Losing belly fat may seem like a daunting task that is next to impossible, however it is the most dangerous place to store fat in the body and surrounds the internal organs making it more difficult for them to function properly.
Also known as visceral fat, this unattractive fat circulates throughout your bloodstream putting you at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
FYI : 3,500 calories = 1 Pound of fat
- 6 BEST Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Men
- 6 Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Women
- Here are more general tips to help you lose body fat
6 BEST Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Men
There are many exercises to choose from for men, but it is best to start with the best six exercises below that will yield huge payoffs: fewer injuries and more muscle.
Here are six exercises for men to consider that don’t require any equipment :
1. Abdominal Crunches
Ab crunches are still an excellent way to reduce body fat while burning calories.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, hip-width apart.
- Place your hands behind your head with your elbows open wide.
- Take a deep breath and engage your core muscles (upper and lower abdominal muscles) as you lift your torso including your shoulders while keeping your head back without pulling on your neck.
- Perform 20 repetitions.
Good to know : Abdominal crunches is also a good exercise to strengthen your lower back and reduce low back pain !
2. Bicycle Abdominal Exercise
- While still on your back, continue to keep your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees into your chest then straighten one leg while turning your upper body toward the opposite bent knee.
- Alternate with your right and left legs until you perform 20 repetitions – 10 on each side.
- Turn over on your front and place your elbows underneath your shoulders.
- Flex your feet and lift your entire body so it is parallel to the floor.
- Hold for 60 seconds.
- Work up to 1, 2 and 5 minutes.
In addition to working the abdominal muscles, this exercise works every muscle in your body.
4. Walk or Run
Walking or running is an excellent exercise to not only reduce belly fat, but it will also lower your risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes cancer or high cholesterol. It is a great way to tone and strengthen your abdominal core muscles, arms and legs.
You can burn 100 calories per mile, depending on your weight, just running. Start off slow and work your way up to 30 to 40 minutes every day.
5. Leg Lifts
When you get back from your walk or run, you can perform leg lifts.
- Lie on your back with your palms face down tucked just underneath your hips so your hands are peaking out.
- Engage your core muscles and lift your hips and legs up keeping them straight.
- Perform 10 – 12 repetitions.
Burpees are one of the best ways to lose belly fat faster than any other exercise.
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees to a squat position – place your hands on the floor – and jump back to a plank position.
- Bring your feet back by jumping towards your hands and stand up.
- Repeat 10 times.
Option : Hindu Push-Ups
If any of the exercises listed above do not appeal to you or want another option, you can perform Hindu push-ups.
- Begin by bending over and walking your hands forward to a downward facing dog position like in yoga with your hands shoulder-width apart and hips pointing to the ceiling.
- Slowly lower down to plank position and hold for 3 seconds before dropping your hips to the floor and lifting your chest to the sky.
- Go back to plank position and lift your hips to the downward facing dog position.
- Repeat 10 times.
This exercise works your entire body including your core muscles, chest, shoulders, back, triceps, hips and legs. In fact, all of the exercises listed above are very effective in helping you lose belly fat quickly.
With that said, it is critical that you must change your lifestyle that includes a healthy diet combined with these exercises because both will play a major role in losing belly fat. In other words, you can exercise all you want, but if you are not eating healthy meals, it will be extremely difficult to make any progress in reducing your belly fat.
Here are 6 tips to consider:
- Do NOT skip meals.
- Include high-quality protein at every meal.
- Avoid sugar and highly-processed foods.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Schedule your workout like you would a meeting with a client – the client is YOU.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
If you make these changes and perform the above exercises, you will be successful at losing belly fat.
=> Also check our Best exercises to lose back fat
6 Exercises to Lose Belly Fat in Women
Women are built for child-bearing which makes us fat-storing machines. Fast and furious efforts to lose belly fat are often not sustainable and can lead to health issues, eating disorders, and the loss of precious muscle.
In order for women to lose belly fat and body weight safely, they must commit to a long-term program that combines simple exercises with a healthy diet.
Losing one to two pounds per week is a safe and realistic goal. It will also help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Plus, belly fat is unsightly and makes your clothes fit tight and uncomfortable. There are two types of fat :
- the soft fat that makes you look pudgy and
- the visceral fat that causes your body to release cortisol, the stress hormone and other compounds that increase inflammation throughout your body.
The first fat you lose when you start an exercise program is visceral fat, however the subcutaneous fat may take a little longer to lose, so be patient.
For women, here are 6 exercises to consider in order to lose belly fat:
1. Cardiovascular exercise
Whether it is walking, running or riding a stationary bicycle, choose one that you will do and be consistent. Aim for 40 minutes per session because glycogen is used up to do the work during the first 20 minutes. Once that is used up, the body taps into body fat including the fat in your belly, to do the work.
Walking, running or riding a bicycle requires your body to use large muscle groups and will raise your heart rate as you build up a good sweat. This will burn more calories and help you lose belly fat more efficiently. Also, the body converts stored triglycerides from fat cells into energy, especially when you burn more calories than you consume. Visceral fat is usually the first to go because it is metabolically active.
If riding a bike or running doesn’t appeal to you, then find a dance or STEP class at your local fitness center that may help you stay more consistent. In other words, look for something you can enjoy doing and look forward to.
