LOSE BELLY FAT

It takes an all-round, holistic approach to health to get a flat tummy

shiftign that muffin top and belly fat can be a real issue. If you fidn that you slim down quite easily and feel fit yet still struggle with that stubborn paunch, it might be time to approach your quest for a flat tum from a few different angles.

While tummy and core exercises like crunches, planks and leg raises will certainly help to define and tone the mid-section, they alone don’t eliminate the fat. So how can you melt away that layer of fat and reveal those abs underneath?

  • Sleep

Could having a flat belly be as easy as laying in bed? In a way, yes! Health coach and founder of Definitive Health, James Driscoll, emphasises the effect that hormones have on belly fat: ‘Studies have shown that sleep-deprived people make poorer food choices and crave high-energy, calorie-dense snacks in an attempt to boost energy levels,’ he explains. ‘Important hormones are released during deep sleep, too, which aid muscle repair, detoxify the body and increase fat burn; directly impacting your physique.’

Make sure you’re getting enough good-quality sleep – 8 hours at least. If you have trouble drifting off, set aside some time to unwind before bed. ‘Drink valerian tea, dim the lights and avoid electronics one hour before bed,’ advises James. ‘Develop an evening ritual that works for you.’

  • Eat
A healthy, balanced diet is crucial to keep belly fat at bay. Watching what you eat is just as important as how much you’re eating, so make sure you’re getting the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. ‘High-protein diets have been scientifically proven to promote greater fat loss and keep you feeling fuller for longer,’ says James. ‘Aim to eat 2 grams of protein a day per kilogram of bodyweight, and include protein with every meal. Steer clear of sugar, which switches fat burn off completely – stick to 50-70 grams of carbohydrates a day, choosing those that are low-GI such as quinoa and fibrous green vegetables. Avoid starchy carbohydrates like white bread, white rice and potatoes. Avocado, oily fish, nuts, coconut oil and hemp oil are good ideas for quality fat sources.’
  • Exercise

To torch the fat that’s hiding your toned tum, you need to adopt an intense fat-burning approach to exercise that targets the whole body, not just your stomach. Check out our workouts section for plenty of whole-body fat-burning routines.

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