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Eradication of belly fat(19 posts)

Eradication of belly fatJervis
Jun 30, 2003 10:15 PM
Ok here's the deal. I'm 6'3" and 170 pounds. I know that seems kind of light, but I'm pretty lean, muscular, and very healthy. I eat right (or so I think) and ride 3-5 times a week for a couple of hours at a time. My endurance is up both in lung capacity and leg muscle, but the one thing I've yet to get rid of is the layer of fat over my abs and the sides of my waist. I tried the situp thing but, as can be expected, all that did was succede in getting me an invisible six pack underneath all the fat. This is pretty much the only place on my body with a mentionable amount of fat and I don't know how to get rid of it. Possibly a change in diet or more cardiovascular (biking) excersize? Advice from anyone with past experiences with burning fat, or from anyone with suggestions would be much appreciated, as years of attempts are getting rather irritating. Mind you I'm not trying to find the easiest fat burning method, I'm just trying to find something that will get rid of the stuff. Thanks a heap.

Fat? Or loose skin?jesse1
Jul 1, 2003 2:55 AM
There is a difference. Most people can eventually get rid of fat if they put forth the effort, but if it is loose skin, it's there to stay short of the doctor's knife.
That being said, don't do sit-ups! That is wasted effort! Do stomach crunches. Also, shift your bent knees to each side and do side crunches.
I've found even better than stomach crunches is the "bicycle" (wouldn't you know it!). Put your hands behind your head and keep both feet off the floor at all times, touching your elbow to the opposing knee - alternating. You'll feel & appreciate the burn.
You cannot target fat...TFerguson
Jul 1, 2003 4:58 AM
Doing sit-ups will not target your spare tire any more than any other type of exercise. The body draws from its fat stores when fuel is required and it draws from where ever it has stored it. Losing extra-muscular fat is calories in - calories out only. The intra-muscular fat (think marbled beef) will be used locally but not the fat stored just under the skin.

News Alert !!! Target Fat through special exercise replacesbigrider
Jul 1, 2003 7:06 AM
"the check is in the mail" as the most repeated lie in the United States.

You cannot target fat is absolutely correct. It is simple. Your body stores extra fat around your middle. If you don't want the fat you must reduce fat by reducing calorie intake and/or burning more calories.

Reduce your calories by 500/day and lose a pound a week.
Ride an extra 50 minutes a day and lose a pound a week.
But how do you...94Nole
Jul 1, 2003 9:19 AM
have the "fuel" enough to ride? My body shuts down early on in the ride. Maybe I am riding too hard until I get my body to the point of not having so much weight to push around. I am currently 6' tall and about 230 lbs and am trying desperately to get to 200#. I would really like to get back to my Air Force weight of 183. There just are not enough hours in a day to get in enough riding. Diet alone is hard and slow.
Good point Nole!!! Intensity makes a difference.Kristin
Jul 1, 2003 9:39 AM
Case in point. In 2000, I owned a 26 pound $300 hybrid that I rode 12 MPH, 75 miles/week at an aerobic pace. I'd ride 11 miles on 2 week nights, 20 on Sat & 30 on Sun. I would often bring a book and stop for 2 hours on a ride to lounge and read. I also had reduced my calorie intake slightly--since on rides I'd eat light. I didn't work really hard on the bike but I lost 20 pounds that summer.

Fast forward to summer 2001. I bought the DeBernardi and hooked up with a local club where I was mocked continuously by racers. I got competitive and rode 'til my lungs were gonna explode. I got faster. I built muscle. But I didn't lose any fat. I had ridden almost entirely in zones 3-5 all summer.

To lost those fat "globs" you must stick to an aerobic pace. If you work at a high intensity, your body will not touch those stores.
re: LSDcyclopathic
Jul 1, 2003 5:26 AM
long steady distance. I am and old guy who gets fat in winter, but weather improves and brevet series start I ride myself back into shape. I started with 151-152lbs in March and now down to 146-147, will keep it at this level don't wanna loose to much and get sick.

What seems to work well is long low intensity all day rides 120-150mi or more once a week. Toast and omlet for breakfast; on rides I avoid carbs usually stop for sub at lunch time; no gue/pwr bars etc.

