‘Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss’: How it Works

When I first heard the term ‘Intermittent Fasting’, I thought it was a bit silly. Since the practice of ‘fasting’ has been around for thousands of years, I wondered why people had to suddenly put the word “intermittent” in front of it. The obvious answer is that intermittent fasting connotes continuous measured intervals of fasting and feeding as a diet plan. This distinguishes it from other types of fasting, which usually aren’t adhered to in a regular and ongoing basis.

By loose definition, intermittent fasting is not so foreign or extreme as it might first sound. Given that we ‘fast’ the entire time we sleep each night, we’re already engaging in intermittent fasting, save for the few midnight snack enthusiasts out there.  And if you’re the type (as I am) who prolongs your morning hunger until your first meal is what most people label “lunch”, then you’ve got intermittent fasting (at a moderate level) already mastered.

Many such breakfast skippers might already be practicing an official intermittent fasting plan without realizing it. By simply foregoing late-night meals as well, there ends up being a relatively short ‘feeding window’ each day. If that window is no more than eight hours, the 16/8 intermittent fasting plan is being followed.

Of course, those who write entire books on ‘intermittent fasting for weight loss’ wouldn’t want you to think it’s that simple.


Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

When adherents of intermittent fasting successfully lose body fat, it’s likely for two reasons. First and foremost, fewer calories are consumed when eating is restricted to fewer daily and weekly hours. It’s that simple. If we don’t allow ourselves to eat nearly as often, total food intake often gets slashed.

Another, just slightly esoteric reason intermittent fasting “works” is that it likely improves insulin sensitivity. Regular prolonged periods of hunger tend to do that over time. The effect is ‘metabolic elasticity’; a state in which the body becomes more efficient at using stored energy (fat) for fuel. This effect is greater when intermittent fasting is combined with intense exercise.

As with so many things, answering the question of whether intermittent fasting “works” depends on an adherent’s dedication to an eating plan that’s been personally determined a good fit for him or her.


Intermittent Fasting Types


Daily Window

This is what the 16/8 technique mentioned above falls under. With daily window fasting, one simply assigns a relatively small ratio of hours for eating and then fasts the remaining hours. For example, using 16/8, many intermittent fasters prefer to skip breakfast, eat between the hours of noon and 8 PM, then fast again between 8 PM and noon the next day.

But this window can be broken into any ratio one prefers; 18 hours fasting/6 hours feeding – 20 hours fasting/4 hours feeding, etc. I knew one person to take it so far as to gorge at an all-you-can-eat buffet for nearly two hours and then fast the remaining twenty-two. That is, until the buffet manager had him all but restricted from the premises.

Alternate Day Fasting

As the name implies, this means fasting every other day. The fasting days consist of either complete abstinence from food, or allowance of eating only a few hundred calories. The former usually requires a lot of discipline; the latter being more sustainable for most people. 

Evidently, combining workouts with this plan might have synergistic benefits. An animal study showed that alternate day fasting results in stronger and harder muscles in trained animals. In the experiment, mice that ran on a treadmill became stronger if they’d fasted every other day compared to another group of animals that trained without fasting.

Of course, the aforementioned benefit of combining workouts with fasting might transcend all types of fasting schedules.

The ‘Warrior Diet’

The so-called ‘Warrior Diet’ entails fasting during the daytime hours and feasting on a big meal at night. The daytime fasting will typically include intake of small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables. This is followed by an evening meal fit for a king (or more aptly, a ‘warrior’).

The Warrior Diet probably draws from the idea that it resembles the likely pattern of daily feeding to which nomadic tribesmen were relegated. People fasted all day during the hunt for food and then feasted around the fire at night.  It’s no surprise then that this ‘intermittent fasting for weight loss’ plan calls for food choices that resemble ‘Paleo eating.’

The 5:2 Diet

This plan calls for eating normally for five days a week and fasting for two. The fasting days can be consecutive or a split of any two days one wishes (Mon and Thurs, for example). Any type of food can be eaten on non-fasting days while the two restrictive days only allow for consuming about 25% of one’s daily maintenance calories.

The biggest pro of the 5:2 Diet is its flexibility. There are no food restrictions during the five non-fasting days. This allows for normal social eating and maybe moderate intake of desserts or alcoholic beverages. This flexibility can lend itself to sustainability in following the plan.


