How To Get A Flat Stomach
Tips To Help You Lose Belly Fat
Losing fat around the midsection is a challenge for most people. "Will I lose belly fat if I do ab workouts?" is a common question, but the answer might surprise you. In this article we will help you understand why you get a belly fat and how to get a flat stomach.
Spot reduction is the claim that you can lose fat in a specific area of your body by training this muscle group. Unfortunately, spot reduction is not possible.
Your abs are like any other muscle groups, if you train them regularly they will eventually get stronger and grow. Which means that your abs will grow, but they won't be visible if you have a layer of fat over them.
The bottom line is that when you're losing fat, your body will decide where this fat will be burned.
If you want to lose fat, you will have to burn more calories than you consume.
The formula is simple: Fat Loss (Caloric Deficit) = Calories Consumed - Calories Burned At Rest (BMR) - Calories Burned By Exercising
This can be achieved by lowering your caloric intake by eating less or by exercising more to burn extra calories or a combination of both.
So you've been doing a caloric deficit for quite some time. You've lost a lot of fat, but you're still not seeing any changes in your midsection.
One of the culprits is insulin. You've probably heard of this hormone. Its main role is to maintain your blood sugar (glucose) levels by removing it from your blood stream to be used as energy.
When cells are resistant to the effects of insulin it can lead to having the glucose not being removed from the blood, which will lead them to be stored as adipose tissue. This is called insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance plays a big role in fat storage in the midsection.
More info on insulin resistance: Fat Loss Plateau: Understanding Insulin Sensitivity
There are several ways to increase your insulin sensitivity:
- Eat less carbohydrates: carbohydrates are made of glucose chains, which affects insulin. Carbohydrate is your primary source of energy when you're exercising, but over-consuming it can become a problem. Protein also signals insulin, but less than carbohydrates.
- Exercise regularly: working out will help you increase your metabolism and can help you decrease fat storage.
- Avoid being stressed: easier said than done. However, being stressed release cortisol, which is a catabolic hormone. Which means that it will block protein to go to the muscles. Therefore, protein will be broken down into carbohydrates, which will trigger insulin and promote fat storage in the midsection. Try breathing exercises like meditation, to help you relax in stressful situations.
- Spot reduction (losing fat in a specific area) is not possible.
- Ab exercises won't make you lose belly fat.
- You lose fat by being in a caloric deficit, then your body will decide where to burn that fat.
- Insulin resistance is probably why you have a belly fat.
- Improve insulin sensitivity by eating less carbohydrates, by working out more and by avoiding being stressed.
Some workout videos you can do at home:
- D G Carey 1, A B Jenkins, L V Campbell, J Freund, D J Chisholm "Abdominal Fat and Insulin Resistance in Normal and Overweight Women: Direct Measurements Reveal a Strong Relationship in Subjects at Both Low and High Risk of NIDDM"
- Pavankumar Patel and Nicola Abate "Body Fat Distribution and Insulin Resistance"
- Dr. Eric Berg DC "The Connection Between Cortisol (stress) and Insulin (sugar)"