So you want to lose belly fat, you’re willing to exercise for it, but what kind of workout should you do?
In this video, I’m going to take you through different types of workouts and help you decide which ones are going to be most useful for helping you reduce belly fat.
And at the end, I’m going to tell you what I actually do when I start to see my belly fat nudge its way up a little.
Hi, it’s Ivana, helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.
In this video, I’m going to talk about different workouts that you can do: weight training, cardio, high intensity interval training.
Cardio To Lose Belly Fat
I’m actually going to start with abs exercises because that’s where a lot of people start when they want to lose belly fat.
The truth is that abs exercises don’t do a lot for reducing your abdominal fat, if anything, at all, really.
We know that spot reduction for belly fat doesn’t work.
So if you’re on the floor doing crunches, it’s not gonna reduce your belly fat.
What happens is that most people start modifying their diets. They change their workout plans, or they just add a workout plan that they weren’t doing before. And then they add some abs exercises and they figured that’s the part that’s getting them the changes in the abdominal area, but it’s actually not.
What Helps You Lose Belly Fat
It’s the combination of the calorie reduction. And then they increase in calorie expenditure through the exercise that’s causing an overall body fat loss. And that means you’re also losing belly fat.
Basically what I’m trying to say is you can eat crap and then do a few abs exercises and expect to have great visible abs.
Weight Training To Lose Belly Fat
Now let’s look at weight training and belly fat in one long-term study in men over 40 weight training was shown to be slightly better than cardio at reducing waist circumference.
So this study showed an association, but not a causal relationship between weight training and waist size. But as we get older around the time we’re 35, we start to lose our muscle mass, if we’re not doing enough to maintain it. And it appears that maintaining your muscle mass becomes a key part of reducing belly fat levels. As we get older.
Your abs also get indirect stimulation from things like squats and deadlifts and even things like overhead shoulder presses and pull-ups.
My abs have always looked best when I was managing my nutrition intake and also doing three to five days of weight training per week.
Cardio To Lose Belly Fat
Now let’s talk about cardio and belly fat. Overall cardio exercise does seem to be fairly effective at reducing fat, particularly visceral fat, which is the fat around your organs in that belly area. That’s the dangerous fat. The one that we want to avoid as much as possible subcutaneous fat, which is the fat directly under your skin will also start to reduce.
If you use cardio exercise to get you into a calorie deficit, through the use of cardio exercise, a significant amount of visceral fat can be lost. And of course that visceral fat is producing some of that bulging belly at the front. So it’s also that appearance of the belly. If you’re able to reduce that visceral fat, it’s going to look flatter overall.
Let’s move on to high intensity interval training. In research, it’s often called high intensity exercise.
This is when you cycle high intensity work with low intensity work. So in one particular study where they use this high intensity interval exercise in order to reduce belly fat and they did see that it was quite effective in doing so. And the researchers were looking for something that would be okay for people who are not very fit. Often, the HIIT protocols are a little bit too challenging for people.
The protocol that they developed was a little bit easier so that they could get people who were overweight and obese in order to still get the benefits of this high intensity exercise. So instead of four to six sprints per session, as they do in the Wingate protocol (which is a common one that’s used in research) the subject to use eight seconds, high intensity, 12 seconds, low intensity.
And they did this 60 times at a lower exercise intensity.
Their total sprint time was eight minutes with 20 minutes of lower intensity cycling. And that was considered manageable by the subjects.
If you’re interested in losing belly fat, that’s one protocol you could try.
Often people think of HIIT training as doing multiple sprints, and that’s a great way of increasing your fitness, but you already have to be at a certain level of fitness to benefit from that.
Now doing hit with cycling, on a stationary bike, as they did in this particular study is actually a lot stay for it because there’s not a lot of pounding. There’s not the mechanical issues where like fast sprinting now with cycling. You can control your speed, get the heart rate up to where you need it and then bring it back.
High intensity interval exercise does seem to be slightly more effective at reducing belly fat than regular cardio exercise.
So low intensity steady state is what we call it. You’re basically maintaining your heart rate at an even level and not quite as high.
However, as I mentioned, high intensity interval training isn’t for everybody and it’s not necessary in order to lose belly fat.
In fact, I rarely, if ever use this type of training myself, I do do some martial arts intervals and that type of thing. But for the most part, I don’t really use HIIT training because I have a digestive issue and a lot of bouncing around doesn’t really do me any good. So I do mainly continuous cardio exercise outdoors for the most part and my weight training. So don’t think that just because you can’t do hit training, you can’t reduce your belly fat.
How I’m Able To Lose Belly Fat
You that I was going to reveal what I do when my belly fat levels start to increase a little bit and they do go up and down.
Very few people maintain extremely lean abdominals, 365 days of the year. Not that it’s not possible, but it does require a lot of commitment. And I enjoyed my ice cream a little bit too much for that to happen.
And I guess that’s a clue for what I actually do when my belly fat levels start to go up. I modify my nutrition. So I will adjust the calories that I’m taking in over the course of the day. If I feel like maybe I’m overdoing it with the treats.
If I’m having ice cream every single night, then I start to cut that back. Or I reduce my calories over the of the day as well. I shift things around to a bit more protein. Just my general weight loss stuff that you’re going to hear about if you watch a few of my weight loss videos.
I tend to exercise consistently anyway. That’s because it’s something I enjoy in order to reduce my belly fat.
I need to really focus on the nutrition side. Then I get myself back into a calorie deficit and reduce those belly fat levels.
Again, if you learn something from this video, please hit the like button. Leave a comment if you’ve got any questions about weight loss.