Not sure why this one earned its title. As far as I can tell, all these intermittent fasting plans are “eat, stop, eat.” Maybe what gives this one the title is that when it says “stop eating”, it really means it; there appears to be no sneaking in a few hundred calories on fasting days.

‘Eat-Stop-Eat’ demands complete abstinence from food for a 24-hour period, once or twice a week. The plan does allow for consumption of unsweetened coffee, tea, or other non-caloric beverages. But aside from that, it’s a call for complete starvation mode.

‘Eat-Stop-Eat’ can produce negative side-effects familiar with many intermittent fasting for weight loss plans. These include dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and general irritability. However, these effects are reported to subside as the body becomes increasingly accustomed to the practice.

One way to ease into 24-hour total fasting is to build toward it with daily window fasting. A beginner could start with a 16/8 daily window schedule. When that’s become easy, he or she could move to an 18/6. From there it’s on to a 20/4 schedule before attempting a 24-hour period without any food.


Intermittent Fasting Studies

The question you might have at this point is whether there are any studies to back the validity of claims made by proponents of intermittent fasting. Is ‘time-restricted feeding’ the fat-scorching miracle it’s cracked up to be? Or is it no more effective than traditional slimming diets that consist of cutting daily calories by 20 percent or so?

At least one study showed the effectiveness of the ‘Daily Window’ method. In the experiment, obese subjects were put on a 12-week, daily time-restricted eating schedule in which they could eat only within the eight-hour period of 10 am to 6 pm. Within that time window, the subjects were allowed to eat whatever they wanted. A control group of similarly obese individuals kept their usual eating schedule which ran from about 9:30 am to 8:30 pm.

The study resulted in the time-restricted feeders losing an average of 4.5 lbs. of fat. This was due to their calorie intake reducing by 20% despite their not being required to count any calories. The control group saw no changes. Apparently, just a three-hour reduction in the time window of daily eating results in an effortless slashing of calories and shedding of fat.

A study done on the ‘5:2 Diet’ compared the effects of this approach to that of a traditional weight loss method. The experiment had 150 people with a BMI of over 25 divided into three groups. One group served as a control that underwent no changes. A second group went on a traditional diet in which daily calories were cut by 20% below maintenance. The third group went on the 5:2 Diet, keeping up maintenance calorie intake for five days a week while cutting down to just 20% of maintenance calories for two weekly “fasting” days.

After twelve weeks, the group on the 5:2 fasting diet appeared to have lost more weight than had the group on the traditional daily calorie-cutting plan. In particular, the 5:2 fasters had lost more belly fat than the traditional dieters had. However, when the two groups were compared after 50 weeks, there was virtually no difference in results; both had lost about the same amount of body fat.

Another study shows intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity independent of weight loss. It can do this even for people who’ve built up long-term insulin resistance to the point of being pre-Type-2 diabetics. Researchers subjected eight such men to a restricted-time eating plan and juxtaposed the results with those from the men’s normal eating patterns.

The men in this study ate normally for five weeks. That meant eating three meals per day between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM. After a “wash-out” period, they were put on a 5-week early time restricted feeding (eTRF) program.  That meant eating ONLY between the hours of 8 AM and 2 PM. The men consumed the exact same amounts of food during the two phases and remained static in body weight.

But the eTRF schedule resulted in improved insulin sensitivity, β cell responsiveness, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and appetite. The improved insulin sensitivity was shown through significantly lower insulin levels after blood glucose administration. The eTRF method resulted in less insulin required to control the men’s blood sugar.


Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: Pros and Cons


Intermittent fasting has become a popular means of losing weight in the last decade. The reason for its popularity is its simplicity; there’s no need to count calories or measure macronutrients. Just knowing when and generally what to eat, as well as when to abstain from food, is about as complicated as these plans get. That’s a major benefit.

But simple shouldn’t be confused with ‘easy.’ For many people, prolonged abstinence from eating is more difficult than imagined. The resulting headaches and fatigue are challenging. For that reason alone, traditional calorie-cutting diets are probably the better choice for many people.

But how one goes about implementing an intermittent fasting program might be as much a determiner of success as choosing one general fat-loss method over another. A good recommendation for beginners who want to try it is to start slowly. Allow the body to adjust to intermittent fasting with a daily window of fasting through the late morning and eating dinner no later than three hours pre-bedtime. Only when the body has built greater insulin sensitivity through such a moderate approach would I recommend moving on to more demanding methods like ‘Eat-Stop-Eat.’

