Beer belly, spare tyre, love handles, muffin top. These innocuous terms all refer to one phenomenon: abdominal fat. But this extra weight could be harmful, and that’s why you’ll see a focus on the benefits of belly fat loss, especially in the months after Christmas.
If your midriff exceeds more than 40 inches, you need to actively do something about it. Not just for your sunbathing selfies this year, but for the sake of your future health.
This is subcutaneous fat – the ‘pinch more than an inch’ fat. If it’s increasing, it points to a hidden danger: deposits known as visceral fat which sit silently around the major organs such as the liver, pancreas, kidneys and intestines.
Visceral fat can affect hormone function and, if it’s not kept in check, it could increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers.
The good news is that, once you put your mind to making a change, there’s often a noticeable difference - even with the smallest of lifestyle adjustments. We’ve put together five tips to help you work towards getting rid of that muffin top!
1. Weight loss exercises
Take part in regular exercise. If you’re not already aware of it, and your GP says you’re good to go, try a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout two or three times a week. Bursts of energetic activity are combined with short rest periods, burning more calories.
You only have to commit to 20 minutes at a time. Try 30 seconds of jumping jacks, jogging on the spot, squats, lunges, and push-ups with a 10-15 second pause in between. Watch some online videos to get some ideas, check your form and then go for the burn.
You can do this in the privacy of your own home or garden and all you need are your trainers, some water and plenty of determination to blast the belly fat like nothing else.
2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Enjoy seasonal fruit and vegetables and make protein – poultry and fish – a staple of your meals as they keep you feeling fuller for longer. Opt for eggs or an omelette at breakfast time to avoid the mid-morning munchies.
3. Reduce stress!
Do your best to reduce your stress. Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol lead to an increase in visceral fat stores. Try deep breathing, listening to music, swimming a few laps or a bike ride. You can even try walking for weight loss, which also reduces stress. These are just some ideas for quiet time, away from life’s demands.
4. Limit your alcohol intake
This may be one of the harder tips to keep up. However, alcohol is nothing but empty calories that you can easily lose track of, which are then laid down as fat.
5. Don’t crash diet
We all want to know how to lose weight fast, but crash diets just don’t work. Follow the weight loss tips above and make these potentially crucial lifestyle changes, and you’ll be tightening your belt before you know it.
If you’re looking for a personalised approach to nutrition in order to help you achieve your health and wellbeing goals, our Nutritional Therapy service can help. Contact us via our online enquiry form or call our Private Patient team on 01580 363158.
Published on 29 January 2021