You know, you know: abs are made in the kitchen, with a focus on portion size, eating whole foods, and limiting the refined carbs, sugar, and alcohol. But while diet plays a huge role, exercise has its place too. Personal trainer and dietitian Jim White, RD, ACSM, told POPSUGAR that with a combination of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits, you can see results in as little as two weeks!
If you want your six-pack to pop, you can't spot-train to reduce belly fat. NASM-certified trainer Tamara Pridgett says, "Instead of obsessing over a 'problem area,' focus on training your entire body." When you lower your total body fat percentage, you'll lose weight in your stomach.
David Chesworth, an ACSM-certified personal trainer and wellness coach at Hilton Head Health, told POPSUGAR that a combination of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and diet can help with weight loss, especially with reducing belly fat.
What Is HIIT?
HIIT involves short intervals done at almost your max effort, followed by shorter recovery periods or rest. The secret to HIIT is in how hard you work during your intense intervals, explained Jade Jenny, CrossFit coach and owner of Champlain Valley CrossFit. Your goal is to work out at 90 percent of your max, which trains your body to work in anaerobic mode, helping you become more efficient at producing and using energy. This increases your body's fat-burning potential, helping you get lean faster than steady-state cardio.
How Often Should You Do HIIT?
So HIIT is where it's at when it comes to reducing belly fat, but how often do you need to do it to see results? ACE-certified trainer John Kersbergen said, "The most efficient way to get results is to do some form of HIIT for a total-body workout." And no need to suffer for hours at the gym. John said, "The whole workout, including warmup, doesn't need to be more than 45 minutes to be effective." Nike Master Trainer Betina Gozo said that three to four times a week of HIIT workouts is enough. That's totally doable, right?
Here are some long HIIT workouts you can try:
- 45-minute total-body HIIT workout
- 45-minute Tabata workout video
- 40-minute bodyweight and dumbbell HIIT workout
- 40-minute total-body CrossFit HIIT workout
- 40-minute basic HIIT workout with dumbbells
If you can't do a whole 40- to 45-minute session, do shorter workouts more often in the week. Here are some shorter HIIT workouts:
- 30-minute lower-body HIIT workout
- 30-minute Tabata workout video
- 20-minute full-body no-equipment HIIT workout
- 30-minute bodyweight HIIT workout
- 30-minute running HIIT workout
If even these are too long, break it up throughout the day with these quick yet intense HIIT workouts:
- 16-minute bodyweight HIIT workout
- 10-minute HIIT workout from an Equinox trainer
- 12-minute CrossFit HIIT workout
- 10-minute Tabata workout video
- 15-minute home bodyweight HIIT workout