Belly fat is stubborn. Ask anyone who’s tried to lose weight, and mostly likely they’ll tell you that the belly is one of the areas that they struggle to tone up and lose fat from. And while you may just want to look and feel great without a belly bulge, there is also scientific evidence that too much belly fat can be dangerous. Fat stored around the waist is often visceral fat, the deeper fat that is stored around important internal organs. Having high levels of visceral fat is linked to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes. You probably didn’t need that extra motivation to want to lose that belly, but there it is… So, how exactly can we lose the belly bulge?
How Do I Lose Belly Fat?
Everybody carries fat in different areas and everybody will gain and lose fat in different areas at different rates. For example, while you may be able to easily tone and slim your thighs, it might take a bit more time for you to lose stubborn belly fat. We all know that
a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and regular exercise can decrease excess fat and keep it at healthy levels. But is it possible to target those areas of stubborn fat with specific exercises or techniques? Well, we hate to break it to you, but no, there’s no way you can spot-target certain areas for fat loss. You can do all the crunches you want and while it might give you some nicely defined abs under there somewhere, you won’t burn off any more belly fat because you focused on your stomach muscles. But wait! Don’t close this page in frustration—there are still plenty of tips and tricks for the best exercises and diet considerations that will help you to lose that stubborn gut.
Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat
Exercise cannot spot-reduce fat, but there are a few exercises that can burn many calories in a short amount of time. And at the end of the day, that’s what we’re looking for—more calories burned than we take in.
1. One of these exercises is high intensity interval training, or HIIT. HIIT workouts get your heart rate up quickly, and work by exercising at a high intensity for thirty seconds or so, followed by a short break of another thirty seconds or so. There are a number of exercises you can do for HIIT including cycling and running. Mix it up and try jumping rope. Jump rope is also one of the most effective calorie-torching, fat-burning workouts you can do.
2. Weightlifting is a great way to shape the body. When you build muscle, you also up the number of passive calories you burn. Muscle burns more calories at rest than other tissue. This means that you could be sitting at your office working and burning fat as you do so.
3. Walking is a third exercise that can help bust belly fat. Getting your body moving is an important part of staying healthy. Whether you take a walk around the neighborhood, take the stairs instead of the elevator, these calories can add up and contribute to your fat loss. Walking might take longer to burn more calories, but it’s a great low impact exercise that is accessible to most people and it’s an exercise that you can easily do daily without overdoing it and becoming fatigued or injured.
The Importance of Diet
A healthy diet is just as important as exercise when it comes to shedding unwanted belly fat. Quite simply, losing weight requires that you expend more calories than you consume. Fitness trackers can help you count and track calories. Processed foods and foods full of sugar can increase your overall calories fast. Refined sugar can even cause your insulin, your fat-storing hormone, to spike, which is a factor in abdominal weight gain. Keep an eye on the ingredients in the packaged foods you consume; oftentimes even food marketed as healthy can contain lots of sugar. Aim to eat whole and natural foods, and you will have a better time cutting sugar from your diet.
Overall, while you cannot spot-reduce belly fat by exercise, you can reduce all around body fat and live a healthier lifestyle using a combination of exercise and a balanced diet. If you struggle with body fat, try to incorporate a HIIT workout once a week. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. And always pay attention to your food labels.