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Question
Posted by: running man | 2005/01/11

How to get rid of fat not muscle weight ?

I've been running between 6-8 kms, 3-4 times per week, at 4-5 minutes per km, for the last 6 months. I found that I have been getting fit, breathing becomming easier and easier. However, not been able to reduce fat around the tummy. I'm 1.8 tall, 78kg and athletic build. I do follow a balanced diet, with lots of water, 1.5 L a day. Can you advise me on a weekly training routine, maybe sprints, uphills, etc. I do not have a gym contract so weight training is not an option. I have been told too much cardio will reduce muscle size ? I need to lose fat and gain muscle. No protein and diet shakes plz.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

It is quite difficult to reduce the fat in specific areas, and unfortunately, it's genetics that you are fighting against a lot of the time. You are not overweight, and so that makes it harder, because it's not as though you have all this weight that you need to lose. Therefore, patience is vital. Now, what you need is to just continue. You see, the thing is that you cannot "spot reduce". That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat.

Having said that, it is still important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home. I would suggest you have a look at the following website through the Health 24 site - http://www.health24.com/fitness/Build_muscle_Tone/16-478-504.asp

Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.

As for the cardio causing muscle loss, that's not true, it's an unfortunate myth. The thing is that you only lose weight, muscle or fat if your energy intake is insufficient. So, provided you are eating OK you should be fine. Also, your training is not so excessive that you are in danger of this, so I would not worry. Just keep up what you are doing and it will be fine, and be patient and keep at it!


Good luck

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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