Here at Heroic Health & Well-Being, we see people with all kinds of fitness and health goals, but one of the most common ones is probably losing that layer of belly fat, thus uncovering the potential for 6-pack abs. But the problem is that a lot of people have this misunderstanding about how to do that.
YOU CAN NOT SPOT REDUCE FAT FROM ANY ONE PART ON YOUR BODY! Fat has to be lost off of your whole body if you want the fat covering your abs to go away too. While sit-ups and crunches won’t actually do this for you, they sure don’t hurt! What is important to understand is that there’s a big difference between strengthening your ab muscles and losing the layer of fat on top of them.
At the end of the day, when people say they want a six-pack or a flat belly, what they really mean is they want to get rid of the layer of fat covering the muscles in their midsection. Doing sit-ups or crunches is kind of like doing a bicep curl. Each type of exercise strengthens a specific group of muscles. Because both of these muscle groups are small, working them will not really cause you to burn fat.
This is why high-intensity, full body exercises are the most effective for fat loss rather than sit-ups or crunches. The bottom line is that spot reduction is a myth, so you can save your money on all of those gadgets, gizmos and workout plans being advertised on television. They don’t work. In order to have a flat belly, you have to reduce your total body fat percentage – and sit-ups alone simply cannot do this.
High Intensity = High Heat
The best exercises are those that use both your upper and lower body. Done properly, these types of exercises generate a tremendous amount of heat within the body, which is absolutely essential for fat loss. Any exercise that gets multiple muscle groups involved at the same time is high intensity, and it will increase your body temperature and get your fat burning.
Better yet, if you combine two resistance-training exercises, such as bicep curls and lunges, followed by squats and shoulder presses, you’ll not only create a ton of heat in the body – you’ll also be building muscle mass.
Muscle is one of the things that helps you burn fat and building muscle is what is going to give you that toned, shapely appearance that you are after. Building muscle also increases your metabolism, which will help you burn through those calories even when you aren’t working out. The more muscle mass you have, the hotter your fat-burning engine will burn during and after your exercise sessions.
This series of tummy-tightening exercises won’t give you that toned, flat belly all on their own – exercise is only about 20% of the way to get to that goal. The other 80% is diet, so this is where things like the KISS theory (Keep It Simple Stupid) theory comes into play – aim for the least processed, most healthy foods like raw fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Top that off by adding some healthy fats like olive oil or grapeseed oil and you are well on your way.
(Many thanks to Health Digest for the great graphic! Check out their facebook page for more at https://www.facebook.com/healthdigest?fref=photo )