Are you someone who looks absolutely fit from the top and bottom, but there is a round abdomen? Are you struggling to melt away that stubborn belly fat? I totally understand what you’re facing. Although I was always a plump child, while growing up, my main issue became my belly. And, whatever I did, this belly fat would barely move an inch. Then I realized the mistakes I was making in my daily routine that added In this article, let me share what you need to do to start an exercise routine to reduce belly fat.
“To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” – William Londen 
Understanding Belly Fat
When I started working at my desk job, my mother would keep pointing out that everything else was okay but I started to a potbelly, I would just brush it all away. I would tell her that it’s alright I will work on it when I get the time. Over time, this pot belly turned into a house for all the excess fat to be stored. That is what is called Belly Fat or visceral fat. This excess fat gets stored around our liver, pancreas, and intestines. But did you know belly fat is also of two types ?
- Subcutaneous fat– which is below our skin and is not that harmful.
- Visceral fat– which harms our organs as it surrounds them and releases chemical substances into our bloodstream.
I always wondered how I ended up having fat around my stomach. Turns out, because my father had a potbelly, I ended up having it, too, because our genes play a huge role in how our body stores fats or converts them into energy. Add an unhealthy eating habit, the constant sitting due to the desk job, stress, and hormones to the genes, and my belly fat started becoming more and more stubborn.
Did you know men are more prone to storing fat in the abdomen than women? In fact, even age can add to this unequal fat distribution. This is why, as we grow older, losing weight, and specifically belly fat, starts becoming more and more difficult. So, then I realized that before I grow too old to lose weight and belly fat, I need to dive into a healthy routine .
Prerequisites to Start Exercise for Belly Fat
One of the best things I did was to get mentally prepared for the tough road ahead for me to lose my belly fat. Here’s what you can do  :
- Medical Evaluation: Before you start any exercises, make sure to contact a doctor. There might be some exercises that will cause more harm than benefit. So, it’s important to know if you have any medical issues that you need to be careful about. For example, I have asthma. So, I was told not to push myself to a point where I couldn’t breathe.
- Goal Setting: Before starting with exercises, you can take a measurement of your abdomen, lower and upper. Plus, you can check your weight as well. Once you are aware of your measurements and weight, you can figure out what your goal should be. Then do backward planning. But, just keep in mind to have a realistic goal in terms of weight loss, inch loss, and exercise routine. Don’t go too overboard that your body just gives up.
- Balanced Diet: Did you know 80% of weight loss and fat loss happens through a healthy and balanced diet and only 20% through exercise? Yes, It can as a shock to me too. So, go ahead and load up on those green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc. You can even speak with a nutritionist before you plan your diet.
- Overall Weight Loss: Another fun fact- you cannot lose belly fat if you only do abs exercises! For you to lose stubborn belly fat, you need to take the holistic route. You can add cardio exercises like running, brisk walking, etc., and strength training like weightlifting.
- Consistency and Gradual Progression: One thing my trainer used to say is, “If you can’t be consistent, then you’re not serious about your goals.” This thought stayed with me, and I became really consistent with my routines. I didn’t start running 10 kilometers in one day. I took the slow and steady route. In fact, initially, I didn’t even lose too much weight, but because I consistently kept going, I started seeing results. Then it just became a habit.
- Proper Form and Technique: Did you know that if you use the wrong posture during an exercise, you can end up having fractures, muscle tears, and permanent damage? I didn’t know an exercise could go this wrong! So, I’m glad I did everything under the supervision of a good trainer who knew what he was telling me to do. So, you can also look into learning the correct postures and forms of exercise to avoid getting injuries.
Exercise Routine to Melt Away Belly Fat Fast
Let me share with you some of my favorite exercises for reducing belly fat :
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): While doing HIIT exercises, you have to do some intense exercises for 30 seconds or one minute and then take a breather for the next 30 seconds. This on-and-off technique is great for reducing belly fat because you target the right areas all at once. In fact, you can even add sprints, jumping jacks, burpees, etc., to the HIIT exercises.
- Strength Training: One of the best exercises you can do is strength training. By doing strength training exercises, you can build a better metabolism to lose belly fat. While doing squats, deadlifts, push-ups, etc., you can use some dumbbells as well. If you’re a girl worried about building a muscular body like a man, then you don’t have to worry. You will not gain those kinds of muscles through simple weight-training exercises.
- Aerobic Exercises: Since I was not allowed to do running or swimming, I used to do cycling and step training in terms of aerobics. But if you can, go for swimming and running as well. These are the simplest exercises to burn fat and calories. You just have to keep in mind to do it for at least 150 minutes a week.
- Core Exercises: Although doing core exercises alone will not help you, you can do them add-ons. You can add planks, Russian twists, bicycle crunches, ab crunches, etc. These exercises work on your core, that is, the abdomen, and can help you improve your posture as well.
- Yoga and Pranayama: An ancient, ongoing technique that uses postures, breath control, and relaxation called ‘Yoga’ can help you reduce your belly fat for good. Pranayamas are the breathwork you do, where you focus on your breathing and relax your mind and body. That way, you can reduce stress and reverse the effects of lifestyle issues, as yoga and pranayama work on strengthening your core and improving digestion. Just make sure to get a good yoga trainer.
Things to Remember to Reduce Belly Fat
Along with the exercises, you need to keep the following points in mind :
- Caloric Deficit: Diet and workout go hand in hand. The food we eat gets converted into energy. That energy is calculated by using ‘calories.’ So when we burn more calories than we eat, we start reducing weight. We can do that by checking the amount of food we are eating and tracking our calorie intake.
- Eat Before Working Out: One mistake most people make is that they never eat before working out. How will you get the strength to do the exercises? You can either have a balanced meal or a quick snack before working out so that you have the right amount of energy levels, endurance, and muscle recovery. I used to have a black coffee shot along with a protein bar or bananas before starting my workout. Don’t worry, you will not puke during exercises.
- Regular Physical Activity: As I mentioned, during my weight loss journey, I have tried every kind of physical activity there is for weight loss – aerobics, Zumba, HIIT, yoga, etc. What worked best for me was a combination of brisk walking for 45 minutes and strength training for 45 minutes. I do it daily, but you can find what works best for you. But keep in mind that you should work out for at least 60 minutes 3-4 days a week.
- Stress Management: You can even practice stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises. These exercises will help you in being in the present. That way, you can reduce your stress levels. You can add other stress-relieving exercises, breath control, relaxation exercises, etc., to your daily routine.
- Sufficient Sleep: When we sleep, our mind and body are able to recover themselves. So sleeping for 6-7 hours can help you to recover physically and mentally. That way, both your mind and body would not crave food so much, and you can lose weight.
- Consistency and Patience: You can’t expect results in one day. So you need to be patient and just keep going constantly toward your weight-loss and inch-loss goals. Just maintain healthy habits.
Weight gain, and particularly belly fat, is becoming a common problem for a lot of people, thanks to the lifestyle we have. We work in desk jobs or high-stress work environments that make us focus more on work than on our health. Belly fat can cause severe health issues, so it’s important that you focus on that. You can add HIIT, weight training, strength training, etc., to your routine along with a good diet, healthy sleep cycles, stress management, etc. Just keep going at it with patience and making it a habit. You can’t win the war against belly fat in a day, so just keep going, and you will succeed.
For personalized support in dealing with belly fat, seek assistance from our team of wellness and mental health experts at United We Care. Our experienced counselors and coaches will provide guidance tailored to your needs, offering effective methods to improve your overall well-being and achieve your desired results.
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