belly fat

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Will working out a persons stomach reduce the amount of fat around it or will it just harden your stomach muscles under a layer of fat? Would a person need more cardio instead?
 

fnorfurfoot

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It would harden the muscles under the fat. Cardio and weight training along with a proper diet is the only way. The frustrating thing about burning fat is that you can't choose where you loose it first. Fat comes off in the reverse from how it was put on. In other words, as you are gaining weight, if you start putting weight on in your stomach, then your butt, and then your arms, when you start dieting, you will loose it from your arms first, then you butt, and your stomach last.
 

SFC JeffJ

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It will not get rid of the fat in that area. I wish it worked that way!

The big problem with the "beer gut" isn't the subcutaneous fat, but the fat hanging from the stomach called the omentum. This is where a lot of fat gets stored in reserve, especially when one is under stress. It not only makes someone have a gut, but also interferes with many other things, such as breathing and digestion. Also, most heartburn and acid reflux are caused by this as when the stomach gets pushed up, it moves the valve that keeps you bile from traveling up your esophagus.

Probably more info than you were looking for!

Jeff
 

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I agree with Jeff. I wish it was that easy! Unfortunately, hard work, ie: lots of cardio and a good diet in conjunction with working out is the only way to be able to see the definition in the ab area.
 

Bigshadow

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Will working out a persons stomach reduce the amount of fat around it or will it just harden your stomach muscles under a layer of fat? Would a person need more cardio instead?


No, it will just harden the muscles under it. The fat around the stomach isn't for the stomach muscles use exclusively no more than fat on the thighs is used for the thighs only.

I wouldn't necessarily say that one would need more cardio either, that may or may not be the case. What really needs to happen is to burn more calories than one takes in. When the body burns fat, it pulls from the fat stores everywhere.

Diet and exercise is the best way.
 

exile

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It will not get rid of the fat in that area. I wish it worked that way!

The big problem with the "beer gut" isn't the subcutaneous fat, but the fat hanging from the stomach called the omentum. This is where a lot of fat gets stored in reserve, especially when one is under stress. It not only makes someone have a gut, but also interferes with many other things, such as breathing and digestion. Also, most heartburn and acid reflux are caused by this as when the stomach gets pushed up, it moves the valve that keeps you bile from traveling up your esophagus.

Probably more info than you were looking for!

Jeff

Good info, Jeff!

A lot of people still seem to believe in the possibility of `spot reduction'. It just doesn't work that way. The body taps into fat reserves for energy on a non-local basis: whether your aerobic exercise targets your arms, legs, or anything else, fat comes off from all over the body, not just the place you were working. And anaerobic exercise burns very little in the way of fat (what it does do, though, is cause the addition of muscle tissue, which unlike any other type of tissue `runs' constantly and hence can boost your `resting' metabolism to some extent).

Belly fat is apparently quite dangerous. Excessive amounts of it seem to be particularly correlated with the likelihood of plaque deposits in blood vessels sloughing off and triggering heart attacks.
 

bydand

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I watch late night TV though, it isn't your fault don't you know. For $157 a bottle we'll send you a product that will defy the laws of physics and nature to strip that fat away with out breaking a sweat, probably while eating a donut at the same time (Drac gets pie due to donut intolerance).

Ok I paraphrased it the best I can remember. Diet and excersise is the only way to do it. there is no magic pill out there that will turn your own body into a fat burning machine except good old hard work dieting and excersising.
 

exile

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Diet and excersise is the only way to do it. there is no magic pill out there that will turn your own body into a fat burning machine except good old hard work dieting and excersising.

Amen. But people will never give up hope that there's a magic bullet somewhere out there that will make calorie expenditure unnecessary. And as long as enough people think that, someone, somewhere is going to be able to coin money from that hope...
 

crushing

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It would harden the muscles under the fat. Cardio and weight training along with a proper diet is the only way. The frustrating thing about burning fat is that you can't choose where you loose it first. Fat comes off in the reverse from how it was put on. In other words, as you are gaining weight, if you start putting weight on in your stomach, then your butt, and then your arms, when you start dieting, you will loose it from your arms first, then you butt, and your stomach last.

Not only that, but according to a show I watched the other day 'Eating 33,000 Calories a Day' (or whatever it was called) as you gain fat, you add fat cells. That's would seem obvious, right? Well, those fat cells then also enlarge as you pack on the pounds. Well, when you start losing the fat, you don't every lose those gained fat cells, the fat cells just get smaller.

At least that is the way I understood what they were saying.

There were some absolutely huge people on that show.
 

terryl965

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All I know is this my belly fat is still here and I have lost over 35 pounds in my *** and legs and firmed up alot but the gut still needs to go bye bye someday over the rainbow
 

CoryKS

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Also, when you work out the muscles get tighter and are not just hanging out all relaxed. In the case of the abs, this can have a slimming effect. This may contribute to the 'spot reduction' myth.
 

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Good info, Jeff!

A lot of people still seem to believe in the possibility of `spot reduction'. It just doesn't work that way. The body taps into fat reserves for energy on a non-local basis: whether your aerobic exercise targets your arms, legs, or anything else, fat comes off from all over the body, not just the place you were working. And anaerobic exercise burns very little in the way of fat (what it does do, though, is cause the addition of muscle tissue, which unlike any other type of tissue `runs' constantly and hence can boost your `resting' metabolism to some extent).

Belly fat is apparently quite dangerous. Excessive amounts of it seem to be particularly correlated with the likelihood of plaque deposits in blood vessels sloughing off and triggering heart attacks.
Good information.
 

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Simply increasing the overall volume of your current training is a good start. If you don't mind doing "cardio" then by all means, but don't get trapped, necessarily, in the moderate intensity, long duration dogma. Working with intervals is also effective, more pertinent to your training goals (most likely) and not so godforsakenly boring. There is something to be said for higher intensities of training for many people, more than they think.

Good Luck.
 

Dave Leverich

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I've found diet to be a huge factor as well.
Cut out soda/coke etc. Drink more water, eat fruits, drop the fries.
Just by eating more healthy and those above, i've dropped 45 from the same places as Terry. And I have that dang 'chest protector' er stomach padding thing I'm so longing to see go away too ;p.
It's definitely not a quick road, that one back to that college body.
 

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Also, when you work out the muscles get tighter and are not just hanging out all relaxed. In the case of the abs, this can have a slimming effect. This may contribute to the 'spot reduction' myth.

You could well be right about that, Cory.

Shirt Ripper said:
Simply increasing the overall volume of your current training is a good start. If you don't mind doing "cardio" then by all means, but don't get trapped, necessarily, in the moderate intensity, long duration dogma. Working with intervals is also effective, more pertinent to your training goals (most likely) and not so godforsakenly boring. There is something to be said for higher intensities of training for many people, more than they think.

Intervals is what I do pretty much exclusively so far as cardio is concernedhigh intensity, low volume (the same as my weight workout routine, in that respect). The advantage of intervals: you spend way less time than in the moderate/steady routines, and you get better results. If you do a moderate jog for fifty seconds and an all-out sprint for the last ten seconds of that minute, then your hearbeat stays elevated for a good chunk of the next minuteas much as half of it. By the time you've done this for five minutes, you're in the `red zone' for virtually the entire next minute even if you're just doing moderate jogs. So it's win/win: you recover while you do the jog, but your heart doesn't quite know that that's what you're doing, and it stays in the high range for most of the next minute; then you sprint ten seconds and guarantee a high burning rate for the next minute and so on. After twenty minutes, you'll find that your heart rate stays elevated for a good long time after the workout's over. And exercise physiologists are of one mind on the long-term results: your metabolism (NB: metabolism, not heart rate) stays in an elevated mode for 24-36 hours after the workout.

The one problem with intervals: they are very, very unpleasant physically. You are working in the pain zone, no way around it. I can usually only do two sessions a week. It's a bitter prospect too, unless you're in a very outgoing, almost aggressive frame of mind. Intervals make you pay for all those benefits I mentioned...

David Leverich said:
I've found diet to be a huge factor as well.
Cut out soda/coke etc. Drink more water, eat fruits, drop the fries.
Just by eating more healthy and those above, i've dropped 45 from the same places as Terry. And I have that dang 'chest protector' er stomach padding thing I'm so longing to see go away too ;p.
It's definitely not a quick road, that one back to that college body.

Terry, I suspect you've actually lost quite a bit of body fat, and David too. The problem is, you don't actually get to see it so much, because you're working away at both the `external' subcutaneous abdominal fat and the intramuscular abdominal fat, and both show. Even when you've worked off the fat under the skin layer, the fat within the muscle layers starts expanding out, since the outer fat layer isn't there to suppress it. I've never really gained any weight since I was in college except muscle growth from heavy lifting (the down side is that muscle growth incredibly slow and painful for me, a classic hardgaining ectomorph), but I know, from friends' experience, that in the abdominal area, you don't actually see the benefit of serious exercise and diet programs till you've lost almost all the stored fat there, both the outer and the inner layerswhich isn't true of other parts of the body.

Keep at it. It seems to happen overnight. One day you will wake up and bang, you'll look and feel lean. The problem people have with both strength training and weight reduction isn't physiological; our bodies will do right by us, 100% of the time, if we do right by them. The real problem is one of morale: people get discouraged and give up. They think it hasn't worked for them, but the real problem, every time, is that they gave up too soon...
 

