You may not like this, but I’m going to say it anyway.
Somewhere, sometime, you have probably been lied to about the effectiveness of spot-training when it comes to fat loss, and to losing belly fat in particular. If you’re currently under the impression that crunches and sit-ups will aid you in losing belly fat, you are a ‘victim’ of this persistent fabrication.
Unfortunately, losing belly fat (and hip fat, and thigh fat) is not quite that easy.
Crunches, sit-ups, and others like these are resistance exercises. They build the muscle underneath the belly fat, but won’t lead to actually losing the belly fat and make that firmer muscle visible. This does not mean that such resistance training is useless; building up the muscle underneath the belly fat helps to boost your metabolism. Losing the belly fat itself, though, requires aerobic exercise.
Because of the mechanics of fat loss, you may eventually begin losing belly fat if you were willing to consistently do crunches for 35 minutes straight, 5 days a week, but otherwise you are better off sticking to less excruciatingly painful aerobic exercise and performing it for 30 – 45 minute periods.
Why? Because the way fat loss works is that:
You can not choose where to reduce the fat on your body. Where the fat burns from first (as a result of exercise) is determined by your genetics. The first place the fat is going to deposit is genetically determined, and it will also be the last place you will lose it. Losing belly fat means you must get involved in exercise, while also exercising your patience.
During exercise the first thing burned for energy is glycogen (carbohydrate stores). Fat begins to burn only after these stores are depleted, which begins roughly 15 – 20 minutes into an aerobic workout of adequate intensity. This is why the process of losing belly fat, or burning fat from anywhere, must include consistent and persistent aerobic activity.
If you’re a female, you may notice your particular trouble spots as being in the thighs, hips, and arms. If you’re a male, you’re most likely having problems in the areas of the belly and the ‘love handles’ (sides of the waist). Belly fat is very common in males, especially at a certain age, and even if they have quick metabolism and an ectomorph frame.
So, now that you know that doing only 1 type of exercise for 10 minutes a day and eating whatever you like is not going to help you in losing belly fat, are you willing to do what it does take?
If so, losing belly fat can be achieved through:
– A schedule of aerobic exercise at least 3 days a week, in at least 30 minute installments;
– A schedule of weight training at least 2 days a week, in at least 20 minute installments;
– A reduced-calorie diet that includes adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and unsaturated fats;
– Consuming about 15 – 20% fewer calories than you do right now to maintain your present weight;
– Devising a written plan that keeps you from veering off course or losing interest in losing your belly fat altogether like the vast majority do.
Finally, the most important component is the ability to persevere through the frustration that may arise as you find that time (and patience within it) is an essential element to losing belly fat and fat in other stubborn places – the belly and hips being the most common.
The first thing to do is to take at least 1 step immediately to prove your commitment to yourself. Shopping for less fattening foods, getting a gym membership, even buying a notepad to write out specific plans are all good first steps. Procrastination breeds only more procrastination, and losing belly fat is too big a challenge to meet with puny motivation and action.
-By: D.G. Gordon
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