Belly fat is a serious problem for men and women. It's more common in men, however, and brings numerous health complications in tow like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Thankfully, you can shed your belly fat and get down to a healthier weight. Just don't expect to see results overnight.
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Even if the only place on your body that you have excess fat is your belly, you can't lose weight just from this location. This is due to the fact that spot reduction isn't possible, says the American Council on Exercise. In fact, no matter what workout you choose to do, you will lose weight from your entire body. Exercises like situps only work to tone your stomach, not burn fat from it.
Exercise is an important component in losing belly fat or any other fat for that matter. The type of exercise you choose to do, its duration and intensity at which you perform it will determine how many calories you burn and how much weight you lose. According to Harvard Health, if you weigh 155 pounds and run at 7.5 mph for one hour, you will burn 930 calories. At this rate, you can lose about one and a half pounds per week since one pound of fat is 3,500 calories. On the other hand, walking at 3.5 mph only burns 298 calories an hour.
What you eat is also significant in how fast you can lose your belly fat. To shed pounds, you must create a caloric deficit. This means you have to burn more calories than you eat. So to lose one pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories through dietary choices and exercise. Reducing your diet by 500 calories a day can generally help you shed about two pounds per week when combined with a regular fitness routine. Eat low-calorie foods like vegetables, fruits and lean protein to stay nourished and make it easier to lose weight.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should only lose between one to two pounds a week. Losing any more weight than that could mean you're exercising too hard or not getting enough calories, which could lead to malnutrition or loss of muscle tone. And when your body loses muscle, it holds onto its fat stores, meaning you'd have an even harder time getting rid of your belly fat.