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I hear you!
They're going the right direction, after a few years of this I'm definitely way more happy with where I'm at, and where I'm going doesn't seem so far off.

It's amazing what desk job and too much crap food can do in 10 years.

We had a thread called 'Fit to Fight: week 1' etc on a board called Legacy (invitation type MA board), that seemed to help greatly. ... until people stopped posting that is, but 18 weeks or so it was a good morale boost.

Essentially it was just a post of measurements, weight, etc. ALthough that'd be a bit tough to get people to do on a board with this many members.
 

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I hear you!
They're going the right direction, after a few years of this I'm definitely way more happy with where I'm at, and where I'm going doesn't seem so far off.

It's amazing what desk job and too much crap food can do in 10 years.

We had a thread called 'Fit to Fight: week 1' etc on a board called Legacy (invitation type MA board), that seemed to help greatly. ... until people stopped posting that is, but 18 weeks or so it was a good morale boost.

Essentially it was just a post of measurements, weight, etc. ALthough that'd be a bit tough to get people to do on a board with this many members.

When you think about it, though, it's quite astonishing how good the body is at recovering from neglect if you give it half a chance.

Take that 10 years you mention and figure that, in a pretty-bad-case scenario, somone has gained sixty-to-eighty lbs of body fat over that 10 year periodnot an unrealistic estimate. If you can cut back 250 calories a daythat's like two slices of bread and some changeand do some serious aerobic exercise for half an hour, say, every dayyou can wind up with a 500 calorie a day deficit, which in 7 days means 3500 calories off your default intake, i.e., a lb. of body weight. And if you do the right kind of exercises at the right combination of paces, most of that 3500 calories will be storied fat, especially at the beginning. Keep on that program for 18 months and you've basically undone the effect of the decade of neglect you mention in your post. If you put a bit more aggressive effort into it, you could probably do it in a single year. One year to undo the bad work of ten years? Sounds pretty good to me!

I think it really helps people to have a structured environment for doing this. That's the missing link in a lot of cases. I have never used or needed a personal trainer, but for most people, another person whose approval they wish to gain is an invaluable crutch to keep them going even when they don't feel like it. A lot of people try to do it on their own, and find they can't, and then give up. Good intentions will only take most people so far...
 

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You know, put it that way... 60-80 pounds seems horrendous heh. But, I've gone from nearly 260 down to 220 (wavering 5 lbs each side of that ;p), of course that's been about 2 years now as I've cleaned up my eating habits a ton, increased my physical regiment, dropped nasty soda etc.

I'm curious though, thinking long-term, what about arterial build-up? Anyone have a set of nano-bots I can send on a seek-n-destroy? hehe. Find out of place cell, remove cell. Resistance is.. sorry ;)

I think for me, simply eating better and such has made world of difference in how I feel. Long road, many steps ahead.
 

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You know, put it that way... 60-80 pounds seems horrendous heh. But, I've gone from nearly 260 down to 220 (wavering 5 lbs each side of that ;p), of course that's been about 2 years now as I've cleaned up my eating habits a ton, increased my physical regiment, dropped nasty soda etc.

That's just my point: if you say to someone, hey, you should lose 40lbs., their immediate response will almost certainly be bleak despair. But the time is going to go by, whether you're losing body fat or not. If you multiply even a very small fraction by a very big number, the result can still be respectable. And the more muscle mass you can add, the more that muscle tissue does some of the work forit's metabolically active even when you're at rest, unlike other kinds of tissue. So there's kind of a positive feedback set up: the more muscle you gain, the more fat comes off, which means you look still leaner.

It's only hard if you look to far ahead. Most people can lose a lb. a week. That's four lbs a month, if you're dedicated. Best case, lose 40 lbs. in a year. But there's always backsliding and plateaus, so double the time to be on the side of caution and, voila, two years, 40lbs., just what you accomplished in that time.

Dave Leverich said:
I'm curious though, thinking long-term, what about arterial build-up? Anyone have a set of nano-bots I can send on a seek-n-destroy? hehe. Find out of place cell, remove cell. Resistance is.. sorry ;)

Depends on the individual. I've heard there are certain foodsapples, oatmeal porridge and a few otherswhich contain compounds that help unclog arterial plaque. Some people though have an unfortunate genetic condition which results in very massive plaque buildups. A colleague in my department has thathad to have a quadruple bipass about ten years ago, and it's all over his family.

Dave Leverich said:
I think for me, simply eating better and such has made world of difference in how I feel. Long road, many steps ahead.

True, but it sounds like you're doing really well!
 
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