Effective Exercises to Burn Belly Fat
Topicality of the Belly Fat Problem
The modern lifestyle of almost every person is far from ideal: poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, etc. All of that leads to ill health, improper physical development of the body, and obesity. Of course, it is quite hard to resist tasty goodies and snacks that contain gluten, and manufacturers often "forget" to specify this substance on the labels.
Gluten causes addiction to junk food, such as chips, crackers, etc. To reduce belly fat, you should consider your diet and add more physical activity into your life.
Although this is a common problem, it should be considered for men and women separately, as their beauty is different. Here are the best exercises to get in shape, and tips and tricks to get the results faster.
Ways to Burn Fat for Men
The men’s protuberant "beer" belly is not the same as the women’s. It occurs due to the excess abdominal fat – particularly visceral fat that surrounds the internal organs and puffs the stomach into a “beer gut”. It influences the heart, the lungs, and the peristalsis. For this reason, fat deposits on the belly are not dimpled like on the arms and legs, but tight and bulging.
Nevertheless, everyone has sculpted abdominal muscles, but due to sedentary lifestyle they are often distended and hidden under a layer of fat. Regular ab workouts help get natural beauty of the body and carve out a six-pack.
There are several ways to achieve results. Some people perform only fundamental exercises just increasing the number of the reps, others prefer fitness and cardio workouts, and someone goes on a rigid diet. So, what method is correct?
The best thing is to combine them all. You should involve into your workouts as many muscles as possible because you cannot target loss of fat from specific places – fat comes off layer by layer from the whole body.
The fat-burning mechanism in the absence of carbohydrates is like the order to "activate fat stores" working proportionally for the entire body. This is because fat, prior to getting into muscles, makes its way to the blood and circulates all over the body, reaching the places where energy is needed.
You should not give up basic workouts because the oxygen consumption after such training increases by 30% for 48 hours – this is the process of muscle recovery and oxidation of fatty acids stored in the adipose tissue. It increases your metabolic rate by using more energy. It means that after the basic training you burn even more calories than during it.
We are going to dispel the myth that only abdominal exercises can help you burn belly fat. It is impossible to target fat loss in a particular part of the body. Ab training is needed to carve out defined and sculpted six-pack abs, once all the excess body fat is burnt.
You can perform hanging leg raises and crunches – these are some of the most effective core strengthening exercises.
In basic training you should give preference to:
- Squats (adjust weights to your level of strength);
- Standing Barbell Press (overhead press);
- Bench Press.
Such strength training is perfect for overweight men with abdominal obesity. Soon afterwards the muscles become defined and sculpted, and the "beer" belly vanishes. Just note that you should increase the number of reps to 15–20.
Cardio is an important part of physical exercises. Running, walking, cycling, and jumping rope are popular ways to get a great cardio workout. Cardio helps burn a lot of calories. Here are some of the best kinds of such workouts:
- Walking. It is useful for obese people, but the most inefficient for weight loss – 300–400 kcal burnt per hour. You should walk 3 times a week for 20-45 minutes at a slow pace;
- Running. It burns nearly 600 kcal per hour, but it is unsuitable for overweight people. You should run 3 days a week at a slow pace for 20-30 minutes. If you cannot run without stopping, try to alternate running and walking, for example, 3 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. At each workout try to run longer without stopping, until you run for 20-30 minutes without walk breaks;
- Cycling. This activity burns 600 kcal per hour and puts less stress on the knees than running, thus it is suitable for overweight people. Cycling or riding the stationary bike for 30–45 minutes 3 times a week is enough.
- Jumping rope. This kind of cardio workouts is more difficult in comparison with the others; however, it helps burn nearly 1000 kcal per hour. 5-15 minutes of jumping is enough (depending on your level of strength). You can burn 150-200 kcal per 10 minutes of training.
Tips to Get a Flat Stomach for Girls
Women have more body fat than men because of their reproductive function, and their adipose tissue is thickened mostly in the area of hips and belly, and moreover, this fat is subcutaneous. That is, the stomach becomes soft and mushy – that is the subcutaneous adipose tissue. When it comes to the first skin folds, you should take urgent measures.
Stop Fat Expansion
To stop fat accumulation, you should spend more energy and consume fewer calories every day. Obviously, you should move a lot. The problem is that most of the girls work in a sitting position. The solution is to do morning exercises and go for a walk on the breaks.
“Going for a walk” means 10-15 minutes of continuous walking, but not just going outside and returning to the workplace. Do not avoid the stairs (10-15 floors a day would be perfect) and take a devious route home, increasing distance and pace.
Do not worry about your health – anyway, that’s not enough to do any harm for you, and not enough to shed excess pounds, but it can help you stop fat accumulation.
Once you’ve managed to stop weight gain, proceed to perform special exercises.
Before each exercise massage your stomach. Pre-workout massage prepares your muscle for the stress that’s about to come, and distributes the blood flow deeper into the adipose tissue. Stroke your belly in a clockwise motion, gradually increasing the pressure, or just hula hoop (if you have it at home). When you feel warm, you can proceed to the exercises.
Of course, there are a lot of abdominal exercises, but the most important thing in their performance is regularity. Your body should get used to physical stress, but not find itself in an unusual situation each month, when you use much energy and train hard. Even short but regular workouts will yield excellent results.
