The BEST way to lose that gut, shrink your waist, and look more defined, is NOT by doing ab-exercises. The number of minutes spent on ab exercises (be it 5, 50, or 500) per week will NOT shrink your stomach – period!
- The ab muscles are there
- Fat NEVER turns into muscle
Muscle being built and lost is a whole different entity apart from gaining fat and losing fat. To gain muscle, you do resistance training (ie ab exercises) and make sure you have nutrition to feed the growing muscles. This is a great plan to grow any muscle.
BUT, to lose fat (no bodybuilder ever grew enough lumbar and abdominal muscle to get up to a 40 inch waist, so yes, it is mainly all fat), you need to burn off the fat. The way to do this is not through resistance training. Ever see the strongest men in the world competitions? Most of them look like fat guys, but with lots of muscle beneath the fat. That's what you're doing with your ab exercises, just building up the muscle beneath all of that FAT.
To lose fat, you need to do two things:
- Create a calorie deficit
- Burn calories
Solely relying on dieting will simply shrink your whole body down, including your muscles. The worst of all side-effects from simply dieting is slowed metabolism! That's why most Americans will gain 6-10 pounds of fat between Thanksgiving and the New Years – their metabolism is SO stinking low that their body will save everything that comes into their stomach as fat because it's in survival mode.
The best proven method for burning the fat off of your belly (and your whole body, since we CANNOT spot-reduce the fat off of our bellies … have you ever seen a six-pack model with fat arms?) … is steady state aerobics.
- Jump rope
The calories burned while doing crunches is probably equivalent to curling two 12 oz. soda cans just as many times (okay, maybe not, but you get the point). These fat-burning cardio activities should be no less than 30 minutes (you may have to work up to it) and no more than 45 (sometimes 60) minutes. If 45 minutes is too easy, go harder.
Do a cardio 4 times a week. If you're happy with the results, taper back to 3 times. If you need more, do 5 or 6 days a week cardio. And if you're SUPER serious and need to lose it fast, the best way to double your fat loss is to double the cardio – but not in one session (you'd be burning off more muscle than fat). That's right, do a morning cardio session at say 6:30 AM, for 30-45 mins, then again at 6:30 PM, for another 30-45 mins. Don't do this double cardio thing for too long (no more than 3-4 weeks) because it is VERY hard on the body.
There you have it, the BEST way to lose that gut, shrink your waist, and look more defined, without EVER doing a sit up.