Belly fat is one of the most stubborn fats in your body. Whatever you do, it never seems to go away.
You’ve already done countless ab workouts and crunches, but nothing seems to work.
Working out on machines has been popular for a long time, so maybe you should try that, but do ab machines burn belly fat?
Ab machines alone won’t burn your belly fat.
The best way to lose fat anywhere on your body is by creating a calorie deficit and doing cardio workouts. Ab machines will only make your abs stronger, but they will only hide under your fat.
Many things affect how you lose belly fat. There are two different types of belly fat, and you can’t lose them the same way.
Your sleeping patterns, eating habits, workouts, and even genetics all affect how fast you will lose belly fat.
However, it would be best if you didn’t forget that having a strong core is more important than having a flat stomach, so keep doing your ab exercises.
Your core has many important roles in your life, and keeping it strong will make your life easier.
- 1 Roles of Abdominal Muscles
- 2 Types of Belly Fat
- 3 Do Ab Machines Burn Belly Fat?
- 4 Top Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat
- 5 How Long Does it Take to Lose Belly Fat?
- 6 Best Machines for Burning Belly Fat
Roles of Abdominal Muscles
You must breathe correctly when you’re working out.
When you breathe properly, your blood can circulate to the working muscles, get enough oxygen to function properly, and have waste products simultaneously removed.
Some people breathe the wrong way when exercising. They hold their breath during weight training which can lead to increased blood pressure.
The best way to breathe during lifting is to inhale as the weight is lowered and exhale as the weight is lifted. This will help control blood pressure.
Your abdominal muscles play the main role in breathing by expanding your diaphragm as you lift weights.
2. Supporting spine
Your abdominal muscles’ second important role in supporting the spine and offering protection from lower back pain and injury.
If your abs are weak, you will probably be more prone to back strain from your strength training workout. Strong abs will help you stabilize and brace the spine.
Being able to brace your core during stress will make you feel tighter and more stable when lifting weights.
3. Maintaining good posture
The third important role of your abs is stabilizing your torso and ensuring good posture.
One of the most important things when working out is to have a proper posture.
This helps you develop greater levels of strength and reduces the stress on the muscles and ligaments. You will be able to lift safely and decreases your risk of injury.
When it comes to compound movements (like deadlifts, squats, barbell rows, and overhead press), your torso must stay in a neutral position throughout the workout.
Your abs will help you maintain the necessary posture to lift the most weight you can without sacrificing your technique.
Types of Belly Fat
Even though all belly fat may seem the same, there are actually two different types of belly fat: subcutaneous and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is the kind of fat situated under the skin and on top of abdominal muscles.
Meanwhile, visceral fat is the fat present underneath the abdominal muscles and surrounds your organs.
If you can see your fat and touch it, it is subcutaneous fat.
1. Subcutaneous fat
Compared to other body parts, subcutaneous fat is found mostly in your abdominal area. Unfortunately, your abdomen can store several inches of fat.
How much of this fat you will accumulate depends on many things, including your genetics, lifestyle, physical activity, and diet.
It is hard to lose subcutaneous fat in your lower abdomen by dieting and exercise compared to the upper abdomen because each location has different fat properties.
The best way to lose subcutaneous fat is by getting your body in a calorie deficit, which usually involves burning enough calories through exercise, combined with a diet that creates a caloric deficit based on your total body expenditure.
Simply put, a calorie deficit is eating fewer calories than you burn through your daily activities and workouts.
Unfortunately, how fast you will lose your belly fat is determined by your genetics.
That being said, you can add strength training to your workout, which will help you reduce belly fat.
It helps you get rid of belly fat because strength training increases lean muscle, boosts metabolism, and burns calories.
2. Visceral fat
Having too much visceral fat can be very dangerous.
When you constantly eat more calories than you burn off, also known as a calorie surplus, your body will store this additional energy as fat.
Hormones and inflammatory substances are produced by these fat cells. It is believed that visceral fat promotes long-lasting inflammation and has been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, and even cancers.
It is hard to identify visceral fat because it sits under your abdominal wall.
Some studies have shown that creating a caloric deficit, increasing dietary whole grains and lean protein can reduce visceral fat.
Some other recommendations for losing visceral fat are reducing sugars and alcohol because these substances are more likely to end up as visceral fat.
Do Ab Machines Burn Belly Fat?
A proven way to lose fat in any part of your body is doing cardio workouts. Regardless, many people think that they can lose belly fat using ab machines.
However, ab machines are supposed to strengthen and tone ab muscles, not burn belly fat.
Have you found yourself working out your abs for ages without any improvement? If the answer is yes, you might have strong abs underneath your fat.
The core section that forms the popular “6-pack” is the rectus abdominis, and it can be covered by fat even if these muscles are strong.
A popular misconception a lot of people have is that having a flat stomach means having strong abs.
