If you have excess fat around your abdomen, you need to get active. Without enough regular activity, you can't burn fat or build muscle. Use moderate to intense cardio activity to shed those layers of belly fat, and incorporate strength-training exercises into your workout plan to build the abdominal muscles and create a toned, tight physique. The fastest way to lose belly fat is with a proper balance of fat-burning and muscle-building exercises.
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You Need Cardio to Blast Fat
To burn belly fat fast, you need to include cardio in your total workout plan. Cardio is the most effective form of exercise for burning calories at a fast pace, helping you burn body fat as a result. The more intense the cardio session, the more fat burned. High-intensity interval training involves periods of vigorous exercise alternating with short recovery periods, and is the most efficient form of cardio exercise. A typical HIIT session could include 10 to 15 minutes of jump squats, burpees and jumping jacks, alternating 20 seconds of exercise with 10 seconds of rest.
Where Weight Training Comes In
While cardio is the most effective form of exercise for burning fat, weight training works well, too. It also keeps your metabolism running high long after your workout, which means you're burning fat even after you're done exercising. Stick to targeted strength-training exercises for the abs such as weighted crunches, dumbbell push sit-ups, barbell push crunches, barbell push sit-ups and lever lying crunches to get big results. The more you tone your muscle, the tighter and more sculpted your body becomes.
Get That Stretching Time In
Although stretching is not very effective at burning calories, it burns calories nonetheless and that means it can help you burn fat. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute reports that you can burn around 180 calories per hour with stretching. It also makes your workouts more efficient and promotes strength and flexibility. There are certain stretches in particular which can help you burn fat from your belly area, including side bends, torso twists, and back bends. Focus on breathing deeply during your stretching time, to increase the amount of oxygen flow through your body.
Plan Your Workouts
You may know all the right exercises for the abs, but if you're not working out often enough, you're not going to get the results you're after. To lose belly fat fast, plan five 30- to 40-minute cardio workouts along with three to five sessions of strength-training each week. Try to alternate days for your upper and lower body with strength-training; bicep curls, dumbbell kickbacks, crunches and other ab exercises on upper body days, with squats, lunges, leg press, and deadlifts on lower body days. Give yourself a couple days off each week, because this not only gives your muscles time to rest, but also makes it easier to stick to your workouts.
Don't Forget About Your Diet
Even with all the right exercises and regular workouts, if you're not eating right, you're not going to lose fat and slim your body. Along with cardio exercise, you need to maintain a daily caloric deficit to lose weight, which means taking in fewer calories than you burn each day. To safely lose one pound of fat over the course of a week, keep your caloric deficit at a minimum of around 500 calories each day. Avoid excess sugar and salt, along with processed, fatty foods. Base your meals around fresh fruits and vegetables, and eat lots of protein-rich foods such as egg whites, chickpeas, peanuts, salmon and chicken breast.
- Shape: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- ExRx.net: Waist
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart
- Men's Fitness: The Importance of Rest Periods
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming the Fat
- Men's Fitness: 8 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals
- Muscle & Fitness: 7 Protein-Packed and Carb-Rich Foods