someone who is more of an ectomorph or a mesomorph to lose fat and see more definition.
You can see my muscles no problem. If I want to lose fat it takes me no time at all, but if you ask me to put a couple of inches on my biceps then we’re talking about me being in the gym 24/7 doing serious workouts. It would take a lot of hard work. It’s the same thing with an endomorph.
If you want to lose weight as an endomorph it is going to take a lot of hard work because you are working against your body’s nature to some degree. But, it can be done and millions of people are doing it right now. So if you are in that category, keep your chin up and know that you can do it. We’re going to show you in these lessons how it can be done.
In regards to getting where you want to go as far as muscle definition, it’s going to depend a lot on where you are right now. In the second lesson we talked about fat cells and fat cell receptors.
Today I want to talk about the fat cell itself. Fat cells are known as adipocytes. They hold onto fat as stored energy. Certain receptors on the fat cell allow hormones to influence them such as hormone sensitive lipase and break down the fat into fatty acids to be taken out of the body through the blood and used for energy.
I think it was as recently as 2007 that researchers discovered the adipose gene. This is a gene that determines your fat cell makeup. Generally, an adult has about 30 billion fat cells. Common thinking used to be that you were born with a set number of fat cells, but this might not be the case.
In general, if you are at a healthy weight as an adult, you acquired all of your fat cells before you hit puberty. Puberty is the closing window for any new development of fat cells. If you are a fairly lean adult, you will have the same number of fat cells throughout your lifetime.
Now, if you put on excessive weight even in your adult years, new research shows that these fat cells can grow up to 4-fold and begin to multiply. That is a very scary concept. Instead of having 30 billion fat cells, if you gain excessive weight you can have 40 or 50 billion or more fat cells in your body.
This is just another reason to lead an active lifestyle and stay fairly fit and healthy. You do not need more fat cells. Fat cells operate much like a balloon. If you fill a balloon with water it will expand and as soon as you release it, the balloon will contract back to its very small size.
When you lose weight, fat cells shrink. Fat cells do not disappear but they can multiply – so be wary of that. You don’t want any more fat cells, so the key is diminishing fat stores by using fat for energy purposes.
This is why exercise is so important.
Something you must know about fat is that stores acid in the body. This is why alkalinity is so important in the diet. If your fat cells are holding into a lot of acid, it’s going to be very tough for your body to get rid of your fat stores because they need to be there in order to hold onto the acid. But that is a topic for another day.
If you are an ectomorph, you have most likely been able to get away with eating whatever you want during your life. You may be able to eat fast food every day and not put on weight, but the problem is that you can be fit without being healthy.
If you are eating garbage foods, you are not doing your body any good on the inside. You may not physically show any weight gain but to be healthy and fit you must eat the proper nutrients. Trust me, you will look and feel much, much better than you do right now if you start eating whole foods.
As an endomorph you have to be very strict and diligent with your diet. As you most likely know, if you have the wrong foods in your diet such as refined carbohydrates for instance, you will tend to retain water and put on weight easily.
Hopefully you are listening to your body enough so that you can relate the foods you eat to how you feel. It is important to have that body awareness. If you don’t have a clue how foods affect the way you feel, now is a good time to start making those connections between food and mood.
As an endomorph who wants to lose belly fat and really start to see some definition, you need to pay attention to your diet. You need to make sure that you are in that caloric deficit that we talked about earlier.
You need to make sure that you are eating nutrient dense foods and you need to stay away from strictly carbohydrate-rich, nutrition-less foods such as chocolate bars, pastries, refined bread, sodas, etc. Eat lots of vegetables. Vegetables are very high in nutrients and they act to burn calories because of their thermic effect.
They have a lot of fiber which means that the body has to spend a lot of time digesting them which means that your body burns calories doing so.
Mesomorphs can pretty much eat more or less how ectomorphs can – but it doesn’t mean they should! In general, everyone should stay away from refined carbohydrates. Even if something is made with 100% whole wheat, it is no good.
Stick to the pseudo-grains such as amaranth, quinoa, millet, spelt, etc. Those grains are easier for your body to digest. Wheat is very difficult for your body to digest and a lot of people have issues digesting wheat which can lead to bloating.
One of the reasons it is difficult to have a flat stomach is food sensitivity. If you remove the foods to which you are sensitive, you will have an easier time seeing a flat stomach.
Whether of not you obtain that flat stomach depends a lot on where you are with your diet. If you are an endomorph, again, you’ve got to do a bit more work and be more diligent than an ectomorph or a mesomorph.
If you are a man with less than 10% body fat, you should see muscle definition. If you are a woman, any body fat % lower than the mid-teens should show muscular definition. You don’t want to go too low with your body fat percentage. A certain amount is important to have for energy purposes.
Let’s talk about exercise. If you are an endomorph you will want to spend more time doing cardio as well as strength training. Your body demands more effort if you are looking to burn fat. Endomorphs are looking at 3-4 cardio sessions a week and a minimum of 3 strength training workouts per week.
The goal in your workouts should be intensity. Your workouts should be no longer than an hour at high intensity. If you are an ectomorph, you don’t need to go crazy on the cardio because you are already fairly slim.
The tough thing for ectomorphs is building muscle, so spend more of your time doing full body strength training workouts to build a bit of size and maintain your lean muscle mass. If you are going to do cardio, which you should, keep it short and intense and keep it intervals. I would say 20 minutes three times a week is fine.
Mesomorphs have a bit of leeway because they are naturally blessed. Mesomorphs should incorporate both cardio and strength training in one fashion or another.
I wish I could tell you exactly how long it will take. I wish I could tell you that if you follow my advice you will see results in exactly 7 days, but it doesn’t work like that.
Anyone who makes those ridiculous claims is someone that you should run away from. A given program is not going to produce the same results for two different people. Everyone is unique.
The way that you respond to your food intake and your exercise is going to be very different from someone else. There are so many factors involved. With exercise, there is the intensity, how long you are working out for, what muscle groups you are targeting, etc. There are all sorts of variables.
The goal is to maintain that long-term vision of what you want to achieve and be committed to achieving it. Realize as we talked about in earlier lessons that it is going to take time.
From a general fat loss perspective, 1-2 lbs of fat loss per week is healthy. Over the week, you must create a 7000 calorie deficit to lose 2 lbs. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
Stay committed no matter what. And don’t rely on the scale.
Pay attention to how your clothes fit. Some people may not notice a difference on the scale but they notice a lowering of body fat percentage in the mirror and in their clothes. That is the true mark of improving your health and your fitness.