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How To Lose Belly Fat

 

by Todd Scott, ISSA-CPT 

Training Advisor, Men's Fitness magazine

 

If you're looking to lose belly fat there are only 3 things you need to focus on:

 

1. Nutrition - This is the most important factor, bar none, in shedding belly fat and dropping pounds. You can do 3 hours of cardio per day, 7 days per week for months on end, and if you're not following the proper nutrition program, chances are you will see very very little change in your belly, or any fat on your body. It's so important, that it needs to be number 1 on your priority list. I don't mean that you have to eat super duper strict at every single meal, but you need to have a very good idea of what you're feeding your body day in and day out. Because, remember, there are only 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, so you ONLY have to eat 250 more calories per day that you burn to add a pound of fat within 2 weeks. To give you an idea, 250 calories is about 1.5 medium sized bananas. So it's extremely important you know what and how much food you're taking in per day.

 

2. Strength Training - This is the 2nd most important factor in losing belly fat. Contrary to popular belief, muscle is where fat is burned - NOT doing tons of cardio. So, it's very important that you strive to at the very least maintain your current muscle mass to continue to burn fat. Ladies, I know you may be thinking that you're afraid of becoming super bulky by training with weights, but the fact is, it is extremely difficult to put on the amount of muscle that you're afraid of gaining. Think about it, the next time you go into the gym, look around at all the skinny guys working out. They're not there just to be skinny, they're STRIVING to add pounds and pounds of muscle... and some STILL fail miserably. So you shouldn't worry, any muscle mass that you add to your frame, will make you even that much more attractive when you finally shed your belly fat!

 

3. Cardio Training - This is the third and last component you need to focus on for stomach fat loss, and it's last for a reason. The fact is, other than the benefits of strengthening your lungs and heart, you don't even need it to burn belly fat. Crazy, huh!? If you eat clean, and train the RIGHT way, you can toss doing tons of cardio out the window forever! Seriously! If you DO think you need or want to do cardio, there are 2 types:

 

  • Slow cardio - This is where you hop on a treadmill or a stationary bike (for example) and walk, jog, or pedal slow for a length of time of around 30-50 minutes. This is PERFECT for a beginner, or even for an advanced trainee that wants to change up his or her routine. You can alternate it with the next form of cardio to keep from getting bored.

 

  • Interval Training - This is when you alternate quick explosive training with short durations of rest. An example would be to sprint for 20 seconds, walk for 10 seconds, and repeat for the required number of rounds. This is an advanced form of cardio training, and in my opinion, needs to be slowly integrated into your program to avoid injury, and to avoid dreading the exercise. Because, frankly, even though it's short in duration, it is extremely taxing on the body. If you're not prepared for this type of training, and jump into it too fast, there's a chance that emotionally, you'll never want to attempt it again. So tread with care and ease into it.

 

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