Let’s Talk About ‘Tummy Fat’

Face it – most of us on a health blog such as this are here because we are afraid of being, or staying fat. Some of us have realised, through time, that age does not favour us, notwithstanding genetics. And chances are that you are aware that different people have different genetics and body type – “cursed” be those who can eat whatever they like whenever they like and still not gain a kilo or two, right?

Because of societal pressure, we are often self-conscious if we happen to be in a position where we are gaining weight, especially in certain parts of the body. For a lot of men, this part would be the belly, stomach or tummy, which is no surprise as genetics do predispose men to be “apple” shaped. However, this insecurity also applies to women, who will be offended if someone congratulates them for conceiving when they haven’t. Awkward…

DariuszSankowski / Pixabay
DariuszSankowski / Pixabay

Fitness and nutrition expert Louise Parker agrees, saying “I’d say most clients who are overweight are largely concerned about fat in the abdominal area as it’s what they physically see and feel.” She happens to be someone who has focused her research on abdominal fat, and her conclusions are pretty similar to what most of us in the fitness industry already know.

Harsh truth number one – you can’t spot reduce, i.e. select where on your body the fat disappears. In order to support my point, I bet you can think of someone who is skinny but has a round face that is disproportionate to their body size. Can that person do some exercise to get rid of facial fat? Probably not, right? Just ask them – I dare you!

What about the people who advocate plenty of sit-ups and crunches? While it is undoubtedly true that such exercises will build a layer of muscles in the area, the truth is that unless you get rid of the fat layer above, the “packs” will not be visible. In fact, they might even make your gut area look bigger. Scary thought, isn’t it?

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So what is the best strategy to get decent looking abs? The answer is to burn fat in general. There are many ways to do this. Some people prefer cardio, others prefer high intensity interval training, and some focus on weights. But whatever it is and whatever genetics you possess, an overall loss in body fat will also apply to your abdominal area.

Now notice that I used the term “decent looking”. I’m just being realistic here. Your genetics will determine the number of packs you can have in your torso. Some people have six while others can have 12. And for some there will be hardly any, even if you strip off all the fat. And don’t forget that people who have lost a lot of weight will have a layer of skin covering it too.

Another thing which we must not neglect to mention is that fat loss does not only happen in the gym, but also from the kitchen. If you are constantly eating high-calorie food, then the work in the gym might not count for much. This is a point that some people tend to overlook. There are also people who are equally as guilty of following the opposite i.e. dieting but not exercising.

So, whether your goal is to lose weight in general or to lose tummy flab, the same principles apply – a good diet and an exercise plan that focuses on overall fat loss. One great resource that you can grab is the Granite Fitness Masterclass, which has digital books on the topics of weight loss psychology, good nutrition and solid exercise programs. If you need physical items to supplement the knowledge, head on down to the Granite Fitness Online Store. We look forward to hearing your success story!

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