Sunday 8 January 2017

My top 5 tips to get rid of belly fat.

Hi All

Belly fat, we've all seen it, experienced it - hate it!  It appears gradually over time, and it seems to creep up on you, so one morning you wake up and there it is...and suddenly it's uncomfortable when you sit down, shopping for clothes becomes a chore and you avoid looking in mirrors - sound familiar?

It's the number ONE thing I always get asked is, 'how can I lose this' - whilst grabbing a hand full of flab situated around the mid-riff.  Well there are no easy solutions, but there are some particular reasons why you might store fat around your middle, and it's always the hardest to shift.  So here are my 5 top tips;

1. Exercise alone will not get rid of belly fat.  It doesn't matter how many 'Crunch Challenges' you do or how many sit-ups - if the layer of fat is still there then you still won't see the abdominal muscles underneath (incidentally to have that 'shredded' 6-pack look then you have to get your bodyfat % down to around 12% for women and around 10% for men - not usually acheiveable or sustainable for the majority of the population!).  It's true that abdominals are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.  You should still do tummy exercises as they perform an important function in holding you upright,  but don't expect to have a '6-pack' without some serious diet changes.

2. Cut out the white, starchy carbs. You know what I'm talking about: pasta, pastries, white rice, white bread - all of these are processed in the body causing a spike in insulin and it is the insulin's job to turn the sugar into either energy or store it as fat.  And where is the first and easiest place for the fat to be stored...?  You guessed it - the mid-riff!  Your body does not need carbohydrates at all - we have essential fats and essential proteins - but not essential carbs, their only purpose is for energy, so unless you are burning off that energy it will be stored as fat.

3. Eating fat does not make you fat. Your body needs fat, it uses it for energy and to perform essential functions.  Several recent studies have shown that low fat diets do not work, see here. NEVER buy low-fat, low-sugar foods - theses all contain high levels of sweetners and chemicals to make them taste better.  These chemicals can make your body react by storing fat.

4. Drink plenty of water. Ditch the diet drinks, as above they're full of chemicals, infact recent studies are now showing that they're just as bad for you as the full sugar versions - see study here.  Just drink plain water (tap water is fine) and lots of it.  If you want to add some flavour then add a couple of slices of lemon, cucumber or mint.  Incidentally, if you suffer from back pain, then you may be de-hydrated - the first place the body takes water from when there is not enough being provided is the disc inbetween the vertebrae. The WHO recommend 2 litres a day.

5. Reduce Stress. Easier said than done, right?  But the fact is that stress causes a rise in cortisol, and when cortisol is in your blood stream at the same time as insulin (remember high sugars etc), then that causes your body to go into hyper fat storage (I just made that term up - but that is essentially what happens!).  So take actions to reduce your stress levels - get outside, exercise, get some natural light, make sure you get enough sleep, meditate or just do something that you enjoy doing.

So there's a few things to get you started.  It takes around 6-8 weeks for your body to begin to show any significant changes, don't keep weighing yourself - your weight fluctuates daily/monthly - you're better off measuring your waistline.  The main thing is to stick to it - all diet and fitness programs will work over time, it's just not a quick fix, you have to be persistant.

Good luck - and if you need any help with any aspects of diet and fitness, then why not drop me a line, once you join my classes or 1-1 sessions you can join my private exclusive group where we do health challenges which cover all aspects of nutrition and fitness.

For further information see my website here.

Jill x


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