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Lose Belly Fat With Intervals

The Secret to Losing Belly Fat

While focusing on crunches will strengthen your abs, it unfortunately will not get rid of the muffin top around your waist. To get rid of ab flab, it's essential to regularly include calorie-burning cardio in your routine. And not just any kind of cardio — it's important to focus on interval training; alternating between moderate and speedy bursts of exercise is the key.

A study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that when compared to women who cycled at a consistent pace for 40 minutes, women who worked out for 20 minutes, but alternated between eight-second sprints and 12 seconds of low-intensity cycling, lost more belly fat after 15 weeks. Work out half as long and lose more fat? Sounds good to me!

You can do intervals with virtually any type of activity. Here are some ways to incorporate them into your routine:

  1. Use visual goals: Run or bike at a moderate pace, and then look ahead and sprint to the mailbox that's 50 feet away, or up the hill, or to the end of the street. Once you reach your goal, reduce back to your moderate speed. After your breathing returns to normal, choose another goal to race to.
  2. Use time: Watch the clock and move moderately for two minutes and then zoom as fast as you can for one minute. Repeat this pattern for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Use music: Make an interval playlist, alternating between fast-paced peppy tunes and slower, chill tunes. Walk, run, or dance to the beat. Here's a 60-minute walk-run playlist, or for a faster-paced workout, try this 40-minute running playlist.
  4. Use a POPSUGAR Fitness interval workout: If you find it easier to follow a cardio routine, check out these interval workouts:
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography
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Join The Conversation
laurenislost laurenislost 4 years
Great reverse thinspo, fitsugar!! Good to see fat shaming is alive and well in the fitness universe..
heirloom1 heirloom1 4 years
I meant losing weigt all over. I can see losing in your lower body, but not upper body.
heirloom1 heirloom1 4 years
Whats the difference between spinning and cycling?I can't imagine losing weight just spinning.
heirloom1 heirloom1 4 years
Whats the difference between spinning and cycling? I can't imagine losing weight just spinning.
juliafofulia juliafofulia 6 years
I've been working on my belly fat for a little while but I did not know about interval training. I have never been fit even when I was on the swim team in high school. Now that I am older though I see things in a different perspective. I am going to try this interval training and thank you everyone for the tips in the comments. All very helpful!
amandaaa amandaaa 6 years
yesss i just (re) learned in my anatomy class that interval training is probably the best way your cells metabolize and catabolize fats.
joy76 joy76 7 years
spinning all the way, best for interval training, could not recommend it more. I do this at least once a week I wish I could do it more often, but no time :-(
mtiger mtiger 7 years
Don't get discouraged! I've lost 32 pounds since the beginning of June. I did it mainly by diet. I've been using the elliptical 5 times a week for 30 minutes for a month. So I'm a firm believer that 95% of weight loss is diet!SusieQtee.. that's interesting. I can have a few drinks or even a big meal and the scale jumps up the next day and then takes a few days to even back out. I don't eat low-carb, and my weight loss has been successful anyway. I'd like to know more about this. Thanks!
mtiger mtiger 7 years
Don't get discouraged! I've lost 32 pounds since the beginning of June. I did it mainly by diet. I've been using the elliptical 5 times a week for 30 minutes for a month. So I'm a firm believer that 95% of weight loss is diet! SusieQtee.. that's interesting. I can have a few drinks or even a big meal and the scale jumps up the next day and then takes a few days to even back out. I don't eat low-carb, and my weight loss has been successful anyway. I'd like to know more about this. Thanks!