My take on intermittent fasting is biased by my experience with and advocacy of natural bodybuilding. I’m a proponent of daily window/early time restricted feeding. This type of eating schedule makes sense to me as it would optimize the circadian rhythm of natural growth hormone release. In the same vein, I’m less a fan of ‘The Warrior Diet’ and its call for an all-day fast followed by a big nighttime meal. Eating a large pre-bedtime meal antagonizes the body’s natural nocturnal growth hormone release and can reduce the fat-burning benefits a boost in that hormone’s output can provide.

But aside from that caveat, the effectiveness intermittent fasting for weight loss is probably partly attributable to a net increase in daily growth hormone that regular fasting generally creates.

‘What is a Keto Diet’…and what are its Pros and Cons?

If you’re asking ‘what is a keto diet’, we feel your curiosity. It’s not exactly self-explanatory in name. And although it’s an abbreviation for ‘ketogenic diet’, that’s not too helpful in providing hints of the details either.

In this article, we’ll look at the basics of what a keto diet is and weigh its pros and cons. We’ll look at it objectively as neither proponents nor opponents of the method. By reading it, you’ll gain the information necessary for deciding whether the Ketogenic Diet method of fat loss is ideal or even suitable for you.


‘Ketones’ for Body Fuel

The keto diet is all about reducing carbohydrate intake to such rock bottom levels that the body shifts to using ‘ketones’ for energy. Ketones are chemicals made in the liver from fat. They’re triggered into production when glucose and insulin get very low. Ketones can be used as fuel by the brain, muscles, and other tissues when the body’s preferred energy source (carbohydrate) is too low.

The keto diet calls for macro-nutrient ratios of at least 70% of daily calories coming from fat along with 20% from protein. That leaves no more than 10% of calories supplied by carbohydrates. This results in low enough carb levels so as to trigger the body’s burning of fat for fuel (ketosis).

It typically takes the body about 3 to 7 days to adjust to this. Until then, adherents describe symptoms often referred to as the “keto flu” which includes fatigue, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, upset stomach, dehydration, bad breath, and difficulty concentrating.

So what is the keto diet if not without its share of controversy?

The purported benefits of this extreme diet are stabilized blood sugar, reined-in carb cravings, increased satiety, and even an eventual improved ability to focus. Some proponents even claim the keto diet can solve a range of problems like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and autism. This idea could have merit given the diet’s call for reducing or eliminating many pro-inflammatory foods.

So, will you lose body fat by being in “ketosis?”

Most likely, you will. The initial weight loss would probably be water weight. When carbohydrates are stored in the body, they carry a lot of water with them. By suddenly slashing carb intake down to just 10% of daily calories, a few pounds of water will flush out. But over time, the remaining weight loss will likely be from body fat reduction as this eating method naturally cuts calorie intake.


How You’d Eat on a Keto Diet

If you were to adopt a keto diet, your shopping list should include lots of foods containing high quality protein and healthy fats. Think along the lines of lean grass-fed cow beef, chicken thighs/breasts, eggs, and unsweetened full-fat yogurt as good protein sources. For fat intake, think of olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, raw almonds, and grass-fed cow butter as good sources.

You’d obviously avoid processed and sugary foods on a keto diet. But in addition, you’d avoid grains, beans, legumes, light dairy, most fruits, and starchy vegetables.

To put the macro breakdown in perspective, imagine a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet. Since there are 9 calories in each gram of dietary fat, you’d cover 1,400 of those calories with 156 grams of fat (156 x 9 = 1,404).

Recalling that there are four calories per gram of protein and carbs (respectively), the remaining 600 calories of energy would be split between them with protein taking the bulk.

Let’s say you’re a 200-pound man with 25% body fat (that’s high, I know). This makes it simple; you’d have 150 pounds of lean mass. If you were to shoot for .9 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass, you’d need 135 grams of protein per day (150 x .9 = 135). That would cover another 540 daily calories with protein intake (135 x 4 = 540).

Now you’d have just sixty calories you can fill with carbohydrates. That’s equivalent to about a single slice of rye bread.  If you could stick with such an extreme diet, you’d almost certainly reduce that 25% body fat level.

But the question becomes whether you’d be able to sustain such a stringent eating plan over the long run.


