The reason these products keep selling is because they make it sound easy. It appeals to our basic human instinct that we'd be able to lose fat in our abs if we continuously do sit-ups, right? Unfortunately, our bodies do not quite work that way. You can blame God, Mother Nature, the apes, or whoever, but unfortunately, the cards we have been dealt do not allow us to spot-reduce fat.
As I was coaching my mum through her newly discovered exercise routine, and trying to explain this same concept to her, I realized the belief in spot reduction is a universal phenomenon. Ladies, you cannot lose the fat in your midsection by doing crunches. Gentlemen, you cannot lose the fat in your midsection by doing crunches. You know what happens when you do crunches and still have fat in your abdomen? You may build muscles underneath and have fat over it. So you wouldn't see the muscles anyway until you lose the fat.
Now that we've got that out of the way, what can you then do to lose fat? The mechanics of the human body only allows us burn fat all over, and then do strengthening exercises (like sit-ups, planks, etc.) to tone the muscles underneath. To burn fat all over, we're talking about doing some cardio and changing up our diets.
To get a basic understanding of how the body processes calories and how fat burn works, check out this post . The summary is: You have to burn more than you consume to lose fat. Your body is consistently burning fat, but it usually is not enough to burn all you eat, which is why you need to supplement it with exercise. Cardio exercise will help you burn fat.
If you are unsure of what cardio exercises to do, here are a few examples: Running, Walking, Climbing Stairs, Elliptical or Cross Trainer, Cycling, Swimming, Aerobics. As you can see, these are exercises that involve consistent motion, either high or low intensity. Higher intensity cardio exercises usually burn more fat than lower intensity ones.
Got the cardio down on lock? Great! Now you can also focus on doing the strength training exercises that help build muscle. Depending on what part of your body you are looking to tone, there are different strength exercises to work different parts. Use our 'Search' box on the side bar to find exercises to tone a specific area.
That probably made you sad for a little bit if you've been focusing only on crunches. Well, no need to worry. Follow the details outlined above and you'll be way closer to getting that body that you want :)
Cheers Eights & Weights!
Photo credit: Havetodiet.blogspot.com