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Question
Posted by: Jake | 2008/06/02

Excess fat in the stomach area

Hi, basically I was an over weight child, i'm now 19 and have lost all the weight except for on my stomach. I have been trying for ages to lose this belly fat but everywhere else just gets really slim and my stomach stays fat. any advice would be awesome.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Jake

Difficlt to say, since I don't know what you have tried to do to lose this weight in the past. I can say that what you're struggling with now is by far the most common question that is asked, actually. Everyone seems to battle with the weight in a specific area, and it is really difficult to combat though, although you have already hopefully recognized that eating well and exercising correctly are the keys. The mistake people make is that they try to target the muscle group, often at the expense of doing the whole body exercise that is actually more effective. That's not to say that focus on a muscle group or area is bad, because you need it, but it's better to do whole body exercise. The exercise is cardio training - like running, walking, cycling, swimming, taebo, aerobics etc. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least 4 days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, AT LEAST. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change.

The specific exercises for the area in question have a relatively minor role, other than that they are responsible for developing the muscle in the area, which creates the appearance of being toned. That's obviously what you want, but you have to realise that you can't do the toning and specific work first and neglect the cardio - it has to work the other way around, cardio first, toning second. So focus on cardio, then on toning.

Diet is also very crucial, and if it's not 100% it will undermine any exercise benefits. So the best thing is to see a dietician or follow a very good diet plan. Just remember that low kilojoule is not necessarily better - too low causes problems as well, because it causes the body's metabolic rate to drop and that affects your ability to lose weight in the future. So don't try to starve yourself or go overboard, rather eat sensibly, cut out as much fat as you can, and listen to your body.

Good luck
Ross

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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