Belly fat is a stubborn enemy. No matter how much cardio or strength training you do, it always seems to stick around. If this sounds familiar, you're certainly not the only one. Joel Freeman, Beachbody Super Trainer and cocreator of Core De Force, has seen many clients who struggle to get rid of the extra weight around their midsection. But before you can even think about doing certain exercises to target your waist, Joel wants you understand a few things about your body.
"You can't target-train," Joel told POPSUGAR. "Unfortunately, belly fat is the first place fat shows up and it's the last place it leaves. Our bodies naturally want fat. Look at what every other mammal does on the planet: they store fat for the Winter. It's a natural world occurrence, but aesthetically we don't like that."
Rather than using ab exercises to try to reverse this natural tendency our bodies have, Joel encourages you to stick with a routine. "Consistency is massive," he explained. "We know what we should and shouldn't eat. We know that we should be working out at least four times a week. Set a path that works for you personally, and get a good four to five days [per week] of being really good — work out, keep your diet in check — and then allow yourself that one day to enjoy yourself and loosen the reigns a little bit."
"Staying consistent will develop the long-term results," Joel concluded. This also prevents you from going through all the yo-yo dieting and workout routines. "As opposed to trying to target that one little aspect, if you can target the entire problem, then it gives long-term results," he said.
So forget about the crunches and planks for now. Just focus on being consistently and healthy overall, and that belly fat will surely fall away in due time.