Ab exercise can reduce body fat

Reduce body fat effectively and sustainably

Reducing body fat: A poor diet and usually very little physical activity have left their mark on many of us. The trousers are tight and the result on the bathroom scales confirms the attached fat pads. But how do you get rid of the "love handles" effectively?

Reduce body fat through calorie deficit

Supposed "miracle diets" that keep appearing in the media are sophisticated marketing strategies, but they all work in the same way (if they work at all!): A calorie deficit arises through restricted food selection or reduced energy intake is crucial for weight loss.

So the body receives less energy than it actually needs. Most of the time, however, the success of such radical diets is only short-lived and the painstakingly reduced pounds are quickly back on the ribs with normal eating behavior - or even worse: The final weight is now even higher than the starting weight before the diet (yo-yo Effect). Anyone who strives for effective body fat reduction and long-term success for their health can change their low-calorie eating behavior with simple effective tricks:

The 4 most sensible nutritional rules for reducing the percentage of body fat

Reduce body fat - rule 1: Observe your current eating habits

The logging of eating and drinking behavior over 7 days creates an initial awareness of your own eating behavior and is therefore an important step in changing your diet.

Reduce body fat - rule 2: not every calorie is created equal

Therefore: reduce calories but choose the right one! Calories from fat, carbohydrates or proteins (proteins) have different trigger functions on the metabolism. The energy consumption for the digestive process also varies depending on the meal or the nutrients it contains. Compared to carbohydrates and fats, our bodies have to burn significantly more energy to digest proteins.

Example:500ml buttermilk contains approx. 190kcal, of which approx. 26kcal are lost again in the form of heat energy during the digestive process. With a large glass of orange juice (400ml) with a similar calorie content (approx. 180kcal), on the other hand, it is only 14kcal, as it contains almost only carbohydrates and only a negligible amount of protein.

Reduced calorie diets

Low-calorie diets with a high protein content also have other advantages for weight loss: Proteins support the satiety effect - studies confirm a longer feeling of satiety when consuming protein versus carbohydrates (Acheson et al., 2011; Paddon-Jones, 2008). This results in a reduced feeling of appetite and it is easier to stick to a low-calorie diet in everyday life.

They are also the building blocks of our muscles. The loss of valuable muscle mass is minimized by a protein-rich diet (when you lose weight, the muscles are always attacked in addition to fat tissue). This reduces the decrease in the basal metabolic rate (energy requirements of the body in the resting state) and further supports the "diet success".

Tip: High-quality protein sources such as low-fat dairy products (e.g. cottage cheese, low-fat quark), fish, eggs, legumes, lean meat and poultry divided into several meals support body fat loss and muscle maintenance in the weight reduction phase in combination with targeted training.

Reduce body fat - rule 3: choose foods and meals wisely

The proportion of high-quality protein sources should therefore be increased during the diet phase. On the other hand, carbohydrates in the form of white bread, pasta and sweets should be significantly restricted and instead vegetables, fruit and, to a lesser extent, whole-grain products (e.g. oatmeal, whole-grain rice) should be preferred. Bulky foods such as vegetables and fruits not only contain important vitamins and minerals, but also a high proportion of fiber and fluids.

In this way they help to achieve an optimized feeling of satiety with a relatively low calorie intake at the same time. In addition, calorie-containing drinks such as soft drinks, fruit juices and alcohol should be avoided and instead calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened teas (e.g. fruit or green tea), as well as moderate consumption of coffee / espresso should be preferred.

Reduce Body Fat - Rule 4: Timing the Nutrients Right

Carbohydrate-rich snacks such as sugary fruits (e.g. banana), sandwiches, muesli bars or juice spritzers should be avoided.

If you really want a snack in between, then it is better to use low-carbohydrate options such as 1 small handful of almonds or 1 serving of low-fat herbal quark with vegetable sticks, because these have a significantly lower impact on the blood sugar level and fat burning is hardly slowed down.

If the fat metabolism is to be particularly boosted and optimized during endurance training, carbohydrates (e.g. rolls, bananas) that are consumed shortly before or during exercise have a counterproductive effect or significantly inhibit fat burning during endurance training. For longer or intense units, however, carbohydrates are essential for maximum performance.

And finally, what counts: The more intensely and longer you train, the more calories you burn and the more body fat you can break down!

Corinne Mäder, first published in May 2014

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Corinne Mäder is a certified Sports Nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN) and studied nutritional science. In addition to her work as European Sport Nutrition Manager at PowerBar, she is currently one of the first German-speaking participants to complete a postgraduate course of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the field of sports nutrition.

Corinne, herself a former competitive athlete, has been advising professional and amateur athletes for several years. She also has over 10 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutritionist.