Belly fat is the hardest to lose because the muscles of the stomach are not used as much as the legs, arms or other muscles in the body. Belly fat is associated with higher risk of many diseases including heart disease, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic. The fastest way to lose belly fat at home is to combine aerobic activity, muscle-building exercises and dietary modifications. To lose belly fat fast, it is important to be consistent, stay with a daily workout routine, and not eat fattening foods.
Aerobic activity burns calories, increases the metabolism for a short duration and is good for cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of sustained aerobic activity five days a week for cardiovascular health. The key to burning fat is having a calorie deficit. Running or jumping rope for 30 minutes and then sitting the rest of the day is not going burn calories as much as exercising throughout the day. Take 10-minute breaks and walk up and down stairs or jog around the block. Get the blood flowing and the heart pumping for short intervals throughout the day and more calories will be burned than by running for 45 minutes and then sitting the rest of the day. The important thing is to stay active throughout the day.
Lean muscle burns more calories than fat does. Weight-bearing exercises increase muscle mass and boosts the metabolism. “When you weight train you burn lots of calories, so you will burn fat and increase muscle tone … and look better,” according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Weight training at home is easy with dumbbells. A light set of weights is inexpensive and easy to store. Make sure to exercise the whole body. There are many different dumbbell exercises such as lunges (legs), lateral shoulder lifts (shoulders), bicep curls (biceps), kickbacks (triceps), one-arm raises (back) and chest flys (chest) that are easy and can be done in any room. You cannot target just the belly fat, “Spot-reducing is impossible,” according to the ACSM. Abdominal exercises are important to tone and firm the core and strengthen the back, but doing hundreds of crunches will not get rid of belly fat.
Dietary modifications to reduce caloric intake is necessary to lose fat. You have to burn more than you eat. It is just that simple. Simply reducing the amount of calories eaten in one day added to the exercise increase will show quick results. The fastest way to lose belly fat is to plan meals and eat healthy foods that are low in calories. Eating smaller meals and more often will keep the metabolism level and cravings to a minimum. Some tips from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on staying on track are eat off a plate (not out of a bag or box), do not eat in front of the TV, eat slowly, use smaller dishes and reduce snacking.
About this Author
Caroline Thompson has been a professional photojournalist since 1999. She combines writing and photography in her stories. Thompson’s work has appeared in the “Sacramento Bee,” “People Magazine,” “Newsweek” and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University Hayward (CSUH) and a personal trainer certification from the Health and Fitness Institute out of CSUH.