If you've reached the point at which you're forced to extend your neck just to see past your belly to read the bathroom scale, your body's sending you a clear sign that you need to change. However, It's impossible to exclusively burn fat from your belly. Frequent exercise and a proper diet can help you burn overall body fat, which will eventually lead to the loss of your spare tire.
Slow, Steady Fat Loss
Establishing a caloric deficit is the blueprint for successful fat loss. You must consume fewer calories than you burn. Doing so causes loss of fat, which eventually helps your spare tire -- and other fatty areas on your body -- to decrease. A practical and effective weight-loss goal is to lose a pound every week by increasing your physical activity and modifying your diet. To lose a pound, you must create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories per week, which is an average of 500 calories each day.
Cut Down on the Calories
You'll boost your chance of shrinking your spare tire if you cut down on the calories you consume. The methods of doing so vary considerably, but one approach is to avoid high-calorie foods, such as those loaded with saturated fats and sugars. Cutting alcohol and soda out of your diet is also helpful, as is consuming small portions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein.
Time to Break a Sweat
Once you understand the science of fat loss, your next mission is to lace up your workout shoes and exercise. Losing your spare tire without exercise is extremely difficult. Your weekly exercise routine should include two or more days of strength training and 150 to 300 minutes of moderate cardio. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that while 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week is a general guideline, you'll need to increase your exercise time to lose weight.
Vary Your Workouts
One of the perks of developing a fat-loss workout is the abundance of exercises from which you may choose. Cardio exercises include walking, running, biking, step aerobics, jumping rope and swimming, for example. Strength training activities include traditional weightlifting and body-weight exercises. Mix up your strength-training workout to avoid monotony and to build all your major muscle groups evenly.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Hussman Fitness: Caloric Deficits and Fat Loss
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Key Recommendations
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: How Much Daily Exercise is Best for Weight Loss?
- Cleveland Clinic: Aerobic Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Strength Training 101
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat