You may do this yourself or see others doing it. Sit-ups to lose stomach fat. While this would definitely assist in muscle building and burning calories (to some extent), sit-ups themselves will not target fat loss in the stomach. It is a common misconception that targetting fat loss is possible.
What you are after is the catabolic conversion of fat cells to energy. This conversion is controlled by your metabolism and your metabolism is not incredibly worried about where the fat comes from.
What you can do, however, is make sure that you are effectivly burning fat and maintaining a fairly low calory diet by working on your metabolism. Eventually your metabolism will have no choice but to metabolize whatever remaining fat it can find.
Yes, this means fat loss in a specific area may be a long process. And this is a major contributor to failure with diet and exercise programs.
Here are some great tips for losing stubborn body fat:
- Try to work your whole body every time you hit the gym. Full body workouts will work more muscle and therefore require more calories.
- Run intervals or short distances instead of lengthy runs on the treadmill. Long endurance activities will actually cause your metabolism to burn tissue besides fat for energy. In fact, it has been shown that working out for longer than 80 minutes in a go could potentially be counter-productive and cause muscle loss as the body attempts to get calories from muscle, completely ignoring any stored fat.
- Exercise at a high intensity. High intensity traning has been shown to increase metabolic rate even after exercising and cause continued fat loss.
- Diet is key. Keep off of high glycemic carbs and high calory fats. We all love bacon and maple syrup but neigher are good for your fat loss goals.
- Workout for short periods of time more often. You go to the gym for an hour three times per week? What about 20 minutes here or there? Again, short but high intensity, full body workouts in series such as 3 days on and 1 day rest will kick things into high gear.
- Remember that you can’t target stomach fat by doing sit-ups. Instead, make sure to work more and larger muiscle groups. Quadraceps muscles will require significantly more calories and as such, can possibly burn more fat than working smaller muscles such as shoulders or biceps.