Even those with fit, healthy bodies often have a hard time removing those last few pounds of belly fat. The abdomen is the most stubborn area of your body to lose fat. And while it would be great to have an exercise that gets rid of your belly fat directly, research suggests that spot reduction is a myth. Luckily, that doesn't mean there aren't ways to get rid of belly fat. Here, Gabriel Patterson, Toronto-based fitness coach and nutrition expert, shares ways to lose belly fat and tone up your stomach.

Improve Your Diet

If you want to cut down on belly fat, you have to lose weight in general. While exercise will help, most weight loss comes from what you eat.

If you want to get rid of stubborn belly fat, you’ll need to make some changes to your diet. Cut out things like sugar, excess salt, and junk foods. These often cause bloating around your belly, and eliminating them can result in a more toned stomach.

Cleaning up your diet will cause fat loss in general, not just belly fat. You can find various online calorie calculators to figure out exactly how much you should be eating each day. Focus on healthy proteins, fibrous carbs, and healthy fats such as avocados, fish, and nuts.

Try Intermittent Fasting

Even if you follow a consistent, healthy diet program, sometimes your weight loss will hit a plateau and cutting down the last few pounds can be a real struggle. However, intermittent fasting can help.

Intermittent fasting is a healthy and effective way to increase fat loss as well as retain or increase muscle mass. It usually involves eating for a time period of around eight hours, then fasting for the other 16. You can adapt this to fit with your schedule. Although the fasting period may be tough, stick it out and your body will quickly drop those extra pounds.

Do Your Cardio In The Morning

Working hard on your cardio is a surefire way to lose some extra belly fat. However, when you start to hit a plateau, you may need to take a different approach.

Doing more cardio or doing more intense cardio can help. But, one of the best tricks to lose extra fat is to do cardio first thing in the morning. When you work out in a fasted state, your body is more likely to burn fat instead of depleting your muscle or glycogen stores.

Even a quick 20-minute high-intensity cardio routine first thing in the morning can do wonders. Stick to this routine for a few weeks and you'll notice huge improvements in your body.

Target Your Abdominals

Although cardio is essential for abdominal fat loss, training your abs can also have a significant effect.

Many people believe they need to lose fat from their stomach when they actually just need to add muscle. Having harder, more defined abs results in the appearance of a flat, muscular stomach. Without chiseled abs, you're more likely to look soft and bloated.

There are many exercises that target your abs directly. For example, you can do bodyweight exercises such as crunches, sit-ups, and leg lifts at home. Planks are also especially effective for improving the appearance of your core. If you prefer to lift weights, heavy compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts can do wonders for your abs.

Conclusion

Although toning up your stomach can be tough, these strategies from fitness expert Gabriel Patterson will help you lose belly fat fast. While you can't make your body lose fat from your belly specifically, you can reduce your body fat overall and increase muscle mass in your core for a more toned body. Stick with these tips and you can reap the results within a few months.

Author's Bio: 

Johnny Beardslee is a fitness expert that writes about nutrition, sports and fitness.