A social media post states that a person can lose belly fat and get abs without belly workouts or exercises. The narrator in the video further states that a person can get abs only with a calorie-deficit diet. We fact-checked and found this claim to be Half-true.
The caption of an Instagram post reads, “OMG the fastest way to lose Belly fat & get abs👇🏼
You don’t have to do belly workouts or an exercises to see your abs. Everybody has abs and it’s just a matter of losing the layer of belly fat covering them. Yes you can train abs to get them stronger but if you’re not a low enough body fat to begin with, you will never see them. How do I lose this belly fat you may ask? A calorie deficit is the answer. There’s no other way around it. This is the only way to lose weight and belly fat!”
What are abs?
‘Abs’ is a term that refers to the abdominal muscles, which are located in the front of your body, between your ribs and your pelvis. These muscles are responsible for various functions, including supporting the spine and core, assisting with breathing, and aiding in the movement of the upper body. Five main muscles make up the abs, namely, Rectus abdominis, Transversus abdominis, Internal obliques, External obliques, and Pyramidalis.
Rectus abdominis is the most well-known abdominal muscle and is responsible for the ‘six-pack’ appearance that many people strive for.
Can a person get abs without exercise?
Not exactly. Abs are the muscles that need to be worked and toned to be visible. A calorie-deficit diet would indeed help lose belly fat, but that can’t be the sole factor in getting visible abs. A multidisciplinary approach is needed for this.
Nabaruna Ganguly, Clinical dietician at D.S Research Centre for Cancer, elaborates this by stating, “Fat burning is not the matter of calories only. It depends on many other factors too. When we focus on just a calorie deficit diet, we cut down many healthy nutrients from diet to manage the calorie intake. After a certain time, a calorie deficit diet doesn’t help to loose much weight as body adjusts to that system. Some hormones like insulin, thyroid etc., regulate your metabolism from inside. When metabolism lowers down then low calorie diet doesn’t help much. Then you need to get the results but at this stage you lose weight by not only losing fat but muscle mass too by cannibalizing muscles by your body. So to maintain metabolism & muscle mass in a healthier level, you need to focus on exercise to work both ways, i.e., maintaining metabolism & tone your muscles which gives you the result you desire. If someone is having supplement to maintain the metabolism, proper protein (for maintaining muscle mass & strength) & maintain a proper calorie deficit diet to lower the fat percentage below normal level, with normal moderate activity, he/she can get visible abs.”
Abs are present in everyone as abdominal muscles, but they may not be visible due to the presence of fat surrounding them. This fat can be subcutaneous, lying close to the skin’s surface, or visceral, located deep within the abdominal cavity. The visibility of abdominal muscles decreases as the amount of fat in the body increases.
Other than dietary regulations, you need to engage in regular exercise to build and tone your abdominal muscles. Incorporate strength training exercises that target your abs, such as crunches, planks, and leg raises, into your routine. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming can help burn fat and reveal your abs.
Additionally, your genetics also play a major role in where you store body fat, which eventually influences the specific body fat percentage at which your abs will be visible.
Nutritionist Umesh Wadhavani also clarifies this by stating, “No diet in isolation can help you reduce your belly fat in a short span that has developed because of months and months of lifestyle habits, and it can only go with the help of consistent lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, proper intake of water, taking good sleep, doing regular exercise and living a stress-free life.”
The duration required to achieve abs is determined by factors such as an individual’s body fat percentage, diet, and exercise routine.
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