Exercises That Burn Belly Fat - What You Should Know

Belly fat has become a serious health concern as it plays a role in many health problems. Also called visceral fat, it is more dangerous than subcutaneous fat – the kind that you can grasp with your hand.

Visceral fat lies out of your reach as it sits deep within your abdominal cavity. It usually fills the spaces between your abdominal organs.

Fat accumulation in the lower body creates a sort of “pear shape” and is subcutaneous. However, fat in the abdominal area gives more of an “apple shape” and is mostly visceral.

Overweight men have apple shaped bodies while women who are overweight women have pear shaped bodies. For women, most of the fat appears around the hips and thighs.

Heredity and hormones are some of the several factors which determine where your body stores fat.

Subcutaneous fat is the pinchable stuff around your waist area. While subcutaneous fat does not carry much of a health risk, it is however annoyingly difficult to remove. Fortunately, visceral fat responds quite easily to diet and exercise.

Apple and Pear Shape - Body Fat Accumulation Areas

The truth is that exercise can help you to reduce belly fat. However, there has been a lot of exercise myths flying around on how to go about this.

A lot of us are concerned about whether we can lose some extra few pounds from certain areas of our bodies. This is not just our stomachs but also from the thighs, butts, and so on. This has led a lot of people to try targeting these particular areas with specific exercises.

What is Sport Reduction

Spot reduction, or targeted fat loss, is an idea that you can lose fat from an area of the body by exercising or strength training that particular part of the body. However, losing weight in a targeted area does not work as the body does not work in that way.

The reality is that both “spot reducing” and “spot toning” of specific body parts do not work. This owes mainly to the fact that you cannot tell your body where it should oxidize fat from.

Another fact is that the fat contained in fat cells exists in a form known as triglycerides. However, your muscles cannot directly make use of triglycerides for energy production.

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Also, fat can be burned into energy which is then be used for synthesis of muscles. However, fat can never be directly transformed into muscle tissues.

Therefore, the fat must be first broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids. It is after this breakdown process that it can transported into the bloodstream.

However, the fat that your body will break down for energy while you are exercising can come from anywhere in your body. It does not necessarily have to come from the part that you are working on.

Therefore, no amount of abdominal crunches will reduce the amount of fat you have on your stomach. In the same vein, no amount of triceps press-downs will decrease the amount of fat you have on the backs of your arms.

With that said, it is very possible to strengthen particular muscles by training them specifically. For instance, abdominal crunches are used to primarily train the rectus abdominis. This is the most superficial of the three layers of abdominals.

Factors Affecting Areas of Fat Loss Choice

While you can strengthen this abdominal muscle, it probably will not make it any more visible. For it to work, you will need to take other measures that will help you to reduce your overall body fat percentage.

So, while you can tighten the abdominal muscles with spot reduction, you will not get at visceral fat.

Although it is not possible to target specific areas, this does not mean that those areas might not lose weight first. Where this fat melts off first is totally different for everyone.

To begin with, this depends on whether you are a man or a woman. Also, your particular genetically determined body profile is another factor that has to be taken into consideration.

Genetics affects where you lose weight first, and to a large extent, this depends on where you gain it first. Generally, if you tend to gain weight around a particular part of your body, say, the waist, then you are more likely to lose weight from that part first.

Losing weight in this situation means that fat in those areas stick around the longest. This accounts for why losing visceral fat is often difficult for the majority of men.

For women, the body stubbornly hangs onto fat around the hips, butts, and thighs for as long as possible. The body does this because these parts are crucial for childbearing.

Losing Belly Fat With Exercise

When it comes to losing belly fat with exercise, there are certain points to take note of. The most important is realizing that there is no particular exercise to lose belly fat. So, no particular exercise is better than all other types when it comes to losing belly fat.

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In its truest sense, some metabolic functions, such as weight loss, don’t really need exercise at all. This is because we burn most of the energy we use throughout the day while we are at rest.

The fact is that you need to first reduce your overall body fat percentage before you can be able to burn belly fat. Eating a healthy diet may therefore be a less stressful route to take to a flatter stomach.

With that said, it is true that exercise can help you to enter into a calorie deficit much quicker. Exercise also helps you to tap into your body fat for fuel. This way, it helps you to reduce your overall body fat percentage.

Any exercise that reduces body fat percentage can also help you to lose belly fat. In essence, the exercise should help you to lose considerable amounts of fat from all over your body.

So, everything boils down to how quickly you’d like to burn off the calories. Therefore, pick your exercise wisely considering your current exercise level.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Unfortunately, most of the stomach exercises commonly associated with spot reduction are not effective fat burners. They do not actually burn sufficient amounts of calories. So, if you are not burning enough calories, you are not likely to lose much fat from anywhere else in your body.

Using Exercises to Burn More Calories

Instead of using such exercises that target belly fat, it will serve you better to engage in a cardio exercise. This is because cardiovascular exercises are more efficient fat burners than them.

Although cardio is great for overall fat loss, when it comes to losing belly fat, it pays more to combine them with strength training. This results in an improved overall decrease in body fat and also an increase in lean muscle mass.

High-Intensity Interval Training

Next is high-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This is one of the best exercise methods to adopt if you want to quickly lose belly fat. HIIT includes short bouts of very intense exercise followed by an active recovery period, repeated several times.

Most people accredit the effectiveness of HIIT to its “after-burn” phenomenon. This after-burn effect refers to an increase in resting metabolic rate that occurs for up to 24 hours post-exercise.

High-intensity interval training should mix high- and low-intensity moves that engage the whole body. This should be carried out for a longer period to get the best possible effect for torching calories and decreasing belly fat.

Weight Training

Another effective exercise method you can adopt when trying to lose belly fat is weight training. Building muscle mass through weight training will help to increase your metabolism.

Muscle tissues are active, living tissues that require energy to sustain them even while you at rest. Therefore, increasing your lean muscle mass increases your resting metabolic rate. The higher your metabolic rate, the more the amount of fat your body will be able to burn for energy.

Eat A Healthy Diet

When you want to lose belly fat, your diet is the most important component that you need to give attention to. Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise are important to torching your belly fat.

Eating Healthy Foods to Decrease Overall Body Fat

You need to understand that about 80 percent of weight loss has to do with your diet. The balance 20 percent comes from living an active lifestyle. So you need to first properly adapt and change your diet to control your calorie intake. Go for foods that help you burn belly fat.

Focus more on eating a diet with lots of fresh low glycemic fruits and non-starchy vegetables. Green vegetables contain fiber which promotes gut health. They can also help you stay satiated for longer.

Also eat more lean proteins such as skinless poultry, eggs, trimmed steak, and fish. By nature, proteins have a higher thermic effect than fats and carbohydrates. As a result your body will have to use more energy to process them.

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Also, you need to eat more healthy essential fats. Consider adding fats like the monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, olive oil, and nuts.

In closing, you cannot target specific areas you don’t like with specific exercises to lose weight in that specific part of the body. Spot reduction is simply a myth.

When you combine cardio exercises with weight training and a sensible diet, those belly fat won’t stand a chance. So, concentrate on reducing your overall body fat and your belly fat will be gone sooner than you think.