How to Define Your Abs and Burn Stomach Fat

Common advice on how to get defined abs is to focus your attention on crunches, sit-ups and other abdominal exercises. While these exercises will tone your ab muscles, it is also important to shed the belly fat to show off your new, strong abs. While you can't target the abs specifically for fat loss, focusing on eating a healthy diet and doing regular cardio and strength training will help you shed pounds to reveal your abs.

Light jogging can help burn stomach fat. (Image: Luis Alvarez/DigitalVision/GettyImages)

Tip

Get defined abs by performing ab strengthening exercises and following a healthy diet and cardio workout program to drop excess fat.

Dangers of Belly Fat

There are two types of fat to be concerned with on your body. The first is subcutaneous fat located directly under the skin. The other is visceral fat which is located deeper in the abdomen around your organs. Visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat is linked to many health conditions including Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Losing this fat is not only important for showing off your toned abs but also to improve your health.

Drop Pounds by Eating Healthy

A healthy diet is the first step in dropping excess fat. Focus on eating lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates and avoid sugars and simple carbs as well as trans and saturated fats. Be aware of your portion size to avoid overeating. Be sure to consult your doctor when starting any new diet or exercise program.

Workouts for Fat Loss

Harvard Health Publishing recommends doing 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise daily to get your weight under control and reduce belly fat. You will know you are exercising at moderate intensity when you are breathing hard but can still carry on a conversation with a workout buddy.

Choose an activity that you enjoy and will stick with such as jogging, cycling or swimming. Unfortunately, you cannot target specific areas of your body for fat loss, advises the American Council on Exercise. Your body will determine what area will lose fat first.

Don't forget to include strength training in your routine at least two times per week. Be sure to work all of the muscles in your body, including your arms, shoulders and legs. You can lift weights or perform calisthenic exercises such as pushups and squats. This not only burns calories during the workout, but also builds muscle which burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. As a result, it may also help you to lose abdominal fat and will make sure your entire body is balanced and strong.

How to Get Defined Abs

Now that you've targeted the belly fat, make sure the muscles underneath are toned. Abdominal exercises, such as planks and crunches, will help define your abs and help you develop a strong core. Perform a variety of exercises to target your entire abdominals.

For example, try a reverse crunch to target your lower abs. Laying on your back with your arms stretched to your side, raise your legs so your hips and knees are both at a 90-degree angle. Keeping the bend in your knee, raise your hips to bring your knees toward your head. This is a small movement that brings your hips off the ground until your gaze is level with your knees. Then lower back your hips and legs back to the starting position.

Warning

Use caution when following advice on how to define abs in a week. Losing weight too quickly can be dangerous, so the time it takes to reach your goal will depend on your current weight and fitness level.

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