However, having a flat stomach and strong abs are two different things and have nothing to do with each other.
You can have a strong stomach by exercising it through targeted abdominal exercises, but whether or not you will lose belly fat depends on your nutritional habits.
Another assumption people make is that having a flat stomach is more important than having a strong stomach.
Your stomach is engaged in every exercise you do, even if it’s a light one. You might not notice it, but everything you do both in the gym and your everyday life involves abs.
Top Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat
Losing belly fat is a long process that involves more than just working out.
However, there are some ways you are unknowingly prolonging this process, which will make it harder for you to lose belly fat.
It could be your habits or even something you have no control over, like aging.
Your body changes as you get older, and it is not as easy to lose weight and fat like it was in your 20s or 30s.
Both men and women experience a declining metabolic rate as they age.
Menopause can be another thing that is making it harder for you to lose weight as you age.
During menopause, your hormone estrogen and progesterone production slow down, and your testosterone levels but drop at a slower rate.
This causes women to hold on to weight in their bellies.
2. Consuming alcoholic beverages
Unexpectedly, alcohol has a lot of calories.
Since calories in alcohol can’t be stored for later, your body’s metabolism has to focus on alcohol first when it’s in the body.
This will cause your body’s metabolism to abandon its task of burning fat, and fat burn will drop significantly in the belly.
3. Eating unhealthy foods
Processed food like white bread, crackers, and chips, as well as refined sugars in sweetened drinks and desserts, increase inflammation in your body.
Since belly fat is associated with inflammation, eating too many processed foods will make it hard for you to lose belly fat.
4. Consuming wrong fats
Not all fats are bad, and not all fats will cause you to accumulate belly fat. A high intake of saturated fat which can be found in meat and dairy, will lead to visceral fat.
On the other hand, consuming monounsaturated fats, which can be found in olive oil and avocados, have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Specific polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish like salmon do the same positive influences on your body.
Eating the right amount of these fats can do good to your body, but eating too much fat of any kind increases your calorie intake and could lead to weight gain.
Having too much stress in your life can make it hard for you to lose belly fat.
A part of the reason is that people tend to reach high-fat, high-calorie food when they are stressed.
The other reason why you will have a hard time burning belly fat is because of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can increase the amount of fat your body clings to and enlarge your fat cells.
6. Not getting enough sleep
People who sleep less than five hours every night are more likely to gain weight than those who sleep seven hours a night.
Sleeping is important for workout recovery. If you haven’t had enough sleep, your body can’t recover from strenuous workouts.
7. Not challenging yourself enough
People who do high-intensity workouts burn more fat than those who do low-intensity workouts.
To burn as many calories as you can, you have to exercise at full intensity.
How Long Does it Take to Lose Belly Fat?
When it comes to burning fat, everyone is different.
How long it will take you to burn belly fat depends on your genetics and eating habits and how much you work out.
A general approach to burning fat is that you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound.
People who decrease their everyday diet by 500 calories lose 1 pound a week, enabling them to lose 4 pounds in a month.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the bigger you are, the more calories you burn doing anything. That is why men often burn fat more easily.
To even start losing weight, you will have to create a calorie deficit. Here is how you do it.
Calories are units of energy you receive from food. The energy you receive from food is either burned off or stored as fat if you’re not burning enough calories.
That is why, in addition to working out, you have to eat less food. You can do this little by little or going all in.
If you want to create your calorie deficit right now, you have to calculate how many calories you can eat a day based on how much you weigh and your lifestyle.
If you want to create your calorie deficit little by little, you can start drinking water instead of soda, drinking black coffee instead of coffee with cream or sugar, and cutting down on alcohol.
You should also avoid high-calorie foods, fried foods, sweets, and baked goods. You can eat fruit and grilled or broiled foods instead.
You can also reduce portions of your food by putting them on a smaller plate, which will trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating a lot of food. This is also known as the Delboeuf illusion.
Try cutting down on oils and salad dressings. You shouldn’t eat in front of your TV because you will be more prone to snacking.
Lastly, you should also eat more slowly to give your brain enough time to realize that you are full. Eat food that is less calorie-dense and that has more fiber, which will make you feel fuller.
Best Machines for Burning Belly Fat
Now, you see that there is more to losing belly fat than just exercising. However, workouts are a big part of burning belly fat.
While ab machines make your abs stronger, you will want to use some other machines to make your belly fat go away.
You can also do resistance training to reduce belly fat because it enhances fat-burning hormones and helps you build lean muscles.
The lean tissue will support a stronger burning metabolism and help burn calories while you rest.
Even though resistance machines may be thought of as useless for ab muscles, they support ab exercise by burning belly fat and getting your body ready for more intense workouts.
Related:7 Best Machines at the Gym for Abs: The Ultimate Guide