Getting rid of belly fat
We have gotten so many questions about removing belly fat that we have realized that it is an extremely common concern for both men and women. Being in this industry, we can say that excess stomach fat, stomach rolls and love-handles are some of the most common areas our clients want to focus on. I don't think there is a single person who would not want a nice flat stomach, and if you are one of them, then this blog might just be for you.
Even when you type “Getting rid of..” in your Google search bar, the first prediction would very likely be - belly fat. This just goes to show that you are not alone and that many people around the world struggle to lose weight around their waist and keep it off in the long run.
Why does my stomach still have fat, even when I exercise?
Well, the body is pretty amazing but in this case, can be pretty annoying too. See, your body preferentially stores fat on your stomach and around your waist so that the energy stored is near all your vital organs in case they may need it. How annoying is that, though? So with this in mind, let me drop a truth bomb right here, instead of revealing the big secret in the conclusion way at the bottom - What you eat, and the effect it has on your hormones would ultimately determine what fat you burn, and what goes straight to your stomach. It is a saying as old as time: “Abs are made in the kitchen” and it still rings true today.
While the food we consume may have a massive effect on our belly fat, there are definitely ways you can get healthily rid of belly fat.
How can I get rid of belly fat?
1. Avoid sugar
I bet you were hoping we wouldn't say this, but unfortunately, sweet treats and sugary drinks are the sneaky culprits of your excess belly fat and love-handles. Numerous studies indicate that sugar leads up to fat building up around your stomach, mostly due to a large amount of fructose. You might also not want to hear this but Sugar consists of half glucose and the other half fructose. When you consume too much sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat. Yikes! We often also find that people think of sugar only as a chocolate bar or a sugary energy drink, but this is a common mistake we don't want you to make. Sugar can be found in many foods. Sugar is found in all carbs so even if you think you are cutting out your daily chocolate, your sandwich with cheese-spread is also loaded with sugar. Another big mistake people might be making is replacing your egg and toast breakfast with a bowl of fruit. This is one big fat NO-NO! If you think a massive bowl of grapes, pineapples and strawberries will help you fight stomach fat, you are headed in the wrong direction and you might as well just eat chocolate. Fruit and fruit juices are often loaded with sugar and you should make sure you don't eat too many of it.
2.Eat some healthy fat
It might seem like a massive contradiction. How will I lose belly fat by eating foods that are high in fat? It's true To burn fat, you've got to eat some fat. But eating the wrong kinds of fat could keep those belly rolls right where they are. For example, in one Swedish study conducted in 2014, it showed clear evidence that healthy-weight individuals who consumed an extra 750 calories of saturated fat (eg. Fat from meat or dairy products such as cream) per day for nearly two months gained significantly more abdominal fat compared to those who opted for polyunsaturated fats ( eg. Avocados, seeds and nuts). It has been shown that saturated fats can be a big factor in abdominal fat storage. So instead of cooking a slow-roasted pork belly in a creamy sauce, rather opt for unsaturated fats like Omega-3, usually found in fatty cold-water fish such as tuna or salmon.
3. Skipping breakfast or lunch?
Many of our clients admit that they skip breakfast, eat a light lunch and a large dinner. If you are one of them, we encourage you to break this habit as soon as you can if you want to lose belly fat. A great way of preventing belly fat is to spread out your calorie intake throughout the day, starting with a hearty breakfast and ending with a smaller, healthy dinner such as a tuna salad. Research shows that our bodies become more resistant to insulin at night. If you continue to eat your largest meal at night, it may spike your blood sugar levels and ultimately cause belly fat. So simply just by eating eggs and avocado on toast in the morning, enjoying a nice quinoa and chicken bowl for lunch and enjoying a small tuna salad at night, can make your stomach flat in no time.
4. Your alcoholic drink of choice
Hey, it is not called a "beer-gut" for nothing. Like we have already mentioned that sugary drinks will lead to excess belly fat, it is no different for heavy drinkers on weekends. It has been found that alcohol metabolises differently than food does. It completely shuts down the digestive system for the liver to detoxify it which produced free fatty acids. Once your digestion starts up again, your body will store food and calories, that's right, in the form of belly fat. Let us take a closed look at the most famous alcoholic drink among South African males - Brandy and Coke. This popular drink contains around 550kj's per drink. If you enjoy a fair amount of 4 of these on an average braai, you will have consumed 2200kj's. This is more than a Big Mac, and these drinks are often accompanied by a large meal so it will be as if you have eaten chips, lamb chops, boerewors, potato bake, a greek salad and a big mac in one night (that is if you even drink as little as 4 Brandy and Cokes). So now that we have hit you with this gross fact, we have to admit that not all alcohol is bad. If you switch your Beer, Gin & Tonic or Brandy & Coke with healthier options, you should be just fine. Remember it is not the Gin or the Brandy that make you fat, it is the coke and the sugar-filled tonic water. If you drink Whiskey & water, Brandy & Coke Zero or Gin & Sugar-free tonic, you can rest assured that your hangover won't be accompanied by an extra belly roll.
5. Targeted exercises
Lucky for you, we have a lot of experience when it comes to weight loss and toning up and we have dealt with belly fat many times before. We have many targeted exercise routines that will help you trim your waistline such as our at-home ab workouts for beginners. At Fitness Fables, we realise that everyone has different goals in mind and if your goal is to get rid of love handles then we can help you out. Weight training as well as cardio will help you lose weight overall, but we like to combine it with targeted ab workouts that will speed up the process even more.The bottom line - If you are unhappy with your excess belly fat, you need to change up your lifestyle greatly. It is taking into account what you eat when you eat it and how you exercise. With the help of Fitness Fables, you will get a suited eating plan that you can enjoy as well as a fitness program to get the best results based on your goals and capabilities. Your beach holiday is around the corner, so don't wait, start today!