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TOP TIPS TO REDUCE BELLY FAT

TOP TIPS TO REDUCE BELLY FAT

Being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re unhealthy. Conversely, just because you have a slim figure doesn’t mean you’re in great health.

It’s actually the stubborn belly fat that lies beneath the surface (visceral fat) which causes the most health problems.  So if you carry too much fat around your middle (above 31.5 inches in women and 37 inches in men), you should take some action to get rid of it. This will also help shed visceral fat.

Thankfully, there are several evidenced-based strategies to target that belly fat.

Here are our top tips:

1. AVOID SUGAR AND SWEETENERS

We all know added sugar is unhealthy. Some experts believe excess sugar’s most harmful effect on health is increasing belly fat, which leads to insulin resistance. This is due to the large amounts of fructose, which makes up half of refined sugar.

And you can’t cheat by using artificial sweeteners. Our bodies treat them as the real thing, which still triggers the body to store fat. Some research even suggests they make you gain weight.

2. UP PROTEIN AND FAT

Growing evidence shows increasing protein in your diet is an effective way to lose weight, and is particularly effective against belly fat. Meat, fish, poultry and eggs are obvious protein-boosters. But don’t forget other protein-rich foods such as nuts, legumes, quinoa and dairy (particularly Greek yoghurt).

Adding healthy fats is also an effective weapon against belly fat. Avocadoes and olive oil have both been shown to help shift stubborn fat. Conversely, avoid trans fats completely; they are more likely to go straight to your belly.

3. CUT CARBS

One Danish study showed that refined carbs and oils were associated with increased belly fat. Low-carb diets have been shown to particularly target fat in the belly area, as well as the dangerous fat around the organs and liver.

How to start? Avoiding refined carbs such as white bread and pasta should be enough to kick-start weight loss. Dropping down to 50g of carbs a day will speed things up rapidly.

4. EXERCISE

Firstly, forget about sit ups and crunches. Studies have shown that spot reduction does not work. Instead, focus on high intensity cardio workouts which get those fat-burning hormones pumping. Interval training, spinning classes, sprinting, circuit training are all great choices. Kettlebell exercises like the Sumo Deadlift Jump are great fat burners for quick home workouts!

Studies show just half an hour of exercise is enough to kick-start the reduction of belly fat. Working out also reduces blood sugar levels and inflammation that can contribute to belly fat. So a gym session, whenever you want, is definitely worth it.

the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.

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