When it comes to working out and eating healthy, fat loss is the number one motivator for Filipinos. Of those surveyed, 79% identified losing fat as their primary goal, with muscle gain and better cardiovascular endurance falling quite far behind.
For fat loss, one of the most common target areas is the belly. REBEL’s in-house nutritionist-dietitian Jo Sebastian sheds light on the misconceptions on the topic, as well as gives advice on how to healthily and sustainably go through one’s fat loss journey.
It’s important to understand that there are two types of fat in the belly area: visceral fat, which surrounds the organs, and subcutaneous fat, which is fat found under the skin. And when it comes to burning fat, here is what we should remember:
There is no way to spot reduce.
Losing fat around the belly is not all about ab workouts and fat burners. While working your core can build and strengthen muscle in the area, there really is no need for 96,000 crunches. To lose belly fat, you need to lower your overall body fat percentage. This can be done through a moderate calorie deficit, which is a more sustainable approach versus crash dieting.
Factors that affect ab definition are genetics and a very low body fat percentage that may not exactly be healthy for everyone to maintain. Also, the way body fat is distributed differs from person to person, so you can’t exactly pinpoint where you lose fat from when you’re cutting down on calories and building muscle.
There is no need to starve to lose belly fat.
Losing fat or losing weight sustainably doesn’t mean your food intake goes from 100 to 0 in an instant. Moderate calorie deficits of 200 to 300 calories will definitely be more sustainable in the long run.
You don’t need to skip meals nor fast to reach your goals. Remember: if it’s difficult to maintain, then it may not be the best approach!
Bloating is not belly fat.
Bloating is normal, and it’s not always possible to have the flattest stomach 24/7. We sometimes bloat at the end of the day and confuse that for weight gain or belly fat, when really, it’s just the food and drink we’ve consumed that day. Your belly area houses your organs and is essential in helping you digest food. It helps keep you alive—and there’s no shame in that!
So, focus on taking care of yourself and taking safe and sustainable measures if you’re looking to slim down. But of course, if bloating becomes persistent and painful, it would be best to consult a physician.
Head over to the REBEL app for more videos about nutrition and healthy recipes you can incorporate into your diet.