Let’s start with some tough news. There is no way to target where you lose fat. We’ve covered this in more detail in a previous article. But in the meantime, you can target certain areas to try and tighten that tummy. Here are a few recommendations to get you started.
This word tends to bring about some pent up rage in some people, however your diet is the key to the size of your tummy. It’s not even just about how much you eat, but also what you’re putting in your mouth. Certain foods can actually increase the size of your stomach after eating them just once — but this weight gain isn’t usually fat. One meal is typically around 500–1000 calories, not all of which is made up of fats, so the weight gain you’re seeing is actually water retention. Bloating in this way can occur for a number of reasons in terms of your diet: too much sodium, sugar, or trans fats can increase the amount of water in your stomach tissues, making you look and feel bloated.
To tighten up this area, take out the dairy, sugary treats (chocolate, candy, cake etc.), and greasy foods from your diet. Try cooking at home for a week, or find a healthy restaurant near the office. After a week of eating better like this, I guarantee you can lose 3–5 lbs. Don’t believe me? Try it and see.
In order to lose weight in general, you have to be in a calorie deficit. In layman's terms, this is burning more calories through exercise than you take in through eating, meaning your caloric intake is negative. But this doesn’t mean starving yourself. You’ll need special equipment to find the exact number of calories you need in a day, but in general, men should have between 2000–3000 calories a day and women around 1600–2400. Find a calorie count where your weight seems to stay the same for a couple weeks, then try and have a deficit of 200–500 calories. It may seem like a lot, but here’s a real life example. Personally, I need to eat ~2000 calories a day to maintain my weight. By going for a 30 minute run and burning 300 calories, my overall intake will be 1700 calories, which means I’ll be in a calorie deficit, my body will burn calories stored as fat, and I’ll lose weight.
Training your abdominal muscles won’t get you a six pack. But training your abs will build those muscles, making them more visible even with more fat. Have you ever seen a powerlifter or crosslifter and thought it was odd that they had abs, even with the amount of fat on their body? It’s because they’ve developed their core to the point where their ab muscles are extremely developed and they don’t require a low body fat percentage to show it. But don’t worry — you don’t have to be a powerlifter to build your abs.
Treat it like you would for any other muscle by starting small and training that area three times a week. Do three sets of ten reps each. After a week, mix it up and include some other ab exercises into the routine, adding a few different exercises per ab day. You can find a variety of different workouts to inspire you on the Fitness Buddy app.
Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow. She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.
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