Guard Your Health is a resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members. Find health-related tools and information. Hear from fellow Soldiers and Families. Make medical readiness part of your personal mission.

How do I remove my belly fat? It’s the only thing that stops me from gaining the lean body I want. I’m 18 by the way.

The first step is to understand that your food, fitness, and sleep habits all impact your belly fat. Think of this triad as the key to a toned body and flat stomach. Focusing only on exercise may help, but if you’re not eating healthy or sleeping enough, you won’t get the best results. Understand the common myths that surround belly fat.

 Eat Healthy Food

  • Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Stick with lean protein (chicken, fish, lean beef) and low-fat dairy products.
  • For those over 21, limit yourself to two drinks or less per day. Not all booze is equal – check out the drink calculator  and choose lower calorie options.
  • Read about healthy foods to eat to perform during drill weekend and during the week.

 Focus on Fitness

  • Strength train three times a week for 30 minutes. Strength training helps burn more calories at rest because muscle burns more calories per minute than fat. Try our #WarriorReady workout videos, which include exercises that target your core, or the mobile Drill Deck.
  • Focus on core exercises that tighten stomach muscles, like planks, where you hold a push-up position while resting your forearms on the ground. Try four sets of holding for 30 seconds. Find out what exercises are best to target with this infographic.
  • Cardio exercise, like running, biking, or swimming, is also important for toning up. Pick your favorite and aim for 30 minutes five times a week in addition to strength training.

Sleep Soundly

  • Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. While this might be hard to achieve some nights, getting plenty of sleep improves your weight, behavior, and mental state. Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk for heart disease, weight gain, and depression.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep, read about how to get to sleep fast.

Want More?

  • Free gym memberships are available to Army National Guard Soldiers who expect to deploy within six months or have returned from active deployment within the last six months. Families are eligible too. Find a gym near you.
  • Learn how to reach and maintain your goal weight.
  • You can contact a Master Fitness Trainer (MTF) through your chain of command who can help you achieve your fitness goals. See what MFTs can do for you.