4 ways to a flatter tummy
Ready to lose your love handles once and for all? Try our easy (and doable) ways to shift excess tummy fat – and without one single sit up
1. Avoid (or reduce) processed carbohydrates
Avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, which get digested very quickly, causing spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels. This increased level of insulin in our body can promote increased fat storage in the abdominal area.
Instead, opt for unprocessed carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits), which increase feelings of fullness and release sugar into the blood stream at a much slower rate.
And according to Dr. John Berardi from Precision Nutrition, your body is more capable of processing carbohydrates directly after exercise – so that’s the best time to indulge.
2. Prioritise the protein
Protein encourages production of the fat-burning hormone glucagon. It also slows down the rate at which your stomach empties and when you add protein to a carb, it becomes a slow-releasing form. It can be as simple as sprinkling nuts and seeds on your breakfast cereal or over a salad.
Try vegetable soup sprinkled with seeds and a slice of rye bread or smoked mackerel and salad for lunch. For dinner, try stir-fried veg with chicken, or a lentil curry with extra veg.
3. Get moving
The most common excuse for not exercising is lack of time. But if you want to lose belly fat, you must exercise – sorry.
According to a study from Canada’s McMaster University, high intensity interval training (short blasts of exercise followed by short recovery periods) enables you to achieve the same exercise benefits in less time than slogging countless hours on the treadmill. Therefore, you can actually accomplish more by exercising less.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) will lead to higher energy demands for recovery and more calories burned for longer.
4. Stop for supper
Eating on the run triggers the fight or flight mechanism: your digestive system shuts down, so your body can conserve energy for saving your life rather than digesting dinner. Worse still, it triggers stress hormone cortisol to pile on pounds around your waist. Sit down, if only for ten minutes, eat slowly and chew well.
Try, also, to eat dinner early to give you enough time to digest your food before you sleep. Still peckish? Have an oatcake an hour before bed to keep blood sugar levels steady overnight.