Eight tips for belly fat.
I couldn’t tell you how many times this scenario plays out. A client or even someone I meet out with the studio will pull up their top and grab or pat a few inches of belly fat and ask for core exercises or the best ones they should be doing.
When I respond with squats, step ups, lunges, deadlifts or walking, they seem confused. A lot of the time, they won’t believe me, even though I explain why but I do give them some core exercises as the muscles do need to be worked.
You could have the strongest abs in the world, if they are covered in fat it won’t make a difference to your waistline. So you need to cut the fat.
And the best way to do that is to work the biggest muscles in the body to burn overall fat in the body. Here’s why.
You can’t spot reduce fat
To lose body fat it loses if from the whole body, not just one place, it would be great if it stayed on our boobs and took it from our stomach, it just doesn’t work like that. I measure clients once month and generally inches come off in the key places, not just one. (This goes for hips too).
To lose body fat you need to be in a calorie deficit
You either cut calories if you are eating too much or the wrong foods or you start exercising / doing the right exercises. Targeting the biggest muscles in the body is the fastest way to burn more calories i.e. the legs, bum and back. This means to reduce belly fat you get onto the squats and weights.
Hold your tummy in
If you really want to strengthen your core muscles, hold them in, all day long. Hold them when you squat or doing any other exercise. It’s not only good technique, you’ll be protecting your back and making your muscles stronger.
Do some core specific work if you need to
I have some clients, especially if they’ve had children, hysterectomy or c-section, that can’t lift their body off the floor for a plank or a crunch. In this case I would suggest a core programme as their muscles are so weak but not every exercise you think are good for you. Sit ups are mainly back and you need to work top, bottom, sides and back. Not just the front.
Never use a heavy weight
A weight might make you stronger but it can also make the muscle bigger. We do use kettlebells and medicine balls but they are under 10kg. I’ve seen guys in the gym strap on 4 times that and they end of with a outwardly curved abdomen that they can’t get rid of.
Yoga and Pilates are excellent
Both yoga and pilates require core strength and if you haven’t got any, it’s a great place to start as there are so many modifications. We have lunchtime classes in yoga (Tue) and Pilates (Thu) if you’re in the city centre and a Thursday evening at 5:30pm.
The reason why your belly swells or carries extra fat, could be down to hormones. This happens around and during your period and through the menopause cycle. At some points it’s just the way it is but if you’re not eating and exercising properly and you want it gone, you can do something about it.
Certain medications can also add weight and as it will be evenly distributed, you will get it on your tummy, again you might need to be a little stricter in what you eat or get some extra exercise in.
You don’t need to make drastic changes, often it’s a little tweaking that’s involved. Each person is different too so what works for one person might not for another.
If you feel you need help, email me, I have slots available at lunchtime and evenings or find an exercise professional that understands women’s bodies and the points I’ve made in this post.