When it comes to working out and eating healthy, fat loss is the number one motivator for Filipinos.

Among 120,000 Filipinos who signed up and shared their goals with health and fitness app REBEL, 79% of them identified losing fat as their number one goal over muscle gain and improved cardio. And one of the most common target areas for fat loss is the belly.

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It’s important to understand that there are two types of fat in the belly area: visceral fat, which surrounds the organs, and subcutaneous fat, which is the fat found under the skin.

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3 truths about burning belly fat 

REBEL’s in-house nutritionist-dietician Jo Sebastian sheds light on the misconceptions when it comes to burning belly fat. Here is her advice on how to healthily and sustainably.

There is no way to spot reduce

Losing fat around the belly is not all about ab workouts and fat burners. Your core can build and strengthen the muscle in the area with a total body workout there really is no need for 96,000 crunches.

You need to lower your overall body fat percentage to lose belly fat. This can be done through a moderate calorie deficit, a more sustainable approach versus crash dieting.

Factors that affect ab definition are genetics, and a low body fat percentage may not be healthy for everyone to maintain. Also, the way body fat is distributed differs from person to person. You can’t pinpoint where you lose fat when you’re cutting down on calories and building muscle.

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There is no need to starve to lose belly fat

Sustainably losing fat or losing weight doesn’t mean your food intake goes from 100 to 0 in an instant. However, moderate calorie deficits of 200 to 300 calories will definitely be more sustainable in the long run.

The recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. You don’t need to skip meals nor fast to reach your goals. Remember: if it’s challenging to maintain, then it may not be the best approach!

Bloating is not belly fat

Bloating is normal, and it’s not always possible to have the flattest stomach 24/7. We sometimes bloat at the end of the day and confuse that for weight gain or belly fat, when really, it’s just the food and drink we’ve consumed that day.

Your belly area houses your organs and is essential in helping you digest food. It helps keep you alive—and there’s no shame in that! Focus on caring for yourself and incorporating sustainable lifestyle changes if you’re looking to slim down.

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Fitness is a continuous journey, and everyone can expect results by keeping these three things in mind:

  • First, stay active and exercise regularly.
  • Eat well and enough.
  • And most importantly, never compare yourself to others because everybody is different.

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