Exercising and dieting for belly muscles?

I have observed that when many people decide to do something about their weights the very first things they try out are either eating a little less than usual or/and adding more vegetables to their dishes. Exercising is mostly the last option for many people. Perhaps, it is because eating is inevitable while exercising is a choice. Perhaps, they are too busy to exercise or lazy to exercise. In this article, I am going to explain the difference in terms of effect to your body exercising and dieting have and what changes the two brings especially to your muscles.

Arguably, exercising is the best way to achieve a flat toned belly. Listen carefully, I did not say best for losing weight but, for achieving a flat toned belly. If you do not agree, continue reading as I will explain why exercising is the best for toning belly muscles.

Let me make it very clear from the beginning that I am not undermining the importance of dieting. I know very well that dieting is very important especially to those who are dealing with both overweight and loose belly muscles. This site focuses more on losing belly fat and toning of belly muscles for moms that is why reference is commonly given to belly fat and belly muscles. In this article, I am going to explain why you should not ignore exercising especially if you are aiming to achieve a toned belly.

Dieting – What happen inside the body?

Two lunch boxes displaying a good mix of different food groups in one meal

To many people, eating right may mean different things but on this article, it means consuming the right amounts of different type of foods. One of the objective of eating the right amount of foods when you want to lose weight is to reduce the amount of fat that get to be stored in your body. It means you only eat enough foods to get the energy the body requires to perform daily tasks leaving very little to store.

I am hoping that you understand that energy to your body is like fuel to a car and therefore is a daily requirement. You cannot perform daily tasks efficiently if your body is low on energy. Dieting will work very well for you if you are overweight. However, as a result of losing weight, your skin is likely to hang or look saggy especially if you lost the weight too fast than when done gradually.

At the end of the day, you will lose weight but you will still not look great. For some of us moms, we may not be even overweight. Our problems may only be loose muscles resulting from pregnancy.

Exercising – What happens in the body?

There is a chemical reaction that happen in your body when you exercise. Exercising is a task that the body performs at its greatest capacity because it requires a lot of energy. Therefore, the body need to convert the stored fat in your body to energy as fast as possible to be able to keep up with the energy requirement of exercising. It is also the reason why we breathe very fast during exercising. The chemical reaction between oxygen and fat results in carbon dioxide and water leaving the body. The more oxygen in, the more carbon dioxide and water out and therefore, the more fat is burned.

C55H104O6 + 78 O2 = 55 CO2 + 52 H2O

If you did chemistry or physical science in high school, the above equation probably rings a bell. The equation above clearly indicate that oxygen added to the chemical compound of fat result in carbon dioxide and water leaving your body. The carbon dioxide we exhale and the water we loose as sweat. We can easily say that fat is lost from the body through exhaling and excreting of body fluids like sweat.

There is something else that is happening in the body at the same time as fat is converted to energy. As much as the body try to use the oxygen provided from breathing, that energy is usually insufficient. This insufficiency of oxygen needed to convert more fat to enough energy causes the body to find an alternative source of energy by produce lactic acid.

During lactic acid formation the body muscles tear resulting in the pain that you feel while exercising. The muscle tears are also the ones causing muscle ache usually felt a day or more after exercising. If exercising is causing your muscles to tear, is that good? Yes, muscle tears is actually what you need because when the repair or healing of those torn muscles will result in more muscles built and a toned look.

After that explanation do you now agree with me that we need exercising especially if our problem is not overweight but loose belly muscles? If muscles are build from muscle tear, how will eat right result in toned belly muscles? It is also very clear that the rate at which fat is burned (turned to water and carbon dioxide) during exercise is higher that the rate at which fat is reduced when eat right unless if you decide to starve yourself which again is very bad for your health.

This is the reason why I said exercising is the best way to tone belly muscles. The benefit of exercising can be instantly felt (once the breathing rate has restored to normal, there is a feeling of rejuvenation that follows, right?). Exercising also have other health benefits such as reducing stress, improve skin health, improve brain health and memory, reduces the risk of chronic diseases and many more,

Exercising and dieting – What should you do?

Balancing what you have to do to achieve the result you are looking for depends on your conditions or your problem area. If you are overweight and looking for losing weight and toning of belly muscles consider using both exercising and dieting. However, for moms who have normal body weight only seeking to tone belly muscles, I think exercising is the best.

By the way, have you noticed that sometimes especially in the morning before eating breakfast your belly is flatter but, the moment you eat something, it pops out? This is the same result you will get if you are only using diet to achieve a tone belly. I for one is not overweight, my problem is just loose muscles. I need more exercises. In fact, I need to eat a little more than usual to avoid losing too much weight by exercising.


2 Responses to “Exercising and dieting for belly muscles?

  • I tried to exercise but time is not on my side what and I do have my small portion but this belly fat is not even moving for 2 years now.

    • Hi Zoleka! Thanks for the question. Believe me, flattening a belly is not an easy fight. You need to use both diet and exercises to win the battle. Find time out of your busy schedule and start a fixed routine of exercising, for example run 2 km three times a week and you shall see the benefits. As much as dieting has to do with the size of the portion, you should also consider what you are eating. A small portion of unhealthy foods will not cut it.

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