No need to do a series of 50 abs every two days to eradicate that pretty mat of fat that covers the belly. First, because you risk leaving your lower back, and second because the movement is ineffective. The key to carrying out the project is a solid and subtle strategy based on the association between good sports and a balanced diet. Follow the guide.
Tuck in your belly all-day
It may sound silly and restrictive, but the basic rule is body awareness, before any sports and food routine. “Whether you are at work or at home, it is essential to force yourself to tuck your stomach in all day, as if the navel was sucked in by the spine,” indicates Karine Hellebuyck, sports coach in Paris. The body is linked to the mind, we will thus benefit from better energy and the muscles will begin to tone up, ”concludes the coach.
“The fat begins to melt from the moment you simply get back to moving as much as possible”, informs Christophe Boulanger, a sports coach in Bordeaux who specialized in running.
The reason is simple: “We store fat in part because the body does not spend what we give it, which can be too sweet or too fatty”, adds Brigitte Barthe, food education advisor.
The main thing is to adopt simple but effective habits: prefer the stairs to the elevators, shorten your public transport journey to end on foot, or even get up regularly from your chair when working seated all day.
Among other causes (stress, healthy lifestyle, sedentary lifestyle, interplay of hormones, or even disturbed intestinal flora), “fat often comes from a behavioral problem which in turn leads to poor food intake, in other words, an unbalanced diet. Bad reflexes, such as eating industrial foods that are too fatty or too sweet, also promote the appearance of fat, ”recalls Deborah Ohana, sports nutritionist dietician.
“Usually the food is mostly of poor quality. We can start by replacing animal proteins with plants, and use olive oil rather than butter, for example, ”adds Brigitte Barthe.
Long before thinking about “diet”, the most important thing is to listen to your hunger and feeling of fullness, to “differentiate what the head and body offer”, indicates the dietician. Then, in parallel with a sporting activity, we reduce fats and sugars and ban those of industrial origin.
The dangers of too much stomach circumference
Beyond your fitness goal, it is important to know that your health is also important. Indeed, a flatter stomach will allow you to be in better health. While the fat in other areas of the body is below the skin (subcutaneous fat), belly fat can also lodge behind muscles and therefore surround your organs. This is called visceral fat.
At some level, this visceral fat can be harmful and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Visceral fat can be lost relatively quickly – although that’s also why you have trouble seeing results initially since it’s invisible to the naked eye!
But how do you know if you have too much visceral fat then? To give you a general idea, here are the measurements in cm that would show if you have too much visceral fat. These measurements are approximate and also depend on your height and age.
For a man, it should not have a belly circumference greater than 94 cm. For a woman, we will talk about excess visceral fat from 80 cm.
Tip: If you have the ambitious goal of making your chocolate bars visible, you can check out our special six-pack article. In men, body fat must be between 13 to 16% to have noticeable abs. For women, it should be between 19 and 22%.