Any time you have fat at any location on your stomach, you are at risk for the development of deep visceral belly fat. This is the fat that grows close to organs such as your kidneys and liver, potentially increasing your risk for heart disease and diabetes. If that weren't enough, visceral fat is covered by a subcutaneous layer of fat that lies closer to the surface. When you specifically want to lose lower belly fat, you need to focus on full-body weight loss and targeted exercises to tone and tighten your lower abs.
What to Do
Cut back on your bad eating habits. Give up the fried foods, processed meats, refined baked goods and sweets. Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats, fish, whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy products. Control your portion sizes and eat healthy snacks throughout the day to ward off the type of hunger than might lead you to cheat.
Partake in cardiovascular training to burn the fat in your lower belly, as well as the rest of your body. Do any type of cardio that causes you to sweat, raises your heart rate and make you slightly out of breath, such as: running, indoor cycling, inline skating, stair climbing, elliptical training and power walking. Aim for 45 to 60 minutes of cardio, three days a week on nonconsecutive days. Start slowly and work your way up to a higher intensity or longer workout over time.
Lift weights to build metabolically active muscle mass. Do exercises that work all your major muscle groups: bench presses, shoulder presses, back rows, triceps extensions, biceps curls and squats. Perform 10 to 12 reps, three or four sets and work out three days a week on the opposing days of your cardio. Core exercises can help build muscle and create a firmer look
Lie flat on your back to do flutter kicks. Straighten both legs and lift them 6 inches off the floor. This is your starting point. Leave your right leg where it is and raise your left leg 2 to 3 feet higher. Lower your left leg as you simultaneously lift your right leg. Alternate back and forth in a steady motion for 15 to 20 repetitions. Place your hands under your butt if you feel stress on your lower back.
Execute a set of mountain climbers to work your lower abs and burn calories. Align your body in a racing position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and feet in a staggered stance. Keep your hips low as you quickly shift your feet back and forth on the floor as if you were running in place. Alternate each leg forward until you've done 15 to 20 reps with each leg.
Perform knee tucks on a stability ball. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor, place your lower shins together on the ball and straighten your arms. Lift your hips up to get your body into a pushup position and roll the ball toward your face as you tuck your knees into your chest. Hold for a second, then roll the ball back out; repeat 15 to 20 times.
Perform three to four sets of your ab exercises and workout after your cardio sessions.
Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.