brp4251 brp4251 7 years
Alright. A Lot of this is true but you really have to face the problem head on.Exercise frequently. That means several times a week. Include cardio exercise but also include full body lifts such as squats and lunges. Simple weight training exercises will really boost the results. If you are shooting to be slim and fit, do light weight (something you can do 12-15 reps of) and do interval training only resting about 30-60 seconds between each set. This will led to burning more calories. Lifting burns more calories than running does* but don't ease out of doing cardio it hits the core hard and promotes better health than just weight training.Eat Healthy. And be honest with yourself. What you do after you work out is worth more than the workout yourself. If you go for a run and then come back to a bag of chips and a soda you are working for nothing. For one drop soda completely. And drop most of fruit juices. Both are full of sugar and not necessary especially soda. If you are reading this go throw away your soda it is the worst thing you can drink. Anyway come back to a lean source of protein, low fat, and low carbs. Sounds kind of hard but not really. Prepare a grilled chicken sandwich or eat a bunch of vegetables. With vegetables you can never really go wrong. Drink plenty of water*. Actually count the number of calories you eat in a day too. Try to drop 500 or so calories a day. That doesn't mean skip a meal but just put less dressing on your salad or don't drink that soda. Make sure everything you eat is worth it too. Look at nutrition facts look for rich sources of vitamins and minerals. If you are going to eat make it quality. Also go from eating just 3 meals a day to eating 6. Eat a breakfast around 500 calories to get your day going and then a few hours later and a few hours before lunch eat a snack. Not a bag of chips but something like an apple and a two pieces of cheese. Eat another 500 calorie lunch and then another little healthy snack. By this point your should have like 1200-1400 calories. For dinner limit yourself. This is one of the most overeaten meals of the day. Go for something that again is around 500 calories. Later on a few hours before you go to bed eat a piece of fruit or some vegetables to hold you off until the morning. If you get an urge to eat later on always grab vegetables or drink cold water. Cold water will fill you up and leave nothing behind. Take charge of your life. It isn't hard to stay away from bad choices. Just get up, exercise, and keep your goals in focus. Every mistake or "cheat" puts your back a step.
brp4251 brp4251 7 years
Alright. A Lot of this is true but you really have to face the problem head on. Exercise frequently. That means several times a week. Include cardio exercise but also include full body lifts such as squats and lunges. Simple weight training exercises will really boost the results. If you are shooting to be slim and fit, do light weight (something you can do 12-15 reps of) and do interval training only resting about 30-60 seconds between each set. This will led to burning more calories. Lifting burns more calories than running does* but don't ease out of doing cardio it hits the core hard and promotes better health than just weight training. Eat Healthy. And be honest with yourself. What you do after you work out is worth more than the workout yourself. If you go for a run and then come back to a bag of chips and a soda you are working for nothing. For one drop soda completely. And drop most of fruit juices. Both are full of sugar and not necessary especially soda. If you are reading this go throw away your soda it is the worst thing you can drink. Anyway come back to a lean source of protein, low fat, and low carbs. Sounds kind of hard but not really. Prepare a grilled chicken sandwich or eat a bunch of vegetables. With vegetables you can never really go wrong. Drink plenty of water*. Actually count the number of calories you eat in a day too. Try to drop 500 or so calories a day. That doesn't mean skip a meal but just put less dressing on your salad or don't drink that soda. Make sure everything you eat is worth it too. Look at nutrition facts look for rich sources of vitamins and minerals. If you are going to eat make it quality. Also go from eating just 3 meals a day to eating 6. Eat a breakfast around 500 calories to get your day going and then a few hours later and a few hours before lunch eat a snack. Not a bag of chips but something like an apple and a two pieces of cheese. Eat another 500 calorie lunch and then another little healthy snack. By this point your should have like 1200-1400 calories. For dinner limit yourself. This is one of the most overeaten meals of the day. Go for something that again is around 500 calories. Later on a few hours before you go to bed eat a piece of fruit or some vegetables to hold you off until the morning. If you get an urge to eat later on always grab vegetables or drink cold water. Cold water will fill you up and leave nothing behind. Take charge of your life. It isn't hard to stay away from bad choices. Just get up, exercise, and keep your goals in focus. Every mistake or "cheat" puts your back a step.
