As a Personal Trainer, one of the questions I get asked the most is, “How can I lose belly fat?” People will spend hours holding the plank and doing crunches in hopes of one day having washboard abs, but it’s a process that requires time, dedication, and patience. The good news is that it is possible to redefine your body composition, but it’s important that you do it the right way. Below, I share my secrets for losing belly fat and keeping it off.
Understand That You Can’t ‘Spot Reduce’
When clients come to me, they often have a particular body part that they’re unhappy with. Sometimes it’s the upper arm, sometimes the legs, and sometimes the belly. Did you know that it’s your hardwired DNA, which dictates where your body stores the most fat? This is why everyone has a different body shape, and why some people find it harder to lose fat in certain areas than others.
The most important thing to understand is that you can’t ‘spot reduce’ fat. What this means is that doing endless crunches and sit-ups won’t directly burn belly fat. You’ll need to burn calories to lose weight all over, and it will be your genetics, which decide where you lose it first. While this may seem unfair, the good news is that by doing a combination of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training, you can improve your overall body composition for a more toned look in every area.
One of the leading causes for weight gain is a sedentary lifestyle. If you’ve got belly fat that you’d like to lose, increasing your overall daily activity is the first place to start. If you work an office job that requires you to sit in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day with minimal movement, even an hour at the gym every single day won’t be enough to get you the results you desire.
What’s necessary is to implement activity into every part of your day. If you commute to work, try getting off the train a couple of stops early and walking the rest of the way. If you drive, park further away and walk 10-20 minutes from your car to the office. This is an easy way to get your steps up for the day and kickstart your metabolism.
Another way to add activity into a sedentary lifestyle is by going for a walk or a run at lunchtime. A 30-minute lunchtime walk will still allow you enough time to eat your lunch and you don’t need to worry about getting back to your desk a sweaty mess. These ideas may seem small enough, but they will soon add up and you will really notice a difference.
Mix Up Your Training
The best way to stay consistent with your workouts is making sure they’re fun and you enjoy them. If you hate running on a treadmill, forcing yourself to do it will only last so long. Try something new like swimming, cycling, or even CrossFit. By mixing things up, you’ll never get bored or lose motivation. Not only this, you’ll see better results because you’ll be challenging your body in new ways and will be able to strengthen different areas.
For burning belly fat specifically, resistance training is an important tool, so try to incorporate this at least twice a week. People with a higher muscle mass burn more calories at rest and generally have a higher metabolism. If you do strength training, your body will use the calories you eat to build up your muscles rather than storing them as fat on your belly.
Eat A Healthy Breakfast
For many people with belly fat, their hormones have a part to play. By eating a healthy breakfast, which is high in protein and low in sugar, you will balance your hormones and your body will be less likely to store so much fat around your stomach. Not only this, but a high protein breakfast will also prevent sugar spikes and crashes throughout the day, meaning you’ll be a lot less likely to overeat and/or have cravings.
What small changes could you make today
that will add up to a big difference in your overall lifestyle?
About The Author
Alex Parren is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with almost 10 year’s experience in the fitness industry. Alex is currently working as a Nutritional Advisor to Superzeros. She is also a Freelance Writer and has written for the likes of Women’s Running Magazine, Women’s Fitness, and more. When she’s not working, Alex likes to explore the trails in the South of England.
Link to a Health Breakfast