I get asked this question by friends and people that I torture, I mean train, in the gym. Confusion abounds because there are a lot of products claiming to be able to do this. I’ve seen everything from pills to belts (“just wear this while watching TV”—yeah, right).

Do sit-ups (and other abdominal exercises) help? I would advise everyone to train your abdominal muscles. This will help with your overall body strength and it will even help prevent back problems (when your abs are weak it puts more strain on your lower back). But sit-ups do not reduce belly fat per se.

Here’s the truth: other than surgery, there’s really no way to remove fat from a specific area of the body. All of us are genetically “programmed” to carry fat in different way. The only way to flatten your stomach is to reduce your overall body fat level. The lower your body fat level, the smaller your tummy will be.

More information:

Men and women tend to have different “problem areas.” For men it is the lower abdomen, for women it is often the hips and thighs (though individuals vary greatly). As women age and their hormones change, they often have more belly fat.

The “washboard” look you see on television is the result of two things: low body fat and low “water weight.” Bodybuilders and movie stars usually manipulate their water intake and diet to reduce the subcutaneous fluid (water under the skin). This temporarily enhances the muscular definition.

See also:
My Fitness Website: Intermittent Fasting Diet Review