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Exercise most days of the week for best results.
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People with apple shapes tend to carry their excess body fat in their abdomen, which increases their risk for chronic diseases. Pear-shaped people, on the other hand, often carry extra weight around their hips and thighs. A genetic predisposition to an apple shape doesn't mean you're destined to have excess belly fat. Regular exercise reduces abdominal fat and chronic disease risks. Using an elliptical machine can help you burn calories to shrink your midsection.
Why It Matters
Study after study has linked excess abdominal fat with an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Visceral fat deep in the abdomen surrounds the internal organs, causing a hard, protruding belly. Although visceral fat carries more health risk than the subcutaneous kind just under the skin, it responds quickly to exercise and an improved diet, note researchers at Harvard Medical School.
You'll burn a significant number of calories - and belly fat - using an elliptical machine regularly. Harvard Health Publications reports that if you weigh 125 to 185 pounds you'll burn 540 to 800 calories in just one hour on an elliptical machine. Expending 500 to 1,000 more calories than you eat daily often results in shedding 1 to 2 pounds weekly. A 2009 review in вЂњThe Ochsner JournalвЂќ reports that doing aerobic exercise longer than 30 minutes causes your body to burn fat as fuel, and encourages 45- to 60-minute training sessions five to seven days weekly.
Adding high-intensity interval training to your regular elliptical routine helps get rid of excess abdominal fat in apple-shaped individuals. A 2011 review in the вЂњJournal of ObesityвЂќ reports that interval training may be more effective than other exercises at reducing belly fat. When performing interval training using an elliptical machine, alternate high-intensity exercise bouts with lower intensity recovery periods. For example, work at near maximum output for two minutes, followed by a minute of recovery at an easy pace.
Importance of Diet
Eating fewer calories than you burn helps get rid of excess abdominal fat, especially when you regularly perform elliptical workouts. Getting plenty of protein helps you do just that because it boosts satiety and increases your body's energy expenditure. A 2013 study published in вЂњObesityвЂќ found that getting 35 percent of your daily calories from protein and eating six times daily instead of three times per day helps decrease abdominal and total body fat -- and increase lean body mass. Protein-rich foods include egg whites, low-fat dairy foods, lean meats, fish, poultry, legumes and soy.