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Can you really blast belly fat?

As the summer approaches many women would like to get rid of unwanted belly fat. You may be enticed by diets, supplements, exercise plans or magic potions that promise to “blast belly fat”. But is it really possible to blast belly fat?

weight loss without dietingIf by blast you mean a slow process  that involve changes to your diet, exercise and reducing stress levels, then the answer is yes. Otherwise the advertisements and posts that make these promises are misleading. For most people blasting belly fat implies a quick fix and that is what is so enticing about it. Let's examine some of the ways that promise to reduce belly fat.

 

Exercise

side plankOne of the most common ways is a set of abdominal exercises that promise to get rid of the belly fat. This misconception has been around forever. According to this article by ACE (the American Council on Exercise) you can’t spot reduce. Exercising the muscle in an area does not reduce the fat deposits in that area. Doing abdominal exercises will help strengthen your core which is a great goal by itself, but won’t reduce the fat. What is needed for fat reduction is for the body to start to use fat as a fuel. Cardiovascular exercise will use much more fat as fuel than abdominal exercises. 

On the other hand we don’t want to stay in the fat burning zone when doing cardio. You will burn a greater percentage of calories from fat when exercising in the low intensity fat burning zone, but you’ll burn more calories and hence more fat exercising at a higher intensity. The other factor to take into account is by burning more calories, you’ll create a calorie deficit. The body needs to get fuel for all functions. If there is a calorie deficit, then the body uses stored fat for fuel. If you eat more calories than you burn, your body will store the excess as fat.

Diets 

salad 374173 640Changing your diet can help you reduce belly fat. As mentioned before, creating a calorie deficit can help reduce fat although it could be from anywhere in the body. It is also believed that certain foods are more likely to be stored as fat. You can make changes to your diet that will lead to fat loss, but this is not a quick process.

Diets that promise quick results are almost always highly restrictive. You often tend to have good results at the beginning. The initial results are often a loss of water weight and will usually slow down. With highly restrictive diets we will often start to lose muscle mass as well as fat, causing the metabolism to slow down. This is the last thing you want.

 

Magic Potions 

weight loss without dietingYou have probably seen celebrities promoting drinking certain drinks to blast or flush away the fat. I call these magic potions, because they give magical qualities to something that isn't. Certainly if you replace soda with water with a few slices of cucumber or lemon you will start to lose weight, but there is nothing special about lemon water or cucumber water. Plain water will do the same, but if you’ll drink fewer high calorie drinks and stay more hydrated then go for it.

Stress Relief 

The way we react to stress can cause elevated cortisol levels. This can lead to the body storing more fat around the belly. Stress may also cause us to overeat which may lead to increased fat storage. Reducing stress is an important component in a fat reduction program. 

 

There is no easy fix to losing belly fat. Generally when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Start by making small, manageable changes to your lifestyle. Don’t expect results quickly. You can lose belly fat, but it takes some work.

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