As a trainer and a fitness editor, one topic that comes up a lot is how to get rid of belly fat. I know that belly fat may be a problematic area for some, and when it comes to reducing your belly fat, I have some advice.
I’ve written about spot reduction for weight loss and why it doesn’t work. When it comes to losing belly fat, I feel the exact same way. Instead of trying to find the two or three ab exercises you can do to reduce belly fat (spoiler alert: ab exercises alone won’t work) and the best foods to burn belly fat, I recommend looking at the bigger picture in order to lose belly fat and body fat, in general.
If a client has an area they really want to improve upon, I take that into account when programming workouts, but we still focus on total-body strength, building lean muscle, and mobility. I think it’s important that you feel like your workouts are helping you reach your goals, but I also think it’s important to focus on learning how to move properly and strengthening your entire body instead of solely focusing on one body part.
Another reason I prefer focusing on overall strength and functional movement is pretty simple: you can’t spot-reduce fat anywhere on your body. In my opinion, trying to do so will lead to major disappointment. Instead, by focusing on improving your strength and mobility and learning the basics of nutrition, you’ll more than likely have success losing fat around your stomach or any other “trouble area,” and you’ll become stronger all over.
If you’re wondering if I think there’s a best workout to lose fat my answer is: it depends. I know this can be a frustrating answer, but a lot more comes into play than doing a HIIT workout or lifting weights. I recommend strength training (it can help you lose fat and build lean muscle), sprinting, and cardio. How often you’ll need to train will vary, depending on your fitness level, goals, and ability. Generally speaking, I think a minimum of two strength sessions and one cardio session per week is a good place to begin.
I know this may not be exactly what you were expecting to hear, but my hope is that you realize there’s more to health and wellness than getting rid of belly fat. There are so many other indicators of health and strength to focus on and celebrate instead.