Many people, both men and women, have a major issue with lots of excess rolls of fat covering their midsection. This fat can often cover the entire torso from the belly to back and to the love handles that can be so frustrating to get rid of. Being overweight and obese is a serious problem in the US in particular and the solution is not to give up hope, rather, it is to replace bad habits with positive ones that pay benefits in the long run. Many folks search for particular exercises in hopes of banishing fat from their lower abs for example. However, this is the wrong approach, as you cannot reduce body fat in one particular area through exercise. Fat loss comes with a reduction of the body’s total amount of fat. After all, fat is just stored energy, so it makes sense that we must burn off the extra energy and our bodies will gradually reduce the amount from different areas. Even while every exercise we do always make us stronger, the vast majority of people think the solution will be doing abdominal crunches to tone the tummy and get rid of belly fat. If you are in this group, you have to understand once and for all that abdominal crunches alone will help condition muscles in the area, but do not remove the fat covering them. Those abs won’t shine until the belly fat is removed through a mix of diet and exercise.
It is quite common for people to underestimate the total number of calories the are eating everyday. It is can be a challenge to estimate with our eyes, how large a portion of food is. As such, we may be gaining fat even when we think we are eating at least ‘somewhat’ healthy. If you are overweight or gaining weight then the energy intake versus output is imbalanced. Translated this means you eat more and make poor food choices. This is reversed by modifying small eating habits and not going into some extreme diet but instead making better food choices within the confines of a set daily calorie amount based on the calories you expend.
A simple way to get started cutting calories without feeling deprived is by cutting the excess stuff such as: soda, butter, mayonnaise, refined sugar, bakery products, fried foods (swap for baked or grilled), etc.
You don’t have to completely revolutionize everything at once, as small changes add up and make it easier to reach your goal. Junk food is addictive and as such it helps to transition away from them and break the habit without suffering too much. For instance, one of my favorite meals to use during a cut is chicken, rice, and beans, since I get plenty of proteins, carbs, and a little fat (plus lots of fiber). Now, an easy way to cut is simply by switching the type of rice I use. I’ll start with jasmine rice which is 500 calories per two cups and start using brown rice which is 380 calories per two cups. See, a really easy switch to make isn’t it? These gradual shifts have a big impact over the weeks of a diet and make it a smooth transition instead of pure misery.
Consistently finding yourself in a caloric deficit each day, will lead to these fat rolls disappearing, since your body now needs to use them for energy. Usually a 300-500 calorie per day deficit is enough, to lose fat at a steady pace without sacrificing health or muscle tissue.
Burn the Fat with Cardio
Once, one has their diet in order (that’s the most important aspect of losing fat), they can then implement exercise. In this case, we can talk about cardio as a tool for fat loss. Do you need to do cardio to lose weight? Not necessarily, if you’re diet is strict enough to be in a caloric deficit without cardio, you will still burn fat. However, cardio allows you to still burn fat while keeping your calorie intake higher than you otherwise would be able to. I would much rather be able to eat more food and just do more cardio to offset the calories, it doesn’t mean you can go hog wild and eat whatever but it does allow for more flexibility. Also, add to the fact that it is good for your heart and increases your endurance and the other health benefits of doing cardio work.
I like to do a variety of cardio work with high intensity days that are shorter and longer but less intense workouts. This is the idea of doing sprints on one day and doing a slow walk on a treadmill with the incline turned up on another. Of course, if you are sedentary or do a good time you do not exercise should start a progressive plan that initially feels easy, preferably with a combination of walking and jogging, fitness and grow from there. If you are a beginner the best you can do is start exercising because that fact alone will help to eliminate love handles.
The key is to utilize cardio as a tool to meet your caloric deficit goals each day.
Cardio and diet work great if your only goal is to lose fat. However, if you want a slim, lean and athletic body then we suggest that you consider weight training as a mandatory part of your routine. The reason is very simple. If there is an exercise that has you burning calories all day, it is weight training exercise. Muscle tissue is active tissue that needs energy to survive. This means that the mere fact of having muscle your body will burn calories to maintain it. And except for the intense exercise there is no way for your body to burn calories throughout the day than with this form of training.
There are plenty of routines out there to help build muscle mass but if you want the ability to shape your body, strengthen it, and not merely lose fat (although it helps with that too) then one must train with weights.
Removing the rolls of fat is a task that takes time, which is done by reducing fat stores all over your body and not through spot reduction. Your body does not eliminate years of poor diet and little activity in a few weeks, or eliminate fat from one part, and you cannot make it reduce fat in one area…it will come gradually and the belly and love handles are usually the last to go. To achieve this you have to have a complete plan, a plan that you can do with consistency and control, and the ultimate goal of improving your health and lifestyle. Being fit (with good form) is something you have to do all your life, not only in a special time of year. The combination of these three strategies that you have provided have much power and are the ones that will give you the best chances of success in your goal.