No special diet just avoid sweets/sugars (some cerials have lots of) and eat salads and steaks. To metabolize fat body needs aminos, so protein intake is essential.

Your body is cappable of metabolizing 300Cal/Hr worth of fat. To burn 1lb of fat you need to ride ~12hr. To get rid of stuff around waist you prob need to loose ~5%, or 8.5lbs. Looking like extra 102hr of saddle time or 15-20 centuries.
Definetely Fat (unfortunately)Jervis
Jul 1, 2003 6:49 AM
I'd prefer a bunch of loose skin in this case. I read somewhere that taking in caffein (in moderate amounts) will help you burn off fat while you're riding more quickly than on a ride without caffein. Something about how your body reacts to it and burns fat before it dips into your carb stores Is this true? Or are aminos + buncha riding + less overall caloritic intake the answer. Maybe a combination of both? Can anyone refute the caffein idea?

Jul 1, 2003 8:22 AM
I've also read on numerous occasions that caffeine pre-workout can help in terms of giving the body a boost and thus burning more fat. The problem I see is that you need to take in the caffeine in either a soda, coffee, or "supplement." I don't drink coffee, and I think that the added empty calories found in a soda totally negate any benefit of the caffeine. As for supplements, I think with the recent news surrounding some of the performance enhancers/fat burners that contain caffeine (among other ingredients), it's prudent to simply stay away from them. Some gels, though, do have caffeine so you might try taking a gel beforehand if you want to try the caffeine boost.

From reading your mssg, though, it sounds like you're in good shape looking to lose the last couple of pounds and tone up. I would suggest taking a very close look at your diet. There may be something that is keeping those pounds on. In my case, it was soda. I stopped drinking soda and the pounds came off.

Good luck.
Jul 1, 2003 9:03 AM
Sports Med. 2001;31(11):785-807.
Related Articles,

Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance and performance.

Graham TE.

Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Caffeine is a common substance in the diets of most athletes and it is now appearing in many new products, including energy drinks, sport gels, alcoholic beverages and diet aids. It can be a powerful ergogenic aid at levels that are considerably lower than the acceptable limit of the International Olympic Committee and could be beneficial in training and in competition. Caffeine does not improve maximal oxygen capacity directly, but could permit the athlete to train at a greater power output and/or to train longer. It has also been shown to increase speed and/or power output in simulated race conditions. These effects have been found in activities that last as little as 60 seconds or as long as 2 hours. There is less information about the effects of caffeine on strength; however, recent work suggests no effect on maximal ability, but enhanced endurance or resistance to fatigue. There is no evidence that caffeine ingestion before exercise leads to dehydration, ion imbalance, or any other adverse effects. The ingestion of caffeine as coffee appears to be ineffective compared to doping with pure caffeine. Related compounds such as theophylline are also potent ergogenic aids. Caffeine may act synergistically with other drugs including ephedrine and anti-inflammatory agents. It appears that male and female athletes have similar caffeine pharmacokinetics, i.e., for a given dose of caffeine, the time course and absolute plasma concentrations of caffeine and its metabolites are the same. In addition, exercise or dehydration does not affect caffeine pharmacokinetics. The limited information available suggests that caffeine non-users and users respond similarly and that withdrawal from caffeine may not be important. The mechanism(s) by which caffeine elicits its ergogenic effects are unknown, but the popular theory that it enhances fat oxidation and spares muscle glycogen has very little support and is an incomplete explanation at best. Caffeine may work, in part, by creating a more favourable intracellular ionic environment in active muscle. This could facilitate force production by each motor unit.
What about adding muscle?mtnpat
Jul 1, 2003 8:26 AM
Anyone, does adding muscle (pecs, arms, legs) speed the burning of fat, or maybe speed your metabolism? Thought I heard that somewhere.
Adding lean muscle absolutely helps!t0adman
Jul 1, 2003 9:49 AM
Cardio training alone will burn fat, but not as quickly as cardio and strength training combined. When you're cardio training you increase your metabolic rate during the exercise and for about 20 minutes after you're done. When you strength train, depending upon the muscles (usually the bigger the better, like legs, chest, etc), your body continues to burn at a higher metabolic rate for hours after the activity as it restores and rebuilds the muscle. Alternate your workouts between a long, steady ride, and day in the gym doing leg press, lunges, hamstring curls, pull ups, and core exercises. Go out the next day and ride again to work out the soreness and lactic acid. Once you get in a routine you'll find your riding gets better and you'll burn more fat.

