Did you know it takes approximately 250,000 crunches to burn one pound of fat? Do all the abdominal exercises you want, but if you truly want six-pack abs, take a look at what you eat and how you train cardio-wise. Diet and cardio are the biggest influencers of belly fat. (Pick up some Smart Tips on How to Lose Belly Fat.)
Shedding belly fat is important not just for your appearance but for your health. Excessive belly fat has been linked to illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
You don't have to starve yourself, you just have to make a few changes to the way you eat and the foods you consume. (Are There Foods to Help You Lose Belly Fat?) Here are a few tips:
Ab exercises are great to strengthen your core, but alone they do little to burn off the layer of fat covering those muscles. Vigorous, high-intensity exercise is the key to burning belly fat. These types of workouts take your fat into the bloodstream where it can be used for energy. What qualifies as vigorous training? High-intensity interval training, or HIIT.
A cardiovascular exercise that alternates between intervals of high- and low-intensity activity, HIIT can be done regardless of the type of cardio you prefer—walking, running, treadmill, elliptical, stair-climber or circuit training—as long as you are using a 3:1 rest to work ratio. As your conditioning improves, you can reduce it. Try this 10-minute HIIT approach: