No magic pill or diet will erase belly fat; to eliminate your lower-abdominal pouch, you must make lifestyle changes. You must change your diet and activity level to lose excess fat and keep it off. The excess fat of your lower abdominals will return if you don’t follow these steps – and continue doing so.
Cut calories from your daily diet by eliminating high-calorie foods and substituting them with low-calorie alternatives. Your diet should mainly consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. There are about 3,500 calories in one pound of fat, so to lose one pound per week, you must cut 500 calories from your daily diet.
Perform moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for at least 40 minutes per day. To lose a moderate amount of excess fat, you must fit in 150 to 250 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. To lose a significant amount, you must perform more than 250 minutes per week. If you increase to a vigorous pace, you will burn even more calories and lose your lower-abdominal pooch sooner.
Do strength-training exercises on all your major muscle groups. Solely targeting your abs will strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it will not target the fat in this area. As you burn calories, you lose fat at the same rate on your entire body. By increasing the size of your muscles, you create a bigger proverbial engine that allows you to burn calories more efficiently.
Sculpt your lower-abdominal muscles with bicycle crunches. This will not burn fat, but it will build muscle in the abdominal region. Once you lose excess fat from your stomach region, results of your sculpted abdominal muscles will appear. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your head about 2 inches off the ground and place your hands behind your ears to support your head and neck. Keep your legs bent and bring your knees toward your chest. Stop when your knees are about 8 inches from your chest. Straighten your right leg, keeping it about a foot-and-a-half off the ground. Twist your torso so your right elbow almost touches your left knee. In a pedaling motion, twist your torso in the opposite direction and simultaneously bring your right knee toward your left elbow and straighten your left leg. Perform three sets of 12 reps.
Keep a journal of your progress in a notebook. Write down the calories of everything you ate and drank. Write down your physical activity, the intensity at which you performed the activity and how long you exercised. Write down the muscles that you strength-trained, the amount of weight you used -- if applicable -- and how many reps you performed. Write down your weight and measurements, so you can see your body change weekly.
- National Institutes of Health: Low-Calorie, Lower Fat Alternative Foods
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Position Stand on Physical Activity and Weight Loss Now Available
- Harvard Health Publications: Simple Math Equals Easy Weight Loss
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Why Strength Traininga?