Why is it that the last bit of fat to go is our belly fat?
Why does it seem that it’s even harder for women to lose that last bit of belly fat than it is for men?
You’re actually not crazy at all. You’re absolutely right that your stomach is the last place to lose all its excess fat. This is why fat loss exercises that are meant to just target your stomach won’t work.
I know, that’s bad news but it’s pointless and I’ll explain why.
Tell me, what do our most important organs live? That’s right, in our chest or abdomen. We can technically live without our 4 limbs but it would be serious damage to us if our livers failed or if our heart stopped working.
Yes, the brain is important too, but our chin and neck fat don’t protect our brain like our waist fat protects our chest and our stomachs. Our bodies will give up fat anywhere else before it gave up the fat it stores in our middle section.
Now with that info, you can understand why your body is stubborn when it comes to shedding the last few pounds. You will also notice that as soon as you stop working out your gut is the first thing that grows back!
This is quite annoying but now you can stop it with the simple tricks I like to use to keep myself thin. Well, they’re not necessarily tips but more like the minimum work I must do to stay in shape, and keep my belly flat which is so important to me.
Cardio and Belly Fat
Our bodies shed fat the fastest when it has to move. If your body needs to move consistently it’ll need to get faster and to do so it’ll shed fat. Begin to run a mile 5 days a week and watch yourself lose anywhere between 1 to 10 lbs. depending on your diet and how fast you run.
When I do cardio, I usually run a mile every day at the gym. By running a mile, I mean RUNNING a mile. I run miles from 8:30 to 9:30 depending on how lazy I feel that day.
It may be that you’re beginning a new workout regimen and you have never done cardio before that was more than the slight jog that a lot of women do at the ellipticals. Man, I hate those things.
Here are my suggestions for cardio beginners. Absolutely do a mile every day. Whether that takes you 20 minutes, 1t minutes, or 10 it doesn’t matter. Just do it. Do not hold the bars or the treadmill while running. Once you start you can’t stop, so absolutely no pausing the machine. You can turn down the speed but you can’t ever stop it.
Your first day completing that mile make sure to record your time. I’ve helped people in the past and I can say a lot of people range between 15 to 18 minutes miles on their first run. Whatever that time is, do it again, the next day. Make sure you can complete that mile over and over again wishing the same time frame. Do not try to get faster unless you strongly feel like you can.
After a week of slower miles, each week that passes you want to shave off 10 to 15 seconds from your time. So if during week 1 your mile was 16 minutes, the following week you want to reach a mile of 15:45. Does that make sense?
The biggest mistake people do when working out trying to make a fast progression when you should progress more slowly. This will totally bum you out, and if you can’t even get in the groove it’s no wonder we can never rid ourselves of belly fat.
You will see that in a year you can have 10-minute miles, which is a good healthy average speed that you want to run a mile in. Do not try to go from a 10-minute mile to 8. You will crush your spirit if you don’t make it or if you barely made it. You will demotivate yourself. I guarantee it!
It took me 2 years to be able to run 9 minutes or under miles. Funny enough, I lost enough fat that I could do push-ups again. From 155lbs, I went to 130lbs.
Did you know our intestines can hold up to 20 pounds of poop at one time?
Did you know that our intestines are always creating and releasing waste which makes our actual weight fluctuate? Your weight in the morning, before you eat or have your first bowel moment will be different by the end of the day.
HIIT and Belly Fat
You will get to a point where your weight stays the same. You reached your max and you’ll want to do more to shed more fat and that means you’ll want to get yourself into High-Intensity Interval Training. This kind of work out is a combination of extreme cardio and plyometrics. You will move in a different way, such as doing more jumping, jumping jacks, push-ups and other physical activity to bring up your heart rate.
I love it because in an hour you can burn anywhere from 300 to 800 calories in one workout. I suggest using Shaun T’s insanity workout DVDs to give yourself a good beginner HIIT workout.
Weights and Belly Fat
Now that you’ve shed a few pounds you can look skinnier but you may not have any shape to your body. What I mean is that you need muscle. I highly suggest losing some fat before you begin lifting because muscle takes space but fat lays over muscles. So whatever you build in muscle won’t be seen so much because of your fat.
If you tighten your core you can poke your abs, and feel your abs yet you can’t see them because your belly fat overlays your ab muscles.
Lifting weights are fun and the best way to tone your body. With weights, you can target muscle groups unlike cardio but can make you slower and will make your scale seem like a liar because muscle is heavier than fat. From 120lbs to 140lbs I gained 20lbs of muscle yet this is the flattest (belly) I have ever been.
As a woman, I target my lower body more than my upper body. While I can leave weights with my arms I focus more on weighted leg squats and lower leg lifting exercises to make my lower body thicker than my upper body.
Men usually focus on the opposite and work out their chest, back, and arms. I believe women should focus on all but do double the work for legs, abs, and even back. You have to maintain a strong core.
Also, I never do full body workouts in one day. One day I will do all leg exercises and the next day I’ll do arms. Following that, I’ll do back exercises, and then another leg day.
I do every muscle workout after my cardio and some good stretching.
As time passes, (2 years for me) your results will be remarkable. Your body will change but also, working out, in general, will become your new lifestyle. You won’t want to not work out and miss a day of making your body look extra fabulous.
Some other tips for removing belly fat:
- Drink water! Record your water intake, and use an app if you need to to help you track your water intake. More water deters cravings and prevents you from overeating which in turns means less belly fat!
- Sleep! It is said that the workouts you do with little to no sleep are pointless, sleep instead!
- If you’re on vacation, it’s okay to skip a few days of gym time but remember that after 2 weeks your body will get out of shape.
- Diet (hate that word). I don’t mean stop eating, I mean eat smarter. Save your indulgences for the weekends and make sure to track what you eat and how it affects you.
I hope these tips and ideas help you lose weight especially, at your belly because this is literally what I do every day to keep fit and balanced. This is literally the everyday lazy girl’s workout routine.
Yessenia Diaz has a background in graphic and web design but is also intrigued by writing and teaching. Yessenia created Tru.Works as an outlet for all her talents and continues collecting stories from around the world to share with people all across the interweb. Follow Yessenia on Instagram and her favorite, Twitter, @ythegreatdiaz.