2. Jumping Jacks
These are considered a cardiovascular exercise but also work every muscle in your body. Performing them at a high intensity will help you lose belly fat more quickly. Aim for 20 jumping jacks three times per week.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves short bouts of movements or exercises with all-out effort followed by the same exercises performed at a lower intensity. A good example of this would be going for a walk at a normal pace and alternate between walking and sprinting for one minute throughout your workout.
4. Strength Train
Women should make a point of lifting weights that will create toned muscles and help your body burn more calories at rest. Look for strength and tone classes at your local gym or fitness center or you can purchase a set of 5 or 8-pound dumbbells and perform a variety of simple exercises twice a week.
Include bicep curls, Triceps kick-backs, lunges, and squats. Aim for 12 repetitions. If you don’t want to purchase dumbbells, you can use two, one-gallon jugs of water to do your workout.
5. Basic PLANK
Performing a basic plank will help strengthen and tone your entire body making it easier to lose belly fat as well as fat all over your body.
- Begin in a push-up position on your knees and draw your belly in towards your spine keeping your back straight.
- Hold the position for at least 30 seconds and work up to holding it for a minute or longer as you increase your strength.
6. Standing Belly Press
Invest in an exercise band with two handles.
- You can purchase a strap that allows you to place it in a door jam or wrap the band around a pillar and walk straight out in front of you holding both handles.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and press the handles out from your chest and hold for 2 seconds – release and repeat 10 times.
- You build strength in your core muscles by resisting the band as you press the handles away from your chest.
=> Have a look on our selection of the 9 Best Resistance Bands for Workout
You can lose the belly fat when you combine exercise with a healthy diet. In addition to eating healthy and exercising, you must learn how to handle stress. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself through meditating, practicing yoga, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Try different types of yoga for stress reduction and exercise. Yoga and meditation are the best way to regulate ghrelin (hunger hormone), cortisol (stress hormone) and other hormones that trigger storage of belly fat. Plus, yoga and meditation can help you sleep better – an added bonus to help you lose that belly fat.
Here are more general tips to help you lose body fat
The focus should be on losing body fat all over, not just in your belly. Be aware of the decisions you are making throughout your day that may preventing you from losing belly fat.
For example, are you consuming a lot of alcohol, soft drinks, fast food, or don’t make time to exercise?
=> Also have a look on our Workout Plan to lose weight (for men and women)
Burn More Calories Than You Eat
Losing belly fat really does boil down to burning more calories than you eat. If you cut 500 calories every day for one week (7 days) then you would lose one pound of fat. (source)
Counting calories every day can be quite tedious, so an easier approach would be to cut your meal, entrée or sandwich in half at lunch, for example, and save the other half for dinner.
Plus, eating foods that are high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, oats, whole-grain breads can slow down digestion and help you stay full longer. Aim for 25 grams of fiber per day. (source)
Have a look at our healthy fat burning foods list !
Schedule a Walk
Walking every day is a great place to start establishing a time to exercise. Don’t feel like you have to walk three miles the first day out. Aim for five minutes or set a short-term goal.
Many times, people make the mistake of exercising too much too soon and overdo it. An easier approach would be to take a short walk after dinner, and gradually increase how much you walk each day.
Building muscle applies to both men and women and adding strength training to your weekly regimen is an excellent way to burn more calories, even while sitting reading this article. The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn after your workout and it will go a long way in losing belly fat in the abdominal area.
If possible, meet with a nationally-certified personal trainer to learn how to lift weights properly with good form to prevent injury and will yield results. Start out by lifting weights twice a week and gradually work up to three days per week.
Strength training is one of the best ways to lose belly fat and keep muscle. You don’t have to join a gym to weight train. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a mat.
Eat Healthy Fat
One of the worst things you can do to lose belly fat is choose fat-free products in the grocery store because they are loaded with sugar and lack healthy fats. The body stores sugar as body fat so make a decision to reduce sugar intake and enjoy healthy fats such as fatty fish, eggs, nuts, avocado, and olive oil.
These healthy fat foods will keep you full longer and help reduce inflammation throughout your body. For example, look for wild salmon to enjoy on the grill or chop up a quarter of an avocado and add it to your dinner salad.
To boost belly fat burning, we suggest to use fat burner supplements like PhenQ or Raspberry Ketone. Most of boxer or MMA fighters use them during their diet to drastically cut weight before a fight !
Eat Protein at Every Meal
Protein is necessary to support lean muscle tissue and help repair those tiny tears caused by lifting weights, prodding out body fat in the process. Aim for 70 grams of protein per day and consume at least 12 grams of protein before your workout.
=> Also read our protein foods list.
Face stress head-on
Stress can wreak havoc on your entire body because many people tend to eat more food to feel better, making it difficult to lose belly fat. Instead of turning to junk food, find a way to deal with stress. Restorative yoga is an excellent option.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can often cause you to grab empty-calorie foods for a quick wake-up fix during the day sabotaging your belly fat loss efforts. Aim for at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. (source)
Avoid Excess Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much alcohol can stimulate your appetite and overload your liver. Most alcohol drinks are mixed without ingredients that are high in sugar. Watch your intake because the calories can add up quickly.
Eat More Meals at Home
Cooking at home allows you to control portions and how your food is cooked. Eating out at restaurants more often than not can cause excess belly fat. Learn to cook healthy meals at home.