Why Cardio Is Key to Belly Fat Loss
The reason why cardio is key to belly fat loss can be summed up in two words – calories burned. To lose a pound of weight in a week, you have to expend 3,500 more calories than you take in. To accomplish such a calorie deficit on a consistent basis, you have to exercise at a moderate to high-intensity level. Cardio routines typically have this intensity advantage over other forms of exercising.
Why Cardio Training for Belly Fat Loss?
While cardio training is key to blasting belly fat (and weight loss in general, along with healthy eating) don’t overlook the health benefits of weight and resistance training. Toned and defined muscles burn more calories, so by also improving your muscle definition, your body becomes better at burning fat when doing cardio training due to an increased metabolism. However, it is cardio that truly lights your “furnace”. It does no good to have a more efficient metabolism, if you are not going to use it.
And if you are a women, don’t worry about “bulking up” if you do strength training. You will get toned and defined without increasing your muscle mass significantly.
The After Burn for Continued Belly Fat Loss
Once reason cardio training is best is due to the “after burn”. When cardio training, you should strive to get your heart rate elevated to a target heart rate of around 80% of your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). By holding it in its elevated state throughout your cardio training session, you get an after effect where your body keeps burning calories at a higher rate once you stopped, then if you had not elevated it to begin with.
To get to your target heart rate, you have to do 20 to 40 minutes of moderate to high intensity training, like swimming, running, cycling or using an elliptical trainer.
The Rest of the Belly Fat Loss Story
While cardio is an important component of belly fat loss, an equal partner is eating healthy. All the cardio in the world is not going to get you closer to your goal if you also don’t eat right.
Cut out processed and fast foods from your diet. Not only do many of them contain saturated and trans fat, but they normally have high amounts of salt – the main cause of water retention and higher numbers on the scale. Instead, create your own dishes by concentrating on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
Cardio is key to belly fat loss, however without strength training and a healthy diet, cardio alone will not get you to your goal of losing belly fat.
You can find more “Belly Fat Success Tips” in our weight loss category found at http://myfitnessnut.com and while you’re they, be sure to subscribe to our monthly fitness newsletter and be kept up to date on the latest developments in the world of health and fitness.