You can do as many crunches as you want, but you'll never see them when layers of fat are covering them up! Only way to lose fat is to be in caloric deficit, which means you have to 1) limit caloric intake and 2) exercise to burn more calories. Cardio is the best way to burn fat, particularly running or activities that get you sweating with increased heart rate such as kickboxing or jumping rope. Many say that 30 minutes of cardio interval training per day is all it takes.
"I have a personal relationship with food. I love it, but it's on the fence about me." ~Kathy Griffin
"If there was a famine, we'd be the last to survive." ~My mother
Fitness Minutes: (1,215)
109 2/5/13 10:08 A
While cardio and crunches and whatnot are important, every person I've talked to about getting rid of stomach fat has always told me the exact same thing "abs are made in the kitchen."
I've been eating better/working out since November, and it's been only recently that I started to notice a difference in that area.
Fitness Minutes: (22,157)
107 2/5/13 12:29 A
Cardio is best; however, I often *feel* more accomplished with some strength training especially in the areas I am targeting. That compounded with the knowledge that ST continues to burn calories post workout really helps keep me motivated to do my cardio. I love to run, but I have to really push myself just to get out there to do it. To me, cardio alone is easy to burnout on even though it is the best for burning fat (no pun intended!).
So my answer to your question is to do both cardio and strenght training to reduce belly fat. There is no easier way.
Fitness Minutes: (26,674)
340 2/4/13 11:44 P
I too wish there was an exercise to burn belly fat! I have the legs of an Olympic runner, and a big beer belly. It's not from beer, but it sure looks like it.
I've been losing weight. Any extra I had on my legs came off quickly. The upper body is losing slower.
Still cool to feel the extra energy from the weight loss and exercising. Keep going. Even if your belly, like mine, is the last place you lose, it has to go eventually!
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,689 2/4/13 10:44 P
As Coach Nancy indicated already, you can't get rid of your belly fat directly. :) Fat loss is a total body process! While cardio DOES burn a lot more calories than strength training, strength training is still critical to build lean muscle and burn more calories at rest! They're both part of a complete program, and neglecting either results in an imbalance and less than optimal results.
Heather Writer, mother, wife, and breadwinner. I love to run, but running doesn't love me, so I'm switching to my low-impact bike.
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 2/4/13 9:45 P
Since you can't spot reduce, the best way to shrink belly fat is to shrink overall fat.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, belly fat (the fat surrounding the internal organs) will respond better to cardio training versus strength training. While ST is important for improving strength and lean body mass, it is aerobic exercise that torches the calories which in turn leads to a small mid-section. In a Duke University study, aerobic exercise "burns up to 67% more calories than strength training." So if your goal is to shrink your midsection, cardio is king, but don't forget to include some strength training activities as well.
Fitness Minutes: (1,635)
2/4/13 9:40 P
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