AKgrandma AKgrandma 7 years
andygurl63. Prevention magazine has a new eating program out that works on belly fat. With it you: 1) reduce calories 2) greatly reduce saturated fat 3) replace some of that fat with monounsaturated fat. The reasoning is this: your body only burns old fat, so you must eat some fat with each meal. MUFA's (monounsaturated fats) do not build up in your blood vessels or anywhere in your body like saturated fats do. So as you eat MUFA's your body starts to burn the old (saturated) fat without adding any new fat to your body. Because fats are high in calories, you can't eat too much and still keep your caloric count low, which means you will have to count calorie's for a while until you get into the swing of eating differently. Those who advocate low sugar are right up to a point. Greatly limit your refined sugar. Those are empty calories and add to your daily caloric count really fast, without adding anything nutritious. And the extra calories are stored as fat. You can really start to crave sweets if your body is not given the proper vitamins and minerals that it needs to function. The easiest way to start this way of eating is to get the book from Prevention. I think it is called "The flat belly diet," and their magazine features recipes each month that are low in calories and saturated fat, add the MUFA's that you need to start losing fat. One other thing on this: fat is essential to your body; you need it to enable digestion of many vitamins, so going completely fat free or vastly limiting fats can be dangerous. As I recall, they say not to look at a scale when you start on this program. Write your measurements (bust, chest, abs, stomach, hips, thighs) and every few days measure again. The numbers go down slowly, but they do go down; and even seeing 1/2 inch less somewhere in a week gives you the encouragement to keep going. I hope it works for you!
AKgrandma AKgrandma 7 years
andygurl63. Prevention magazine has a new eating program out that works on belly fat. With it you: 1) reduce calories 2) greatly reduce saturated fat 3) replace some of that fat with monounsaturated fat. The reasoning is this: your body only burns old fat, so you must eat some fat with each meal. MUFA's (monounsaturated fats) do not build up in your blood vessels or anywhere in your body like saturated fats do. So as you eat MUFA's your body starts to burn the old (saturated) fat without adding any new fat to your body. Because fats are high in calories, you can't eat too much and still keep your caloric count low, which means you will have to count calorie's for a while until you get into the swing of eating differently. Those who advocate low sugar are right up to a point. Greatly limit your refined sugar. Those are empty calories and add to your daily caloric count really fast, without adding anything nutritious. And the extra calories are stored as fat. You can really start to crave sweets if your body is not given the proper vitamins and minerals that it needs to function. The easiest way to start this way of eating is to get the book from Prevention. I think it is called "The flat belly diet," and their magazine features recipes each month that are low in calories and saturated fat, add the MUFA's that you need to start losing fat. One other thing on this: fat is essential to your body; you need it to enable digestion of many vitamins, so going completely fat free or vastly limiting fats can be dangerous. As I recall, they say not to look at a scale when you start on this program. Write your measurements (bust, chest, abs, stomach, hips, thighs) and every few days measure again. The numbers go down slowly, but they do go down; and even seeing 1/2 inch less somewhere in a week gives you the encouragement to keep going. I hope it works for you!
susieQTee susieQTee 7 years
to sm1997, try going very low carb. after 6 mos of killing myself w/diet and a rigid workout routine w/cardio & wts, burning a min of 3500 cal/wk, i only lost 10 lbs. very discouraging because i was trying so hard. however, i've since found out i have hyperinsulinism. my body does not like carbs, at all. to stay motivated i log my wt every day, and if i cheat even a little, like a couple drinks w/dinner, the scale will go up nearly 2 lbs the next morning. i have a ton of allergies, had shots for most of my life, and since giving up sugar/all carbs, my allergies have improved 95%, haven't been sick once, and, all my aches & pains have gone away! oh, and no pms :) give it a try for a month and see what happens. heck, give up carbs for 4 days and see what happens. anyone can commit to 4 days. lots of meal ideas out there, like a crustless quiche for breakfast, and a starbucks breve latte...will keep you full/satisfied for a very long time. try it.
