Muscle for life

MFL Podcast 59: All about abs, belly fat, and bloating

MFL Podcast 59: All about abs, belly fat, and bloating

In this podcast I talk about what it really takes to get that “six pack,” including how to build your core muscles properly, how to lose belly fat (1:08), and how to beat bloating (19:51).


The Ultimate Ab Workouts: The 5 Best Ab Exercises for Getting a Six Pack

The Definitive Guide to Muscle Hypertrophy (Muscle Growth)

How the Afterburn Effect Actually Works (And Why It’s Overrated)

Why a Gluten-Free Diet Is Unnecessary and Even Unhealthy

The Science of Stress, Cortisol, and Weight Loss

The Definitive Guide to Why Low-Carb Dieting Sucks

The Refeed Day: When Dieting Should Include Overeating and Why

How to Prevent Overtraining With the Deload Week

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

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  • Matt

    Hi Mike – another nice podcast and reminder of some good advice, thanks.

    I was wondering, based on what I’ve heard and read in your previous pieces around belly fat/stubborn fat, part of the reason for slower fat loss in some areas of the body (in addition to the normally lower amounts of favourable receptors in the fat cells) is poor blood flow. Poor blood flow meaning that the fat oxidation ‘chemicals’ in the body just don’t reach those body parts as readily as they do say in the arms or chest where blood flow is not an issue. That being said, are there any ways to increase or manipulate blood flow to the stubborn areas? Is there any value in trying to increase that blood flow before doing a major workout? I know patience and consistency are the ultimate weapons here (!!!), but curious to know if you’ve heard of or tried anything worthwhile.

    Thanks again

  • Alex Wunder

    Having a refeed day today so I figured I’d ask.. You say 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight in your article on refeeding and in this podcast you say .8 grams per pound of body weight.

    Which do you recommend more? Is the reasoning that less protein leaves more room for carbs which are more effective at stimulating leptin?

    Also, is 5 grams of fat for the day too low? I bought and found a lot of foods with no fat to eat so I can keep my fat ultra low for the day. That won’t backfire will it?

    Lastly, I was wondering what your thoughts are on “natural flavors” in some processed foods? Do they cause increased insulin resistance like aspartame does?

    And do you have any problem with boneless chicken breast from Kroger? I can’t tell whether I should listen to the rumors that say that if you aren’t buying from Whole Foods that your chicken has arsenic in it..

    • Juan Aguilar

      I hope you don’t mind my reply, but here are my answers:

      1 gram of protein / lb body weight would be optimal. .8 grams would be the MINIMUM you can go on a bulk. (1 gram MINIMUM on a cut). Protein keeps you feeling ‘fuller’, longer.

      Yes, 5 grams of fat TOTAL might be too low. There are various physiological reasons to why you don’t want to go too low (.4ish grams / lb. body weight). Mike explains this here: http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/

      Not sure on the “natural flavors” part.

      I’ve bought my chicken from Walmart for over 9 months straight – no problems at all so far. I just make sure to look at the expiration (if unfrozen), rinse it well before cooking, and then just cook it thoroughly.

      • Alex Wunder

        First of all, thank you for the reply.

        For the 5 grams fat per day I was talking about on a refeed day only. Mike mentions in a few places to keep it as low as possible. He mentioned in this podcast that he kept it to 10 grams of fat on his refeed and he weighs more than me as I am only 147 pounds.
        -I keep my fat at .2grams per pound normally during my cut

        Still would like to hear Mike’s opinion on the subjects but thanks for the help.

    • 0.8 to 1 is the range. Don’t have to hit an EXACT number in there.

      Totally fine on the fat as it’s just one day. Of course you wouldn’t maintain that for any period of time.

      I wouldn’t (and personally don’t) worry about natural flavoring but generally speaking don’t eat many packaged/overly processed foods so my intake of those types of ingredients is low. The only consistent source is my supplements and I know for certain what’s in those haha.

      The chicken is fine. You need to stop reading Natural News articles. 😉

      • Alex Wunder

        Thanks mike! Yeah sometimes the artificial sweeteners and rumors of harmful chemicals being put into foods creates a tad bit of worry for me. Figured I’d see what you thought about them.

        • Yeah I hear you. I don’t worry about it but I just limit my intake.

  • Kelsey

    Loved the podcast, lots of good info in there. I’m currently sitting in the low-20’s in terms of body fat percentage, as last time I was at about 23%, but the ultimate body goal for me IS to have a visible six pack and well defined muscles (think of the ladies you see at the CrossFit games). I know I have my work cut out and that it won’t be something that’s achieved quickly but I am excited for the process.

    I also loved the info about bloating vs fat. When I wake up in the AM I usually have a flatter belly, and on my best days I spend a little extra time admiring it and wishing that’s how I looked all day! But I tend to deposit most of my fat on my belly (thanks, dad’s genetics) and on top of that I drink a loooot of water every day and my body is really, really good at holding onto it, so by the end of the day my midsection looks totally different than it did in the morning. It helps to hear that it’s just bloating for the most part, and that by dropping a couple more pounds of fat I am not that far off my goal.

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