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'I’ve got 99 problems and stomach fat is one'

FITNESS: Many people struggle with excess body fat in the stomach area

I'M WRITING this specifically for the ladies – so let’s get down to business and talk about the most common problematic area when it comes to losing weight, the stomach! Now I know we have all been there at some point, where we have struggled to reduce body fat – those excess love handles and that tyre ring that has burnt enough rubber to start a bonfire. We so desperately want to get rid of this excess fat but just don’t know how. We’ve read all the articles, tried all the fad diets but always revert back to square one.

The question is, how do we get rid of that excess stomach fat and how do we keep it off? It really does come down to what you are eating. If the food that we eat is not natural and not good for our body, it’s not what the body needs and requires to stay lean or toned. When we consume food, especially products high in bad fats and added sugar, this will eventually be stored in the body as excess fatty tissue.

Therefore, ladies, you need to start paying more attention to reducing or eradicating the types of foods that are high and rich in “I’m no good for you but taste like heaven” products.

So what kinds of foods should we eat? Nutritious foods that are low in calories and have no added artificial sugars or colourings, such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries; good fats, such as seeds, avocado and nuts; foods high in protein; lean meats, such as chicken breast and turkey breast, and fish, such as halibut, salmon, tuna and cod. Then you have your low in starch carbohydrates, such as vegetables, quinoa, and barley – including wholemeal sources of food, such as brown rice and brown bread.

Now that we’ve briefly discussed nutrition, let’s turn our attention to exercise. If you read my last article, you will know “not everyone is supposed to go to the gym, cover themselves in chalk, drop weights and grunt”. You just need to adopt an enjoyable activity that you can do consistently and maintain.

Once you have decided upon your exercise or activity of choice it’s then necessary and important that you have a good and consistent input and output setting. What you put into your body, food, should not exceed your output, which relates to your regular activity or exercise. Let’s say for example that you consume somewhere in the region of 1,500 – 2500 calories per day, you would ideally want your output, the calories you burn, to exceed the amount you consume staying inline with your ultimate goal whether that be to maintain or to lose weight.

Now, before I go, I just want to iron out a few creases and permanently destroy some myths. You cannot tell your body where to lose weight and where to keep it. If you exercise in the hope to get washboard abs while holding on to everything else, then I’m about to shatter your dreams entirely, which I will not apologise for.

Your body will lose and gain weight where it pleases. Your body will not take direct instruction from you and lose weight in the areas of your choice. Your body is a smart and powerful machine and will always respond to how you treat and look after your body.

However, it is important that you do pay attention to those stubborn areas and work on them regularly. So if your stomach is your main problem, then as well as doing cardiovascular activities, such as a brisk walking, sprinting, cycling or high intense interval training, you also need to include crunches and planking if you desire to have a nice tight core. If you are successful in doing and maintaining those three disciplines, you will not only look better naked but you will feel amazing too!

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