andygurl63 andygurl63 7 years
Thanks guys so much i feel inspired!!! lol! I most certainly wont give up but some days like these get realli difficult for me..Thanks for the encouraging responses! O and one more question how do u lose stubborn belly fat bc I see a slight change in my thighs and i have lost inches but this fat around my stomach seem 2b going nowhere! lol
TruPower TruPower 7 years
My thoughts on the 40 minute thing is based upon a understanding that the body produces growth hormone for approximately 30 minutes in increasing and finally a decreasing beneficial amount after the 30 mintures you start to burn into the stored glycogen in the pancreas and course in the blood, generally people have tendency to desire more fatty foods after that much workout and course have greater appetite as the wearing on the bodys energy system makes us think we are hungrier than we really are thereby exceeding the required calories and / or nutrients for healing this overabundance is unused and after cooldown and or when we are sleeping at night it tends to bolster stress claims that are shown by the cortisol levels in the body, which of course converts to fat especially the midsection which has tendency to always be involved most forms of exercise, after a workout most midsections are the first to exclaim " I am so stressed out man!!" but anyways the reason why interval training is so effective is for the 20 minutes you get the most beneficial and spiked output of growth hormone and with the rest intervals and the all out output, more fast twitch muscle fibers are recruited during such a workout, the 40 minute dealio is only recruiting the slow twitch as the energy is more modulated and not accepted by the body as contunual increasing output, so it decides it only needs the slow twitch, now a 40 minute circuit training program would have the desired effect as varying degrees of movement will keep the body guessing, and when you say circuit training you might as well say interval training. Tadaaaaaa!!!
sugarós sugarós 7 years
good call julie08! sm1997 & andygurl63 -i was eating a lot of fruits...TOO many at first, since it was the summertime. maybe that's why it took 3 months for the first noticeable difference...
sugarós sugarós 7 years
good call julie08! sm1997 & andygurl63 - i was eating a lot of fruits...TOO many at first, since it was the summertime. maybe that's why it took 3 months for the first noticeable difference...
sugarós sugarós 7 years
sm1997 & andygurl63 - don't give up. keep going! good luck!i didn't see much change for the first couple months of consistent working out & healthy diet...minimal processed foods. 1st month: an 1hr of cardio, 2nd month: cardio & strength training,3rd month: @least 40min cardio, yoga classes & the stepmill 30-40min, 4-5x/wk. i was getting discouraged, then suddenly 2-3 sizes seem to disappear! that's alot because i'm only 5' tall! i feel so good, it was worth the work/wait for the big drop!i'm going to do interval training to lose the last unwanted 5 pounds.
sugarós sugarós 7 years
sm1997 & andygurl63 - don't give up. keep going! good luck! i didn't see much change for the first couple months of consistent working out & healthy diet...minimal processed foods. 1st month: an 1hr of cardio, 2nd month: cardio & strength training, 3rd month: @least 40min cardio, yoga classes & the stepmill 30-40min, 4-5x/wk. i was getting discouraged, then suddenly 2-3 sizes seem to disappear! that's alot because i'm only 5' tall! i feel so good, it was worth the work/wait for the big drop! i'm going to do interval training to lose the last unwanted 5 pounds.
julie08 julie08 7 years
Change it up andygurl63. Do alternate days of cardio/abs and then on the other days work with light weights/heavy repitions. You may also consider talking to a trainer at the gym if that is where you are working out. Your body is telling you that it needs something different in order to respond. Try different cardio machines or classes like pilates. Another good way to rev up your metabolism is to eat 5 small meals a day. This keeps your sugar level constant and your body will not go into starvation mode. I also have a small, light snack in the early evening. Avoid high sugar fruits and juices. Mangos, oranges can sometimes sneak up on you. Apples are great for you. I will eat banana for the potassium and quick energy.DO NOT get discouraged!
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