Things You'll Need
Measuring your midsection can help track your progress.
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Losing belly fat can improve your health and appearance. Excess fat around your midsection increases your risk of obesity-related medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. (See References 1) Solely slimming your midsection isn't possible -- you can't pick and choose the areas where you want to lose fat from. You can, however, lose total body fat, which will also take inches off your middle. To accomplish this, a sensible diet and regular exercise routine should become part of your lifestyle. (See References 2)
Engage in moderate cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week to burn calories. The American Council on Exercise recommends gradually working your way up to one hour of cardio on most days. (See References 2) They suggest breaking up your workout into 10-minute sessions over the day. Ride a bike, climb stairs, jog, walk briskly, use a rowing machine, or pedal on an elliptical machine with moving handles,
Alternate between short bursts of vigorous and moderate cardio exercise on one or two days. According to the ACE, these high-intensity intervals can effectively burn body and belly fat. (See References 3) Speed up your exercise pace so you're working at a high intensity for one minute. Then slow down your pace to recover for two minutes. Start with three to four speed intervals, and as your cardiovascular fitness improves, work your way up to eight to 10 speed intervals.
Perform compound and combination strength-training exercises on two to three nonconsecutive days a week. Strength training increases lean muscle tissue, which is metabolically active, meaning that it burns calories even when you're at rest; your resting metabolism gets a boost. (See References 2) Target your large muscle groups with exercises, such as squats with shoulder presses, pushups, dead lifts, bent-over rows, and lunges with lateral raises. (See References 4)
Work abdominal-strengthening exercise into your strength-training routine. Although just doing abdominal exercises won't get rid of belly fat, as part of your core, strong abs help prevent injuries, ease back pain, and improve your athletic performance. Additionally, when your belly fat reduces, these exercise provide that often-desired muscle tone. (See References 2) Consider doing reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, exercises in a captain's chair, crunches on a stability ball, and vertical-leg crunches, since these were proven most effective according to an ACE-sponsored study. (See References 5)
Reduce your portion sizes so you consume fewer calories. Consider eating from smaller...