One reason why targeted fat loss does not work is because muscle cells cannot use the fat contained in fat cells directly.
Fat mass needs to be broken down before it can enter the bloodstream. This fat can come from anywhere in the body, and not just from the body part being exercised.
Additionally, doing sit-ups and crunches isn’t particularly effective for burning calories.
What Exercises Should You Do?
Regular, whole-body exercises will speed up your metabolism and burn calories and fat. Aerobic exercise (cardio) may also be effective at targeting visceral belly fat.
Intensity plays a role as well. Moderate or high-intensity exercise can reduce belly fat mass, compared to low-intensity aerobic exercise or strength training.
Additionally, you need to exercise often if you want to achieve significant results.
For example, do moderate-intensity cardio for 30 minutes, five days a week, or high-intensity cardio for 20 minutes, three days a week.
The muscle changes that take place in response to exercise also promote fat loss. In other words, the more muscle mass you build, the more fat you will burn.
Combining Multiple Types of Exercise May Be Effective
High-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) is another approach that has been shown to reduce body fat more efficiently than standard aerobic exercise.
HIIE is a type of interval training that combines short bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by slightly longer but less intense recovery periods.
Aspects of HIIE that make it effective include appetite suppression and greater fat burning during and after exercise.
Furthermore, combining resistance training and aerobic exercise been shown to be more effective than aerobic exercise alone.
Even if you don’t want to do HIIE or resistance training, studies have shown that just regular brisk walks can also effectively reduce belly fat and total body fat.
Bottom Line: Aerobic training and HIIE burn calories and speed up your metabolism. Combining aerobic exercise and resistance training seems to be particularly effective.