The stomach is problem area number one. With the right mix of exercise and nutrition, a flat center doesn’t have to remain a dream. We show the most important steps towards your goal. A flat, well-toned stomach is the ultimate for many people. No wonder, as the six-pack is often celebrated as an ideal of beauty on social media. A lifebuoy, on the other hand, is generally considered unaesthetic. But much more serious than the supposed visual flaw are the health risks of “bad” belly fat.
Why Is Belly Fat Unhealthy?
In earlier times, belly fat was vital for humans in times of starvation. Unlike fat reserves on the buttocks or thighs, the so-called visceral belly fat, i.e., lower abdominal fat, can be converted by the body directly into sugar and thus into energy. Today, however, this protective mechanism is excessive, especially in western industrial societies. The belly fat remained in humans.
The dangerous thing about it: Visceral fat is very metabolically active. It contains around 200 messenger substances and inflammatory molecules, which mainly have adverse effects on the body. The dangerous belly fat adheres to organs such as the liver and pancreas and thus increases the circumference of the abdomen. The consequences of years of increased abdominal fat content can be diseases such as:
- high blood pressure
- Atherosclerosis (calcification of the arteries and vessels)
- Fatty liver
- Inflammation of organs
A waist circumference of over 80 centimeters for women and 94 centimeters for men is considered unhealthy. It becomes dangerous from 88 or 102 centimeters. This corresponds to a fat percentage on the belly of around 30 to 35 percent. One can speak of a healthy waist size when the fat percentage in women is between 19 and 25 percent – or with increasing age up to 29 percent – and in men between 13 and 25 percent.
How Can I Work Off Belly Fat?
First of all, the essential information: Exercise can help you reduce your body fat percentage, but it is not possible to lose weight in specific areas through training. A. six-pack is therefore not visible through daily training but rather through a combination of full-body training and the proper diet. To reduce your body fat and thus also lose weight on the stomach, you should focus on strength training and short, intense interval training (HIIT ).Why?
Full-body strength training alone increases muscle mass, which allows you to burn calories even when you are resting, for example, while sitting or standing. Every extra kilo of muscle increases your daily basal metabolic rate by around 100 kcal. So concentrate on training larger muscle groups at the same time. This works ideally with these full-body exercises:
Trained: Buttocks, thighs, abdomen, lower back
Grade: Knees and toes rotate slightly outwards, the upper body remains upright, beginners work with a raised heel
Trained: Buttocks, thighs, stomach, back, coordination
Difficulty: medium to heavy (with weight)
Grade: Front knee rotates slightly outwards, upper body upright, the stomach is firm
Trained: entire back of legs & bottom, hip extensors, stomach
Grade: Heels in the floor, back straight, lift your pelvis powerfully, do not put your bottom down, slowly back up again
Trained: Arms, shoulders, upper back, chest, stomach
Grade: Belly is firm. Fix shoulder blades firmly and pull them back and down
Trained: Shoulders, arms, legs, buttocks, chest, straight & lateral abdominal muscles
Grade: Body like a board, alternately pulling your knees towards your elbows, your gaze goes with you. The ideal training mix consists of 30 to 45 minutes of strength training three to four days per week and one to two HIIT workouts or cardio units per week.
Necessary: You should avoid too frequent and intensive endurance or interval training if possible, as otherwise, the stress hormone cortisol production increases. As a result, you feel more hungry for sweets and, as a result, fats are mainly stored in the abdominal region. In addition, testosterone levels decrease. The growth hormone Promotes muscle building and stimulates fat burning, and is essential for losing weight on the stomach.
How Do I Eat To Lose Weight On The Stomach?
Whether on the stomach, legs, or buttocks, you have to go into a calorie deficit to lose weight. In other words, burn more calories than you eat. If you exercise regularly and increase your basal metabolic rate by building muscle, you are already on the right track. But sport is only half the battle. Diet is at least as necessary.
If you want to bother with belly fat, you should focus on a low-calorie diet and save around 200 to 500 calories per day at times. Tip: calculate your basal metabolic rate in advance. The calories can be easily tracked throughout the day with a fitness tracker and a calorie app.
The macronutrients should be distributed as follows:
- 45% carbohydrates
- 30% fat
- 25% protein
You should not do without carbohydrates completely. After all, your muscles need the energy to grow. High-quality carbohydrates include millet, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. After training, they are instrumental in filling up your empty glucose stores before your body draws energy from the muscles. Healthy fats can be found in avocado, linseed oil, olive oil, and nuts ( almonds, walnuts).
It would help if you did not demonize fats because the body needs them to produce its testosterone. A high testosterone and progesterone balance promotes fat loss and the build-up of muscle mass. Reach for protein-rich foods as well. They not only help you reach your ideal weight faster and stay full longer but also regulate your metabolism, muscle building, and fat loss.
Good vegetable sources of protein are, for example, lentils, pumpkin seeds, kidney beans, soy flakes, and tofu. You should stay away from alcohol, sugary drinks and sweets, light products and sweeteners, wheat products, ready meals, and trans fats to lose weight. These are often found in chips or other fried foods.