Belly fat is one of those stubborn things to get rid of and keeping it
off is just as hard. However, before you go put on your running shoes to log on
hours upon hours of running or power walking, we will show the super-efficient
exercise that helps you lose belly fat in only 25 minutes a day.
If you hate the running or walking, we've got good news for you: Minute
per minute, weight training fights belly fat better than cardio exercises like
running do, according to new research published in Obesity.
In the study, researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health
(HSPH) had a look at the physical activity, waist circumference, and body
weight of 10,500 healthy men who participated in the Health Professionals
Follow-Up Study from 1996 to 2008.
Over a period of 12 years, the study found that the men who spent 20
minutes a day weight training (lifting free weights, working on weight
machines, and performing body-weight strength moves) had a less significant
increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with men who completed
moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise for the same amount of time—even though
those who performed aerobic exercise actually lost more weight than the lifters
Yes, you read correctly: Weight training is the trick when it comes to
losing belly fat. Unlike aerobic exercise, which burns both fat and muscle,
weight training burns fat while building muscle, according to Rania Mekary,
PhD, a researcher with the HSPH and lead of the study. That's a vital
combination when it comes to getting rid of belly fat, which tends to increase
with age and is associated with diabetes and heart disease. "Weight
training reverses exactly what happens as we age—losing muscle mass and gaining
fat," she says.
In addition, by increasing your metabolic rate in both the 48 hours
after exercise and over the long term, weight training deals a double blow to
belly fat, she says. Still, that doesn't mean you should stop the aerobic
exercises, says Mekary, who observed that the study participants who combined
aerobic and strength training enjoyed the best results.
Merkary best advice on losing belly weight is to perform aerobic
exercises like running, biking, or swimming one to two times a week, and
resistance train at least three times a week. Each session need only be 25
minutes, including a post-workout stretch.
And as far as the weight training exercises you need to hit, just mix
it up so that you hit all of your major muscle groups each week, says Mekary.
If you want to perform total-body workouts every day or would rather schedule a
leg day, arm day, and core day, it's up to you.