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How to Burn Off Stomach Fat?

author image Nicole Vulcan
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.
How to Burn Off Stomach Fat?
Men and woman are doing cardio exercises in the gym. Photo Credit: JackF/iStock/Getty Images

You may be laser-focused on your abdominal area as the source of all of your issues with weight and body image, but when you're trying to trim down in that area, you'll need to take a broader approach. You'll need to focus on exercise that helps you burn overall body fat, which will help you slim down in your stomach as well as any other areas where fat has accumulated on your body.

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Step 1

Perform cardio exercises four or more days a week, for at least 30 minutes. You can't just do "spot reduction" exercises like situps; instead you have to do exercises that burn overall body fat, reminds (see reference 1) Choose exercises that burn the most calories. For example, you might try running instead of walking, or a vigorous aerobics class instead of gentle yoga. At the same time, don't take on too much too fast. If you're currently sedentary, start out slow and add more time and intensity as you get in better shape and gain more confidence.

Step 2

Swap your longer workouts for high-intensity interval training or "HIIT" two days a week. HIIT involves doing rounds of high-intensity exercise followed by rounds of recovery. Warm up by walking for about five minutes, and then speed up and run, cycle, swim or do any other type of cardio for 1 minute at maximum intensity. Then slow down to about 50 percent of max for 1 minute. Repeat that cycle six to eight times, and then cool down. HIIT can help you burn more subcutaneous abdominal fat and boost your metabolism for the rest of the day, according to the American Council on Exercise. (see reference 2)

Step 3

Perform strength training exercises two days a week. You will burn calories during these workouts and during post-workout recovery. Muscle tissue is more active than fat tissue, so building muscle will help you burn more stomach fat and overall body fat. Try bodyweight exercises including push-ups and pull-ups, as well as bicepscurls, tricep curls, squats and lunges with a set of dumbbells. To build abdominal muscle, do bicycle crunches and use the captain's chair to do leg lifts or knee lifts; two of the most effective abdominal exercises, according to the American Council on Exercise.

Step 4

Track your calories to help you burn fat faster. To burn off a pound of fat, you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. Try downloading a weight loss app for your smartphone, which can help you determine how many calories you should consume each day to lose weight, as well as helping you track the number of calories in the foods you're eating. Dozens of free apps are out there and available for Android and iPhone.

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