If your excess stomach fat makes you feel shy and self-conscious, it's time to start the process of removing it from your life. Shrinking this bulging area is possible, but takes a long-term commitment. To get results, you must effectively combine regular exercise with healthy dietary changes. A wide range of exercises can contribute to the loss of stomach fat, but only when you take the right approach. Consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise regimen.
You Can't Target Your Tummy
One of the first steps upon making a commitment to losing your stomach fat is to accept that you can't burn fat exclusively in a desired area. The weight-loss products that claim to help you burn just your belly fat are dubious in nature. To lose fat, you must put your body in a calorie deficit. This deficit, which leads to fat loss, happens when you burn a greater number of calories than you consume.
Move Your Muscles Together
You're unlikely to experience a calorie deficit without devoting time to aerobic exercise. This type of activity, which raises your heart rate and works several muscles at once, is one of the pillars of fat loss. Aerobic exercises are ideal for burning calories; aim for 300 minutes of mid-tempo exercise of 150 minutes of up-tempo exercise per week. Up-tempo exercises burn calories faster than those of a moderate nature. For example, a 180-pound person burns about 192 calories in 30 minutes of walking at 3 mph and 444 calories in a half hour of jogging at 5.5 mph. Other aerobic exercise examples include swimming, biking, jumping rope, dancing and using a rowing machine.
Strengthen Your Weight-Loss Battle
Many people erroneously perform crunches and situps in an attempt to lose their stomach fat. While this approach is largely futile, resistance-training exercises play a role in helping you lose fat. Strengthening your muscles elevates your metabolism, which causes your body to burn calories at an accelerated rate. Perform resistance-training exercises at least twice a week and always strengthen your major muscle groups equally. You can use body-weight exercises, such as squats, lunges and pushups, or exercises with free weights or weight machines.
Don't Forget Diet
Diet is occasionally the forgotten component in weight loss, but an overwhelming majority of people who successfully lose weight and maintain a slim body achieve their goals by balancing exercise with a healthy diet, notes the American Council on Exercise. You can improve your diet in a multitude of ways, but the significant step to take is to cut down on your calorie intake. It's often possible to do so by skipping soda and alcohol, as well as snacks that are high in sugar and fat.
- American Council on Exercise: So, You Want to Spot Reduce? Here's How
- CNN Health: 10 Exercise Myths That Won't Go Away
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories
- University of Miami Health System: Exercise
- University of Maryland Medical System: Calories Burned Calculator
- McKinley Health Center: Breaking Down Your Metabolism
- American Council on Exercise: New Study Puts the Crunch on Ineffective Ab Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss: Diet vs. Exercise
- USA Today: Weight-Loss Tips: 25 Ways to Lose Weight, Keep it Off
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?