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How to get rid of belly fat

Updated on September 25, 2010
You don't want this
You don't want this

There is no EASY way to lose belly fat

No matter what the fitness gurus will tell you, you can't target where your body is going to burn fat. What you can do is lower your body's fat content and reduce fat all around your body. You can also build up muscle underneath the fat to appear more toned. In addition, adding more muscle makes your body burn more calories while at rest, which in turn may help you burn fat even when you're not working out. So the key to losing belly fat is a 3 step process: burn calories, increase muscle, decrease calorie intake. Let's take a look at each of these areas.

Burn calories

Burning more calories than you take in will cause your body to start eating away at its stored fat. The best way to burn calories is with aerobic exercise, also called cardio. An example of this type of exercise would be running or spinning. When running, you'll want to be careful not to injure your knees and ankles, which can happen if you go too hard too fast without proper technique. Don't use shoes with cushions in the heel, because you shouldn't be landing on your heel when you run.

With proper running technique, you should not only burn calories but also build up muscle in your upper and lower legs. These muscles are huge and building them up will also contribute to our second step, which is to increase muscle with the hope that this will make your body burn more calories when at rest.

Build muscle

We need to have a balanced workout, which means we've got to include some anaerobic exercise. That means weightlifting. A lot of people get this step wrong. Don't just focus on curls, because your biceps are relatively small muscles. We need to focus on big muscle, like those in the chest, back, and legs. That means bench press, squats, and pull ups. The focus should really be on squats and using proper technique. Squats are my favorite exercise because they use so many big muscles in the body. The bench press might be popular with the Jersey Shore wannabes, but if you really want to look good master the squat. I've included a video below of the proper way to do squats by Mark Rippetoe, who is pretty much an expert on weight training.

I should note here that this is not a step that anyone should be skipping. I know a lot of women who have hesitated at starting weight training because they don't want to bulk up. This is a big mistake. Women generally will not experience huge visible size gains in their muscles, but they will notice their bodies becoming much leaner, which is the goal. Those women you see competing in those bodybuilding competitions with the disgusting muscle bulges are using steroids and other injections to get that look. You won't be. You need to start weight training.

Decrease calorie intake

I'll admit I'm not the world expert on dieting. I tend to eat what I want and let my exercise routine make up for deficiencies. Not everyone has that luxury. Cut down not only on the fast food, but also food from chain restaurants like Applebee's and Outback. Some of the meals from those restaurants have 4 or 5 times as many calories as a Big Mac meal. There's a milkshake sold as Baskin Robbins that has a full day's worth of calories in one serving. The best thing you can do for yourself is make a commitment to prepare your own meals. Not only will you eat less, but you'll eat better.

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  • psychlist profile image

    psychlist 

    7 years ago from East Tennessee

    Useful info, DB. Thanks for sharing. One approach I like for reducing caloric intake is to focus on foods that are less calorically dense. When I substitute fruits and vegetables for refined grains, meat, and dairy, I can eat just as much volume (so I don't get hungry) while drastically reducing the number of calories I take in.

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