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The #1 Right Way to Lose Lower Stomach Fat

This is how to do it.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

TikTok influencer Tara Hall (@tarahallfitness) knows all too well the struggle to get rid of belly fat and develop beautiful, strong abdominal muscles. As with all exercises, there is a right way—and a wrong way!—to go about reaching those fitness goals, and so much misinformation that not only will NOT help shift the tummy fat, it might even encourage it (noooo!). Hall's advice is sensible, and you know it's legit because the method will cost you nothing. Here's what she has to say.

Sit Ups and Crunches

@tarahallfitness Struggle to lose lower stomach fat? Heres how 🙃 #lowerstomachfat #stomachfat #flatstomach #losefat ♬ Strong Woman – DJ Chris Parker

Hall makes the point that endless situps and crunches will unfortunately not torch stomach fat. Why? Research shows spot reduction is a myth—you can't just focus on losing fat in one area of the body. "Getting rid of belly fat involves a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes," says vegan fitness expert and trainer Kollins Ezekh. "Cardiovascular exercises, such as running, cycling, and swimming, can help burn overall body fat, while strength training exercises, such as weight lifting, can help build muscle and improve metabolism."

Related: Katie Austin Flashes Washboard Abs and Reveals 5 Things She Does to Get Her "Mojo Back"

Lots of Cardio

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Hall says cardio alone won't magically shift the belly bulge—other factors are important, as it's remarkably difficult to out-burn excessive calories. "Focus on a balanced diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats," Ezekh says. "Limiting sugar and refined carbohydrates can also help reduce belly fat."

This Is the Way

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"The only way you are going to lose stomach fat is by being in a calorie deficit," Hall says. Her advice might be boring (where's the quick fix we're looking for?), but it is the foundation of any successful fat-loss program. "Popular fad diets may promise you that not eating carbohydrates (carbs) or eating a pile of grapefruit is the secret to weight loss. But it really comes down to eating fewer calories than your body is using if you want to lose weight," says the Mayo Clinic.

This Is Important Too!

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Of course, other factors also impact belly fat—for example, stress. Stress causes cortisol, and cortisol is linked to belly fat. So while you're working out and eating right and being mindful of calories, pay attention to stress levels and learn to manage them. "Practices such as meditation, yoga, or regular physical activity can help manage stress," Ezekh says.

Related: I Lost 60 Pounds With These 7 Exercises Everyone Can Do

Bye Bye, Belly Fat!

Woman body fat belly. Obese Woman with fat upset about her belly. Fat woman with tight clothing worried about weight diet lifestyle concept.

Sleep also impacts belly fat—poor sleep can help pack stomach fat on, and excess weight causes even worse sleep. Yikes. "Our findings show that shortened sleep, even in young, healthy and relatively lean subjects, is associated with an increase in calorie intake, a very small increase in weight, and a significant increase in fat accumulation inside the belly," says Virend Somers, MD, PhD, for the Mayo Clinic.

💪🔥Body Booster: You can't spot-reduce fat, so be mindful of your calories in vs. calories out!

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more