This Is How Often You Should Exercise a Week to Lose Belly Fat, According to an Expert

You've probably heard that if you want to transform your body, you've got to make changes to your nutrition, but that doesn't mean exercise is unimportant. If your goal is to lose belly fat, you have to exercise in conjunction with implementing nutritional changes for long-term results. To find out how often you should exercise and what nutritional changes you should consider making, continue reading.

How Often Should I Exercise to Lose Belly Fat?
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How Often Should I Exercise to Lose Belly Fat?

The thing about losing belly fat or making any change to your body, like building muscle, is that there's no set amount of days or time you should exercise to lose fat. "It depends on the individual," Heather Milton, MS, RCEP, CSCS, an exercise physiologist clinical specialist at the NYU Langone Sports Performance Center, told POPSUGAR.

"However, best advice includes focusing on getting exercise consistently, more than five days a week, as well as adding resistance training at least two times per week," Heather said. Here's a four-week workout plan to get you started. And don't forget, you've got to make nutritional changes as well!

What You Should Eat to Lose Belly Fat

What You Should Eat to Lose Belly Fat

We can't tell you exactly what to eat, which is why we always recommend consulting a registered dietitian. Here's a list of registered dietitian tips to lose belly fat. With that being said, a great place to start is by eating fewer processed foods and more whole foods.

Heather said you should also balance the nutrients you consume "to ensure [that you get] proper macronutrients (proteins, non-saturated fats, and complex carbohydrates) as well as vitamins and minerals to support a healthy metabolism."

To lose fat, 50 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from carbohydrates, 25 percent should come from protein, and 25 percent should come from fats, Nikki Jupe, MS, RD, CSSD, senior sports dietitian at the University of Oregon told POPSUGAR in a previous interview.

If you've made expert-recommended nutritional changes and still aren't seeing a reduction in the amount of belly fat you have, Heather said it could be a result of poor sleep patterns, medication, stress, your eating schedule, and your exercise selection (the elliptical versus interval training and resistance training). It could also be an issue with your hormones, in which case you may want to speak to a an endocrinologist to be sure.

How Long Will It Take to Lose Belly Fat?
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How Long Will It Take to Lose Belly Fat?

As stated before, everyone's body is different and according to Heather, "It is incredibly variable due to variance in stress levels, sleep patterns, genetics and medications — as well as the exercise program and diet followed."

Generally speaking, you can lose anywhere from 0.5 to two pounds a week, Jason Machowsky RD, CSCS, a board-certified sports dietitian and exercise physiologist at the Hospital For Special Surgery's Tisch Performance Center told POPSUGAR in a previous interview.

Losing belly fat won't happen overnight, but making healthier nutritional decisions and implementing a workout routine with strength training and cardio will get you started off on the right foot.