Excess abdominal fat can adversely affect your blood pressure and cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease. To lower your fat, you must create a deficit by burning more calories than you consume. How aggressive you are with exercise and eating healthy will directly affect how fast you lose fat. That said, it’s important to understand that you cannot target certain areas for fat loss.
You lose a pound of fat whenever you burn 3,500 more calories than you consume. The American Council on Exercise notes that a healthy rate of fat loss is 1 to 2 pounds (0.91 kg) per week, which would mean you’d need to create a caloric deficit of 3,500 to 7,000 per week.
This equates to a 500 to 1,000 deficit per day. However, how quickly you’ll lose fat depends on your ability to create this deficit. How many calories you burn depends on your metabolic rate and any additional calories you burn via physical activity.
The calories you consume are dictated by your nutritional habits.
To determine how quickly you’ll lose fat, first estimate your metabolic rate. You can estimate your metabolic rate with a mathematical equation that incorporates your height, weight and age.
Men calculate their value with 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age). Women can calculate their value with 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years).
Rate of Fat Loss
Once you have your metabolic rate, keep track of your calorie intake from the food you eat and any additional calories you burn through exercise to figure out how quickly you’ll lose fat.
For example, let’s take a 40-year-old woman who weights 200 pounds (ca. 91 kg) and is 5 feet (1.52 m) tall. Her resting metabolic rate would be calculated as 655 + (4.35 x 200) + (4.7 x 60) – (4.7 x 40), which would equate to 1,619. If she were to adjust her calorie intake to ensure she’s taking in 1,500 calories per day, she would create a daily caloric deficit of 119 and thus lose a pound of fat in about 30 days.
This is just by making nutritional adjustments. If she jogs for 60 minutes at 5 mph (ca. 8 km/h) seven days a week, which would cause her to burn about 606 calories each session, adding 119 to 606 would give us a daily caloric deficit of 725, which would cause her to lose a pound of fat approximately every five days.
Targeting the Stomach
Once you create a caloric deficit and lose fat, there is no way to determine where on your body that fat will be taken from. However, according to Cedric Bryant of the American Council on Exercise, as long as you create a caloric deficit, fat throughout the body will be reduced, including the area of your particular concern.
Therefore, although you cannot cause all fat loss to be taken from the abdominal, you will see improvements in your stomach when you create a caloric deficit.
Effective Fat Loss
An effective fat loss program consists of both healthy eating and consistent exercise. You can lose fat just by making adjustments to your eating habits. Consume more fruits and vegetables. Cut out soda and other sugary beverages.
Decrease your portion sizes. However, by also incorporating exercise, you can significantly increase the rate at which you lower your fat. Use an exercise calorie chart to get a more accurate estimation based on your body type and exercise choices.
Eight Delicious Foods That Help Fight Belly Fat
Belly Fat-Fighting Foods.
Chocolate Skim Milk.
Citrus. Supermarket shocker: Vitamin C in colorful produce, like oranges and red peppers can help you zap up to 30 percent more fat during exercise, research from Arizona State University at Mesa suggests.
Oatmeal. You may think that eating less will help you lose weight, but you should never skip meals, especially the first meal of the day. …
Blueberries. Research has shown that a diet rich in blueberries may help diminish belly fat. …
Include aerobic exercises in your daily routine. …
Reduce refined carbs. …
Add fatty fish to your diet. …
Start the day with a high protein breakfast. …
Drink enough water. …
Reduce your salt intake. …
Consume soluble fiber.