A flat belly and a shapely derriere is something many people would love to flaunt, but getting those assets isn't always easy. Hard work in the gym and discipline in the kitchen is the most effective way to lose belly fat and gain butt muscle. Adopting these changes will forge your body into the shape you want and create curves in all the right places.
Engage in regular cardio. Cardiovascular exercise is the most effective way to create the caloric deficit needed to lose that belly fat and any other extra fat you may have. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting at least 150 to 250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week in order to lose weight. Less may be necessary if you opt for vigorous-intensity exercise, which tends to increase calorie burn during exercise and elevate your metabolism for an extended period after exercise has ceased.
Gain butt muscle with strength training exercises that target the glutes. Squats, lunges, step-ups, deadlifts and hip extensions will all sufficiently target the gluteal muscles. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends performing three to six sets of six to 12 repetitions of each exercise using 67 to 85 percent of your one repetition max to generate muscle growth in your butt. Perform strength exercises two to four times per week with at least 48 hours between training sessions.
Focus on healthy eating. To lose belly fat, you've got to have a caloric deficit but you need extra calories to gain butt muscle. You'll have to walk a fine line between the two. Choose foods high in nutrition and lower in calories to ensure that your muscles are still getting what they need, even if they are on a limited nutritional budget. Fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and lean protein sources such as eggs, low-fat dairy and lean cuts of meat are all appropriate choices.
Eat at the right time. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends consuming protein in the one-hour window directly following your strength training workout to improve protein synthesis, thereby, muscle growth. Protein can come in the form of whole foods such as low-fat milk, string cheese or meat or via energy bars or supplement, both of which may be high in calories so double check the nutrition label.
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Position Stand on Physical Activity and Weight Loss Now Available
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: Resistance Training: Benefits of Post-Exercise Consumption of Protein Supplements
- ExRx.net: Gluteus Maximus
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Third Edition; National Strength and Conditioning Association; Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle, Editors