Try three simple but effective exercises that should be performed one after another:
- Lie on your back (previously put down a rug or a mat – it would be convenient) and extend your arms by your sides. Straighten your legs and slowly raise them at an angle of 30 degrees to the floor, and hold this position as long as you can. If you manage to reach 20–30 seconds the first time, slowly lower your legs and repeat the exercise again until you feel tired. Then do at least 10 reps trying to hold your legs for 20 seconds each time. You can have a 1 minute rest every two reps;
- After leg raises perform an opposite exercise – lift your arms up and forward, and use your abs to roll up to a sitting position, keeping your legs on the floor. While performing sit-ups, do not help yourself with your arms. Keep your back straight. You can hook your feet under a piece of furniture, or use a pair of ankle weights;
- The last exercise of your routine is the simultaneous lifting your torso and legs. It is difficult because you have to keep the balance, thus engaging your entire body, especially – your core. Once you are able to perform the third exercise (it is not as easy as you might think), consider your muscles trained enough to increase the load (time and number of raises). Ideally, you should keep a minimum angle (no more than 15–30 degrees over the floor) – thus you use more energy than for flexing “into a corner” (90 degrees between the legs and the torso).
Do not forget to add cardio workouts to your routine. They help boost your metabolism and release fat deposits for the energy production. They may be identical to those described above for men, but with one difference – you should better reduce the load and constantly take your pulse to avoid overtraining.
This system of breathing gymnastics exists for many years and becomes more and more popular. But very few people use this technique for weight loss, though the main exercise of Body Flex targets the stomach.
The stomach vacuum tones the transverse abdominal muscles. Within the first couple of weeks it is possible to reduce the waist size, get a flat stomach, and accentuate attractive body curves. The thing is that the effect is achieved mostly through tightening of the abdomen rather than fat burning. Imagine that transverse abdominal muscles are the ropes that hold your abs. You reduce their length with regular training, thus bringing your abs closer to your back. Your stomach becomes flat as you constantly hold it in.
This picture can help you identify your body fat percentage:
You can perform this exercise in standing, lying, or bent over position. If you become interested in Body Flex, you will see that the “stomach vacuum” can be made in all possible poses. It should be made as often as possible. If you feel tired, you can reduce training sessions to 5 times a week, but then increase their number up to 14 times a week (in the morning and in the evening).
The performance of the "stomach vacuum" requires concentration, calmness, and fresh air (open the window!).
- Begin by lying on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and relax;
- Take a deep breath and then sharply exhale tightening your stomach muscles and holding it in with all your strength. Hold the most tightened position for 10 seconds without inhaling, then slightly inhale and stand still for 10 seconds. Altogether, you should hold your stomach in for 20 seconds. Slowly relax and keep breathing;
- After a few reps try to push your stomach with your abs while holding it in – in time you will learn belly dance better than any Oriental woman.
General Nutrition Tips
Each person trying to lose weight should understand that there are a lot of diets for quick weight loss, but it is important not just to shed pounds, but also stay healthy. The weight loss rate depends not only on the choice of a diet, but also on the metabolic rate: the more active it is, the faster pounds come off. The factors that slow down metabolism are:
- skipping breakfast;
- occasional meals;
- heavy dinner.
To get the result, you should eat frequent and split meals promoting active changes in your body:
- Acceleration of metabolism.
- Burst of energy.
- Normal hemoglobin levels.
Pay special attention to protein. All body muscles dire need it. If you consume protein in the required quantities, you will not feel fatigue or exhaustion. To calculate your recommended protein intake, you should multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.6. The resulting number is the amount of protein for you to consume per day.
A healthy diet is the major factor of weight loss. Your nutrition affects your appearance, mood, and health. The proper diet should contain all the essential substances for body functioning. You should eat natural, organic food. Moreover, you should follow these rules:
- observe the eating schedule;
- drink two liters of still water every day;
- avoid overeating and monitor your caloric intake;
- eat 5–6 split meals a day.
If you want to get rid of belly fat, you should consume fewer calories than you burn per day. To calculate the number of kilocalories needed to maintain the weight, multiply your weight in kilograms by 35. To start losing weight, you should consume fewer kilocalories than the resulting number.
To get rid of the side belly fat, you should follow the following meal ratio:
- 50% Protein;
- 20% Fat;
- 30% Carbohydrates.
It should be noted that there are two kinds of carbohydrates: simple and complex. You should give preference to the complex carbohydrates because they are slow-digesting. The best sources of complex carbohydrates are:
- Raw vegetables and fruits.
- Buckwheat and wheat porridge.
- Bran bread.
- Peas, soy, lentils and other beans.
It is important to drink clear water. It removes toxins and harmful substances from the body, improves skin condition, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Men should drink 1.5–2 liters of water per day. Alcohol also contains water, but it is harmful for your health. Try to drink less alcohol, especially beer. A 330–350 ml bottle of beer contains 150–160 kcal.
The heavier the beer is, the more calories it has. Moreover, it increases your appetite, you become hungrier, but you know that excess food represents unnecessary calories. Hops contain the elements imitating female hormones; therefore, beer abuse may cause hormonal failure that results in weight gain.
Women should consume fewer calories per day than men, because their metabolic rate is slower. Also, women should limit the intake of fats, carbohydrates, and refined foods. It is necessary to cut out such foods as nuts, oil, margarine, mayonnaise, sausage, cakes, sugar, honey, candies, chips, fast food, tinned food, pasta, and many other products.