Well, that's what I would call a definitve explanation! That is what's so great about Spark People! I now have encouragement, knowledge and professional expertese all resultin from one question! Thank you to everyone who replied. All your comments are greatly appreciated.
Fat is not directly usable by muscles. Basically, if your body senses there is not enough energy coming from digestion to meet all your needs, it releases a hormone to release some of your stored fat into the bloodstream. This travels through the body to the liver, where it processed into a usable form of energy called ATP. This then travels through the bloodstream again, to whatever muscles are demanding energy.
So which muscles are being worked has absolutely nothing to do with the release of fat from fat stores. And therefore no exercise can specifically target where you lose fat from. What you can do is to ensure you run an overall calorie deficit through a combination of cardio, all-body strength training and watching your intake, so that the body has to tap its fat stores to make up the difference. And some of that will come off the belly.
Fitness Minutes: (159,480)
9/18/12 10:51 A
Yes, I reduced my waist size from 34" to 25" using exactly what you described, strength training and proper diet. I found certain exercises reduced fat even when I thought I couldn't lose any more, but you have to find what works for you.
No worries, N16351D I agree with you absolutely about the feeling good being more important than the looking good, especially now I'm in my 60s. However, its just that I hate this spare tyre, and have been told that extra fat around ones abdomen is the worst place to have it, so a reassured that its definitely possible to lose it! A fitness trainer I was with many years ago once told a friend of mine that it was impossible to lose belly fat no matter what one did. She was wrong, thankfully!
9/18/12 10:12 A
Oops- you are Clearstream not Clearwater. Sorry! N16351D
9/18/12 10:06 A
This is an interesting series of posts. Clearwater, I appreciate you starting it. As a side note, I learned that it is more important for me to feel good, than to look good (opposite of when I was in my twenties and thirties!). As you continue to lose weight, tone, and shape your body, you will continue to feel stronger, more flexible, and have more energy every day. To me, that is the greatest benefit of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and doing cross-training exercises.
Thanks so very much for that answer. It has reassured me a lot. I will continue losing weight aand even if its the last pocket of fat to go the knowledge that it WILL go is such a relief!
Fitness Minutes: (29,278)
9/18/12 9:01 A
Hi - I am a diet and fitness professional, and I can tell you that JenMC14 is absolutely right - you can only lose belly fat as you would all extra body fat - and some bodies hold onto it for last! You can tighten your abs underneath that fat, and that will change the way you look, but the fat will only go away if you lower your total body fat. That can be done with exercise and a healthy, reduced calorie diet. And here on SparkPeople you can get lots of help with both!
Myplane37, thanks for your reply. My ticker is in kilograms not pounds, so there''s nothing wrong with it :)
Fitness Minutes: (55,737)
9/18/12 8:46 A
It is very well known that fat loss happens all over the body, including the belly. Some fat deposits shrink faster than others, but all fat deposits shrink. Belly fat also shrinks, and if your body fat percentage drops sufficiently, you can have a six pack right there.
P.S. I think you need to fix your ticker, it shows a current weight but probably you ment currently lost weight.
Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 9/18/2012 (08:48)
9/18/12 8:42 A
Though not a fitness professional, I have something to share from my experiences. At about age 50, I began lifting weights consistently.This includes doing about 300 core exercises thrice weekly, push-ups and upper/lower body weights. I had already been jogging and swimming for 40 years, and added Yoga at age 40, Pilates at age 50. I cut dairy, beef, and pork out of my diet at age 53 (high cholesterol). The Physical Therapist had me practice standing straight, which requires strong back muscles. (That makes you look taller and thinner than when we slouch.) As I did all of this, my shape changed, but my weight stayed within its normal, and healthy range. I am now age 55. Though seldom overweight, I still had bulges around the thighs and waist before weight lifting, Yoga, and Pilates. The flabby areas grew smaller as did my waist in the last five years.
Now, I have been recovering from pneumonia and have done little exercise in four months, only due to illness. Walk a couple miles instead of jog, do Pilates and Yoga once weekly instead of 3-4 times (combined). My thighs have extended and gotten flabby as has my waist. After four months of low energy, poor breathing ( low oxygen levels) and not being able to exercise, the difference is astonishing. I am able to begin back to exercise slowly, and can't wait to see what I look (and feel!) like in four months of being active again.
Four months of no exercise and the flab came back. Prior to that with a couple of years prior with targeted exercises for "trouble" areas and I had those firm. It is amazing to see how we can shape our bodies with regular, consistent toning and shaping.
I'm not a fitness professional, but there really isn't a specific exercise you can do to lose belly fat. You have to lose fat through diet. Your body may hold onto it for last, I know mine has. Plus, women are a bit more prone to hold on to lower belly fat because it's there to protect the reproductive organs. I don't know if that changes as we leave our childbearing years, though.
...preferably from a fitness professional :) I want to know if there is any REAL way to lose belly fat. I know exercise and strength training will help lose inches and tone your body, and with weight loss it all looks rosy. BUT. Is there any way to lose actual belly fat. I am 64, walk between 4 - 5 miles most days, do some upper body strength training (well, only just started a week ago) but so far although I've lost 7 kgs and have lost a nice amount of inches on various parts of my body, the old spare tyre remains unaltered!
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