We won’t lie and say you need a mega intense workout and 0 calorie diet to fight your belly fat. To lose belly fat, you need to follow three key essentials: efficiently, moderately, and consistently.
Efficiently: People tend to think getting a flatter belly is all crunches and sit-ups – it simply is not true. For more defined abs you need to thoroughly workout your abdomen region (which we discussed in earlier blogs about abs); you’re real focus for a flatter belly should be on cardio exercises and working on the rest of your muscles.
In terms of cardio, do not dwell too much on which kind of cardio to do, as much as which type you would prefer to do. As long as you get your heart rate up, you’re going in the right direction towards belly weight loss. However, walking isn’t a very efficient physical activity.
Something a little more intense, such as jogging or working out on an exercise bike would be a better cardio workout. There is no need to jump to high intensity interval training (unless you’re at that level already.) Start at a reasonable / moderate intensity for yourself and keep building up until you start seeing results.
Time and time again we write about the epicness of rowers – rowers make great all-in-one cardio machines. Rowers workout several muscle groups and deliver a full body workout to: upper and lower back muscles, shoulder muscles, biceps, abs and obliques, glutes, hamstrings, and upper / lower calf muscles. Rowers are affordable and efficient, just 20 minutes of rowing in your home gym and you’ll feel the burn!
As mentioned earlier, the key to cardio is choosing the kind of cardio you enjoy so you will want to do that workout often. It doesn’t need to be intense, but the more intense the better. The idea is you really just want to burn off the energy you pick up through eating during the day.
Think of your belly as a gas tank which you want to keep near empty. The more you eat throughout the day, the harder you’ll have to work on emptying out the tank each day. For more on types of cardio, checkout 3 indoor cardio exercise types to keep you in shape.
Strength training efficiently is much more important to maintaining a flat belly than most people know. And, it has most to do with the gas tank example mentioned earlier. Because it takes much more energy for your body to maintain muscle, you would be able to do less cardio on your road to losing your belly.
In addition, you can eat more calories to maintain your additional muscle mass. Build muscle and you will build a need to eat more calories, or an easier path towards muscle definition. However, don’t take this tip as a license to slack off on your cardio or your nutrition, use some discretion!
Your best bet for lifting, and most things in life, is variety. By varying your workout and making sure to efficiently workout many of your muscle groups, you’re body will burn a large amount of calories to maintain all those muscles throughout the day. home gyms , free weights , and resistance tubes are efficient ways to get a wide variety of exercises in a short amount of time.
Resistance tubes are a great example. The Marcy Blog usually talks about free weights, but some people don’t want the commitments that come with a set of free weights or a home gym (but you should always commit to your health and fitness!)
If you can’t commit to a Marcy all-in-one smith machine or free weights, try out some of the resistance tubes on MarcyPro.com. Resistance tubes are a very economical choice and they are very travel friendly! Perfect for those who travel frequently or people with limited space.
Moderately: You know the deal with being moderate. We do not want you hurting yourself or pushing yourself so hard you never want to work out again. Your health and safety are always first!
The important moderation part of this blog is eating moderately. It is often how much you eat that causes a belly, and not much of what is particularly eaten. In theory, the sole fact that one has a belly is due to overeating.
There is some evidence out there that avoiding carbs is crucial to maintaining / losing weight. However, everyone is different, and we will tackle that in detail sometime in the future.
Many have reported good results from Keto diets, Paleo diets, etc., but those diets are difficult to maintain in the long run. Because everyone’s diet varies heavily, the general goal would be to eat less and take the advice found in this blog about nutrition tips.
Consistently: Of course, consistency is the key to any endeavor (saving money, losing weight, writing blogs, etc.) Two giant pitfalls to avoid: Do not stop your diet and exercise regimen just because you are content with the way you look / feel. Your results are constantly fleeting due to things like age.
Even after you reach your goal weight, you must remember you reached that goal weight through consistent diet and exercise. Thus, maintaining that goal weight would be through consistent diet and exercise.
Another issue is people tend to quit because they are not seeing results. When being consistent, be patient! Always allow at least 8 weeks to see any sort of results.
Finally, the ever-so iconic beer belly. We have all seen or heard of the dreaded beer belly from television shows to blogs 😉 . A beer belly is a terrible sight; more importantly, a beer belly is incredibly unhealthy.
We can’t blame all that belly on beer, however. There are studies that show the beer belly is likely not created by beer itself, it is likely just the high amount of calories consumed by an individual. So, the high amount of calories in beer and the high-calorie foods that are often eaten while drinking are likely the beer-belly creating culprits. Combine that with the increasing sedentary lifestyle lived by many and you have a cocktail for weight gain.
The point is, getting a flat belly and getting rid of body fat is not as simple as giving up one thing like beer. Flattening your belly is a matter of balance in your diet and exercise. (In case you think I’m just defending beer because most people think it is tasty: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3175488.stm)
There is a chance you already have bulging abdominal muscles, you just need to bring down your belly size. If not for your looks, then for your health. If not for your looks and health then to stop bumping your belly into things.
TL;DR Always focus on the three essentials: efficiently, moderately, and consistently. Lose that belly for health’s sake.