What You Need To Know About Belly Fat
Belly fat, a stubborn and unsightly thing we have to face daily. In this day and age, it is common to have belly fat regardless of age or gender. You can be doing exercises to reduce belly fat but if you aren’t aware of the causes, you might end up regaining it again.
It takes more than just exercise to get a flat belly. Find out the underlying issue before starting any regime to avoid disappointment later on.
Of the many factors, here are a few culprits that contribute to most weight gain.
- Slow metabolism
- Inactive lifestyle
- Poor food choices
Scientists found that stomach fat has been linked to many diseases such as high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. While it may not seem harmful at all, it can be in the long run especially those who are older.
Moreover, it doesn’t even feel right for those who weigh perfectly normal but then have excess weight in the middle.
Fat accumulation around the belly region will only continue if nothing is being done.
Combining Nutrition And Exercise
When you think of having a slim body, nutrition and physical exercises always go hand in hand. Without one or another, you are bound to fail. Not being harsh but that’s the truth.
What exercise does is provide better cardiovascular health, burning calories, increasing strength and muscle, and keeping your joints strong.
Just dieting alone may not help increase your overall health, hence why you need to balance it by combining both nutrition and exercises.
Keep in mind that a bad diet can affect your fitness performance. Having the best workout plan means nothing if you don’t a healthy eating plan.
Does supplementation help? It does when you combine all of the above.
If you are not sure how to begin, I’d highly suggest you check out the Flat Belly Fix, a 21-days weight loss program with over 10,000 participating members. A perfect community to inspire and motivate you in your weight loss journey.
How Long Should You Exercise
The average recommended time is at least 20 minutes for about 2 – 3 times per week. Not only does it keep your body active and strong, but you will also burn calories to speed up your weight loss progress.
If you have any health issues, please consult your doctor first and find out what is best for you before proceeding.
When it comes to having a toned stomach, two of the biggest challenges you might face are discipline in following through the diet plan and working out consistently.
Get both down, you will have a flat belly or abs in no time.
Can You Just Lose Weight Around The Belly Region?
Spot reduction, a common weight loss myth that is still believed to this day. It is essentially targeting a specific region or usually the fatty area with specific exercises, hoping that you will only lose fat at the desired area.
The short answer is no.
An example would be doing crunches in an effort to lose belly fat. Crunches work in building your abdominal muscles.
Weight loss happens through overall body fat. Some might see themselves losing from the thighs all the way up to the neck before eventually losing at the belly.
Each individual’s body works differently, but the general idea is that you work your way to lose total body weight and your belly will follow.
Top 6 Exercises To Reduce Belly Fat At Home
The more you move and exercise and the lesser you eat, you will see your fat shedding off very quickly. An easy concept to understand.
If possible, spend time doing a routine that works in keeping your heart rate up and pumping. If you don’t feel out of breath, it just means it is too easy for you.
Here are a few ways to get started:
Total Body Workouts
While this may not be a specific exercise, a total body workout will work in building muscles in all areas from your legs to your arms. Having a well-balanced body frame is important so you don’t just have strong abs but strong upper and lower body strength.
The idea is to also look full and not flat when you lose weight. Have you ever seen people who lost so much weight that they look so odd?
That is because they don’t have enough muscles in the body to balance everything out. In most cases, the only thing they do is running.
Watch the video above for an easy beginner’s total body workout that you can do at home.
Small Ab Focused Routines
What is annoying is spending hours every single day working on your abs and it is not visible. The main reason is because your body fat ratio to your muscle dictates how much your abs can be seen.
If you have stronger and well-sculpted abs, you don’t have to drop too low of body fat for you to see it. You can perform the following to start building ab muscles.
Crunches: 15 – 20 repetitions for 3 sets
Leg Raises: 15-20 repetitions for 3 sets
Air Bike: 15-20 repetitions for 3 sets
Flutter Kick: 15-20 repetitions for 3 sets.
Even if you don’t have the time, you want to at least spend 10 minutes focusing on core strengthening exercises. Over time, your abdominal muscles will be a lot stronger.
As you get stronger, you want to incorporate a circuit into your routine to push your boundaries.
A core focus workout doesn’t necessarily mean you have to focus on lying down and performing one or two exercises. It can be fun and intense at the same time.
Don’t get stuck on the idea of just working on one plane of movement but instead, work on moving all different directions to engage the core in every way.
If you are a busy person who is constantly pressed for time, a circuit is a great way to get everything done in a few minutes. You can take a few minutes in the morning before going to work to do an ab circuit.
If you felt 7 minutes is too short, do a few more rounds which will then extend your workout time.
Here is an example of an ab circuit routine:
- Bicycle Crunches for 15-20 repetitions
- Side Heel Touches for 15-20 repetitions
- Russian Twist for 15-20 repetitions
- Body Weight Lunges for 30 15-20 repetitions
- Burpees for 30 15-20 repetitions
- Plank for 30 15-20 repetitions
Take a break for a minute or two. Repeat again.
Burpees is one of my personal favorites. It keeps my blood pumping all the time. It is also one of the best exercises as it works on the core and all major muscle groups.
Here is step-by-step on how to do burpees:
- Begin by standing with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body until your palms rest on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
- Kick your legs back into a pushup position,
- perform a pushup,
- and then quickly reverse the movement and
- perform a jump when you stand.
Now that’s just 1 rep complete. Do it for 3 sets and 10-15 repetitions each.
As the name suggests, it is literally like climbing a mountain. Mountain climber helps to develop a strong core, giving you the strength to balance your body and also burn a lot of calories. It leaves you sweating profusely with just 3 sets of this.
Here is a step-by-step on how to do a mountain climber:
You start in a planking position with hands placed just below your shoulder with your body position straight and the toes touching the ground. Check to make sure your entire body is straight from neck to the feet.
Now, bring your left knee close to your chest and kick the leg back out as you bring your right knee into your chest. Repeat this movement until you get the hang of it.
Once you are comfortable, perform it as fast as possible, switching each knee every second.
Do this for 30 seconds, take a short 30 seconds break and go back to it for at least 3 rounds.
HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training: Perhaps one of the fastest and most efficient way to burn calories. What you do is begin an exercise slowly for a period of time then immediately increase the intensity for a period of time and repeat the cycle.
The idea of HIIT is to perform a short burst of exercise and really get things going. For this example, we will be using running.
Here is how to do HIIT:
- Begin by light jogging at 6 mph for about a minute to warm up.
- After a minute, begin running at a faster speed (10-12 mph) for 20-30 seconds.
- Then immediately slow down and jog for a minute.
- Run for 20 seconds after a minute passed.
Do it repeatedly for at least 5-10 minutes for the best result.
Performing these exercises that do not guarantee the reduction of belly fat. Don’t expect to see abs in just a few weeks.
However, if you go in with the right mindset and proper combination of diet and exercise, you will be on your way to success in no time. Remember that the key is to put in the effort and be persistent.