How To Lose Belly Fat In 1 Week: 7 Expert Ways To Lose Stubborn Fat In 2024


Reviewed by Ellie Busby, MS, RDN
how to lose belly fat in 1 week
Lose belly fat and achieve total body health. Photo: Eviart/Shutterstock

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If you want to know how to lose belly fat in 1 week, you may be disappointed that this isn’t a realistic goal. A flat stomach is deemed the gold standard for a healthy body. But this view of instant results and a one-size-fits-all approach can be harmful to your health and mental well-being.

That’s why we are going to focus on a more holistic approach that will help you achieve goals that are realistic and sustainable for you. In this article, we will show you how to decrease belly fat and overall body fat. We will also explain the health risks of excess abdominal fat and where it comes from.

How To Lose Belly Fat Naturally In 1 Week

Seven ways to lose belly fat:

  • Focus on whole foods.
  • Start eating intuitively.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Get in your daily cardio.
  • Try strength training.
  • Get enough sleep at night.
  • Prioritize self-care to decrease your stress.

How To Lose Belly Fat In 1 Week

Wherever you are on your weight loss journey, we know it can seem challenging to decrease belly fat. But what is body fat exactly? There are two main types of fat in your body: subcutaneous and visceral fat.

Visceral fat is in your abdominal cavity. It covers several of your body’s organs like the intestines, liver ,and stomach.[1] In comparison, subcutaneous fat lies just under the skin – if you pinch yourself, you can feel this fat.

While both types of fat are located on your belly, more health risks are associated with excess visceral fat. Some of these health risks[2] include type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, fatty liver disease, and heart disease. 

In this article, we will focus on losing visceral belly fat.

The following tips are eight ways to lose abdominal fat while decreasing overall body fat. All these can help you achieve your weight loss goals and lose fat in stubborn areas like the belly.

Focus On Whole Foods

how to lose belly fat in 1 week
Focus on whole foods for a balanced diet. Photo: Creative Cat Studio/Shutterstock

We know we should eat healthy, but it can feel overwhelming with the constant stream of fad diets on the internet and social media. We will keep it as simple as possible — no trendy, quick-fix diets. Instead, you can easily incorporate these realistic, healthy diet tips into your life.

Stick to whole foods. What are they, though? Whole foods haven’t been processed or changed from their original form. People with a diet focusing on whole foods[3] have had favorable weight loss results.  

Having a totally whole-food diet is nearly impossible, though. So the main thing is to try your best to consume a diet mainly consisting of fresh foods that don’t contain preservatives or additives. 

Think fresh fruits and vegetables from the produce stand and whole grains like oats, brown rice, and quinoa. Chicken and salmon are delicious choices for lean proteins. If you don’t eat meat, go for tofu or tempeh.

Limit Processed Foods

While processed foods are okay every now and then, they should be limited. Processed foods are any foods that have been changed from their original form – the opposite of whole foods. Examples include sugary beverages, refined grains, and packaged snacks like cakes and cookies.

Sugary drinks like fruit juice and coffee often contain added sweeteners and flavorings. Studies have shown that consuming too many sugary foods and drinks is the main contributor to weight gain and obesity.[4] Opt for fresh water with a slice of lemon instead if you want to add more flavor naturally.

We recommend limiting or avoiding trans fat because studies show it can increase your chances of heart disease, especially coronary artery disease.[5] Trans fat is a type of unsaturated fat that is often referred to as unhealthy fat. Trans fat is often found in fried foods and non-dairy coffee creams.

Finally, many commercially packed goods contain refined grains,[6] stripped of many nutrients.

Studies have found that consuming whole grains can help in weight loss[7] and lower your risk of obesity. 

A typical example of refined grain is white bread. Replace white bread with whole-grain bread like whole wheat, rye, barley, or buckwheat. If you crave chips, opt for natural popcorn instead.

Eat Mindfully 

Rather than restricting calorie intake, eat mindfully instead. Studies show that mindful eating is an effective way to lose weight.[8]

Mindful eating is listening to your body and eating when you’re hungry rather than at specific times. While eating, tune into how you’re feeling and be mindful of when you start to feel full to avoid overeating.

There’s growing evidence that dieting and restricting food are related to various adverse health outcomes. A few common ones include disordered eating, weight gain, and decreased mental health.[9] Many think a restricted diet is the best option for losing fat, but this can create a lot of mental unease. It also isn’t a super sustainable option for the long run.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

Alcohol contains empty calories, which means it contains little to no nutrients but can pack a lot of calories. Mixed drinks often contain added sugar, which can contribute to weight gain if overly consumed. For example, some wines and cocktails can contain up to 500 kcal[10] depending on the size, ingredients, and alcohol content.

Decreasing your alcohol consumption may make your weight loss efforts easier[11] – just based on the amount of calories you won’t be consuming. If you find it hard to cut back due to social events, limit yourself to one night a week. Or do a 30-day no-alcohol challenge with a friend so you can keep each other accountable and stay motivated.

Get In Your Daily Cardio

how to lose belly fat in 1 week
Cardio is a great way to stay active. Photo: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock

Cardio is a great way to burn calories and stay active. Whether you prefer to run at your local park or use the elliptical at the gym, there’s no shortage of options. Experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes[12] of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly.

We know life can get busy. Thankfully, you can break up the 30 minutes each day into more minor bouts of movement. For example, take a 15-minute walk in the morning and then jog for 15 minutes in the evening.

Studies show that high-intensity interval training[13] — or HIIT — is better than continuous slow exercise. What’s more, running is more effective[14] than cycling for visceral fat belly loss. Instead of running slowly for 30 minutes, try 1-minute short sprints with 1-2 minute breaks in between.

