Losing belly fat: 5 sports that complement a healthy diet

Are you eating a health diet but not seeing the results you expected on your belly? Perhaps you need to think about your physical activity.

losing belly fat

The unloved belly is a top-ranking body image concern among British people like you. And yet, you are following the recommendations of the British Nutrition Foundation; it makes no sense. “Everything in moderation,” as your mother would say. Yes, but that's not the whole story. When you drastically change your diet and you aren't getting the speedy results you expected on your belly, it's easy to give up ! Actually, being drastic will bring nothing but frustration. There is no miracle cure for fat loss. So why not simply try 5 sports that are complete and easy to start so you can burn some energy and start thinking of something else?


1. Cross training

Cross training is ideal for people who like to discover several types of exercise at the same time. This training method involves doing a series of endurance, cardio and weight-lifting exercises, using equipment or body weight. The aim is not to work on any one isolated muscle, but rather various muscle chains, over the course of a training session.

Sessions are short. They take about 30 minutes, which is more than enough for burning your energy in an effective way. The variety of exercises and the fact that they are always changing makes cross training particularly fun: you won't be bored for a second. Obviously, it is recommended that you start progressively in terms of intensity and load. Start with one to two sessions a week and then go up to three or four sessions, if you are motivated.

The cross training family includes hiit (read our article "Discover hiit: easy exercises that can be done anywhere!") and Tabata (read our article "The Tabata method in 5 points"), which have proven effectiveness!

2. Walking

You've probably heard about the famous 10,000 daily recommended steps. Curious, you may even have installed the app on your smartphone. Then comes the problem: you need another 3,000 steps! How about bridging this gap by finding another way of walking? There are plenty of options to choose from:

- Fitness walking: Alone or in a group, fitness walking is becoming increasingly popular. Fitness walking just involves rolling your foot on the ground from the heel to the sole of the foot, and finally propelling yourself forward with the ball of the foot to take a step that takes you to the next foot. Your arms are also active! It is very soft on the joints.

- Nordic walking: For nordic walking, the feet perform the same movements as for fitness walking, but it is done using poles. These poles relieve your joints. Pushing on the poles propels the body forwards. It also improves coordination and balance.

- Race walking: Race walking is the fastest of the three types and is even an Olympic discipline! In this sport, you always have to maintain contact with the ground and the leg that is on the floor has to be straight. With a front pelvic rotation you can propel your leading leg on the ground. Use your arms as well to increase your speed.  

So, there must be a type of walking that inspires you? And why choose? All three will enhance your endurance. Loss of body fat guaranteed!


3. Cycling

Cycling reinforces your cardiovascular system and builds strength. This activity also relieves your joints because your body is not in direct contact with the ground. If you are carrying a few extra pounds, cycling is a great way to get rid of them.

As when starting any sport, progressivity is important. Starting with twenty minutes once or twice a week at a moderate pace allows you to increase your practice time and the intensity of your training little by little.It's raining? Opt for a home-trainer.

In addition, cycling is easy to incorporate in your daily life. Do you live five to ten kilometres from your place of work? Hop on your bike, you'll also spend less time in traffic. Just look at the Belgians—in wind and rain, even if the journey takes forty five minutes, everyone cycles. You see? It's possible! The warm weather is approaching, no more excuses!

4. Swimming

Archimedes' principle and the resulting flotation make swimming a “supported” sport. With no impact, your joints are protected and say thank you! Breast stroke, butterfly, back crawl, front crawl (and even doggy paddle!) all allow you to work the muscles of your body in a different way.

And we all know what happens when muscles are used: the fat gradually melts off and gives way to impressive biceps. And even if you don't get the six pack that you dreamt of, your abdominal strap will be strengthened. In other words, you will trim up your whole body and improve your posture. That beautiful, harmonious figure can be yours. You will feel at home in it!


5. Yoga

Like swimming, yoga is the ideal ally for your posture. And actually these two sports go very well together! With yoga, you will work on your flexibility and your balance, while learning to manage your breath. This is of key importance when practising all sports, but also in your everyday life. Indeed, how many people have you heard complaining about the love handles on their hips? Maybe you are even one of them? If there's one thing that yoga teaches, it's to let go. By learning to relax, you will facilitate the weight loss process that you are concerned about. But most importantly, it will do you a world of good!

Physical exercise won't necessarily give you a super-flat belly, but will definitely reduce abdominal fat, and more! Combining sport with a healthy diet, free of frustration, and restorative sleep, changes your basal metabolic rate. Your genetic predispositions are no match for your motivation. But if motivation is lacking, our Decathlon Coach app will help you. All Decathlon athletes will tell you, there is no miracle cure for losing belly fat, just one simple principle to follow: accepting yourself while doing sport for an inner sense of well-being that shows on the outside!

Manon signature


Daughter, sister and partner of cyclists. Trail runner brought up in the great outdoors, who has practised sport from a very young age. In the process of becoming an ultra trail runner. Marathon runner and 2013 Junior French 10,000 m race walking champion. Obsessed with stories about sportsmen and sportswomen.