How to Lose Belly Fat Without Doing A Single Ab Exercise

November 18, 2012 | Jim Carpentier

If your midsection comes equipped with a spare tire, it can cost you a step (or more) on the field, court or ice. And Sit-Ups or Crunches won't solve the problem.

In fact, if you want to lose lose fat and get back up to speed, you don’t need to perform a single “ab” exercise. (Learn some Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat.) Instead, make the following seven changes to your game plan. Your belly fat will be a thing of the past before you know it.

How to Lose Belly Fat Without Ab Exercises

Get Up, Stand Up

Try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Any movement—standing, walking, jogging—will produce a higher metabolic rate than sitting. So unless you’re seated in class or stuck inside a bus or car, get up out of that chair and move around. Try walking or jogging to nearby destinations, rather than driving to them. If you do have to drive somewhere, park in the farthest possible space so you take more steps on your way in. Just being on your feet more can help keep your stomach trim.

Find Strength in Numbers

Ditch isolation exercises like Arm Curls in favor of multi-joint exercises, which not only build upper- and lower-body strength, but also burn off more stomach fat. Movements that require you to move many muscle groups or your whole body will burn more calories. By burning more fat throughout the body,  you’ll torch that belly bulge too. The key: perform full-body exercises at high intensity with minimum rest between sets.

Mix It Up

Lifting weights is great, but incorporating interval training workouts like sprints with your strength training will help you burn fat even faster.

Try this after your last set of weight-training exercises: perform five minutes of interval training while either running, biking or rowing. Work at a high intensity and high speed for 30 seconds, then slow down for 15 seconds. Alternate between the two until your five minutes are up. (See also Boost Sport-Specific Conditioning With Interval Training.)

Police Your Portions

Several fitness experts say abs start in the kitchen, and it’s true. You might have the biggest, most developed set of abs in the world, but if you keep 'em covered with post-donut stomach fat, no one will ever see them. Big meals mean big calories, which can mean big problems for your fat loss goals. Opt for smaller, more frequent nutrient-dense meals every two to three hours instead of piling food on your plate three times a day. (See Plating Proper Portions.)

Be a Natural

Processed carbohydrates—like cookies, cakes, crackers, chips, soda, sugary cereals, pasta and breads—trigger an insulin response in your body, which, over time, leads to fat accumulation. So steer clear of anything white; opt instead for protein-packed meals with lean meat, fish, seeds or nuts; and get your carbs from fruits, whole-grains and leafy greens. When choosing a drink, stick with water. (Check out Iron Chef Michael Symon: Eat Natural Foods for Improved Performance.)

Keep on the Sunny Side

When you train outdoors in the sunlight, you get a bonus of taking in vitamin D from the sun. Studies have indicated that vitamin D helps promote the natural release of testosterone, which can be useful in the battle of the (stomach) bulge.

Sleep Tight

If you skimp on sleep, your body releases higher levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which can increase your hunger throughout the day and lead to overeating. You’ll also produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to the accumulation of fat around the waist. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep. A 2012 study at the University of Washington Sleep Center showed that sleeping nine  hours per night can even help someone overcome a genetic disposition to weight gain. (Read The Power of Sleep to Improve Athletic Performance.)

Topics: BURN FAT
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Must See
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,225,973
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,759
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 546,375

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 69,070
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 9,456
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 133,452
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

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,880
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,300
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,698
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,804
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,942

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Fixing Common Weaknesses in Lacrosse Players

The 3 Best Posture Exercises That Build Strength

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

WATCH: David Wilson's Acrobat Ab Workout

SURVIVING SEALFIT: 3 Ways SEAL-Style Workouts Change Your Life

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

Introducing the 2015 'All-Gaines NFL Combine Team'

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

How to Train for a Triathlon Without Going Broke

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

How to Find the Perfect Strength Coach or Personal Trainer

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

WATCH: Usain Bolt's 2-in-1 Decline Sit-Up with Bench Press

WATCH: Sergio Ramos's Trampoline Wall Touch

Ndamukong Suh's High School Highlights Not What You'd Expect

Odell Beckham Jr. Shows Out on the Speed Ladder

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

WATCH: Travis Kelce's Split-Squat Jump with Battling Ropes

WATCH: Vontae Davis's Half-Box Squat with Plate

Victor Cruz's Pool Workout with a ViPR

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

4 Unnecessary Things That Only Overcomplicate Your Workouts

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

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

5 Big Benefits of Yoga for Basketball Players

WATCH: Shawne Merriman's 'Bus Driver' Shoulder Workout

WATCH: Takeo Spikes Still Working On Getting a Bigger Neck

WATCH: Giuseppe Rossi's 360-Degree Pilates Side Plank

Kevin Love

Lacrosse Players: Get Stronger on the Field with 4 Exercises

Home Gyms in the 1800s Were a Lot Like Today's TRX Trainer

Improve Your Lacrosse Power With These Exercises

The Dangers of Heat Stress for Athletes

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

WATCH: Darnell Dockett Manhandles 655-Pound Tire