This is a classic question that gets asked time and again. How do I get a flat stomach and get rid of belly fat? For that we need to understand how fat is stored.
Let us understand how fat is stored in the body and what its purpose is. When we consume extra amounts of food than required for our daily needs, our body does not want to waste that energy. So all the excess energy gets stored in the form of body fat. Where body fat is stored has nothing to do with that particular area. It is just a storage space for your body e.g. Your body doesn’t put belly fat on your stomach or put fat on your back or your thighs because your stomach or thighs need that extra energy. It is just a universal energy source for your entire body to be used when needed.
So you may have say, 5kgs of fat stored on your belly, but that doesn’t mean that all of that fat energy is stored exclusively for the use of your belly. So, no matter how many belly exercises you do, say you do a lot of ab crunches, side bends, crunches, leg raises, twists or any other exercise that is working your abs, only the area and the muscles around your belly are working ,your muscles are not working on your fat at all. The fat belongs to your entire body it just happens to be located at the belly, just because you exercise the belly does not mean that it is going to be used locally. So in simple words, the ab crunches that you do are not really working on the fat on the surface of your belly. They’re working on the muscles beneath. Whatever belly fat you have there is a layer of muscle inside it. And that’s the muscle that is getting worked out during your ab crunches or leg raises or any other kind of abexercise.
So, your body is not utilizing the fat that is covering that area. But your body is utilizing the muscle, that is underneath. So you’re having muscular contractions underneath. And those muscular contractions do not burn fat. They burn carbohydrates. Those carbohydrates are already stored within that muscle. So whenever you contract any muscle the carbohydrate within that muscle is going to be utilized. The fat on top of that muscle has nothing to do with it. So your belly fat is just excess amount of energy being stored on your belly as fat and it is not getting burned during ab exercises. Now let us understand what we need to do to burn that excess energy that is stored on your belly as belly fat.
Step 1: Eat a Diet that is energy deficit, decrease the amount of energy consumed than the energy required in a day. In simple words cut down the carbs, sugars or fats, you consume
Step 2: Burn more energy by adding additional activities to your day like sprinting, exercising, cardio etc than you typically do.
This way you’re burning more energy and you are consuming less. You are creating that deficit,energy coming in through food is less than the energy being used up. So whenever there is a deficit and your body feels that there is less energy in the system, it will dip into the stored body fat reserve and burn that fat for the additional energy .Now where is it going to burn the fat from?
That is genetically pre-determined, we cannot interfere with that process. We can’t modify it and we can’t change it. E.g. when youjog or run or sprint, you will not be able to control where you sweat from. It’s just a genetic pattern. Some people sweat from the back or someone else from the chest. It just changes from person-to-person because of genetic pattern,its predetermined. We can’t alter that. Similarly, you can’t alter where we store fat or where we burn fat from.
Men have a lot of belly fat because they predominantly are testosterone based organisms. That’s why they store a lot of belly fat around the stomach area. So the belly fat, basically is programmed by our hormones. Similarly women, tend to store fat on their hips, thighs and their arms because that is what happens when you are an estrogen-based organism. So these differences are hormonally driven and not mechanically .
So, we know that we have 5 kgs of extra fat, and once we are in the fat burning mode by creating energy deficit, our body will automatically tap into all the fat reserves and eventually all the body fat stored at different locations will start getting burned. But to select one area and say, hey I have fat on my belly, so I’m going to do these 100 crunches and the fat of my belly will get burned, that’s illogical and not possible.To give you another example, say you have excess fat on your arms and you do a lot of bicep curls and expect the fat on the armsto go away. That’s not going to happen!, What happens here is when you do these bicep curls, your muscle is building. Your bicep is growing right? Because the muscle is being used. The fat is not getting used. The fat is only going to get used when your body has an overall energy deficit. So the question is are you creating that overall energy deficit? If you are, then and only then your body will tap into the fat reserves and even that will be done according to its own genetic pattern.
So you will have to follow the previous mentioned steps 1 and 2 long enough so that you see the fat burning from everywhere including your belly. You may have come across a lot of these gizmos and supplements and creams that people are trying to sell. You see these vibration belts, you See Spot reduction creams and they say that you put this on your belly and your fat will burn. Unfortunately the only thing they will burn is a hole in your pocket! They are just gimmicks. There is no science behind all that. Don’t buy into all that hype, you cannot burn belly fat by applying creams or wearing belts that vibrate. If it was that easy, everyone would have flat stomachs. Nobody in the world would need to work out,just rub creams, and get ripped.
To sum it all up, the only proven way to get a flat stomach is by doing good old honest work – exercise , cardio and following a good diet that has low carbohydrates and low sugar. That is what you need to do to really burn your belly fat.