We all want to burn belly fat, but unfortunately the hype over building sexy abs can lead some of us to go about it the wrong way. Below are a few common mistakes that I’ve made when I first started out which I’m sure some of you may relate to. For those who are new to the fitness family, here are a few things to avoid.


Crunches has got to be one of the most popular exercises for the abdominal muscles, but do not be deceived by its given name. So many girls I know just want to get straight into doing crunches with the perception that it is the most effective method to target belly fat. Crunches may make you feel as if you’ve done some pretty ‘hard work’, but in fact they trigger minimal results. I was doing countless crunches & basically spent all of my ‘time’ wasting time. If you have some belly fat to lose then avoid having crunches as your go-to exercise because if you don’t get rid of that layer of fat first then your potential abs will be hidden anyways. Try to focus on exercises that work your entire body instead. You’ll be surprised how more effective they are not only on your belly fat, but your overall body fat.


Not everyone loves doing cardio workouts which is expected because they really do ‘work you out’, but if you want to replace that belly with some visible abs then you need to include cardio in your workout routines. There are so many exercises you can perform including; running, squat jumps, jumping jacks, squat-thrusts, mountain climbers, lunges & burpees. These are guaranteed to keep your heart pumping at an accelerated pace over an extended period of time which is highly necessary when considering cutting belly fat. However, if you find performing the same exercise everyday to be boring like myself then change it up! Gather a few mates & go hiking, canoeing, biking or undergo some circuit training at a local park. The possibilities are endless really, you just got to find your interests & match them to your motives. This way you can keep your fitness different & exciting.


Cardio workouts alone will not do enough to help you shape that waist. It’s important to balance everything which means to also take on exercises that demonstrate strength training. Don’t panic ladies! it’s very unlikely for your body to appear masculine as it is more of something that you will feel rather than ‘see’. Applying appropriate weights when & where necessary to your usual workout routines will do wonders for your body & health. You may not see instant results, but you will definitely feel progress more than anything. Strength training is designed to make you feel stronger, though that feeling will seem quite beyond reach for those who are just starting out. There’s no doubt that you may feel a little weak at first; struggling to perform exercises that you see others do so easily. However, this will always be the case unless you continue to force your body (when applicable) to do better.


People who don’t know me will always make the assumption that I only eat salads & ten out of ten times they will underestimate my appetite as well as food selection. It just goes to show that there are many who do not understand what it means to be fit & healthy. Going on diets, counting calories, taking weight loss shakes or supplements is definitely off my list & I will never encourage it. Reducing calories in meals without any physical activity is very common & may seem like a great idea because it is the ‘easier’ option, but this is very unhealthy! Dieting only may trigger dramatic weight loss, however some of the lost weight will come from the muscles. So what you are actually doing is torturing your body & literally defeating the whole purpose of being ‘fit & healthy’. Only proper diet paired with exercises will help you lose unwanted fat. So it’s important that you eat as well as perform exercise properly & regularly. Try not to be ‘sold’ by short term promises & focus on long term benefits.


The issues surrounding ‘time’ can lead many of us to resort to products that offer the ‘quick & easy’ way of life such as processed foods. However, there will always be a catch with things that are associated to ‘quick & easy’. Most processed foods offer little to absolutely no nutrition what so ever. According to an article on Jillian Michaels’ website, simple carbohydrates such as; white bread, candy, baked goods & soft drinks are easily broken down by the body, leading to insulin spikes & possibly increased belly fat. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates such as; fruits & vegetables, & whole grains are more difficult for the body to break down & thus less likely to cause insulin spikes & weight gain. In other words, eating too many processed foods/drinks will hinder your ability to lose belly fat. What appears on the package may seem ‘healthy’, but we all know that anything that has an expiry date several months, if not years from packaged date is far from ‘good’. Try reducing your level of intake on foods that are harmful to your body & work your way from there.


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