We’re bombarded daily with product commercials promising to help lose belly fat and get sculpted abs fast. Sometimes, it’s an ad for a supplement, a diet plan or a workout machine. You may have even scoured the internet looking up how to lose upper body fat or lose weight fast. After all, 49% of US adults tried to lose weight between 2013 and 2016.
The truth is that you cannot target a specific area for fat loss. Many studies have disproven spot-reduction techniques, such as abdominal exercises or upper-body resistance training. Fat cells from all over the body can be broken down when we exercise; they do not break down in one specific area. The good news is that exercise and diet may lead to a whole-body trimmed physique — and only 15 minutes of exercise daily can benefit you greatly.
Below are some of the best ways to lose fat right in the comfort of your own home.
1. Get your steps in
Walking is an ideal workout to do outside the gym. It can be done around the neighborhood or at a park. On good weather days, you can also get some much-needed fresh air. Plus, it’s free and you can take your dog with you, if you have one — pets need exercise, too!
Walking is also a body fat buster. One study found that healthy postmenopausal women lost 3.9% of body fat after 30 weeks of walking and 1.8% after 15 weeks of walking. While we can’t target specific areas, walking can help lose belly fat.
According to Nature, 30 minutes of walking most days of the week showed a significant reduction in body weight and body fat percentage. The study even found that 30 minutes of walking may be as beneficial as 60 minutes (with a healthy diet).
2. Try intermittent fasting
One diet trend that has risen in popularity over the years is intermittent fasting. As the name suggests, this is where people fast for a certain time, and then eat at other scheduled times. One study review found that subjects who fasted intermittently had weight loss ranging from 0.8% to 13%. The idea is to force the body to use up its immediately accessible sugar stores and start burning fat.
A perk of intermittent fasting is that you can customize it to your preference and ability to abstain from food. According to John Hopkins Medicine, fasting can last for a certain number of hours every day or even just eating one meal per day for two days out of the week. For instance, you might only eat during an 8-hour period each day and fast the rest of the day.
It’s important to note that intermittent fasting is not for everyone, especially those at risk for disordered eating or during pregnancy. Before trying intermittent fasting, consult with your doctor to ensure you follow the best plan for you and your goals.
3. Lift heavier weights