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A pot belly is the part of the body that everybody obsesses about the most, especially during the summer. It seems it is particularly hard to lose belly fat and even if it is gone, it comes back quickly. Not only is a flat belly an aesthetic imperative, it is also a healthy choice. Studies have shown that abdominal fat increases risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are two kinds of fat in the belly. One is called visceral fat and it is stored deep inside the abdomen, where it surrounds and protects the internal organs. The other kind is subcutaneous fat, located just beneath the skin, the kind that most find unappealing and want to decrease.

Two things are crucial for losing belly fat. One is exercise and the other is a proper diet.

Some experts claim that crunches, sit-ups and similar repetitive exercises are actually ineffective. It is not very hard to build a set of six packs, but in order for them to show, the fat that surrounds them must disappear. A full-body training, which includes cardio and resistance exercise is certainly more likely to give better results.

This kind of exercise stimulates the entire body and its metabolism, which is the most important thing. An effective cardiovascular training in the “fat burning zone” will burn more calories, and burning calories is important since belly fat is in fact stored energy. Most people believe that exercise is time-consuming, assuming they need to work out six times a week for several hours, but in fact a proper training program, 3-4 days a week, with 30-40 minutes of exercise each day will do the trick.

There are many theories out there about healthy and fat reducing nutrition and they are often conflicting, so deciding which course of action to take can be rather complicated.

It is not easy to count calories. It has been shown that when one is counting his or her calorie intake, it is usually underestimated up to 50 percent, so it is no surprise that the desired results of dieting were not achieved. There is one simple and logical rule - the amount of calories taken in must be lower that the amount of calories burned. Generally, a diet that is low on fat and carbohydrates and rich in protein is usually the most effective one.

Changing a passive lifestyle into a more active one is always a good idea. The formula is very simple - less TV and Internet, more walks and sports. Adopting an active lifestyle will jumpstart the metabolism, which in turn will start burning calories more quickly and help to lose that stubborn belly fat.

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