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Want to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat Once and For All? Stop Making These Common Mistakes

Those crunches aren’t working—here’s why.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

TikTok influencer Andrew Holmes (andrewholmes79) is on a mission to educate people about how to FINALLY lose that pesky belly fat. Have you tried to reduce the belly bulge? Are you doing crunches and situps from dawn til dusk with no change in the stomach area? Are you beyond frustrated that no matter what, the belly fat won't budge? You might be overcomplicating things. Here's what Holmes has to say on the matter, plus real, expert-backed advice on how to get the abs of your dreams.

Sit Ups and Crunches All Day

@andrewholmes79How to lose stubborn belly fat once and for all.♬ original sound – Andrew | Weight Loss & Mindset

Holmes says to please stop doing endless crunches and situps if the only reason you are doing them is to get rid of belly fat. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. "To burn belly fat, you need 45 to 60 minutes of high-intensity cardiovascular activity (running, playing soccer or basketball, jumping rope, power-walking, etc.) on most days of the week," medical weight management expert Karen Cooper, DO, tells the Cleveland Clinic. "You also need to reduce your intake of processed foods, fast foods and alcohol."

Burning Belly Fat Specifically?

Fat woman, Obese woman hand holding excessive belly fat isolated on gym background, Overweight fatty belly of woman, Woman diet lifestyle concept to reduce belly and shape up healthy stomach muscle.

Holmes explains that once you start burning fat all over, eventually the fat on your stomach will burn off too. And it's not just about hitting the gym, or eating well—try not to spend too much of the day sitting. "Staying physically active throughout the day as well as scheduling time for structured exercise may be even more important than diet," say the experts at Harvard Health.

Related: Kelsey Wells Shows Off Toned Curves on Beach and Shares Her Nutrition Secrets

Pesky Genetics

Young scientists conducting research investigations in a medical laboratory, a researcher in the foreground is using a microscope

Holmes makes the point that people are shaped differently—so your best friend, who might be doing the same diet and exercise, might lose fat from a different part of their body than you. That's normal! "We know that women and men tend to store fat differently — women have the ability to more easily store fat on the hips and legs, while men tend to accumulate fat around the abdomen to a higher extent," Mathias Rask-Andersen, Ph.D., tells Science Daily. "This has been attributed to the effects of sex hormones such as estrogen. But the molecular mechanisms that control this phenomenon are fairly unknown."

Yes, Abs Are Made In the Kitchen

Close up cropped image of cutting board and couple cutting vegetables in the kitchen together, preparing food meal at home. Vegetarian healthy food

Holmes makes the crucial point that if you don't have control of your food, belly fat is going nowhere. One good way of simplifying your diet is by food prepping. "Food prepping, or preparing meals in advance, is a key strategy for maintaining a healthy diet, especially for those with busy lifestyles," says celebrity trainer Kollins Ezekh. "It ensures that you have healthy meals ready, which can prevent the temptation to opt for less nutritious, convenient options. Food prepping can help you stick to your nutritional goals, save time during the week, and can also be cost-effective as it reduces the likelihood of purchasing last-minute meals out. Additionally, it allows for better portion control, which is crucial for weight management or achieving specific fitness goals."

Related: I Lost 40 Pounds Eating Rice, and Here Is How You Can Too 

Slow and Steady Wins the Abs


As with all health and fitness goals, slow, steady work is key to a successful outcome. That means there are no shortcuts. "Be patient," Holmes advises. Focus on good nutrition, stress management, don't smoke, stay active, and be aware of how many calories you are taking in. Your abs won't appear overnight but they're under there, just waiting to make their debut.

💪🔥Body Booster: You WILL burn belly fat when you focus on burning fat all over.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more