I want to “BLAST BELLY FAT!” What should I do in the gym to lose weight?
I’ve got some news which might be unwelcome.
I know you want to know what kinds of exercises are going to make the fat cells shrivel up and die.
Unfortunately, those exercises don’t exist.
That’s right. There are NO exercises you can do, that will get rid of your fat.
Fortunately, You CAN Still Get Rid of four Fat
This is actually good news, because you can do this without making yourself want to die by doing 1,000 burpees in a gym class with a drill sergeant.
You will ONLY lose fat, when you’re in a calorie deficit.
This means, eating (and drinking) on average, less calories than your body requires to sustain its current weight and level of activity, every day.
Once that is happening, you will lose body fat.
You can’t choose where you lose fat from first.
There’s no way to say, “excuse me body, but that fat around my belly and on the backs of my arms, I’d like you to metabolise that for energy first.”
Your body will lose fat from whatever area it wants to first. It is often the last place it was stored, that will be used first, but not always. This can also mean that the first place it went to, is the last one to go.
Targeting a specific area with exercises in an attempt to lose fat from that area is a fruitless pursuit. Don’t bother, it doesn’t work.
What it might do, is build muscle in that area, meaning the fat now has to cover more muscle. This can sometimes give the appearance of having lost fat.
So here’s the exercises you should do if you want to lose fat
- Fork Put Downs
- Plate push-aways
- Calorie trackers
Focus on being in a calorie deficit. This is BY FAR easier to achieve by attacking the diet side rather than trying to work yourself into a deficit in the gym.
Cardio and HIIT Probably Burn the Most Calories
It’s true, lifting weights doesn’t burn as many calories as other forms of exercise in the gym.
You can lose weight faster if your activity is more focused on the cardio side of things.
You can also try increasing your general activity level outside of the gym too. Get up and move around more. Go for walks. Cycle instead of getting the bus. It all adds up. Extra activity pushes your maintenance calories even higher. Just don’t make the mistake of adding those calories back to your diet. There’s a good chance you’ll overestimate it.
Having Muscle Burns Calories
While lifting doesn’t burn AS MANY calories as other forms of activity, it still does burn some. It has one thing over other activity though. It builds the most muscle.
Muscle looks awesome. It makes you look leaner, even if you’re bigger. That’s because fat now has to cover more of you. This will give the impression that you’ve lost fat. This is a nice headstart before you focus on actually losing the fat.
Having muscle also burns calories in itself.
Muscle requires energy to sustain. Once you’ve built some, you’ll be able to eat more, without gaining weight, and diet on a higher number of calories too.
This is a huge benefit! This is why, as a 6 foot 2 male, I’m able to eat around 3,300 calories without gaining any weight.
There are no exercises you can do to target and remove fat on specific areas of your body.
Fat will only be lost when you’re in a calorie deficit. You can achieve this with no exercise whatsoever, just eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight and level of activity.
Cardio burns more calories but builds no muscle. Cardio and other activity can help put you into a calorie deficit, or increase the size of it.
Lifting weights burns less calories than cardio (usually) but also builds muscle. Having muscle requires calories to sustain, so you’ll be able to maintain your weight on a higher number of calories, or diet on more calories.
Recommendation: As a beginner, you’ll build some muscle if you start lifting, probably even if you eat at maintenance. Start lifting, increase your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and track the calories you eat and drink. Weigh yourself weekly. If you’re not losing fat, reduce calories.