When Your Ab Workout is Great, But Your Belly Fat Just Won’t Go Away

Let’s paint a picture—one that may be very familiar.

You have just started working out again. You have performed sit ups, crunches, and all the other core exercises. You know your workouts are good because you can feel that satisfying soreness in your abs the next day.

But that belly fat just won’t budge.

You’re not alone—and there is a way to kickstart your progress! In this article, we take a look at why things may have stalled, even if your ab workouts are on point.

Sometimes belly fat can be hard to get rid of

Why Traditional Ab Workouts Won’t Burn Belly Fat

What we are about to say is very important: the only way to lose belly fat is to reduce your overall body fat percentage. The only way to do this is to reduce your calories so that you are in a daily deficit.

You cannot reduce fat from specific areas of your body like your belly. Your belly fat will only disappear when your total body fat percentage decreases.

The best way to reduce your calories is to eat sensibly, and rely on exercise only as a secondary means.

Look at it this way. You need to perform around 3 to 5 sit ups to burn one calorie. Perform around 300 sit ups and you will have burned around 100 calories. It’s a lot of sit ups, but it can be done.

However, if you then refuel with a small granola bar, you will have consumed around 120 calories. You have just blown all that hard work.

Abs Are Built in the Kitchen

In the past, you may have thought that performing tons of sit ups would produce a flat stomach and chiseled core, but abs are actually built in the kitchen.

By this, we mean that you have to watch what goes into your mouth on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to ensure you are eating less than you need. If you are in a calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time, then you will lose fat.

A good rule of thumb is to be in a deficit of around 300 to 500 calories per day. Figure out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, then subtract 300 to 500 calories from this. You may want to do this with a free TDEE calculator you find online. 

Creating a deficit is as simple as not eating as many calories per day. That may be simple, but it is not always easy.

How to Create Your Deficit

Creating a deficit is as simple as not eating as many calories per day. That may be simple, but it is not always easy.

But there are some things you can do to make it easier.

Firstly, choose your calories wisely. If you need to eat less, you can avoid excess hunger by prioritizing foods high in protein (meat, fish, legumes, tofu, and so on) and foods high in fiber (fruit, vegetables, beans, and so on).

Protein digests slowly and fiber can trigger feelings of early satiation. Combined, these foods will help keep you feeling fuller for longer.

It is also worth avoiding alcohol, which is known to promote weight gain through empty calories and bad decision-making. Working on reducing stress and getting better sleep is also conducive to weight loss, as is keeping well hydrated.

Exercise Can Help

Exercise can also help. While you need to control what happens in the kitchen, adding in some cardio work can help boost the calorie burn.

Equally, doing some effective core training can keep your abs in shape. When that belly fat starts to melt away—and it will if you are consistent with your deficit—then you will have a nice set of abs to show off.

To create a solid set of abs, don’t rely on sit-ups. Instead, follow a structured program that targets your core, doesn’t take long, and can be fun. 

For example, 8 Minute Abs is a simple but effective way to both develop the muscles in your core while burning extra calories, all in a fun guided workout that takes less than ten minutes.

The Takeaway

When it feels like you have tried everything to lose belly fat, it can be easy to give up. But don’t.

Just remember that abs are made through what you eat, not through exercise.

It may feel tough, but stick with a calorie deficit and a sensible core workout program for a few months and the results will show—guaranteed.

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