The belly and butt are two areas that many people target when training and dieting. A flat stomach makes you look leaner and more defined, while a muscular butt improves the shape of your lower body and hips. Losing fat and building muscle simultaneously is difficult, but it can be done with the right approach to diet and training.
Cut your daily calorie intake by 500. To lose belly fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume. The Mayo Clinic advise that the best way to do this is to get rid of high calorie snacks, reduce portion sizes and choose lower calorie options at mealtimes. Stick to a diet based around vegetables and fruits, lean meats and fish, dairy products, beans and grains.
Lift weights twice per week. Weight training not only builds muscle, it elevates your metabolism and burns calories too. Don't get sucked into the idea of doing hundreds of crunches to burn belly fat though -- according to the American Council on Exercise, spot reducing fat through exercise is impossible. Instead, focus on total body exercises like squats, lunges, pushups and dumbbell rows, and include butt-specific ones too, like glute bridges. Lie on your back with your heels on the floor and knees bent. Lift your hips as high as you can, squeeze your glutes hard, then go down again. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions each workout. Once this is too easy, try it with just one leg on the floor.
Run, swim, cycle or perform cardio workouts in the gym three times per week. Charles Poliquin, owner of the Poliquin Performance Center, advises making your cardio work high intensity. High-intensity cardio builds more muscle and burns more fat than low intensity, steady state work. Warm up for five minutes, then work as hard as you can for 15 seconds, before going at a steady pace again for 45 seconds. Repeat this 10 times, then do a five-minute cool down. Other good cardio options include hill sprints, kettlebell or body weight exercise circuits, or spinning and circuits classes.
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