Weight loss: Replace belly fat with lean abs with these top tips from celebrity PT

Slimmers are always looking for quick ways to achieve their body goals with burning belly fat as one of the top priorities. Celebrity personal trainer and co-founder of online fitness, nutrition, and health platform Results with Lucy, Cecilia Harris, has revealed her top tips on getting rid of belly fat and achieving celebrity sculpted abs.


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How to lose weight is the most discussed fitness goal throughout the year but especially in January and after specific periods of indulgence. 

Although it can depend from person to person the basic science behind losing weight is not quiet as complex as it seems, according to Cecilia Harris.

Cecilia is a qualified personal trainer and co-founder of online fitness, nutrition and health platform, Results with Lucy.

She has been working with Lucy Meck on Results with Lucy since 2013.

What are Cecilia Harris’ top tips on burning belly fat?

According to Cecilia, there are five things a slimmer needs to do in order to burn belly fat and get lean abs.

1. Mix it up

The celebrity personal trainer said: “Many of us still rely on crunches to get toned, flat abs but what a lot of people don’t realise is that crunching on its own is not the most effective ab workout because they work only some of the muscles in your core and it’s important to target all the muscles including lower back, hips, and upper thighs. 

“A few of my favourite ab deifying exercises would have to include a plank with a side crunch, mountain climbers, leg lifts, plank with knee to elbow and alligator drags where you are basically in a high plank position and you use your hands to drag the rest of your body across the floor. You will need to put the balls of your feet on some gliders or a tea towel, so they easily slide across the floor,” she added.

2. Add Weight

According to Cecilia, one of the best ways for a slimmer to burn belly fat and tone their abs is by overloading their muscles with weights.

“One of the best ways to tone your abs is to overload the muscles by adding weight to a movement,” she said. “If you’re holding a plank balance some weight on your back but be careful to keep the core strong and engaged so your lower back doesn’t take the brunt.

“Adding weight builds your muscles so you get that pop of ab definition! Try weighted Russian twists, dumbbell sit-ups, cable crunches and dumbbell crunches where you hold the dumbbell close to your chest as you crunch,” she added.

3. Create a calorie deficit

However, if a slimmer is carrying excess fat, Cecile advises to initially set their attention on losing the weight from the midsection in order to get lean and toned. “If you are carrying excess fat you will need to lose it to get a lean midsection,” she said. “If you want to lose fat you need to burn more calories than you put in.

“In other words, create a calorie deficit. Having said that, you still need to make sure you are getting all the right nutrients so really it’s about eating smart and making sure what you eat has nutritional value and is not wasted calories.”

Simple changes can make a big difference like cutting down portion sizes or swapping a milky coffee for green tea. “For each person, the calorie deficit will be different depending on variables like your height, weight, gender and how active you are,” she said.

“I don’t believe that day to day creating a calorie deficit is necessary if you are living a healthy, balanced lifestyle, however, if you are looking to get that extra ab definition back after a summer holiday then creating a calorie deficit can work.”


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4. Don’t forget compound movements

“It’s not just the ab specific exercises that you need to create a strong, lean core,” she said. “If you’ve found yourself at a standstill with your abs try adding in some compound movements like deadlifts, kettlebell swings and goblet squats holding a weight before your holiday and you will notice the difference.

“The reason exercises like this work wonders for your core is because you have to contract the muscles of your core to perform compound and dynamic movements,” she revealed.

5. Keep cardio in check

Although lots of cardio won’t help a slimmer build abs, instead, what cardio is good for is fat loss.

“[Cardio] has been shown to be particularly effective at burning belly fat. Add in some extra cardio or HIIT sessions with exercises like jumping squats, burpees and butt kicks to help reduce belly fat after your holiday!,” she encouraged.

“We all know abs are made in the kitchen so tweaking your diet will also work wonders on your abs. Upping your protein intake will promote weight loss and keep you feeling fuller for longer,” she added.

6. Don’t find excuses, find time

For the majority of people, it might be possible to get to the gym for their daily exercise, but daily exercise doesn’t always have to be hours long or set in the actual facilities.

“For those who work better in a gym, I would advise getting up earlier when possible and getting a session in before work. You don’t have to be red-faced and covered in sweat after an hour or more of exercise to have had an effective workout, that’s just not the case,” she said.

“You can be efficient and fit an extremely effective workout into 20-30 minutes.I find working out in the morning also sets people up for the day and actually, it has a positive effect on behaviours throughout the day.”

If a slimmer can’t make it to the gym, then they can always download a fitness app that provides workouts that a slimmer can do from the comfort of their own home. “You can always download a fitness app that gives you workouts,” she said. “Time is saved because you don’t need to travel to and from the gym and if you have children you don’t have to worry about finding a sitter. 

“Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you consume so swap the car for the bike and the lift for the stairs and you will burn extra calories throughout your day.” 

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