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01 Feb 2004

Lower abdomen
I am having problems with losing weight around my lower abdomen. I spopped drinking beer, or any alcohol drinks about 2 months ago. I am also on a strict diet. I exercise regulary 4 times a week, exercise bicycle, sit-ups etc. I lost about 6 kilo's during this period, but my lower abdomen feels as if it is getting bigger. I am 48 years old. Could you assist me regarding exercises, and a diet that would help me with my problem please
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

The scientific truth is that one cannot "spot reduce". That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat. You are on the right track, now it's just a matter of keeping at it - 6 kg so far is great, but it may take more than that to see a difference in the abs, because certain people have this characteristic distribution of fat, and that's what you are fighting against.

Having said that, it is still important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home. I would suggest you have a look at the 'Zone-in-on' section of the Health 24 website (www.health24.co.za). You can find this section under 'Fitness', and then just click on the image that shows the areas you want to work on, and you will be able to see the exercises relevant to you.

Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.

However, be patient and keep at it!
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