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Contrary to common belief, hundreds of crunches each day won’t flatten your belly. Why?

Because there are no spot exercises to banish belly fat.

There are also no products or services to that will rid you of belly fats.

SEE ALSO: 17 simple ways to lower your calorie intake

The only way to reduce belly fat is to eat a healthy, controlled-caloric diet and to get in a regular workout of resistance training and cardio 4-5 days a week.

The more intense your workout, the more fat you can lose. The more you adhere to eating healthy, the better your chances of shedding fat.

High intensity aerobic training along with some resistance training is considered the best way to drop fat and replace it with muscle simultaneously.

Why is it important to lose belly fat?

Carrying around extra pounds in your midsection puts you at serious health risk.

Extra weight in your midsection is more dangerous than fat around your hips and thighs, as visceral fat is worse for your health than the subcutaneous fat that sits under the skin.

Extra weight around the midsection is associated with inflammation and this leads to hardening of the arteries and a higher risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

How do you know if your waist line is too big?

Beyond the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference has been touted as a simple and reliable test to measure health, weight status and hidden fat.

To assess your risk, use a soft tape measure and wrap it around your natural waistline located at the belly button. Take the measurement without holding your breath or holding your stomach in.

Studies show that regardless of your height or build, for most adults a waist measurement of greater than 94 cm (37 inches) for men and 80 cm (31.5 inches) for women is an indicator of the level of internal fat deposits which coat the heart, kidneys, liver, digestive organs and pancreas. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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The bottom line

There is no magic formula to banish belly fat, but it is not impossible either.

Science suggests that a calorie-controlled diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs, and poultry is the foundation for a diet that provides all the nutrients you need while helping to slice away the fat from your waistline.

The real secret to losing belly fat is to lose weight through a balanced diet and exercise at least an hour a day.

Remember, there’s no diet that makes you lose weight while sticking to unhealthy eating choices and patterns.

Banishing belly fat and staying healthy is both a lifestyle and a lifelong change.

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