Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat

May 10, 2012

Must See Training Videos

You can do Crunches, Side Bends, Russian Twists and other abdominal exercises all you want and still not lose belly fat. Why? Because you've fallen prey to the myth called "spot reducing."

"Spot reducing" is the mistaken notion that you can perform an exercise specifically targeting one muscle group, such as the abs, and reduce body fat in that area. Target exercises can strengthen a muscle, and they may offer additional tone, but they will not eliminate fat in that specific spot. In actuality, fat burns off in reverse order from how it went on. So, if your stomach was the first  area that gained extra fat, it will be the last place to lose it.

Banish the myth and use the following guidelines to achieve a slimmer waistline and reduce your body fat. The result will be improved sports performance, appearance, confidence and overall health.

Strength Training
Perform a full-body strength training workout three times a week on non-consecutive days. Strength training burns calories while you're working out, but your body continues to use up fuel even after the session. Plus, as you build muscle mass, your body will use more calories throughout the day, burning even more fat.

In your strength training sessions, focus on multi-joint exercises, like Deadlifts, Squats, Lunges, Push-Ups, Inverted Rows and Pull-Ups. Incorporate bouts of high-intensity interval training at the end of your workouts. Try a Tabata routine by sprinting, or performing any other intense exercise, for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds, and repeating eight times.

Use Combos
During strength training sessions, perform three multi-joint exercises in succession to rev up your heart rate and metabolism. A good example: Squat, Overhead Press and Upright Row. Do not rest between exercises, but take a minute or two between sets. Perform five sets of each combo. Try to perform two to four combos each workout.

Build Endurance
After performing an upper-body exercise, immediately perform Sprints, Mountain Climbers or Burpees. This will increase your heart rate and metabolism, thus burning fat. Try this sequence:

  • 10 Push-Ups
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Sprint 40 yards
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • 10 Pull-Ups
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • 10 Burpees
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • 10 Bench Dips
  • 45 seconds of Mountain Climbers

Contract Abs
Contract your abs several times a day while standing or sitting. This keeps the muscles engaged and improves posture, making it appear that you have less belly fat. Contract your abs for five seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.

Meal Frequency
Eat a small meal every two to three hours, five or six meals per day. This regulates your blood sugar, keeps your metabolism active and limits overeating, since you won't feel as hungry as you would with longer intervals between meals. Frequent small meals enable the body to use all your nutrients as fuel, rather than storing them for later.

Sleep
Sleep between eight and nine hours per night to promote the distribution of human growth hormone (HGH). This fat-burning hormone increases the effectiveness of your workouts and is essential for building muscle. In fact, studies show that sleeping for only five to seven hours contributes to belly fat, impedes workout recovery and can lead to muscle breakdown.

Photo:  healthyoates.com

Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness director at the Greater Morristown YMCA in Cedar Knolls, N.J.

Topics: BURN FAT
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Must See
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 6,554,533
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 33,665,641
Dashon Goldson: Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 6,364,779

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,017,580
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,821
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,687
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,717
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,414
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,085
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,111

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
SURVIVING SEALFIT: How Not to Hurt Yourself (Like I Did)

SURVIVING SEALFIT: How Not to Hurt Yourself (Like I Did)

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

WATCH: D.J. Williams' Endurance-Crushing Towel Plank Walk

WATCH: D.J. Williams' Endurance-Crushing Towel Plank Walk

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

WATCH: A. J. Green and Justin Houston Pushing a Truck

WATCH: A. J. Green and Justin Houston Pushing a Truck

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

Building Elite Soccer Players

Building Elite Soccer Players

All of the Football Positions, Explained

All of the Football Positions, Explained

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

YardBarker