Keto Diet: The Pros

Let’s take a look at the favorable aspects of this eating plan…

  • High fat intake (in place of carbohydrates) creates a feeling of satiety, making it easier to reduce daily calorie intake without cravings.
  • The body becomes more efficient at burning body fat. By stripping away carb intake, the body is forced to become better at burning fat as fuel.
  • It could reduce bodily inflammation. By requiring adherents to slash carbohydrates from their diets, a lot of pro-inflammatory junk food goes out the window. That’s a good thing.
  • It ‘resets’ insulin sensitivity. The body’s cells become resistant to insulin due to out-of-control long-term carb binging. A keto diet, with its near elimination of carbohydrates, could correct this metabolic problem.
  • It can specifically lower ‘visceral’ fat. Research shows that low carb diets tend to reduce fat surrounding the organs of the abdominal area – a particularly hazardous type of body fat.


Keto Diet: The Cons

Let’s take a look at the not-so-favorable aspects of this eating plan…

  • Adjusting to a keto diet is often unpleasant. Since the brain is accustomed to using glucose as fuel, a sudden switch to ‘fat-as-fuel’ likely won’t sit well with it. Adherents to the diet often report brain fog, dizziness, headaches, and “bad moods” as initial side effects.
  • It can lead to a quick plateau. As with all low-carb diets, the first two weeks result in big weight loss due to the flushing of water and glycogen. This can result in a ‘false positive’ as the actual shedding of body fat can be a relatively slow process thereafter.
  • It doesn’t go well with athletics. If you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, power-lifter, or just a very active person, you might want to steer clear. Some research has shown that going this low in carbs will negatively affect physical performance.
  • It might be a wild card in terms of affecting a person’s cardio system. Raising dietary fats to these levels could wreak havoc on one’s lipid profile. Granted, much of this fat will be converted to glucose to be used as fuel. But it’s speculative as to whether an adherent’s lipid profile will land in a healthful place. Monitoring of it would be essential.
  • Bad breath is a common side effect. All those ketones in the blood result in acetone being released with each exhale. Friends and family members might describe your breath as smelling like nail polish remover.


Keto Diet Conclusions

The keto diet falls under a “carbs are evil” category of eating plan for which a handful of other currently popular diets fall. These plans remain popular as they fulfill the human desire for immediate positive reinforcement. Since many people equate ‘weight loss’ with fat loss, the immediate drop in water weight spurred by low carbohydrate intake results in a quick conclusion that the diet is “working.”

Of course, fat loss can come from long term adherence to a keto diet. But the degree to which it’s due to “burning fat as fuel” as opposed to mere calorie restriction naturally arising from the measurement of macro-nutrient intake is open to debate. “Going Keto” results in a dieter becoming ‘controlled’ in their calorie intake, even if that control is a simple offshoot of measuring an extreme shift in macronutrient balance.

Whether a keto diet is right for you depends on results of your weighing its pros against its cons. In addition, it depends on your long-term goals and how long you realistically think you can nearly ban all traces of carbs from your life.

If you’re like a lot of people and don’t think that’s realistic, you’re probably better off avoiding the keto diet. Either that or have a modified, less restrictive diet planned as a fall-back after you’ve used a Keto Diet to shed fat and improve insulin sensitivity.



How to Lose Belly Fat for Men  

If you’re looking for a simple but effective formula on ‘how to lose belly fat for men’, you’ve come to the right place. If anyone’s qualified to help men lose belly fat, I am.

Why’s that”, you ask?

Because I’m a former fat man who’d felt his fat belly had become a permanent fixture. It seemed it would never go away.

As it turned out, that was a false and limiting belief.

Moreover, losing belly fat for men is not difficult if gone about in the right way.

Read on to find out my take on the subject of how to lose belly fat for men.


How You can Get Motivated to Lose Belly Fat

There’s no sense in a man pursuing a formula for losing belly fat if he’s not sufficiently motivated to follow through to success.

Am I stating the obvious?

Maybe, but many of us start down a path of self improvement only to give up along the way, far short of victory.

Oftentimes the reason is that we didn’t build enough motivation at the beginning. When we set our goal, we didn’t get that “fire in the belly” kind of motivation (stupid pun).

So how do we ensure enough motivation for losing belly fat?

That’s simple…

It’s simple because high motivation is always a direct effect of creating enough compelling reasons to accomplish something.

Reasons are what fuel motivation. If you have enough exciting and compelling reasons to lose your belly fat, you’ll be driven to make it happen.

And reasons don’t always need to be positive. In fact, some of the best reasons that fuel motivation involve avoiding possible future pain we’ll experience if we don’t accomplish the goal.

