Ready to Tackle Stubborn Belly Fat? Neutralize It With a One-Two Punch

In our post, Frustrated withStubborn Belly Fat? Get to the WHY First. Body Machine Fitness (BMF) Master Trainer Ethan and licensed nutritionist Alix addressed the BIG WHY: Why do we get belly fat in the first place? Yep, stress, lack of sleep, inefficient workouts and what you put in your mouth can all play a role. In this post, Ethan and Alix address the BIG HOW: HOW can we get rid of belly fat?

If you’re ready to kick belly fat to the curb, check out Ethan and Alix’s two-step plan below.*

Step 1: Exercise smarter! Switch to a belly fat busting workout regimen.

As BMF’s Master Trainer, Ethan ensures that every single workout at BMF’s boutique fitness studio in Plano is designed to burn fat. “When someone asks me ‘How do I get abs,’ which is a pretty common question, I usually tell them the best way to get abs is to stop training their abs. People think, ‘If I train my ab muscles, then I can burn body fat there,’ which is completely untrue,” Ethan says.

Instead, he recommends a MINIMUM of 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise, three times per week that focuses on large muscle groups like the legs. To accelerate results, Ethan encourages people to work out smarter and use time more EFFICIENTLY by:

Training the largest muscle groups in the body. According to Ethan, “It requires more energy and burns more energy to train those big, strong muscle groups, especially the legs. Not that you should exclusively train legs, but leg exercises typically have the greatest effect of calorie burn and metabolic expenditure.”

Do super sets (multi-joint or compound movements). “With super sets, you train opposite muscle groups at the same time. For example, you could do an upper body push exercise with an upper body pull exercise. You’ll get more work done in that 30-minute time frame than doing a single push exercise and resting,” Ethan says.

Commit to cardio intervals. In addition to strength training, Ethan’s BMF workouts also include intervals on the treadmill. Says Ethan, “The best form of cardio includes short, intense intervals. Instead of spending 30 minutes on treadmill, spend 10 or 15 but do some sprint or incline intervals, (sprint as fast as you can or amp up the incline for 30 seconds or so), recover for 60-90 seconds then repeat the sequence over and over again.”

Time rest periods. Left to our own devices, most people take longer breaks than they should between exercises. According to Ethan, “If you don’t have a trainer telling you what to do and how long to do it, holding yourself to certain rest intervals is essential. Rest intervals vary depending on the exercise and how conditioned or deconditioned you are, but 30 seconds to 90 seconds between exercises is typical.”

Find a group personal training program you can’t get enough of.“Let’s be honest, most of us probably won’t go the extra mile completely on our own. The human psyche requires external stimulation, motivation and structure. For example, at BMF we take a multi-faceted approach to our workouts, where the coach (aka, trainer), the lights, the music all drive people to push harder than they ever imagined they could. People really get addicted to the experience and the feeling they get during our workouts,” Ethan says.

Need a kick in the pants? We offer up five ways to stay motivated here.

Step 2: Eat clean CONSISTENTLY! Here’s how.

Alix regularly hears clients beat themselves up over what they ate for ONE meal or perhaps a series of meals in ONE day – when it’s likely that years of unhealthy eating decisions led to struggles with belly fat and excess weight in general.

As she explains, “No judgment. We’ve been there too. But, here’s what people need to know. ONE meal is NOT going to make or break you. You need to get yourself into a routine of ‘clean eating’ day-in-day-out. Crash diets don’t work.”

Clean eating doesn’t need to be hard, either. Consider Alix’s clean eating dos and don’t:

Clean Eating Tips – DOs:

1). DO eat clean consistently.

2). DO eat anti-inflammatory foods. This essentially means anything that is UNPROCESSED, including:

· Vegetables: Eat something green or colorful every day.

· Fruits: Low-sugar, high-fiber fruits like berries rock.

· Healthy fats: Try olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee or grass fed butter.

· High quality proteins: Look for antibiotic-free animals that are free to roam vs. caged, such as WILD caught fish, cage free eggs, free range chicken, pastured pork, grass fed/finished beef or bison and organic turkey.

Clean Eating Tips – DON’TS:

1) DON’T consume the following food categories regularly (enjoy once per week or less):

· Sugary foods and snacks: Culprits include cookies, cakes, pastries, juices, sodas, fruit cups, fruit snacks, dried fruit, ice cream and flavored yogurts.

· Vegetable oils: Unhealthy oils include canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil and peanut oil (the oils used at most restaurants and in fried foods).

· Artificial Sweeteners: STOP using Splenda (sucralose), Equal (aspartame) and Sweet-n-Low (saccharine) altogether. Truvia and Stevia are good substitutes.

2) DON’T drink alcohol excessively. Nothing inhibits weight loss more than excessive drinking. For women, that means no more than two drinks per week and for men, no more than four.

Check out Alix’s 10 Super Easy Tips for Eating Healthier here.

Want to tackle belly fat head on – at a fitness studio dedicated to burning fat?

Don’t just head down to any local gym. At BMF’s Plano fitness studio, Master Trainer Ethan and our team of experienced personal trainers can teach and push you to burn fat faster with our FUN, group personal training workouts.

At BMF, our combo HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and resistance training workouts (no two workouts are EVER the same) and club-like atmosphere (with lights and music produced by our onsite DJ Tog) are changing lives every day. Plus, BMF nutritionists Alix and Mo are here to provide nutritional guidance, rockin’ meal plans and more.

Think we’re blowing smoke? Check out our Yelp reviews to read life-changing stories from members of the BMF community in Plano.

Want to check out a group personal training class at BMF? Not only is your FIRST CLASS FREE (sign up here)BMF never charges an enrollment fee OR cancellation fee – EVER.

We’re also happy to answer any questions you have about BMF or our classes. Feel free to contact us by phone at 214-396-8585 or email us at

* Before making drastic changes to your exercise or diet routine, speak with your doctor first. He or she can rule out whether a health condition is to blame for belly fat accumulation and how best to approach changes to health, diet and fitness.