If you’ve been doing 20 situps daily in the hopes to lose weight, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. Situps alone are not going to get the job done. Sure, they strengthen your abdominals, but won’t touch the fat layer that’s covering them. To lose excess pounds, you must closely monitor what you eat and burn calories by exercising.
Weight loss is achieved by creating a caloric deficit. You must burn more calories than you consume in order to see the scale move. Restricting your calories and breaking a sweat with exercise will help you reach your caloric deficit. It takes 3,500 calories to melt off a pound of fat. Therefore, you must burn 500 calories a day to reach a weekly weight loss of 1 lb. Simply doing 20 crunches will burn less than 20 calories.
Situps are beneficial to build core strength. The American Council on Exercise notes that situps primarily target the rectus abdominus and the transverse abdominus -- the obliques are the secondary muscles worked. Target training your core will help you tone muscles but you must do more that just 20 situps a day to see changes. Mix up your core training by adding more situps as you grow stronger each day and slowly adding in new abdominal exercises. Other abdominal toning exercises include a plank pose, bicycle twists, reverse crunches and scissor kicks.
If you want to lose weight you must cardio train because it requires more effort than simply doing crunches. Cardio training helps burn calories and will allow you to lose weight. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends aerobically training for at least 30 minutes on five days of the week to stay healthy. If you are looking to lose weight increase the intensity of your cardio training and work your way up to aerobically training for a longer duration.
The foods you eat will also help you reach a healthy weight loss. Choose whole grains, lean meats, nuts, fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products. These foods will keep your body fueled and filled to promote weight loss. Avoid empty calories like alcohol, soda, processed foods and fast-food to save calories and promote a faster weight loss.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.