Tummy

Shake that beer belly!

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Growing up you might have seen your dad with a beer belly and sworn it would never happen to you…yet here you are. Don’t worry though, weight gain does not have to be an inevitable part of growing older and you don’t need to accept it. Reducing your stomach fat may be important for you aesthetically, but it’s also incredibly important for you internally, since the greater the stomach fat a person has, the greater the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. We have some top tips and tricks for slimming your waistline, in a way that works for you and your lifestyle.

 

1) Diet

Diet typically makes up 75% of weight loss, making it an incredibly important part to get right. So we’ve compiled a list of small dietary changes that could have a big impact on your waistline.Food groups

  • Protein intake

Making sure that 10-35% of your calorie intake comes from protein can reduce stomach fat gain[1]. Not only this, but protein has been found to reduce cravings by 60% and boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day[2].

  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake

In reducing your carbohydrate intake you will be specifically targeting your beer belly and the fat around your organs. Additionally, you’ll find that your appetite will quickly reduce, along with excess water weight[3].

  • Cut down on your sugar intake

Many studies have found that consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to an increased accumulated of fat in the tummy and liver, caused by the fructose in sugar[4]. Foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup include white bread, ready meals, cookies and sugar-sweetened drinks[5].

One of the important things to cut out is sugar-sweetened drinks; they usually don’t provide any nutritional value, just empty calories. Sugary drinks are the most common way to consume excess fructose, which is known to increase visceral fat (aka stomach fat).

  • Fibre rich foods

Eating foods rich in fibre (especially soluble, viscous fibre) promotes weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer[6].

Examples of viscous fibre rich foods include whole oats, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, avocados and apples.

2) Exercises for weight loss

The other 25% of weight loss is a result of exercise. However, surprisingly it has been found that abdominal exercises don’t actually help to reduce stomach fat and instead they are just helpful for toning and muscle definition[7]. In fact, the more effective way to burn stomach fat is through HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This is because HIIT not only burns a large number of calories while you exercise, but it also triggers an ‘afterburn affect’, where the body continues to burn calories for hours after you have completed your workout[8].

Exercises
Exercises to try:
  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Sprints
  • Planks

HIIT usually takes place in the gym, but it can often be hard to self-motivate. If you are someone who struggles to find the motivation to exercise, an exercise class might be more for suitable for you. One You offer many different classes, so check out for our full class list and sign up for an upcoming class.

If you do try HIIT, make sure you ease yourself in, and build up to exercising a few times a week gradually. Any more than this can cause injury.

3) Stress

Stressed

People often associate stress with weight loss and a loss of appetite. However, too much stress can cause an increase in the levels of cortisol, which is a hormone our bodies releases when we’re under too much pressure.  This makes us crave fatty, high calorie foods[9]. It’s difficult to reduce our stress levels since stress is usually out of our control, but practicing relaxation techniques, exercising and reducing your caffeine intake can help.

4) Sleep

SleepArguably the easiest way to lose weight is to sleep more (result!). It has been found that those who sleep for more than 8 hours per night have a resting energy expenditure (calorie burning) of 5% higher than those who sleep less[10]. They also burn 20% more calories after a meal than sleep-deprived people. This means that you burn more calories after a good night’s sleep.

We know it can be difficult to get the full 8 hours while juggling work, family and social life. However, once you start prioritising a good night’s sleep, you’ll soon see the benefits to your health and general wellbeing.

 

We understand that losing weight can be difficult to do alone though, so we also offer a free 12 week Manage You Weight course to help support you on your weight loss journey. If you think you could benefit from some additional support and expert advice, we also offer a free Move More programme where we will help you develop an activity plan and find fun ways to shake your beer belly and get active.

[1] https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19537348/how-much-fat-and-carbs-should-you-eat/

[2] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/1/41/4863422

[3] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat#section3

[4] https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1084861/how-to-get-rid-of-visceral-fat-diet-avoid-fruit-juice-sugary-soda-sports-drinks

[5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-foods-with-high-fructose-corn-syrup#section1

[6] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/

[7] https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/15/no-cant-target-belly-fat-exercise-sorry-10570960/

[8] https://www.lesmills.com/uk/fit-planet/fitness/hiit-epoc/

[9] https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/stress-weight-gain#1

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21471283