How Do I Lose My Belly Fat?
Let me cut right to the chase and tell you what won’t give you flat abs – abdominal exercises alone. There is simply no "miracle" abdominal exercise or contraption that will remove the excess fat from your stomach, no matter how many repetitions you do. No ab slide, ab wheel, ab swing, or ab fab flab salve. You can crunch yourself to death; you will simply build a really strong abdominal wall hidden underneath a layer of fat cells. To attain (and maintain) a flat stomach you have to take a three-pronged approach and follow it consistently. Here is the recipe to a flat stomach, in order of importance:
- Healthy Diet
As the saying goes, "Abs are made in the kitchen, not by crunches." The abdominal fat around your midsection is comprised of excess calories, pure and simple. The first and most effective tool to begin to decrease these fat stores is not crunches, or even cardio exercise for that matter. As I have written in numerous articles before, it is exponentially easier to keep 500 calories out of your mouth than it is to burn 500 off, which for most people is around an hour of exercise. A great way to begin to reduce your abdominal fat stores is to this is to decrease your daily caloric intake by just 250 calories, which is roughly one 20 ounce soda. Small changes done consistently.
- Cardio Exercise
Burn at least an additional 250 calories each day, around 30 minutes of exercise, through increased cardiovascular activity. Add this on top of the 250 you are down by eating better and you are really starting to make a difference, without depriving yourself or doing an endless amount of exercise.
- Resistance Training
This includes full-body strength training as well as ab exercises, with the ab exercises taking only 5 minutes or so to complete. Your goal is to build as much lean muscle on your body as possible, thereby raising your metabolism 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The ab exercises? They come last and really only serve to sculpt and strengthen after you have significantly decreased your fat stores. They are truly the final ingredient in losing the belly fat. Remember, you cannot spot reduce. Yes, it is possible to lose belly fat without performing a single crunch.
Realize that abdominal fat is usually the last place the body will remove fat stores from in many people, especially men, so to achieve a flat midsection you have to be extremely consistent in doing all three of the above.
TIP: Working out at the gym? Don’t do your ab routine there – make use of the expensive equipment you are paying for and do your abs at home. A great time is during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. Remember that it’s quality not quantity that counts. The better you become at engaging the abdominal muscles the less repetitions you have to do to see results.