Is it possible to burn belly fat without going on some kind of crash diet that means losing weight from all over the body? This is a question that is asked by many people, especially men who may carry a lot of weight around the abdomen but no excess elsewhere.
The answer is that it depends on your body type. In most cases, when you diet, you will lose fat first from the areas where you put it on last. So if you used to have a good, fit shape but now you have some extra weight on the belly but nowhere else, you will probably lose the belly. However, if you have recently gained more on the hips or chest, it will probably go from there first and you will find it harder to burn belly fat.
Of course, there are things that you can do to firm up the abdominal muscles. These activities will help to give you tighter, harder abs and a slimmer, younger looking shape. That is what is wanted, right? For most people, when they think about it, the weight on the scales is not nearly so important as being fit and healthy, or looking good in and out of your clothes.
So when you want to burn belly fat, the secret is to follow a combination of a weight loss diet and muscle strengthening exercises for the core and abs.
Research has shown that one of the most effective exercises for developing the abs is the bicycle crunch. For this exercise you lie on your back on a mat or on the floor, with knees bent and hands behind the head. The elbows are pointing up.
Then cycle your legs in the air as if you were on a bicycle. At the same time, lift and twist the shoulders so that the opposite elbow goes to meet the opposite knee that is coming forward. (So right elbow goes toward left knee.) Be sure to work the movement from the abdomen. Do not pull on your head or neck, but keep the hands relaxed. But avoid this exercise or seek professional advice if you have had any back injuries or problems in the past.
But even if your aim is to burn belly fat, you need to be sure that you are developing your whole body at around the same rate. The reason for this is that if some muscles become very strong while others are weak, the weak muscles can be injured very easily. So figure out a good all round workout plan for yourself, or visit the gym for advice from a professional trainer.
Some cardio exercise is needed too, even if it is just fast walking. This will help to burn belly fat by increasing the metabolism. When your metabolism is increased, you burn fat and calories faster, even while you are sleeping. This is how some people seem to stay thin no matter what they eat – they have a higher metabolic rate, and they need more food just to maintain a steady weight.