Positive reasons for achieving a goal create moving toward motivation.

Negative reasons for achieving a goal – stated in a manner of ‘things to avoid’ – create moving away-from motivation.

If you get good at combining moving toward and moving away-from motivation, it can be like the perfect fuel mixture in a Formula-one racing car. You become unstoppable when setting out after a goal.

So in the context of how to lose belly fat for men, let’s start with an example list of positive (moving toward) reasons to lose belly fat…

  • Gain more energy to enjoy loved ones and achieve other goals in life.
  • Feel a sense of pride in displaying a more athletic body (gain a positive body image).
  • Appear more attractive to your spouse, significant other, or someone to whom you’d like to appeal.
  • Enjoy eating “fattening” foods in a guilt-free manner because you no longer allow their consumption to have a negative impact on your body.
  • Regain a body resembling that of your youth, along with the increased vibrancy and vitality that comes with that.

Now let’s look at a possible list of negative (moving away-from) reasons to lose belly fat…

  • Avoid the increased risk of coronary heart disease that belly fat creates.
  • Avoid the increased risk of developing specific cancers that belly fat creates.
  • Avoid the increased risk of developing Type-2 diabetes that belly fat creates.
  • Avoid the increased chances of Alzheimer’s and dementia to which belly fat contributes.
  • Avoid the steep decline in testosterone and increased risk of impotence that’s likely to occur from belly fat.

You can add your own personal reasons to this list.

In fact, the longer you make your list of reasons to shed belly fat, the more motivation you’ll have.

You can make your list of positive reasons longer by thinking ‘systemically’; using cause-and-effect scenarios to add more reasons. For example…

“… If I gain more energy to enjoy loved ones and achieve other goals in life, I’ll improve my relationship with my family and put in the extra work to get that job promotion, which will result in a better financial life.”

You get the idea. Reasons are what build motivation and one positive outcome can lead to other positive outcomes, which provides more reasons.

You can use this with your moving away-from motivation as well…

“… If I don’t lose my belly fat, I could end up an impotent old man with health problems that require a boatload of medications with side-effects that could lead to even more health problems.”

The greater number of compelling reasons you can come up with for getting rid of all that belly fat once and for all, the better your chance of success.


How to Lose Belly Fat for Men with a Two-Pronged Approach

If you’ve encountered other articles on how to lose belly fat for men, you’ve probably noticed most experts recommend losing belly fat through dietary changes.

You can’t out-exercise bad eating habits”, goes the catchy phrase.

“… An hour of aerobic exercise might burn off 500 calories, but a Double Whopper with Cheese and a large serving of fries will add back those 500 burned calories and then some.”

While this might be true, it also avoids a harsh reality. Losing belly fat solely through strict dieting is a tough road to hoe…

Steep cuts in calories lead to hunger pangs and fatigue. It also requires a lot of meal planning and constant will power.

Losing fat from the body (and thus, the belly) entirely by cutting calorie intake is an act of self-inflicted mini-starvation.

… Not for the faint-of-heart.

But I’m not recommending you shed belly fat entirely through exercise either.

Instead, the best way to go about it is through a two-pronged approach using some combination of improved eating habits and increased activity.

This involves consuming a few hundred fewer calories each day while also exercising to burn off a few hundred calories each day.

In order to lose belly fat, we need to be in a daily calorie deficit. We need to consume fewer calories than we use…

… Or use more calories than we consume.

Either way, we need to reach a point each day in which our bodies dig into their stored fat to provide us the energy we need to get through the day.

We need our bodies to dig into their belly fat stores to meet energy expenditure requirements.

If we attempt to do that strictly through dietary calorie cutting, we’ll end up too hungry and likely to back-slide out of our diet.

If we attempt to do it strictly through exercise, we risk simply working up a greater appetite from performing workouts. By satiating that bigger appetite, we just end up replacing the calories we burned during exercise.

But with a balanced two-pronged approach, we don’t rely too much on either calorie cutting or calorie burning. This increases our odds of success.

Think about it. If someone told you to eliminate 600 calories from your body each day, would you rather deprive yourself of 600 calories going in?

… Or would you rather slice 300 measly calories from your eating and burn 300 more with some increased movement?

Keep in mind, if you’re the sedentary type, increased exercise can be as easy as taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood each day.


No, You Can’t “Spot-Reduce” Belly Fat, But…

… Adding abdominal work to your belly fat removal efforts is a great motivator.

