How do I get rid of my belly fat?
I frequently get asked which exercises help you reduce belly fat, or how to lose weight around our waistline. The answer to that question might not be the answer you were expecting.
The idea that fat can be targeted and reduced in a certain area of the body by exercising specific muscles in the desired area is commonly referred to as spot reduction. For example, exercising the abdominal muscles to lose fat around the belly.
Whilst exercising a specific area of the body will help to strengthen and build muscle in that area, research such as a study carried out by the University of Connecticut in 2007*, has shown that spot reduction to reduce fat in a targeted area does not work.
It is true that exercising the abdominal muscles does help to create that “six pack” we have always wanted by increasing the size of our abdominal muscles. However, you won’t be able to see the six pack if it is covered in a layer of belly fat.
So, how can we reduce our belly fat?
The only way to reduce fat around our middle is to reduce our overall body fat.
Burning fat to create a lean body is best achieved with a combination of cardiovascular and strength training exercise, such as Curves proven 30 Minute strength training and cardio workout, together with a healthy diet that protects muscle and speeds up your metabolism, such as the Curves Complete weight loss meal plan.
But can’t I just go for a walk or run? ...Why combine strength and cardiovascular training?
So, you might be wondering why cardiovascular training such as going for a walk or run isn’t as effective when it comes to burning fat as a combination of strength and cardio training.
Cardiovascular training is great for increasing your overall fitness and a great way to burn calories, but combining your cardio training with strength training takes your fat burning to whole new level!
Strength training is particularly beneficial when trying to reduce body fat and boost our metabolism as it helps to maintain and increase lean muscle tissue. Lean muscle tissue uses up more calories than fat during the day, even when we are at rest. Therefore the more muscle tissue we have, the more calories we burn, leading to a higher metabolism.
The Curves Workout includes both cardio and strength training, helping you burn more fat from all parts of your body in just 30 minutes.
If I’m exercising daily, why do I need to watch what I eat?
Our body sources energy from calories contained in nutrients from the food we eat such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It then converts these calories into the physical energy that our body requires to function and carry out our daily activities. If we eat more calories than our body requires, these excess calories are converted into fat. This results in weight gain and an increase in body fat. Similarly, if we eat less calories than our body requires to function, our body then sources its energy from our fat stores, resulting in weight loss and a decrease in body fat.
Therefore, even if we are exercising daily, if we are consuming more calories than our body requires, we will gain weight and increase our body fat.
In order to achieve sustainable long term weight loss, we require a healthy diet that protects our muscle and speeds up our metabolism, such as the Curves Complete Meal Plan.
Benefits of Protein when trying to lose weight
Protein is our building block when it comes to repairing and building lean muscle mass, helping us to increase fat burning even after we finish exercising. Another great benefit is that protein makes us feel full for longer so we are less likely to become hungry.
Try to include some form of lean protein at every meal and when snacking. This will help avoid hunger and build lean muscle to boost your metabolism.
My Active Life protein bars and shakes are a delicious protein rich snack designed to complement Curves workout and Curves Complete meal plan. They are also the perfect guilt free solution for those who struggle with sugar cravings, so ENJOY!