Stop doing this exercise if you want to get rid of belly fat

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Stop Doing This Exercise If You Want to Get Rid of Belly Fat

Stubborn belly fat. Last time I checked, that was one of the major first world problems. Having a flabby belly is a big no-no. According to every fitness magazine ever, everyone has to be shredded to the bone.

The problem is the internet is full of misleading information and bogus weight loss products. Marketers will go out of their way to convince you that their product is what you need to get rid of that stubborn belly fat.

Here’s a very good quote that perfectly illustrates this:

“Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.” - Abraham Lincoln Click To Tweet

Even many health and fitness websites still promote a very well-known, by now, fallacy that you can target fat burning in certain body parts. But if you actually want to get rid of belly fat you need to stop doing what they are telling you to – crunches (and different variations).

Anatomy of the human body

Believe it or not, you already have abs. In fact, everyone has abs, no matter how much extra weight they carry. Some genetically gifted people have six packs, some have eight packs, other have four packs. That’s just the human anatomy.

But the reason you’re not seeing your abs is because of high body fat percentage, usually 20% plus. Abdominal muscles are visible when body fat percentage drops below 15%. But why I don’t recommend doing crunches, or any other ab targeting exercises? There are a few reasons.

Spot reduction is not possible

First of all, spot reduction is simply not possible. If you’ve ever been on a weight loss journey you know that your body will burn fat wherever the hell it wants.

One of the reasons why belly fat is the hardest to get rid of is because abdominal fat is protecting all of your vital organs. This is nature designed body armor, literally.

And your body, which is a very intelligent organism, will burn fat from every nook and cranny where body fat is not so important, before turning to belly fat. But don’t take my word for it, because the Physical Activity Sciences Department at the Los Lagos University conducted a study where they came to the following conclusion.

The training program was effective in reducing fat mass, but this reduction was not achieved in the trained body segment. [1]

Crunches are very ineffective

Second of all, crunches are not an effective exercise at burning calories. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against crunches as an exercise, I am against portraying this exercise as something effective at burning belly fat. Crunches are effective at strengthening your core, but nothing more.

According to HealthStatus calculator a person based around my physique can burn up to 350 calories per hour. Can you do crunches for a whole hour straight without taking a break? Absolutely not.

But if I walked for an hour at 4 mph, I’d lose 456 calories, and walking is super easy. Do you see what is more effective?

The only way to do it

To get rid of belly fat, or any other problem area, the only thing you need to do is to stay in a caloric deficit until you hit your desired body fat percentage. You can do so by following my 7 principles, or you can come up with something that works specifically for you.

But this is the basics of weight loss in general. There is absolutely no way around it, so stop obsessing about various exercises, equipment, cleanses and all other nonsense.

To sum it up

Losing stubborn belly fat, or achieving visible six pack is nothing magical. It all comes down to bringing your overall body fat percentage below 15% by maintaining a caloric deficit. Crunches, sit-ups, or other ab exercises are not effective in terms of weight loss, because spot reduction based on scientific evidence is not possible.

Stick to something that is more effective, like walking, or jogging for example, and don’t give up. The results will come sooner than you expect.

Written by Mark Forge

Mark Forge is the founder of FatForge - an information website dedicated to busting nutrition myths, scams and lies while helping people turn their weight around. If you want to lose weight I suggest starting here.

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