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Jillian Michaels Reveals the Secret to Blasting Belly Fat

The fitness pro throws down the truth about getting rid of your tummy.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Do you want to get rid of excess fat around your midsection? Jillian Michaels is a fitness expert and star of The Biggest Loser. In a new YouTube video, she discusses blasting belly fat. "Let's talk about belly fat. You guys are constantly asking me how I reduce belly fat. What food should I eat to reduce belly fat? What workout should I do to reduce belly fat? And you guys Google it so often that even I have been guilty of saying, 'Hey, let's reduce belly fat,' just to get you to pay attention to the actual answer," she jokes. In all seriousness, she offers her tips on how to blast belly fat.

You Can't Spot Reduce Fat

"So first of all, we cannot spot-reduce fat. We can't, it's physiologically impossible. You can go to a doctor. They can lipo-suck it outta your body. It's expensive. There are all kinds of side effects. It's unnecessary. I don't recommend it, but that's the only way to do that," she says.

Hormone Balance Determines Where You Store Fat

man with overweight. symbolic photo for beer belly, unsuccessful dieting and eating the wrong foods. Weight loss concept. Tight shirt.

"The way in which our body stores fat is dictated by your hormone balance. So that's why you see things like a woman is a pear. A woman can be an apple, or we can be evenly proportioned, right? But men are always apples. If you see a guy who has fat on his lower body, he likely has a hormone imbalance," she says.

Belly Fat Is Based on Testosterone Levels

Young woman touching her belly looking in mirror at home

"So what is this saying? So, this is saying that belly fat is predominantly based on your testosterone levels. So if we have more testosterone, we are more prone to store excess energy as fat on our abdomen," she says. "Now, if you're an estrogen-dominant female, you're gonna store more weight in your lower body, which is my blessing."

The Answer? Reducing Body Fat Overall

"So we can't spot reduce fat. So what do we do? Right? There's gotta be an answer. We've gotta reduce body fat overall," she says.

No Diet Spot Reduces Fat

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

"Now, there is no diet to reduce fat. There are no foods that burn fat. There, there, there, it just, it, it doesn't exist. Okay?" says Michaels.

First, You Need to Manage Your Stress

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"There are ways of eating that will help reduce bloat, right? There are certain foods we can eat that will help inhibit cortisol production because cortisol is actually the belly fat hormone.

So, if we can keep that hormone down, it's a stress hormone. So you gotta manage your stress," she says.

You Also Need to Get Sleep

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The second thing you need to do? "You gotta sleep," says Michaels.

Meditation Is Also Key

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Next up, get your zen on. "You gotta meditate," Michaels recommends.

Avoid Foods Rich in Vitamin C

One thing to avoid? "You can't eat foods that are rich in vitamin C because vitamin C can inhibit cortisol production. You can keep your sodium a little lower because that can also inhibit cortisol production. And it's gonna keep you from storing weight here," she says.

And, Don't Drink a Lot of Alcohol

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She also suggests putting down the bottle. "Alcohol and the way that it affects your metabolism will shift your hormone balance. You're gonna store more fat in your belly. So if you're trying to lose weight, don't be drinking so much," she says.



Next up, hydrate. "Drink a lot of water to help you flush out any excess bloat," she recommends.

RELATED: 20 Delicious Foods to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight

Overall, Eat Fewer Calories and Move More

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In terms of exercise, "at the end of the day, there is no exercise to spot reduce fat," she says. "There is no food to spot reduce fat. So what is going to be the most effective thing is eating less food so that we're reducing our calories and then working out or moving more so that we're increasing our calorie burn. So our body's going into fat stores, and we're burning body fat overall."

Lift Weights

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"The fitness techniques that are gonna be the most metabolic are gonna be weightlifting or resistance training. So resistance training, weightlifting, circuit training," she adds.

HIIT Workouts

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She also recommends "exercises in swift succession," she says. "The way you see me design all my workouts, HIIT intervals are super effective. And the more advanced techniques as you get more fit, like plyometrics, things that are explosive and dynamic burn more calories."

RELATED: 8 Daily Habits for a Stronger Immune System

Overall, You Have to Take a "Holistic" Approach

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"That's how you gotta think of it. There's no special food. There's no exercise. We just gotta be healthy overall and take it in a very holistic way," she says, summing up the video. And if you enjoyed this article, don't miss 12-3-30 Walking Method: 20 Proven Tips to Lose Weight Faster.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more