But, in the end, consistency is most important. Studies have shown consistency is key[12] when it comes to exercise. You’re more likely to keep the weight off long-term if you get at least 150 minutes of cardio weekly.

Try Strength Training 

Engaging in strength training[15] has been shown to reduce overall body fat significantly when combined with caloric restriction and/or aerobic exercise. Strength training helps maintain lean muscle mass, not just build muscle.

If you’re new to the gym, getting a certified personal trainer to give you ideas and safety tips might be helpful. They can show you abdominal exercises that can strengthen your core and contribute to less abdominal fat.

Some exercises for your core include bicycle crunches, sit-ups, and planks. These exercises may help target lower belly fat.

Get Enough Sleep At Night

Getting enough sleep is essential for your physical health and mental and emotional functioning.[16] For weight management, experts recommend adults should get at least seven hours of sleep at night.

Inadequate sleep can leave you feeling groggy and tired, making it more challenging to find the motivation to exercise or eat healthily. Lack of sleep affects hunger and satiety hormone levels. This can lead to excess calorie consumption and a greater intake of processed foods. Because of this, weight gain can occur.

Aside from obesity, the health risks of sleep deprivation include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Prioritize Self-Care To Decrease Your Stress

With endless to-do lists and heavy workloads, it’s easy to understand why so many adults experience stress on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, chronic stress[17] has been shown to contribute to excess body weight, which may lead to more belly fat.

Cortisol is one of the main hormones involved in the biological stress response. Elevated cortisol levels increase your appetite, specifically for nutrient-dense foods. A typical example is so-called “comfort food,” which is often more carb-heavy.

Chronically elevated levels of cortisol are especially linked to more belly fat and can contribute to obesity if stress is not adequately managed.

Practicing mindfulness, journaling, and exercise are all great ways to prioritize self-care and decrease stress. Not only that, a study found practicing mindfulness[18] to be an effective tool for weight loss and self-image. However, the study found combining mindfulness with other interventions, like a healthy diet and exercise routine, to be the most effective.

Finding 15 minutes to do something for yourself might not seem like a lot, but these healthy habits can contribute to greater well-being. One study found that meditating daily for just 13 minutes contributed to lower levels of stress[19] and decreased negative mood.

Why Does Belly Fat Usually Form?

Most of the causes are from doing the opposite of the tips we gave above to help you lose belly fat. These are also referred to as lifestyle choices or habits.

Physical inactivity and a diet with minimal nutritional value can contribute to overall weight gain,[20] especially if you consume excess calories frequently. Some other causes include not getting enough sleep at night, chronic stress, and excessive alcohol consumption.

However, a few things may not be under your control. Age, genetics, and hormones may also contribute to belly fat.[21]

Menopause contributes to changes in body composition, specifically peri-abdominal or visceral fat accumulation.[22] Peri-abdominal is also known as the peritoneum – a sheet of smooth tissue that lines your abdomen and internal organs. 

During menopause, the hormone estrogen[23] typically decreases. This is thought to be one of the triggers that can contribute to hormonal belly fat.

As we age, muscle mass[24] also typically decreases. This decrease in muscle mass can make it more difficult to exercise or perform daily activities. Because of this, it can contribute to weight gain. 

How Long Does It Take To Lose Belly Fat?

Losing belly fat depends on factors like age, current body weight, diet, and physical activity level. It also depends on your goals, as this can vary widely from person to person. Targeting only belly fat may not be effective — you are more likely to see results if you focus on improving total body health.

A calorie deficit is necessary to lose weight. This means burning a greater amount of calories than what you consume daily. Experts recommend a deficit of at least 500-1000 calories[25] to lose weight, around 1-2 pounds lost per week.

Studies have shown that gradually losing weight[26] is the most effective option. Rapid weight loss can be dangerous to your health, and you’re more likely to keep the weight off if you lose weight gradually.

When it comes to how to lose belly fat naturally in one week, we have to be honest. There isn’t a realistic way to lose belly fat in 1 week – for males or females. There’s no quick-fix option, and setting realistic and sustainable goals for your health is essential.

Can Supplements Help?

There are many supplements on the market that promote weight loss. Many of these supplements are sold as diet pills and claim to help increase metabolism and contribute to weight loss efforts.

While some supplements may be helpful, it’s essential to use supplements alongside other interventions like a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Additionally, we recommend talking to a healthcare provider before taking any diet pills that are aimed at reducing belly fat. This is especially important if you’re currently taking any prescription medications, as it may cause unwanted side effects.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help?

There’s always a new trend promoting belly fat loss. One of the more recent ones is the claim that consuming apple cider vinegar can help you lose belly fat.

There currently is limited research showing it to be effective for fat loss. However, one 12-week study[27] found it to help decrease belly fat in combination with a calorie-restricted diet.


There’s no quick solution when it comes to reducing belly fat. But you can make multiple lifestyle changes to promote overall weight loss and improve your quality of life. Limiting processed foods and focusing on whole foods through a balanced diet can help prevent excess calorie consumption and promote belly fat loss.

Exercise is also a crucial factor to consider. Cardio and strength training[28] has been shown to be effective in fat loss. Sleep enough at night and prioritize self-care practices to limit daily stress.

It’s important to remember some factors, such as hormones, age, and genetics, may not be within your control. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can help limit these factors’ severity and keep you active and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can lemon water reduce belly fat?

Very little evidence supports this claim, although it’s a great way to stay hydrated and add flavor to your water.

Does apple cider vinegar burn belly fat?

While evidence is limited, some studies have shown it to be effective with a calorie-restricted diet.[27]

How do I force my body to burn fat?

A calorie deficit is most important, so your body burns fat stores for energy instead of the food you consume. We recommend incorporating a healthy, active lifestyle to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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