I am asked all the time whether doing stomach exercises will get rid of belly fat and muffin tops
Only yesterday a lady I was talking to commented that she had lost weight from her face and her wrists of all places. She was really disappointed because after hours and hours in the gym her waist size hadn’t really changed
The truth is that, when we exercise, we have very little control over what area the body will draw on to burn energy. It is true that certain types of exercise and different levels of exertion use different energy systems but this doesn’t really help in the quest to burn fat in a specific area.
On the surface she was doing all the right things, exercising more, eating less and choosing low fat options, yet still she wasn’t getting results. So what should she have been doing differently?
Whilst it is true that we can’t select specific exercises to focus on problem areas the same can’t be said about how we eat. You absolutely can target stubborn belly fat by changing your diet.
The solutions is pretty simple – EAT LESS CARBS, EAT MORE GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES AND MORE BERRIES.
If you want the easy option you can just believe me and try it. If you want to understand why read on for a little bit of the science behind how this works.
When we eat carbohydrates (that’s bread, potatoes, pasta, cakes, rice, desserts) our bodies break it down into a substance called glucose, a form of sugar. The body has an optimum level for the amount of sugar circulating in the blood stream at any one time. When we eat carbohydrate our blood sugar levels rapidly increase, so, to restore balance, the body releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin’s job is to transport the excess sugar out of the blood and send it somewhere else. The body’s favourite place to store excess sugar is in the adipose tissue (bodyfat) and in particular it loves to store it around the waist. In essence, insulin is a fat storage hormone and the more carbs we eat, the more insulin is produced and the more the body stores the excess as fat.
Over time, the body’s cells stop listening to the insulin (a bit like the boy who cried wolf) and so the pancreas, which produces the insulin, has to release more and more in an effort to be heard. The more the body becomes insulin resistant, the more insulin the body makes and the more the body stores fat around the waist.
The good news is that it is a condition that is reversible. By controlling the amount of carbohydrates we eat we can take control of our insulin levels again.
Choose a diet that consists of mostly green leafy vegetables, low sugar fruits (such as berries), nuts, seeds, lean meats, fish and eggs. Keep carbohydrate portions as a small accompaniment rather than the majority of your meal.
A typical day of food for many health conscious people not already aware of the effects of insulin might look like this: breakfast – toast and cereal, snack – rice or oatcakes, lunch – a sandwich, dinner – pasta or curry with rice.
Armed with the knowledge about carbohydrates and insulin a much healthier day might look like this: breakfast – poached eggs on spinach, snack – berries with nuts, lunch – leafy salad with tuna, dinner – a big chicken stir-fry with vegetables (not noodles).
Changing your diet in line with these principles provides fast results. You will notice a big reduction in belly fat in just a couple of weeks. Try it and let me know how you get on.