We hear it ad nauseam… “You can’t lose fat from a specific area on your body by working the muscles of that area. Fat comes off the body evenly…”


But most guys have probably gotten the memo on this already; it’s not news to them.

And constantly repeating it might miss a point – that some guys with big bellies are doing crunches so they’ll have visible abdominals AFTER they lose the belly fat.

That can be a great motivator as well. If you add abdominal exercises to your calorie-burning efforts, you can look forward to a six-pack (or at least a four-pack) showing once the fat is off.

Plus, if abdominal exercises are done with enough effort and high repetitions, they can burn a lot of calories.


How to Lose Belly Fat for Men with Small Eating Habit Changes

The best way for men to lose belly fat is with small changes in eating habits.

These small changes can result in reduced calorie intake without having to go on a drastic diet.

The following is a list of 7 easy changes you can make to your eating habits – changes that can reduce your calorie intake and start shedding belly fat without needing to count calories…

  1. Have a serving of at least 30 grams of protein during every meal
  2. Eat at least a large portion of protein before eating carbs during every meal.
  3. Visibly increase your serving of vegetables at every meal.
  4. Visibly reduce your serving of starchy carbohydrates at every meal.
  5. Decrease your intake of dietary fat at every meal.
  6. Eliminate as much simple sugar food as possible.
  7. Consume alcoholic beverages only on the weekends.

Years ago I was carrying a waistline that was approaching 40 inches. I had a serious roll of excess belly fat.

One day I just resolved to lose it. And I decided it was actually going to be FUN doing it. I couldn’t wait to see the expressions on the faces of my friends and loved ones when they saw my flat waistline within a few weeks or months.

I looked forward to when they saw the new me.

To lose all that fat, I followed a simple list of changes to my eating habits like the 7 listed above.

I never counted a single calorie. I don’t have time for that kind of stuff.

Instead, I began my quest with a very symbolic meal that marked the beginning of my belly fat loss.

I ate some lunch at a buffet restaurant right down the street from where I lived. This was a buffet where I’d regularly gorged myself with multiple plates of excess calories for years.

It was an eatery that had helped me put on those rolls of belly fat that I suddenly could no longer stand.

After paying, I walked into the serving area and put two medium sized chicken breasts on my plate. I put a fist-sized portion of potatoes next to that. I piled a big serving of broccoli alongside that. I might have grabbed a small dinner roll and a little butter too.

I ate the chicken breasts slowly and thoroughly from the bones. The starchy carbs (potatoes) seemed to go down in a few bites. The big serving of broccoli went down with the help of some unsweetened iced tea, and then…

… I was out of there.

As much as my stomach felt unsatisfied, I just got up and walked out before I could be tempted to go back to the serving area. When I got back in my car, I felt like I was still hungry.

But I silently celebrated that feeling. I knew the feeling was just an illusion – a psychosomatic sensation brought on by the fat cells around my belly screaming to be fed.

I realized that each meal needed to leave me feeling like this, at least for a couple weeks until my body became accustomed to fewer calories.

My nutritional needs had been met and I knew it. The hunger I was feeling was because my stomach had been stretched too big and my body had become accustomed to higher blood sugar.


How Small Changes in Eating Habits Work for Losing Belly Fat

The cornerstone practice I adopted to lose belly fat was to make protein my ‘base food.’

Protein is filling; it provides a feeling of satiation more quickly than carbohydrates.

At the same time, it digests more slowly than carbs. It’s a great thing to have in your stomach so that you don’t feel hungry again too soon. This helps reduce overeating.

Protein is a bodybuilder’s macro nutrient. It’s THE macro to eat plentifully if you want an athletically muscular body.  That’s because it spares the body of muscle tissue even if you restrict your calorie intake.

And by eating at least a hefty serving of protein before eating any carbs when you start a meal, you’ll curb your hunger more quickly which reduces the desire to overeat.

To understand this, think of the times when you’ve done the complete opposite.

Have you ever gone out to a dinner restaurant in an extremely hungry state? If the answer is “yes”, what did you find yourself doing when the wait staff brought out a serving of bread and butter?

If you’re like I am, you’ve found yourself eating from the bread plate like it was the main course.

If you’re out to dinner with a few people, sometimes the whole group ravages the bread in such a way. That starch nearly dissolves in your mouth and goes down in multiple clumps when there’s no protein in your stomach first.

… The same goes for some pre-meal glasses of beer.

