3 ways to lose belly fat, according to a personal trainer
As a personal trainer and weight loss coach, I’m constantly answering health and fitness questions from my clients, on social media and ours Start a Facebook group TODAY. In this column, I address some of the most common questions and obstacles that stumble people on their journey to building a health and fitness routine.
Is it possible to reduce the weight around my midsection?
I often hear this question from my customers. For many, the belly pooch is the area of the body where they feel most confident. I’m often asked if there are specific movements or types of exercises that help reduce weight around the core.
The short answer is no.
But while there are no magic moves you can perform to reduce weight in a specific area, there are some things you can focus on that will help you shed belly fat over time.
I recommend focusing on weight loss in general – knowing that overall weight loss leads to midsection weight loss as well.
It’s important to note that it’s impossible to talk about weight loss without addressing nutrition. Taking stock of what you eat and replacing foods that provide empty calories, like processed carbs and sugars, with whole foods has helped many of my clients reduce bloating and shed extra pounds.
After cleaning up your diet, turn your attention to your exercise routine. Here’s where to focus your efforts when it comes to reducing overall body fat and toning your core.
Endless crunches won’t do much good if your abs are buried under excess body fat. Cardio is the key to burning calories and losing weight. Biking and walking are two forms of low-impact cardio that I often recommend to my clients. Walking is one of the most underrated sports when it comes to burning calories and losing weight. In fact, many people in our Start TODAY Facebook group credit a daily walk with helping them lose weight and shed inches from their midsection! Biking or cycling is another great calorie burning exercise. When you ride a bike, you engage your core and lower body while also getting your heart rate up. If you have access to a spin bike, try interval training by increasing the incline and speed. If you want to go for an outdoor bike ride, find a path with hills and play with your speed to find some variety.
Research shows that combining strength training and cardio exercises works well for weight loss. Strength training helps build muscle, which burns fat and speeds up metabolism. Also, muscle burns more calories than fat, so building muscle helps us burn more at rest, which also aids in weight loss. And many strength-training exercises engage the core, which helps strengthen the abdominal area and increase muscle tone in the midsection. For exercises that build muscle and work the core, try one of these strength routines:
Finally, target your core by incorporating exercises that tone and strengthen the abs. Remember: The abs are the only muscle group you can train every day!
As a Pilates instructor, I recommend starting any abdominal exercise with a pelvic tilt. This exercise will help you tune into your core. By drawing your navel toward your spine and engaging your deepest abs, you train your body to engage the core not only with abdominal movements but with other forms of exercise as well. Also, toning the core and engaging the deep abs helps flatten and tone the midsection.
I also recommend choosing ab workouts like mountaineers that work the whole body, not just the abs. With full-body movements, you burn more calories, which helps with weight loss and builds strength in all areas of the body.