Beating Belly Fat
Everyone seems to think that doing hundreds of crunches will get you to that flat tummy and muscular core. If you’ve tried doing endless crunches and not seen results, you are NOT alone! Why? Because, simply doing crunches will not give you a toned, flat stomach.
So, relax on the crunches, read below to learn the truth about stomach fat and what it takes to really achieve a lean, toned core.
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Differentiating Between Abdominal Fats //
Abdominal Fat// 2 Types
Tummy fat is a common health and body image concern for many people. As these few extra pounds can be linked to more serious ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, or metabolic syndrome; however, not many people are aware of the fact that there are actually two different types of abdominal fat: Visceral Fat and Subcutaneous Fat.
Visceral Fat //
These stores are found above your organs, in the abdominal cavity. Visceral fat is the type which is associated with unhealthy weight gain or cardiovascular status. This kind of fat also has immense influence on hormone production in the body, and can be a catalyst for various health issues.
Subcutaneous Fat //
This can be found between the skin and the muscles. This is the kind of fat that you can physically touch — those few extra pounds that seem harder to cut. If this is your problem zone, don’t fret; having a healthy amount of subcutaneous fat is not going to drastically increase your propensity for health problems!
Having A 6-Pack + Losing Weight Are 2 Different Things //
Of course, working a muscle group is key to maintaining that muscle’s level of strength and resistance. Despite this, exercising a certain muscle group over another will not reduce the amount of fat present around that specific muscle group. Now say that 3 more times. For the abdominal muscles, the presence of subcutaneous fat is what stands between your skin and those muscles. If your goal is to look in the mirror and see a toned, tight six-pack, losing that subcutaneous fat will be the important factor.
So, can ab exercises alone help you lose that belly fat? No, ab exercises will not inherently work away your belly fat better than any other sort of exercise will.
Let’s talk ‘targeted fat loss’!
When thinking about how to lose belly fat, many people look to target fat loss. Target fat loss is based on the idea that when you work out a specific area, you will lose fat only in that particular area.
Though it is a common belief that focusing on this muscle group can disproportionately encourage abdominal fat loss, much of the current science suggests that this notion is entirely false.
Here’s The REAL Way To Lose Belly Fat Through Exercise //
One of the most useful tools for fat loss can be a high-intensity exercise routine coupled with reducing caloric intake. The goal is to boost your metabolism and lead your body to burn more fat throughout the day.
Cardio helps burn visceral fat on the abdomen. It has also been shown that fat mass is burned most effectively when undergoing a higher intensity workout as opposed to a lower intensity one. An essential part of exercising for weight loss and fat burn is consistency. Making your high-intensity training a part of your daily or weekly routine is going to be key. Many people find success with doing even as little as 20 minutes of high intensity exercise only three times a week!
To better understand the basics of high intensity interval training, check out our article on all things HIIT.
Though this is an effective strategy for weight loss, it is not at all the only way to your flat tummy. If you were to start jogging or even walking daily you will still be burning more fat than if your weren’t.
Lastly, Diet Is Everything //
Many people try to compromise in weight loss by exercising, yet keeping their dietary habits the same. This is a big no-no, as getting all of the nutrients you need on a daily basis is just as important as regular exercise. The most common dietary change in efforts to lose weight consists of regulating your intake of sugary and processed foods. Make sure that what you’re putting in your body is real, whole food as opposed to sugary and/or processed food. Vitamins, minerals, and even fiber content is often lost among processed options. It can be beneficial to look to a high-protein diet as a replacement for a diet high in sugar and carb content. Studies suggest that a high-protein diet can not only aid in weight loss, but also prevent diabetes and other weight related-health concerns.
The bottom line with diet is that there is no “one size fits all”. Just as with exercise, we are all different, and what works for one person will not work for another. I recommend experimenting and trying out several different ways and see how your body responds to find out for yourself what works for YOU!
What about you? What tips have you found to be successful in helping you lose belly fat? Tell us in the comments!