This is something to avoid as a man who wants to lose belly fat. You want to avoid the tendency to eat carbohydrates – especially ‘starchy’ carbohydrates – all by themselves.

At the same time, you want to increase your intake of another type of carbohydrate. That would be vegetables, especially the green leafy types (spinach, romaine, kale, etc.).

Besides being necessary for good health, vegetables are full of essential fiber which also helps produce a feeling of fullness.

That ‘feeling of fullness’ from fiber helps reduce the tendency to overeat.

My personal food item with which to do this is broccoli (not leafy, but definitely green and full of fiber).

When we eat a lot of protein and vegetables, we tend to eat less starch and sugar. By displacing certain foods with other foods, we can shed belly fat without counting calories and triggering too much hunger.

Think of it as a displacement thing rather than a deprivation thing.

The same goes for reducing dietary fat. Although we need some fat in our diets, it’s important to know that fat delivers a whopping 9 calories in every gram.

To put this in perspective, think about that small and innocent looking slice of sausage in a Sausage McMuffin with Egg (one of my weaknesses). It has only 7 grams of protein but packs 18 grams of saturated fat.

… Just multiply that 18 grams by 9 (calories-per-gram) and you’ve got an easy 160 calories in that tiny patty of “meat.”

Another example: Each tablespoon of Thousand Island dressing added to a salad contains almost 6 grams of fat. Just three little tablespoons adds 18 grams of fat (160 calories), the same amount in that slice of sausage.

The important takeaway on dietary fat is that it only takes small amounts of food containing high ratios of fat to end up with a lot of calories consumed.

So this needs to be controlled. We don’t want to cut down on starchy carbohydrates only to end up replacing those reduced calories with too much fat intake.


How Men can Reduce Belly Fat by Realizing Sugar is Sugar… is Sugar

Tip #6 on the ‘how to lose belly fat for men’ list above is ‘Eliminate as much simple sugar food as possible.’

That’s because eating too much sugar is probably one of the greatest contributors to belly fat.

Some guys think that if they eat a certain “type” of sugar – a source of it deemed ‘natural’ or “healthy” – then they can eat it without worry of adding weight to their waistline.

This is one of the biggest mistakes contributing to belly fat becoming “stubborn”… refusing to go away.

For example, I once had a colleague who believed that it was okay for him to sweeten as much of his food with honey as he wanted. “After all”, he’d insist, “honey is natural…

Looking back, it’s not surprising that this guy confided he could never shed his last bit of stubborn belly fat.

To realize why, we need only look at what ALL sugar (natural and processed) really is and what it does inside the body.

Simple carbohydrates (‘simple sugars’) are classified as either…

  • Monosaccharide (single molecule)
  • Disaccharide (combination of two monosaccharide molecules)

Monosaccharides include glucose, galactose, and fructose (fruit sugar).

Disaccharides include sucrose (table sugar), maltose (malt sugar), lactose (milk sugar), and honey.

In order for sugar to enter the bloodstream and be used by the body’s cells for energy, it must be converted to glucose. What we refer to as “blood sugar” is glucose in the blood.

Uncontrolled blood sugar would destroy our bodies if it weren’t regulated by insulin. When glucose enters the blood, insulin is released to take control of that sugar and chaperone it into the cells for energy.

When there’s more glucose than the cells need for energy, insulin transports the excess to the muscles and liver to be stored (as glycogen) and to the fat cells to be stored (as triglycerides).

Simply put, those triglycerides packed into the fat cells in our midsections stored energy.

When the body is hit with too high of glucose levels over time, it naturally results in insulin being chronically high.

… This leads to cells becoming desensitized to insulin (insulin resistance).

When this has happened, losing belly fat can only occur by reducing calories AND lowering average blood sugar levels.

This means we need to cut down on blood sugar spikes from all sources of sugar.

But isn’t sugar from fruit natural… and therefore healthy”, ask many guys?

Fructose is the monosaccharide from fruit. While it’s true that in absorbs a bit more slowly than sucrose (table sugar) and doesn’t spike blood sugar and insulin as much, it has its own unique drawback.

The drawback is that it doesn’t trigger leptin as easily. Leptin is the hormone that provides us a feeling of fullness so we stop eating.

So although fruit does contain fiber, which helps slow down its digestion, it’s easy to overeat fruit and end up with high blood sugar and insulin spikes from eating it.

But there’s a simple rule I follow regarding fruit consumption when I’m trying to lose belly fat…

Don’t eat simple sugar without a complex carbohydrate… and don’t eat a complex carbohydrate without a protein food.

As a man wanting to lose belly fat, follow this food balancing rule and your body’s ability to deal with blood sugar will thank you for it.

… And this can help shed that belly fat without starvation tactics.


Tip #7, ‘Consume alcoholic beverages only on the weekends’, is included because alcoholic drinks are sugary foods. And although they might be fun to consume on an empty stomach, they easily contribute to belly fat when imbibed this way.

As with any other simple sugar, they’re better off consumed after some protein and low glycemic carbohydrates have been taken in.


How to Lose Belly Fat for Men using Additional Tactics

As I mentioned earlier in this article, I once had a real belly fat problem… a waistline just under the 40-inch marker.

Now I don’t have that problem at all.

But while you might assume I’m one of those guys that never indulge in “junk food”, nothing could be further from the truth.

To give you an idea of HOW far from reality that is, I’ll confess that I recently ate an entire large pizza with sausage and extra cheese… by myself.

That’s not an exaggeration.

And while I won’t claim it was a ‘healthy’ choice of food, that fat-laden starch pie also didn’t add one fraction of an inch to my midsection.

And I enjoy ‘junk food’ like this on a regular basis.

How could that be”… you ask?

It has a lot to do with an elite condition I’ve gotten myself into over a period of time.

I mention that with no intention of impressing you.

… Only with the idea of impressing upon you that it’s possible to go from one extreme to the other… to turn one’s body from a calorie-storing machine to a calorie-burning one.

That said, here are a few additional tactics I’ve used to shed belly fat without using harsh dieting…

  • Refrain from calorie intake for at least three hours prior to nighttime sleep.
  • Refrain from calorie intake for at least three hours after awaking in the morning.
  • Utilize high intensity interval training (HIIT) three times a week.
  • Utilize an effective muscle building resistance training routine.


Refrain from calorie intake for at least three hours prior to nighttime sleep

There’s the obvious reason for doing this – extra calories get stored in our fat cells when we’re at rest.

Then there’s the not-so-obvious reason – fat-burning human growth hormone (HGH) is released when we sleep, but its release is hampered by insulin. If we go to bed with rapidly dropping blood sugar, sleep-induced HGH can possibly rise higher.

Higher average HGH over time can help reduce belly fat.


Refrain from calorie intake for at least three hours after awaking in the morning.

The fat-burning HGH released during sleep has a chance to hang around longer if we refrain from calorie-intake for a few hours in the morning. As soon as we eat and insulin is released, growth hormone and its fat-burning quality get squelched.

When we say “refrain from calorie intake”, it doesn’t mean only food. It means refraining from sugar that’s often added to caffeinated morning drinks.

Drinking sugarless coffee or tea is encouraged if you’re a morning-caffeine type of guy, as these tend to rev the metabolism and amplify this early day fat-burning window.


Utilize high intensity interval training (HIIT) three times a week

This is a type of exercise some guys need to build up to being capable of doing. And of course, that’s only with their doctor’s permission.

But a fasted-state, morning bout of slow-fast-slow type cardio training for thirty minutes on an empty stomach can burn belly fat and spike your growth hormone once again before eating.


Utilize an effective muscle building resistance training routine

The key word here is ‘effective.’ There are a lot of ways to apply resistance/weight training and many of them are waste of time.

But once you nail down an effective routine, the benefits for reducing belly fat and keeping it off are incredible.

Speaking personally, as I’ve added muscle, my ability to keep fat off my waistline has gotten increasingly easier.

This has been due to my metabolic rate speeding up as youthful muscle is added to my frame.

Just from an aesthetic standpoint, gaining muscle helps you appear less fat even when you’re not. Nothing offsets a little bit of belly fat better than flaring lats, wider deltoids, muscled-up legs, and a barreled chest.

… If your torso and legs get bigger, your waistline appears smaller. Pretty simple.



The secret in how to lose belly fat for men is using an approach that can be maintained over the long haul. If you attempt to lose the fat around your middle too quickly with stringent dieting, all I can say is… good luck.

Using a multi-pronged methodology, on the other hand, is sustainable for most guys. It begins with building motivation by eliciting enough reasons to follow through. It ends with you having turned your body from a fat-storing reservoir to a calorie-burning machine.

For more detailed information on losing belly fat – including routines outlining how to go from just starting out to elite conditiongrab your copy of my body changing book.