The concept may sound simple but with so many people struggling to achieve their goal it is clear that in practice it is a lot more difficult than it first appears. In order to tone your abs and burn away the belly fat you are going to need dedication, time and patience. I tend to fail because of the amount of time it takes for the changes in your body to become apparent. A lack of patience is my number one problem. I can promise you from experience though that the hard work is more than worth it in the end when your six pack starts to make an appearance.
You could already have the most toned, muscular abs but with a layer of fat over them they are not going to show. You need to do two things in order to get a six pack; tone the muscle and burn the layer of belly fat that is over the top. I will share my tips and tricks with you below to help you do both as quickly and efficiently as possible.
So tell me how to burn belly fat already! Here are my tips to help you burn belly fat:
Do cardio workouts.
Cardio training is an important part of your belly fat burning toolkit and should be included in your plan to get six pack abs. Some examples of cardio are sprinting, jogging, cycling, swimming and walking. All of these activities have varying levels of intensity and can all be adjusted to suit almost anyone. Cardio workouts raise your heart rate, body temperature and metabolism and force your body to burn calories including stored fat to produce energy. As I have already mentioned you can have the world’s strongest or most toned abs but if you fail to burn the belly fat covering them then you will never get a six pack.
Control your metabolism and reap the benefits.
Portion size and eating regularly are both very important in keeping your metabolism under control. To burn the most fat from our bodies we need to keep our metabolism high by feeding ourselves, small, nutritious meals on a regular basis. Eating large portions can lead to you consuming too many calories over the course of a day and excess calories are stored as fat. There is no way of avoiding that fact. Instead what you need to do is eat just enough to fuel your body for the day including any work and exercise you may do. Splitting the number of calories into small regular meals means that our metabolism stays high rather than going into a stop / start approach to processing your food.
Adding a large glass of water to your meal can help with the full feeling that you may now be missing as a result of your smaller portions. In addition to this water is essential for your metabolism to work at its best as well as pretty much every other function that your body does daily. Believe it or not drinking water to lose weight should be an important part of your overall strategy.
Eating less to lose weight does not work.
Eating less to lose weight and belly fat can have a small, immediate effect but is not a viable long term solution. Your body needs an amount of calories to maintain weight and eating more than that amount can increase stored bdlly fat and weight quite quickly. The reverse is not true. Eating below the number of calories to maintain weight has a different effect on your body. Your metabolism will slow down and your body will attempt to conserve calories, relying on your stored body fat for energy only as a last resort. Think of it as a safety mechanism, your body saving for a rainy day. Your brain enters something similar to a survival mode where every calorie is precious as because of the deficit, it does not know when the next meal will come. This is not where we want to be when trying to burn belly fat.
Incorporate weights into your training routine.
Lifting weights encourages your body to build more muscle tissue. The more muscle we have in our bodies the more calories we will burn just to stay alive. The muscle tissue cells require more calories to function and stay alive than a fat cell would. If you have a lot of muscle tissue you need to perform less exercise daily to achieve the same calorie burn as someone with less muscle tissue. As we will be in or close to a calorie deficit while trying to burn body fat is is quite easy for our body to turn to our muscle tissue as a source of energy. Weight lifting ‘reminds’ your body that it needs the muscle tissue and helps to prevent breakdown, forcing your body to use stored fat instead.
Eat whole foods rather than processed foods.
The more work your body has to do to break down the food you eat the slower the calories enter your system. This will result in better use of the energy over time rather than an excess amount of energy all at once. If you eat excess calories your body has to release insulin to control your blood sugar level resulting in the excess being stored for later use. This is basically how we get fat and we should avoid causing insulin spikes as much as possible. Whole foods instead of processed foods mean our body has to do the processing instead, slowing the release and actually using more energy for digestion. Both of these are good when trying to burn belly fat.
Following some or all of the advice above will allow you to start making positive changes to your body. I mentioned weight training above briefly but I wanted to get a little more into the types of exercises you should be doing and why they benefit the overall goal of a toned, defined six pack.
Building strength and muscle tone in every muscle in our bodies is important. As I said above the more muscle tissue we have the easier it is to burn excess calories and lose our belly fat. Everyone trains their chest, arms, shoulders or legs consistently with a relatively high intensity. I see people at the gym regularly performing cardio workouts, sprinting, jogging and cycling 2 – 4 times a week. Why is it that most people fail to train their abs effectively? The abdominal muscles are no different to any other muscle in the body and should be trained just the same.
So what exercises should you do to help strengthen and tone your abs and get your elusive six pack? Personally I am a fan of training the entire core area, front and back at the same time as much as possible. This is the way the human body is designed to work. The Abs are there to work in partnership with the back muscles to maintain correct posture and keep us standing upright. Deadlifts and Squats are two very good exercises that utilise the entire core area when being performed and should definitely make an appearance in your workout. The added benefit of these two exercises is that they involve almost all other muscles in the body and can use a lot of calories in a short space of time.
I also like the perform static hold exercises like plank and side plank as this forces your abs to work in the way they were designed to. Believe it or not your abs are not there to look good or to curl you up into a ball. They are meant to hold your body in a straight line and that is exactly what these types of exercises help to target. Hold the plank and side plank for as long as possible and work on improving this each time your do them.
Make sure you get into a routine is probably one of the best tips I can leave you with. Being consistent is probably one of the most important things I can stress when it comes to getting a six pack. A routine can help you stick with it and reach your goal that much quicker. Take some or all of the tips above and integrate them into your lifestyle and training. I hope this at least helps you understand how to burn belly fat and get six pack abs as I intended. Let us know how you get on by leaving a comment below.