For sustained mental energy and focus (from a caffeine in Guarana) try a product called Motivator from You don't get the downside of sugar and carbonated water from sports drinks and soda, and it's a more steady release into the system rather than a spike and crash. I use their Carbo Fuel and Thermolyte and stuff works incredibly well. I trust their products and honestly have nothing to do with them. Just satisfied and want to pass the good word.

Good luck with fat loss. It's my lifelong challenge too.
got the same problemcollinsc
Jul 1, 2003 9:00 AM
at 5'10" and 142lbs, really lean, I'd like to think that shedding this thin layer could put me under 140. Drives me nuts, I've done ab work for so long, the muscles are solid and would look fantastic if only they were easier to see.

I ride a ton but eat mostly carbs. I'm thinking of trying to swap some of the pasta out for protein supplements. There has to be a way...
got the same problemup_hiller
Jul 1, 2003 11:49 AM
Get medieval on your diet. Abs are made in the kitchen. Go Google-fishing for "Harris-Benedict formula" and calculate the cals you need, cut by 500/day. Then count them religiously - every day, every single thing that enters your mouth. And definitely look to increase protein intake and decrease carb intake. As an endurance athlete, of course, you probably won't ride well if you try to take a true low-carb approach. It's unfortunate, because the most recent studies indicate that low-carb actually works. Recently, research has also shown that calcium promotes metabolization of fat and helps prevent storage of new fat. How handy that calcium-rich dairy foods also contain lots of protein!

I'm in much the same boat as you guys at 5'10,155 and wanting to lose 7-8 pounds of fat. However, I'd also like to gain about 15 of muscle, especially in the legs. You'd never guess I rode at all to look at my chicken legs. For now I'm focusing on the loss, but am lifting like a fiend (more than I ride, in fact) to preserve the muscle I have. Steroids would allow me to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, but I'm not interested in that route.

Good luck.
Change your paceKristin
Jul 1, 2003 9:43 AM
If you ride at higher intensities--zone 3 and above--then you may need to dedicate one season to reducing your pace. Or do it over the winter. Reduce your diet by 300 calories/day and do only aerobic paced excerise 3 days a week at 90 minutes a day. This may not be condusive to your training program, but it is how to reduce excess fat.
So many choices..... *sigh*Jervis
Jul 1, 2003 9:49 PM
All these are damn good ideas and I thank you guys and gals for your help. Kristin, you mentioned something about increasing the duration of my aerobic workout as opposed to just hammering the pedals. Could you explain a little bit more? Are you saying get in a mid sized gear (for whatever speed I'm going) and spin like hell? Should I go for longer distances/more time but pound less as to not wear myself out? As for interfering with my training, there's not much training to be had. I don't race I simply enjoy being in shape and challenging myself. More of a cardiovascular workout seems to be a good idea, as well as watching my diet. The only thing that takes more energy for me than riding is running, but I used to run cross country and it kinda killed my knees. It seems that I can get my heart rate up to a substantial rhythm, but I can't hold that pace long enough for it to do me any good due to a lack of leg endurance. Do I need more leg or faster spin or harder spin or what? I'm not the greatest biker in the world but I can do 30/40 miles at a clip and have done a couple of centuries with good averages. Thanks from a clueless (not so much as before this post) guy.

spin spin spinandy02
Jul 2, 2003 6:52 AM
spining fast means you burn more fat and you recover faster so you can ride everyday with one to two hard days. Get a heartrate monitor, a computer with cadence, and rollers if you live where you have a winter and spin! I spin a lot faster then most but when they are getting tired I still feel fine. the only down side is I have to eat every 30min or I run out of feul.

