“How to lose belly fat” is one of the most common questions out there. And that’s understandable. Belly fat is really easy to gain and notoriously hard to lose. It can seem as though no matter what exercises you try to lose belly fat and no matter how well you eat, the belly fat just won’t budge. And unfortunately, with exception to surgery, there is currently no proven method of being able to spot reduce fat from the belly. There is an exercise, however, that is incredibly underutilized yet powerfully effective when it comes to losing even the most stubborn belly fat. Today I’ll share what that is and how you can start using it right away to lose belly fat.
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Why is belly fat is so hard to lose in the first place? Well, it comes down to the fact that certain areas of your body are easier to lose fat than others, and is largely determined by genetics. Now having your genetics stacked against you may seem problematic if you’re looking to develop a slim or lean looking abdomen, but there is a solution. As long as you create a calorie deficit, you will continue to lose fat. Eventually, if maintained long enough, you will lose excess fat from all areas of your body, even if your genetics put your belly fat at the back of the line.
While diet should be your main way of creating a calorie deficit, adding additional exercises could help you to lose belly fat by keeping your metabolism high, even as you’re losing weight from dieting. That said, not all exercises are created equal. While things like running, rowing, cycling, or even HIIT workouts tend to burn calories very quickly, the truth is, the overwhelming majority of people can’t actually stick with traditional cardio long enough for fat loss to reach stubborn areas. And it’s not that these methods don’t work if you stick to it, because they do. The problem is simply that they’re brutal. They require a lot of willpower.
Now don’t get me wrong, these forms of cardio definitely do have their place and some people have no problem sticking to them. In fact, I still do these intense sessions once or twice a week for conditioning. But I no longer rely on them as my main form of cardio to lose fat and nor should most people. Because if you want to lose your stubborn belly fat, and more importantly keep it off once it’s gone, then you need something you can stick to for life. What’s the solution?
The best exercise to lose belly fat is walking. It’s the easiest to maintain, lowest stress, lowest fatigue, and most versatile form of cardio. According to research, intense forms of cardio like HIIT or running, while time efficient, didn’t provide any superior fat loss effect when compared to longer yet less intense forms of cardio such as walking. Which makes sense. It’s simply a numbers game. Your body doesn’t care whether the calories you burned were from some crazy intense fasted cardio session or from plain old walking. What matters most is what you can do consistently over time. And if you crunch the numbers, you’ll actually find that the calories burned from simply walking can very quickly add up to a meaningful amount.
So now that I’ve hopefully convinced you of the power of walking, let’s dive into the specifics of how to lose belly fat from walking. The first step is to determine an average of how many steps you’re currently taking. You can use the health app on your iPhone or use Google Fit if you’re on Android. After a week, see what your daily average comes up to. Some of you however might be surprised with how few steps you’re taking, but this is a good thing, as it means you have a big opportunity to bump that up.
Set a realistic goal and first aim to do an extra 2,000 steps a day. Given that the average individual takes about 1,200 steps during 10 minutes of walking, all you have to do is throw in two 10 minutes walks into your day to accomplish that. Once you’re consistent with that, try bumping it up by another 2,000 steps, and continue doing this with the goal of consistently getting at least 8,000 steps or even up to 15,000 steps, which seems to be the range that provides the greatest fat loss and health benefits.
Trust me, the little things add up. Apply these tips and you’ll be surprised with just how much they increase your step count and even more surprised by how much of a difference it makes towards your fat loss overtime. That said guys, I want to emphasize that walking or any form of cardio is only effective for fat loss if it’s used in combination with a diet. So use your diet as the primary way to create a calorie deficit and supplement it with walking to help speed up the process.