How to Get Rid of Belly Fat: A Complete Guide

by Jackie Wicks

14. How Much Exercise Do You Need To Burn Belly Fat?

To be useful for belly fat reduction, the exercise needs to be aerobic–it should make you breathe hard, but not so hard you can’t speak in short sentences. Most light aerobic activities are worth around 6 METs, plus or minus one, meaning you need a minimum of an hour and a half to two hours of this activity each week.

If you feel like you don’t have the time to exercise two hours a week, find it! If you still really can’t, then up the intensity. Running at 6 mph is worth 10 METs, as is vigorous biking. If you can sustain these speeds for a half an hour, then you only need two half hour sessions a week!

[quote align=”left” color=”#999999″]For every 3 [combined] minutes of sprints you do, you earn 1 full MET hour of exercise.[/quote]

If time is really an issue, then you can burst train, also called “high-intensity interval training”. There are many ways to burst train, but the general idea connecting them is that you should go all out for 30-60 seconds, recover nearly fully, go all out again, recover again, etc. One minute may not seem long enough to make a difference, and alone it is not, but consider this: one minute of sprinting is worth 19 MET minutes, so for every 3 – 5 sprints you do, you have earned 1 MET hour!

If you burst train with sprints and lightly jog during the recovery minutes, then you will accumulate a total of about 2.6 METs (1.6 METs from sprinting, 1 MET from jogging). Four fifteen minute sessions a week is all that is necessary–sprinting is not. Any exercise you can only do for about a minute is of sufficient intensity to be worth around 20 METs

The more you exercise aerobically, or the more intensely, the faster the belly fat will be shed. Significant losses only begin at 10 METs per week–much higher amounts can be burned by increased exercise. It is also important to note that even though resistance training has not been directly tied to reducing belly fat, it is an extremely important part a general fitness routine, and will help raise your overall metabolic rate which will help you reduce belly fat.

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