How can I get rid of the fat around my stomach?

Despite what some infomercials would like you to believe, you can't crunch your way to a flat stomach. Abdominal exercises are great for strengthening and toning the ab muscles, but you must lose the fat around your midsection to achieve a flat stomach. Exercise and watching your calories can help you reduce the fat. However, there are other factors that may need to be addressed to help you reach your goal. If stress is a problem in your life, you can have increased levels of Cortisol, which may increase belly fat. In this case, you may need to find ways to reduce stress in your life to help you lose it. If you are exercising and eating properly, but still not losing weight, you should consider having your doctor check your hormone levels and ensure that you are not having a problem with your thyroid.

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

Speaking as a healthcare professional that was too busy taking care of everyone else and not taking care of myself and as someone who had a belly measurement of 45 inches...and who now has a belly measurement of 24.5 inches, let me tell you what worked for me:

  • Avoiding the 5 felons! (saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, bleached and enriched flours) Learning to read labels to make sure I eliminated these inflammatory foods from my diet which contributed to my belly fat was the single most key to my success.
  • Eating healthy foods 5 to 6 times a day with portion control and never skipping meals and keeping my metabolism in burn mode not storage mode.
  • Getting 10,000 steps a day with no excuses....gotta move to lose!
  • Getting more sleep and making ME a priority.
  • Meditating 15 minutes once or twice a day to manage the stress in my active life and career.
  • And last but definitely not least...doing a food and step diary to hold myself accountable.
You can spot strengthen, but you can’t spot reduce. That’s because body fat is systemic. Fat cells throughout your body give up fat as you lose weight and you get smaller all over, including your belly.

Your belly fat will disappear as you reduce calories and exercise. Aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, or kick boxing can help burn calories. To tone the underlying muscle, strengthen your core with abdominal exercises such as crunches. As you lose weight, you'll be able to see the work you've done.

Weight Watchers offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss that can help you reach your goals.
Losing fat from just one area of our body is not possible. When it comes to fat loss the body will lose fat from the entire body. You just may notice it more in certain places than others. Fat loss will occur when we burn more calories than we consume. Engaging in a regular cardio and strength training routine, along with improving your nutritional habits will help you create that daily caloric deficit necessary for fat loss to occur. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, cycling, swimming and jumping rope will help burn calories and trim your whole body, as well as your stomach. Strength training can then help strengthen and tone your entire body and abs.

Combining a healthy, well balanced diet along with engaging in a consistent and challenging exercise routine will help you achieve optimal fat loss results.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Eat less and do more physical activity.
Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine
It is impossible to spot reduce.  The only way to lose weight around your stomach is to decrease your calories and increase your exercise.  You will lose weight in your stomach if you burn more calories than you take in.  You could do thousands of sit ups but you still have to change diet and decrease calories.  Adipose in the abdominal area is the most dangerous for future health problems.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to spot reduce. This means we cannot specifically reduce the fat around any particular region of the body. To lose fat, more calories must be burned than consumed. If the body is in a caloric deficit, the body will lose fat in a manner which is predetermined by genetics. Individuals will typically lose weight in the same pattern as they gain the weight. There is no way to control this pattern. Performing crunches and other types of abdominal activities will minimally increase caloric burn. One of the best methods to decrease overall fat is by performing cardio activity and engaging in proper nutrition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.