One of the biggest frustrations people have during their fat loss journey is not making progress with reducing belly fat. No matter how much work you put in and how consistent you are, you just can’t see a big difference.
Lots of people want to have a cut physique where abs are visible, but are not quite sure of how to get there, and as a result end up putting in lots of hard work without much reward in return. So, it is important to work smart on the right areas, and match that with your work ethic.
When it comes to belly fat, what are some important points that you need to know? How can this then impact your fat loss progress?
You Can’t Spot Burn Belly Fat
Many people fall into the trap of looking for ways to target stubborn belly fat but become frustrated when their hard work does not get rewarded. But this does not necessarily mean that you are not making progress. The reason stubborn fat does not initially go is down to your genetics and that you simply can’t target certain areas of your body. This is because your body chooses which areas to burn fat from first. So, for example, it may choose to burn fat from your shoulder and arms first and you will find that you become very lean (low levels of fat) in that area but still hold plenty of fat on your belly.
However, once that shoulder and arm fat go, your body will then choose other areas to burn fat from, which could be your face, legs, or chest, for example. You may also see some fat loss on your belly but because your body is burning fat from those areas first, you will still see fat around your lower belly and back. Once the fat is lost from those areas, your body will then choose another area to burn fat from, before eventually going into the stubborn areas, which are most commonly around your midsection and lower back.
Abs Training Is A Waste Of Time
If you want to trim down and have a leaner, more toned body shape where your abs can be visible, you must understand that this will not happen without lowering your body fat levels. Training abs does not achieve this, so you must focus on the areas that do. Losing body fat requires a calorie deficit, a good training plan, quality nutrition, adequate recovery, patience, and a whole lot of consistency. Yet, if you do not lower your body fat levels, you will not be able to see your abs, regardless of how much you train them. So, focusing on training key muscle groups and losing body fat must be the priority.
Patience And Consistency Are Key
Fat loss takes time, and it will be a big test of your psychological strength as much as your physical strength. So, it is important to lower your expectations and understand that reaching your goal does not happen overnight. Furthermore, you will have setbacks, and you must learn how to put them behind you and keep moving forward.
Just as one good workout does not get you in shape, one bad day will not ruin your progress either. Instead, it is about consistently putting in the work and not letting challenges or obstacles overcome you. Those who lose belly fat and stay lean are very consistent with their training, nutrition, recovery, and lifestyle. You must be too.
Nutrition Must Be Prioritised
When you start your fat loss journey, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the training alone will deliver results. This is far from reality. Whilst training is extremely important to your progress, it is only a part of the puzzle and is often the area that people have the fewest problems with.
You must combine consistent, progressive training with the right nutrition, adequate recovery, improved lifestyle habits, and better stress management. If you do not place these areas as a priority, the effect of training on your progress will be severely limited. So, see training as part of the solution, not the whole solution. As the saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
You Can Have Balance
It is important to understand that while fat loss takes discipline, consistency and routine, you can also have balance. You can enjoy yourself on the weekend and your routine does not have to be ultra-strict to lose fat, but at the same time you should be responsible with your nutrition, which means not drastically exceeding your calorie intake. This can quite easily happen if you over-indulge on calorie-dense foods in restaurants, takeaway shops, or even when getting snacks for the evening.
If you are going out for a few drinks or a meal, enjoy yourself but avoid binging. If you want to have a couple of beers and socialise, then you can do so and not harm your progress, likewise if you go out for a meal or get a takeaway in the evening. However, you should be mindful of what foods to be careful with and even avoid. This will help you have the balance between enjoying yourself and losing belly fat.
So, if you are frustrated about not seeing the desired progress with losing belly fat, there are important points to understand. These include that you can’t spot burn belly fat, training abs is a waste of your time, patience and consistency are key nutrition must be prioritised, and that you can have balance.
Being aware of these points during your journey will ensure that you avoid common mistakes, your hard work is going in the right places, and you get the desired results.
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