Forget about spot reduction; to reduce excess fat from your midsection, you must lose total body fat. To accomplish this, experts generally recommend eating a healthy diet and committing to a weekly exercise routine that includes at least 30 minutes of moderate cardio on most days and strength training on two days. By slightly adjusting your exercise routine, you can optimize your weight loss and start reducing belly fat in one week.
Boost Your Cardio Intensity
High-intensity interval training requires your body to work harder so you burn more calories and expedite your weight-loss results. According to research findings published in "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise," this exercise technique effectively reduces belly fat. Incorporate at least one or two HIIT sessions into your weekly cardio routine. Whether you go jogging, bicycling or use a rowing or elliptical machine, consistently alternate between a one-minute vigorous pace and a two-minute moderate, recovery pace.
Must-Do Circuit Training
Circuit training on at least two nonconsecutive days allows you to enjoy both cardiovascular and strengthening benefits. During this type of training you swiftly go from one strength-training exercise to the next with minimal rest in between sets. Ideally, target your large muscle groups for optimal muscle stimulation and caloric burn. For instance, perform one set of bench presses followed by one set of bicycle crunches. Continue with a set of squats, the plank exercise, and a set of pushups. If desired, incorporate cardio exercises into your routine. Cycle through the exercises up to three times.
Include Abdominal Exercises
Solely doing abdominal exercises isn't going to have enough of an impact to reduce belly fat. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't do these exercises, because they still strengthen and tone the muscles under the fat, help prevent injuries, ease lower back pain, and improve your posture and athletic performance. Exercises such as crunches on a stability ball, bicycle crunches, reverse crunches and knee raises in a captain's chair are easily incorporated into a full-body strength-training routine.
Watch What You Eat
Helpguide.org recommends losing no more than two pounds per week. Since one pound of fat has 3,500 calories, you must create a weekly deficit of 7,000 calories to achieve this. In addition to exercise, cutting calories from food can be an essential factor to accomplish this. Eating smaller portions, and swapping out high-calorie snacks, such as chips, candy and cookies, for low-calorie snacks, such as veggies and fruits, can spare you a lot of calories, as can limiting sugar, salt and trans and saturated fats.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition
- American Council on Exercise: High-Intensity Interval Training
- American Council on Exercise: Circuit Training
- American Council on Exercise: Should I Train My Abdominals Every Day? Also, What Ab Exercises Are Best?
- Helpguide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips