A fat stomach can be the bane of many men's lives, affecting daily activities, self-esteem and romantic opportunities. For this reason, many men make the decision to take up exercise and reduce the size of their stomach. Overall, this is the right step but should not be taken without the proper knowledge or preparation. Reducing stomach fat can be achieved through exercise, but the key is to target not only the stomach but the whole body. To successfully and efficiently reduce stomach fat, form healthy eating habits, burn fat via cardio exercise and add muscle to the body.
While the myth of spot reduction is still present in today's вЂњlose fat quicklyвЂќ atmosphere, it is still mostly a myth. The only thing that comes close to the ability to lose stomach fat, as opposed to overall fat, is cardio exercise that maximizes the burning of visceral fat, which is a special type of body fat that surrounds the organs of the stomach. A 2011 study in the "American Journal of Physiology" showed that aerobic exercises were the most effective at reducing visceral fat and gave the best results at reducing overall belly size. An effective cardio routine can be any type of aerobic activity as long as you stick with it for more than 30 minutes per session and are elevating your heart rate to between 60 and 70 percent of your maximum rate. You can check your heart rate on many cardio machines in the gym or with a heart rate monitor. Shoot for at least three days of cardio per week.
Strength training causes the destruction of muscle tissue, which leads to a healing and regrowth of muscles. This in turn leads to higher body metabolism, even at rest. Strength training also adds lean mass to your body, which requires more energy. Simply being more muscular will help you burn more calories. Strength training can also bestow an extra reward on you, should you achieve your goal of reducing belly fat -- with a low enough body-fat percentage, you will have visible six-pack abs. Your selection of strength-training exercises is unimportant, but you should incorporate compound exercises, which move many joints instead of only one; these exercises tend to be best for men who want to lose fat. Try two to three days of strength training per week with six exercises per session, three sets per exercise and nine reps per set.
Without nutrition, you only have one part of the equation. Nutrition and exercise in combination lead to the quickest results in fat loss. Remove from your diet high caloric foods, especially processed foods, sugar and alcohol. In place of these foods, add complex carbohydrates, such as whole-wheat products, oats and cereals; lean proteins, such as turkey, chicken and fish; and healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts and salmon. You will find that it's easy to cut even 500 calories from your diet when you replace foods in this manner. This caloric deficit will aid in body-fat reduction. Mold your meal plan so that your daily intake consists of approximately 40 percent carbohydrates and 30 percent protein. The remainder of your diet should consist of healthy fats, vegetables and fruits.
Exercise and nutrition cover the essentials of fat loss, but there are a couple other factors that can act as gas to the fire of fat burning. The first is sleep. A study from Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that those sleeping less than six hours or more than eight hours per night were more likely to suffer from high levels of visceral fat. The implication is that a night's sleep that lasts from six to eight hours is likely to protect you from extra fat storage. A number of studies have found that high levels of stress tend to be associated with and possibly contribute to visceral fat storage. Animal research shows similar results, implying that leading stressful lives expands the belly. Do what you can to alleviate the stress in your life, and your stomach will thank you.