Burning belly fat isn't as easy as doing a couple hundred crunches.
We Asked: James Graves, Ph.D., professor of exercise and sport science and dean of the College of Health at the University of Utah.
The Answer: Sadly, there's no such thing as spot reducing fat (short of, say, liposuction). You could do crunches until the cows come home, but if you've got too much belly fat overtop, no one's going to see your six pack.
MORE: Crunch-Free Toning Exercises
Fat loss is systemic, meaning it happens throughout your whole body, not one trouble spot at a time. To reduce fat in any one place, you really need an old-fashioned more-calories-out-than-in approach that addresses body fat as a whole. That means a well-rounded exercise program, with a combination of aerobic endurance activities and strengthening exercises all over your body, plus a healthy diet.
MORE: Why Sit-ups Are Better Than Crunches
Physiologically, the goal is to simultaneously shrink your fat cells and increase the size of your muscle cells. Crunches won't burn caloriesRead More »from What's the Best Way to Burn Belly Fat?