Dear Fitness Coach,
I can’t figure out why my muffin top hasn’t disappeared yet: I am doing 100 situps and the elliptical for an hour every day. It’s been more than a month, and that belly fat hasn’t budged. What am I doing wrong?
You need to understand that your belly fat is a deep visceral fat that is by far the most difficult fat to lose. It is impossible to spot-reduce. But once you begin to lean-out, you should start to lean-out all over, including your midsection. Ironically, the two least efficient ways of losing your abdominal fat are the two things most people automatically default to: cardio and situps. Cardio is good for your heart and lungs, and situps will develop your core strength. However, there is limited benefit beyond that. Everyone has abdominal muscle, it’s just impossible to see under layers of body fat. You need to reduce your body-fat percentage in order to develop abdominal definition, and the most efficient and effective method to lean-out is through diet and weight training. Definately continue with the cardio and core training for the aforementioned reasons, but those two activities almost become secondary.
Your diet is key in abdominal weight loss - not just calorie counting, but the kind of calories you consume. You should be increasing your protien intake while decreasing the amount of carbs you eat. A high protein/ low-glycemic diet works best to reduce that muffin top. Strength training needs to be done at least 3 times a week to start to increase your lean muscle tissue. For every pound of muscle that you gain, your resting metabolic rate is burning an additional 50 calories a day. The more muscle you gain the more efficient your body becomes at burning that belly fat and leaning out. Give yourself 3 months of dedicated weight lifting while adhering to a calorie-restricted diet, and you should see a significant change in your midsection.