Also to lose weight do what runners do go for a short workout (easy) right out of bed in the morning before you eat and after a cup of coffee or tea and come back and eat. then in the afternoon go as normal. Only do this two days a week max! It really drops weight off of me FAST.
Its more a matter of heart rate and effort level than cadenceKristin
Jul 2, 2003 7:13 AM
Pysiology research has determined that our bodies behave differently when exercising at various heart rates or effort intensities. As a result of the studies, something called "heart rate zones" were defined. The zones are based on a person's maximum heart rate. Therefore, in order to know your zones, you must know your maximum heart rate.

Determining your max HR
*Basic calculators like this one which was accurate for me:

*Doing a stress test at home:
(You only want to do this test if you've been exercising regularly for at least 3 months, and have not been sick in the past 3 weeks. Most of these require you to stop all exercise for 3 weeks before doing the test.)

*Or having your doctor do the test in a lab. They hook tubes to you and draw your blood, ect... This is the most accurate test. More on VO2Max lab test here:

In addition to (or instead of) knowing your max heart rate, you can use a perceived effort scale. It's a scale from 1-10 that you can use to gauge your effort level. There is a good definition of them on this web page:,1300,1-51-54-4852-1-2,00.html

I don't wear a heart rate monitor when I exercise, so I use the perceived effort scale, in conjunction with the zones defined below, to set my goals. Based on your initial post, I suspect that you spend much of your time in Zone 3 and above. That's really easy to do with a bike. The result is that you are not burning off excess fat. If you force yourself to stay in Zone 2, then you'll probably find that you are less hungry and will begin to lose weight. I'll include the perceived effort number in the zones below as (PES=x).

I'll post the zones and definitions in a new message, since it will probably get cut off.
The zones defined:Kristin
Jul 2, 2003 7:16 AM
Zone1: Recovery - 50-60% of max (PES = 1)

This is the safest, most comfortable zone, reached by walking briskly. Here you strengthen your heart and improve muscle mass while you reduce body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure, and your risk for degenerative disease. You get healthier in this zone, but not more fit -- that is, it won't increase your endurance or strength but it will increase your health.

Zone2: Tempo (or temperate) - 60-70% of max (PES = 2)

It's easily reached by jogging slowly. While still a relatively low level of effort, this zone starts training your body to increase the rate of fat release from the cells to the muscles for fuel.

Some people call this the "fat burning zone" because up to 85 % of the total calories burned in this zone are fat calories which is equally as important.

Fit and unfit people burn fat differently. The more fit you are, the more effectively you use fat to maintain a healthy weight. On the other hand, perhaps you've been exercising vigorously, but not losing the weight you expected to. Could be you've been working too hard and need to drop back to this zone and exercise longer. To burn more total calories you'll need to exercise for more time in this zone.

Zone3: Aerobic - 70-80% of Max (PES = 3-4)

In this zone -- reached by running easily as an example -- you improve your functional capacity. The number and size of your blood vessels actually increase, you step up your lung capacity and respiratory rate, and your heart increases in size and strength so you can exercise longer before becoming fatigued. You're still metabolizing fats and carbohydrates at about a 50-50 rate which means both are burning at the same ratio.

Zone4: Anaerobic Threshold Zone - 80-90% - (PES 5-7)
(Also known as "sub-vomit" on the J zone scale)

This zone is reached by going hard -- running faster. Here you get faster and fitter, increasing your heart rate as you cross from aerobic to anaerobic training. At this point, your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to supply the exercising muscles fully so they respond by continuing to contract an aerobically.

This is where you "feel the burn." You can stay in this zone for a limited amount of time, usually not more than an hour. That's because the muscle just cannot sustain working an aerobically (this means without sufficient oxygen) without fatiguing. The working muscles protect themselves from overwork by not being able to maintain the intensity level.

Zone5: Lactate Threshold or Redline 90-100% of Max (PES 8-10)

This is the equivalent of running all out and is used mostly as an "interval" training regiment -- exertion done only in short to intermediate length bursts. Even world-class athletes can stay n this zone for only a few minutes at a time. It's not a zone most people will select for exercise since working out here hurts and there is an increased potential for injury.

The descriptions of these zones are about the best I've read. I borrowed them from: